Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the
next dictator-cum-strongman of Europe – in fact the only one after Vladimir
Putin in Russia.
As ‘Putinism’ is used to
describe the dictatorial run of Vladimir Putin, another dictatorial style complete
its gestation period today – ‘Erdoganism’ – with his designs for an all power
presidency in Turkey.
Today, Erdogan killed the
Turkish parliamentary system and gave his coronation as Turkey's undisputed,
unbridled, unchallenged (and hardliner) ruler a presidential makeover. Today,
Turkey, the only Muslim country with a modern cultural outlook today completed
its journey to become a man's fiefdom.
Today's referendum has given unparalleled
(and unquestioned) powers to Erdogan. Now he will appoint and sack his cabinet
as he pleases. Now he will choose who will deliver justice in Turkey's courts.
Now he will dissolve the parliament, that has already been reduced to a nominal
existence, when he feels so.
And it is not without public
support. The 2016 Turkish coup against Erdogan failed because public opposed
it. And swathes of public could be seen in long shots of Erdogan's victory
celebrations today. He is riding high on a nationalist fervour.
Something that Putinism has
done with a panache.
Putin has been 'democratically'
elected dictator of Russia since 1999, 18 year now and is poised to remain
there for decades. Erdogan has ruled Turkey's power corridors since 2003 and
with today's move, he also cemented with position for decades to come. They
both have abused democracy to give democratic sanction to their ruthless power
The 2016 Turkish coup, in
fact, was the last remnant of the secular thought process – the hallmark of the
Turkish military once – that saw its disoriented expression on July 15 last
Tens of thousands have been
arrested and purged and it is still ongoing - with ruthless finesse. It is expected
to last till every voice against Erdogan is effectively silenced. Erdogan was
doing it for long but the coup (or the failed coup) exacerbated it. With
today's coup, Erdoganism has tried to give it a sort of democratic garb.
Would the European community
act? Would the European nations take note of it?
Well, this question was
raised every time Putinism displayed itself and it will continue its tradition
with Erdoganism, as has been the case when signs became visible that Europe's
next dictator had arrived in Erogan.
The answer never came. Turkey
has become the next Russia for Europe. And European nations cannot do anything
about it. Today, the only secular Muslim country of the world initiated its
journey back to religious fundamentalism under a ruler who is a Islamist and
was jailed for hurting Turkey's secular credentials. Today, the right wing
politics prevailed in yet another country.