Ideological Intoxication of Turkish Politics

The man who is kicking the protestor with the suit and tie, is Turkish PM Erdogan’s advisor – in the town of Soma

Once we have reviewed the ruling AKP’s 12-year process, disintegrating and alienating (central axis of the Islamic-rooted AKP’s ideology) ideological reasons constantly played a key role on the authoritarian political agenda of the AKP that came to the fore in Turkey. The AKP produced enemy-oriented policies instead of service-centric which would serve the all citizens regardless of their religion and ethnicity. Within the framework of this policy, Tayyip Erdogan, Primer Minister of Turkey, created a reflex response against certain segments of the population that whom did not share the similar or same Islamic values like him and his party. He has consistently supported his reflex with Islamic ideological arguments. In this respect, almost all the corrupt practices made by the AKP are seen legitimate, justified and valid by the AKP followers. The AKP’s hidden goal was chiefly maintenance and preservation of Islamic ideology by politically affiliated judiciary & the legal system and intelligence & security forces attached to it. Erdogan has polarised the population into two categories as Islamist (those who supports the AKP) and anti-Islamist (those who are on the opposition to the AKP) and evaluated the vital issues of the country within this approach. In this regard, he has created his own xenophobic ideological Islamic folk who unquestioningly and unconditionally obeyed his rules rather than normal civilians. In addition, he demanded unquestioning obedience from normal citizens and created an askophobic atmosphere in the entire country. The AKP branded, those who intended to question or interrogate the policies of the AKP, ‘a traitor to Tayyip Erdogan’. He has always victimised himself and used as a material for his policies to provide his own legitimacy. As a result, he has defined people as ‘enemies of the country’, who have not voted for the AKP or who were legitimate, official and legal opposition groups (including NGOs and political parties) to the government. Most of the time, he positioned himself and his supporters within a paranoia with creating the perception of a coup attempt. He has consciously used this perception in all parts of civil life including business, education, sports and media to gain more support from the public. Notwithstanding he has mobilised masses in this direction who followed him with creating the perception of victimisation. Erdogan was not alone in his political turning points and he still uses the same strategy to perform his policies. When the AKP came to power, Erdogan collaborated with religious Fetullah Gulen community as it known ‘Hizmet Movement’ in public. In this context, many people (especially armed forces) have been arrested with the alleged coup attempt, including journalists, politicians and writers with the ‘Ergenekon’ terrorist organisation’s case. In this process, the AKP received a huge support from liberal and left thinkers. After a certain period, with receiving the same amount of support from many nationalist and conservative sections of people, he intensified the battle against the pro-Kurdish organisation, PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party). As a result, plenty of Kurdish people who have relation to DTP (now BDP), PKK affiliated pro-Kurdish party, including Kurdish activists and journalists, have been arrested with the KCK trial. Most recently, Erdogan declared war against the Hizmet Movement with defining the movement as ‘parallel state’ who have infiltrated to government’s bodies. In continuation of this, the KCK and the Ergenekon prisoners released gradually and informal ‘peace process’ began between the PKK and the AKP through Turkish intelligence and the pro-Kurdish party, BDP. The AKP continuously used the same strategy (security paranoia) with creating the ‘internal enemy’. Erdogan fed his Islamic ideology (he named as ‘national will’ which has emerged in Necmettin Erbakan’s Refah party as ‘national vision’) with the same arguments through his governance. Erdogan has eliminated or heavily criticised the other Islamic communities and movements which would possibly be alternatives to the AKP. The AKP supported the similar Islamic organisations in the Middle East with implementing the same tactic in foreign policy. Erdogan had direct contact with several Islamic organisations including Hamas, Muslim Brothers and Al- Qaeda associated Al-Nusra at the expense of national and international negative response. As a result, Turkey has lost its diplomatic prestige in the international arena by directly contacting with organisations which listed as terrorist by international institutions. In this regard, the tension created in Davos (clash between Erdogan and Israeli President, Shimon Peres) and Mavi Marmara (the flotilla incident) was used as a trump card by Erdogan to gain domestic support and as a consequence, Turkey’s interests were sacrificed to the AKP’s ideological obsession. Moreover, Erdogan’s government violated the economic sanctions on Iran that have been imposed by the USA whom NATO ally and strategic partner to Turkey. Accordingly, corruption and bribery scandal emerged in which Iranian businessman played the key role in order to circumvent sanctions. Nonetheless, Erdogan banned two leading social media web-sites (Youtube and Twitter) in AKP’s favour during the municipal election campaign. In this period, Erdogan openly blamed and accused the countries without any evidence (mostly US and Germany) for the incidents that took place at national level (Gezi Protests, Berkin Elvan Funeral). Erdogan described the international response as a plot against his government by ‘foreign forces’ (CIA, MOSSAD, Vatican). Many incidents (including Soma mining disaster) that occurred during Erdogan governance associated with the Jewish lobby and Israel at the expense of committing a hate crime and antisemitism. As a result, today, the situation, which is a continuation of the policies that implemented in the past, is the ideological poisoning of the AKP’s policies not only in theory but also in practice.

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Brutal police violence over civilians including houses in the town of Soma where mining disaster occurred.
About the Author
Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Gurkan is an Oxford BA (Hons) graduated and pursuing a double master's in International Political Economy at Warwick & Strategic Studies at NTU in Singapore. He is also a published poet.