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Kemalist Democracy and the AKP Religious-Right Political Party
Secular Turkish Politics, Takiye (Takiyye), Turkish Politics and Religion

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Turkish Politics
Penguen Dergisi
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Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Erdoğan) sued Penguen humor magazine because of these animal caricatures on its magazine cover. He had won nearly $4000 a previous case -- but he lost this one.
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Religious takiye/takiyye/takiyye in Turkey
When Worlds Collide...
Kemalist Democracy and the AKP

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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This Ottoman Throw-Back says:
"There are those who say, let Turkey go backwards.
[How dare they.] Let them take warning from me.
We are extremely progressive...
This reactionary insists he's progressive.
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Thanks to:
Ergin Asyalı -- Illustrator
Gözcü Gazetesi
24 March 2007

Turkish Politics and the AKP Political Party
Beware the Ides of March, and May --
and don't forget November...

[Ed. Note: This article written March 2007]

In 'When Worlds Collide - Part 1', we had asked ourselves, "With its overwhelming voting majority in Parliament, why hasn't the AKP proposed a Constitutional Amendment -- to declare Turkey an Islamic State." And we had just replied, saying that the reasons were 'several'. In fact there are two main ones, which can help us answer the question, "Will the Turkish Military intervene in May or November this year, to remove the AKP Government from power?"

But before we lay a hand on that hot potato, let's consider the reasons behind the AKP's go-slow approach so far...

Firstly, not all AKP Party members are a 'zealots'. Many are simple opportunists, who jumped on the AKP bandwagon when they saw where the Party's leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was driving it. This mixed membership is not of one mind about the idea of an Islamic State in Turkey. (In fact, the full membership is a rather quarrelsome group, which would likely split into four -- if Başbakan Erdoğan weren't there to keep the factions in line.)

So the members await a signal from their Leader, whom they recognize as the mastermind behind the AKP's (and their own) stunning 'overnight' success. And they will likely bow to his words on this subject -- rather than 'mess with success'.

But the Prime Minister plays a waiting game -- making public declarations that belie his private acts, sentiments, and beliefs. (The Turkish-Arabic word[s] for such questionable behavior is takiye (or takiyye or takiyye.) And so the Party Faithful wait also...

Secondly... up to now, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer (a staunch Kemalist) has had veto power over all bills passed by Parliament. And AKP zealots know that Cumhurbaşkanı Sezer would have exploded in fury at the idea of such a Constitutional proposal -- and then he would have disdainfully and unceremoniously vetoed it. So they didn't bother to mount an effort -- preferring to wait for a more convenient time.

And that time is upon us, because Cumhurbaşkanı Sezer's single 7-year Presidential term expires in less than 2 months. And barring a Turkish Military intervention, the AKP-controlled Parliament will make Başbakan Erdoğan (or an Erdoğan crony) President in May -- and it's widely believed that the new President would not veto such a Constitutional proposal.

Then...who/what could stop the Amendment from becoming Law? Well, a second (non-Military) obstacle exists -- the Constitutional Court. That judicial body has the power and the mandate to stop the undemocratic AKP juggernaut... The court could rule that the Amendment is 'unconstitutional' -- at least, at first.

But... when Başbakan Erdoğan (or his crony) becomes President in May, he could begin stuffing Courts (including the Constitutional Court) with Shariah-minded Judges -- who would look the other way if the AKP parliament passed a Constitutional Amendment like the above-mentioned.

In theory then, the AKP only needs to be a little more patient in order to pass such an Amendment proposal and see it become law -- before November's National Election!

Turkish Military Intervention, The Last Bastion

If that were to happen, only the Turkish Military (led by no-nonsense Full General and Genelkurmay Başkanı Yaşar Büyükanıt) could block resurgent 'New Ottomans' from ascending to power and raising a Steel Veil between Turkey and the Western World.

One final note...
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No matter when or how the Turkish Military might intervene to deny governmental-power to the 'New Ottomans', there would be noisy Opposition (both in and outside the country).

Still... until recently, Opponents of a possible Turkish Military coup had a 'strategic weapon' to use against Proponents. They could fire at will -- the claim that a coup would ruin Turkey's chance of becoming a European Union (EU) member. It's been the Opposition's key debating point.

The prospect of EU membership for Turkey has always had a dishonest ring about it, to us. It has seemed like a cynical ploy by certain existing EU members to string Turkey along in a state of degrading subservience until she can't bear the insults any longer. (Did you know that Turkey's first application for membership was accepted by the EU, then known as the EEC, back in 1959?!) Nonetheless, until recently, most observers, commentators, and leaders in Europe have paid lip service to the idea of full EU Membership for Turkey.

But, that has now begun to change...

After the Frenchman Nicolas Sarkozy (the front-runner to replace Jacques Chirac as French President this year) publicly announced in February his official foreign-policy against Turkey's EU membership, an icy concern gripped Turkish Coup-Opposition camps.

Then on March 18, when Sarkozy's political pal, current German Chancellor Angela Merkel, publicly told Italian-daily 'Repubblica' that Turkey's EU membership might be 50 years away, the icy concern intensified.

To all but the mentally-challenged, it should be clear that these latest declarations from France and Germany (which undermine Turkey's chances for EU membership for a long time to come) actually play into Turkish Military hands... because the Military can now ignore the Coup-Opponents' key debating point. Turkish Military forces can intervene against the 'New Ottomans' whenever they feel the urge, now -- and do it with a clear conscience.

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