Turkey: splitting the baby?

So, a happy surprise: Turkey’s Supreme Court didn’t outlaw the governing party. But it did rap them sharply across the knuckles, cut their funding and put them on notice.

At first glance, this looks like a good outcome. Maybe a very good outcome. The Court saves its face and dignity, but doesn’t thwart the democratic will of the electorate, nor provoke a potentially disastrous confrontation. AKP survives, but gets a painful warning. Everyone can claim a win.

At first glance… but I know just enough about Turkish politics to know how little I know. Any more informed commenters want to jump in?

This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, Governments and parties and tagged by Douglas Muir. Bookmark the permalink.

About Douglas Muir

American with an Irish passport. Does development work for a big international donor. Has been living in Eastern Europe for the last six years -- first Serbia, then Romania, and now Armenia. Calls himself a Burkean conservative, which would be a liberal in Germany but an unhappy ex-Republican turned Democrat in the US. Husband of Claudia. Parent of Alan, David, Jacob and Leah. Likes birds. Writes Halfway Down The Danube. Writes Halfway Down The Danube.

5 thoughts on “Turkey: splitting the baby?

  1. A potentially fatal breach was contained, yes. But it remains to be seen how the coup plotters case shakes out. That’s when we will see if the “secularists” (and the army) really respect the rule of law or not.

    The extremely suspicious blast blamed on the PKK is not a good sign at all. More could follow as a way to distract the country and provide support for the assassins and agents run by the army and secret services.

  2. The ship just scraped past the first iceberg; can she miss the next as the bows swing away? I agree, that explosion was blatantly a put-up job.

  3. As I wrote to David Weman earlier:
    I would question whether this outcome was really good for Turkey – best given the scenario, perhaps; but democracies and the trust of the Turks (certainly of the 47% who voted for the AKP last year) in democracy has been badly disturbed. Especially given that the Arab and Muslim world, for which America (and the EU, and all those concerned who hope for peace in the middle East) need to see stable secular democracies emerge in the muslim world, which alone can protect both human rights and basic dignity, including the right to worship freely – but to set a particularly divisive image of secularism against a feeble democratic structure, with the Army (include Western aggressive secularists, Turks and foreigners) and Islamists (again, aggressive militants, both Turkish and Arab, etc) both watching from the sidelines – this idea that one has to choose between secularism and an Islamic polity will only harden the social divisions and heat up, unnecessarily, the ‘clash of civilizations’ in the one place where a reconciliation seems possible, and even hopeful.

    in an additional note about the twin bombings recently, in Istanbul and also in the Kurdish (nominally northern Iraqi) city of Kirkuk; from the journal I used to work for, which is constituted largely by classically liberal muslims, though with plenty of social democrats and irreligious secularists and social democrats also writing for them:


    According to several analysts, the timing of the bombings was meaningful as it came at a time when Turkey was already on edge, with the country’s top court about to make its final ruling on a closure case filed against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the trial process about to begin over an ultranationalist criminal network named Ergenekon. Same analysts also underline one more particular fact: the recent positive mood in relations between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdish leadership after several years of thorny relations.

  4. Which new judges will be appointed to the court? If they happen to be no secularists, what will the court do then?

  5. Absolutely the timing of the bombings was meaningful… But most of people don’t see this reality and don’t question the goverment.

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