Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christopher de Bellaigue — The Sultan of Turkey

Backgrounder on "our guys."
On October 20 the AKP prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, told a crowd in the largely Kurdish town of Van that if his party was not elected it would spell the return of the “white Toros”—the Turkish name for the Renault 12, a car associated with the gendarmerie’s fearsome intelligence agents, who carried out thousands of extrajudicial executions of Kurdish nationalists during the 1990s. This was a remarkably overt threat for a head of government to make to his own people, and a sign of the perversion of democratic norms that has become common in Turkey.…
Erdoğan’s reading of the electorate has been masterful, but he lacks the magnanimity that is essential for effective leadership. His pugnacity and lack of judgment suggest a paranoid character who is all too willing to behave like the wrathful “sultan” depicted by his critics. The president’s version of democracy is a numbers game, in which the majority wins the right to crush the minority.
The New York Review of Books
The Sultan of Turkey
Christopher de Bellaigue

No comments: