Writing Armageddon

Writing Armageddon
Furious writing or writing furiously?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A potential unanticipated result of the failed coup

Anyone who has been watching politics in Turkey in the last two years, if not longer, would be stunned by the monumental inefficacy of the opposition parties. Introvert, infighting - it has pretty much let the government make all the changes it seeks. The excuse it presented was the deep ideological divides of Kemalist Turkey. The real excuse was the fact that it could rely on the army to make the crucial political choices. This is why the Kemalist parties never succeeded in winning Anatolia for 50+ years. Because they always expected the army to save them from the majority. Perhaps this is the greatest pernicious effect of politics dominated by extra-institutional actors. The infantilization of politics. Like a spoiled kid whose parents are always there to save it from its mistakes, parties that can rely on the army (or something else) to save them from defeat can never learn or adapt to win democratic politics. By their weakness they aid and abet authoritarianism by not providing credible alternatives to the challengers.

This is what the opposition in Turkey had become. If one watched the antics of the last two years, one would assume that these parties were not faced by an existential threat. And in their eyes they were not because they had the “save button” of the army. Well last weekend that is over. The Turkish military is done for as a political institution in Turkey. The era of infantilization is over. There are no more excuses for amateurism. They must become political adults. They are now central players in the game of thrones. And they will either learn to play or die. A new era for democratic politics in Turkey has arisen. Whether this will lead to a regime closer to illiberalism or closer to liberalism is now a question of politics.  But the politics of the Kemalist Republic, with it Army Daddy, are over.

-Guest author

No comments:

Post a Comment