Attacks in Istanbul

A day after the fatal hostage taking in Istanbul, armed assailants attacked the city's police headquarters on Wednesday. One attacker was killed, while her accomplice gave himself up. Some commentators put the blame for the supposed far-left terrorism on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his authoritarian style of governing. For others it's less clear just who pulled the strings behind the attacks.

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La Stampa (IT) /

Erdoğan has created his country's problems

In the wake of the attacks in Istanbul Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that the country would resist such terrorist assaults. But Erdoğan himself created the system that is producing the terror, the liberal daily La Stampa harshly concludes: "It seems an eternity since Turkey was considered a concrete possibility for political Islam. An Islam that was not only compatible with the principles of freedom and pluralism but also in a position to provide an alternative to radical Islamic tendencies. … The transformation of its leadership must be at the heart of the analysis [of the failure of the Turkish model]. Erdoğan has gradually assumed increasingly authoritarian traits. … In Turkey a political system is crystallising which, even if based on a broad consensus, has long since moved into the category of 'illiberal democracy'.

Frankfurter Rundschau (DE) /

AKP system begins to totter

An election campaign manoeuvre could be behind Tuesday's terrorist attacks and nation-wide power failure, the left-liberal daily Frankfurter Rundschau surmises: "Are people close to the [Islamic-conservative governing party] AKP spreading chaos in a bid to present themselves as the country's only serious guarantor of stability? Once seemingly unassailable, the AKP is in fact going through rough times. The competition between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu poses a serious challenge, as do the ailing economy, the Syrian refugees and the unrest in the Kurdish south-east. The party has plummeted in the opinion polls and for the first time in twelve and a half years risks losing its absolute majority in parliament. That, in turn, that is causing the entire nepotism- and clientelism-based system to totter."

Sözcü (TR) /

Implausible theory of far-left violence

Although it was the far-left DHKP-C who took the prosecutor at the Istanbul court hostage, other forces are behind the events, the anti-government daily Sözcu suspects: "Was the prosecutor taken hostage and killed to divert public attention from corruption, theft, joblessness, the oncoming economic crisis and Erdoğan's efforts to get Turkey firmly under his control by means of a presidential system? And this at a time when popular dissatisfaction is increasing and the AKP is losing its voter base? ... The prosecutor wasn't trying to hide anything. He put all his energy into investigating the files of the eleven people who lost their eyesight during the Gezi protests and the murder of Berkin Elvan. ... It's clear that he would have shed light on the circumstances of the killing. He didn't gloss over or suppress anything, and he was on Berkin's side. That's the kind of prosecutor they targeted and took hostage."