Monday, June 25, 2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Wins Reelection in Turkey

The idea of "reelection" in a country like Turkey is essential meaningless. The electoral process isn't "free and fair."

At the New York Times, "Turkey’s Erdogan Has Won the Sweeping Powers He Says He Needed. Now What?":
ANKARA, Turkey — With his victory in Sunday’s elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken his place among the world’s emerging class of strongman rulers, nailing down the sweeping powers he has insisted he needs to address Turkey’s numerous challenges, at home and abroad.

Now, all he needs to do is deliver.

“He won on a knife-edge,” said Ugur Gurses, a former banker who writes for the daily newspaper Hurriyet. “But now he has in his lap all the problems.”

Mr. Erdogan is contending with an array of economic troubles, an increasingly disgruntled populace and deteriorating relations with Turkey’s Western allies. Among the many problems Mr. Erdogan faces is one fundamental roadblock: His foreign policy is fighting with his economic needs.

His increasingly authoritarian, nationalist and anti-Western bent is alienating foreign investors, which is hurting the Turkish lira. As the currency plunges, domestic capital flees. And he is newly reliant on a nationalist party that enabled him to maintain his majority in Parliament but promises to reinforce all those tendencies, as well as his hard line against the Kurdish minority.

The lira briefly rose with the news of Mr. Erdogan’s re-election, and his most senior economic adviser posted a message on Twitter on Sunday night: “This sets the stage for speeding up #reforms.”

The economy is Mr. Erdogan’s most pressing problem, but analysts express doubt that he will be able to perform the necessary surgery and introduce needed austerity measures with municipal elections looming in March 2019.

“Now the first challenge is the deterioration of the economy, and he has no means, no perspective to change the course of events,” said Kadri Gursel, a columnist for the newspaper Cumhuriyet, who was imprisoned by Mr. Erdogan for 11 months...
Keep reading.

On Twitter, Claire Berlinski --- who's a very smart cookie --- argues Turkey's a precursor to U.S. authoritarianism. Trump's out of office in 2025, if he wins reelection. So, you'd have to see Trumpism continue as an alleged political model of authoritarianism if Berlinski's predictions are to come true. I'm not so sure, because Turkey's basically a developing country, without a democratic (i.e., "liberal" political culture), and bereft of the kind of institutional republican safeguards inherent to the American constitutional regime. If authoritarianism comes, it's going to be through far-left fascism, IMHO.

More on that later, since everyone's talking about the so-called coming civil war. See this tweet, for example.