Intro by Patrick Andendall:
"In my previous piece on Turkey, written as the coup attempt was underway, I noted that should the coup fail, Erdoğan would simply accelerate Turkish democracy's death march he had already put in motion for some time. Sadly, things have been utterly predictable since the end of the coup, which ended up failing quickly, and resoundingly so, except for perhaps the fact that Erdoğan is pressing his post-coup advantage even more forcefully than expected in a purge unprecedented in recent global memory. At stake is the survival both of Turkey's democracy and of the NATO alliance as we know it. And both Tocqueville and Orwell can shed some light on all of this."
AMMAN -- Since the failure of the dramatic coup attempt in Turkey, we are witnessing the methodical destruction of everything democratic about Turkey, save the exception of the majority's ability to impose its will on the nation as a whole through periodic voting: a true Tocquevillian "tyranny of the majority" empowered and sustained through Orwellian means.
Erdoğan's Mob Rule: The Tyranny of the AKP Majority
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is increasingly using rhetoric that credits he and the people with "victory" over the coup plotters. The lesson: Erdoğan is the people, and the people are him; they are one: he speaks for them, they speak for him.
Using such rhetoric, Erdoğan for weeks exhorted his followers to engage in nightly demonstrations since the coup failed, providing free public transportation to--and free food and water at--the rallies throughout to encourage mass attendance and culminating in series of final, massive rallies in 80 cities on Sunday, August 8th, including one with millions of people in Istanbul that might have been the nation's largest rally ever. Though these rallies received robust support and encouragement from the government, the country's main Kurdish political party--the HDP, the third-largest party in Turkey's parliament--was excluded. Considering that many other demonstrations not favorable to Erdoğan's agenda are banned and met with force at the hands of the police, considering that Erdoğan's ruling AKP party is using government funds to stage repeated, continuous political rallies that exclude a major party representing a minority with which the government is in a brewing mini-civil war (or insurgency, if you like, which is claiming lives even now) in Turkey's southeast, this must certainly be considered an improper use of power in a country that is supposedly a "democracy."
Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service via AP