A mockery of democracy

Source: spiked
by Jacob Furedi

“When, on Monday morning, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan retired to his newly built $600million, 1,100-room presidential palace, his sense of victory would have been somewhat muted. Yes, he had secured victory in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, but it was close: only 51.4 per cent of Turks voted for Erdogan’s proposed changes, while 48.6 per cent stood up to the president with a resounding No. Of course, a victory — however slender — is still a victory, and Erdogan now has a mandate to make 18 amendments to the constitution. By 2019, the office of prime minister will be abolished, and Erdogan will be handed executive power. … this referendum was never truly democratic. Ever since the referendum was proposed, the debate has been undermined by the government’s brutal censorship of its critics. In Turkey, opposition to the government is equated with terrorism. Since the attempted coup last July, 100,000 Turkish officials have been dismissed, and 228 journalists have been thrown in jail — more than in any other country — for questioning the government.” (04/18/17)