The Turkish prime minister, who is committing numerous crimes of hate speech and telling a series of lies during his public rallies, has one big and very effective weapon: the myth that he has no alternative.
This is the how Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cronies are justifying why his regime should maintain its rule, no matter how corrupt it is. But does he really have no alternative out of 77 million Turkish people?
Erdogan is an effective orator and a charismatic leader with a very strong voice. He can control masses in a way that his political foes could never even think of matching. Due to a lack of democratic culture, people love how he assaults his rivals and critics, giving a round of applause even when he insults and makes fun of people his supporters don’t like.
In the past, large conservative segments of society were victims of brutal state policies, but the advent of Erdogan, with the crucial backing of liberal democrats and the Gulen movement, has significantly changed the way Turkish politics is being run. Under Erdogan’s political umbrella, the judiciary has been successful in eradicating so called “deep state,” a web of bureaucrats and public figures who sustained the military regime, or tutelage, in this only Muslim NATO member country. Accession negotiations with the European Union in the early 2000s helped the government of Erdogan make sweeping reforms and the 2010 referendum on partial constitutional changes improved Turkish democracy and the rule of law.
Democratic progress reversed
The prime minister has now eroding public support despite his vociferous efforts at electoral campaigning since the Summer’s Gezi protestsMahir Zeynalov