Recent developments in Turkey's transition to fascism

Recent developments in Turkey's transition to fascism

Report from Turkey on recent developments in the country as leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan strengthens his grip on power.

  • The situation in Turkey is horrific right now. Left-wing teachers, professors and civil servants are being sacked in their thousands and many (I don't know the exact number) are imprisoned.
  • Nuriye Gulmen (a university professor) and Semih Ozakca (a teacher), who were sacked without any reason except being leftists are on hunger strike for the last 64 jobs. Their only demand is to be reinstated, but so far the state officials did not even mention their situation publicly. Gulmen and Ozakca, who effectively occupied a central square in Ankara, the capital city, against continuous police and fascist harassment, are now showing Korsakoff syndrome symptoms. There are dozen others on hunger strike with similar demands or to show solidarity.
  • Those who lost their jobs can not find another job since they are blacklisted (and there are thousands of them). Their passports are also annulled, so they cannot even leave the country. Thousands are people are practically condemned to death by starvation.
  • More than 100 journalists (liberal, leftist, oppositionist of any sort and some Gulenists) are imprisoned.
  • Recently a secret agreement between the union leaders and a factory boss resulted in a wildcat strike in a metallurgical factory ("Teknorot"). The strike was effectively suppressed by the police and the army, but it reflects the general mood in factories, which is openly anti-union.
  • The official Kemalist/social democratic opposition party, CHP is under huge pressure to act from the left and from its base. Many people want the party to leave the parliament and begin a more active resistance against Erdogan. However, CHP leadership is refraining from any real action or street demonstrations claiming that the government has control over armed paramilitary groups ready to suppress any street action by violence.
  • The referendum in April concerning the change in the constitution that proposed to de facto abolish the Turkish national parliament and create a centralized presidential system granting Erdogan absolute legislative and executive powers, passed after a neck and neck race. However, there is no doubt now that the election was rigged. Some Kurdish towns were already ruined by the army before the referendum and in Kurdish regions army and police literally forced election observers belonging to opposition parties out of polling stations. In hundreds of towns and villages AKP received 100% of the votes, which is simply absurd. The High Election Council (the highest official body regulating elections in Turkey, "YSK") declared, while the referendum was in process, that it will accept vote notes without official stamps on them. Clearly someone in the government wanted to change the rules of the game while the it was on, since millions of vote notes (all in favor!) were "found" in the ballot boxes w/o official stamps on them. That changed the race in favor of the proposed amendment. People protested for about two weeks against the YSKs unconstitutional decision and even independent international observers noted several irregularities, but all that was in vain.
  • Right now, AKPs (Erdogan's party) members are assigned as judges and prosecutors without any care for official requirements or merits, and thousands of judicial staff has been sacked or jailed. Erdogan is ruling the country literally as a dictator, by himself. From now on Turkey is an openly violent dictatorship. Trade unions and democratic opposition, once again, has given way to this fascistic regime peacefully, without any serious objection.
  • The general mood in Turkey is explosive. I fear the likely possibilities are an ethnic civil war or the continuation and consolidation of the current dictatorship.

Comments

Serge Forward
May 14 2017 21:41

That's awful. I can only send solidarity wishes. When you say "ethnic civil war" at the end, what do you mean by this?

Ed
May 14 2017 11:59

Turned this into a news article because it needs to be seen by more people than would do if it were just a forum post.

Solidarity!

Khawaga
May 14 2017 15:08

Chilling reading. Stay safe.

mikail firtinaci
May 17 2017 18:47
Quote:
When you say "ethnic civil war" at the end, what do you mean by this?

I mean a conflict between seculars and conservatives/islamists. I have to admit that many people would disagree with this, but Turkey has never seen such a level of oppression since the Armenian genocide in 1915.

mikail firtinaci
May 17 2017 18:51
Quote:
Chilling reading. Stay safe.

Thanks, I am abroad but worried for friends and comrades.