Turkey changes to rattle region

A further sinking into hardline Islamist thinking is almost certain.

The world is changing. We can see from emerging global trends that “tall” leaders are being projected as the answer to everything. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan exemplifies this strange kind of change that is creeping into the post-Cold War world, with authoritarianism raising its head. Mr Erdogan is one of those like Donald Trump and Xi Jinping or even the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, who are inclined towards establishing one-man rule. If not quite despotic, they are more authoritarian we have seen in decades. Such concentration of powers challenges all the old values in which the world had reposed faith, regardless of ideologies. Values like cosmopolitanism and secularism are being ripped apart by the need to pay obeisance to such forces.

Mr Erdogan returns as leader armed with sweeping powers as Turkey transitions from a parliamentary system to a presidential form of government. The election was held a year early and after a rumoured coup was squashed in 2016, with 50,000 people, including lawyers, judges and journalists, imprisoned and over 100,000 civil servants sacked. His AKP party may not be in the majority but allies will prop up the numbers in the 600-seat legislature. What Erdogan Mark 2, who could presumably rule till 2040 or so, means to a Turkish society, once considered a liberal bridge between Europe and Asia, isn’t hard to predict in global terms. A further sinking into hardline Islamist thinking is almost certain. Signs of a new foreign policy, which even contemplates a Russian missile defence shield in a Nato-member state, point to changed thinking that could rattle equations in a region beset with tensions of wars and conflicts.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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