27 Dec Political turmoil continues in Turkey
The pressure on Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and the AK Party continues to escalate. Beyond the ongoing pressure from various activist groups, a division within the ruling Islamist party has expanded following the exposure of deep corruption at the highest levels of leadership. And above all of this, a full blown war between the Gülenists of Turkey and the AKP Islamists has erupted. Some analysts of Turkish society and politics have suggested that the source of the tension between these two groups is a disagreement about what kind of Islam Turkey should embrace going forward. It is said that the AKP is pushing an “Arab” Islam leaning east, as seen in its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, while the Gülenists are pushing for a more Turkish form of Islam, which is presented as more intellectual and tolerant, but in truth is simply more patient and subtle. Will this lead to the eventual ouster of Erdogan, clearly the most influential politician to emerge in that nation since Ataturk? Only God knows. But for us, time will tell. As various ministers are forced to resign, there have been calls for Erdogan’s resignation from those formerly in very high offices. Knowing Erdogan’s soaring ego however, it is doubtful that he would ever willingly resign in shame, though being forced out remains a narrow possibility. More likely however, the long-term damage to the Prime Minister will be revealed during the elections in 2014 and 2015. All in all, whatever happens will have dramatic ramifications for the future and direction of one of the premiere emerging nations in the region.
A few recent articles addressing the present situation:
Erdogan v Gulen: Zero sum game?
A Guy Who Lives in Pennsylvania May Be Taking Down the Entire Turkish Government
Turkish protesters clash with police as supporters cheer Erdogan
Turkey: Army will not get involved in politics
Battered Erdogan seen weathering storm as scandal deepens
Turkey’s Erdogan and year of ‘foreign plot’