What can stop Erdoğan now?

With a wave of arrests against leading politicians of the pro-Kurdish HDP on Thursday night, President Erdoğan continued the crackdown against his critics. Kurdish communities demonstrated in Turkey and across Europe on the weekend. While some commentators call for a tougher response from the EU and Nato, others worry about the impact on the Turkish economy.

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Delo (SI) /

EU will regret its silence

The Turkish government's actions against the opposition and media are not being criticised loudly enough by the EU, Delo rails:

“The EU has been silent on other disasters and tragedies in recent times. Above all during the bloodbath in former Yugoslavia. The European politicians in their cosy offices in Brussels and their capitals confine themselves to sending smug tweets about how Turkey has flagrantly crossed another red line, but they don't do anything about it - for the simple serve-serving reason that President Erdoğan is still putting up three million Syrians in Turkey. But if Ankara starts to kill and arrest its own people, it will not only be Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans pushing at Europe's doors but also millions of frightened and desperate Turks. What will the undecided in Brussels do then?”

hvg (HU) /

Pull diplomats out of Turkey

Erdoğan is violating international law and the West should take diplomatic countermeasures, philosopher Gáspár Miklós Tamás urges in the weekly paper hvg:

“It's an age-old problem: what good are moral and legal rules if no one abides by them? ... Erdoğan's 'purges' violate the Turkish constitution. Moreover, they run counter to numerous international agreements and the Charter of the United Nations. ... Furthermore, with its unlawful behaviour Turkey is snubbing its international allies. The least we can expect is that the Nato and EU member states start withdrawing their diplomatic missions from Turkey.”

Habertürk (TR) /

More democracy will help the economy

The AKP's current course is damaging more than just democracy and the economy, Habertürk asserts:

“Without doubt the process of democratisation and the extension of freedoms [once introduced by the AKP] led to economic growth and improved the quality of life. … The fighting in Syria and Iraq, the terrorism and in particular the failed coup have put security concerns back in the limelight. The country's agenda is focussed exclusively on terror and Fetö [the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation, the government's name for the Gülen movement]. The government must get out of this spiral and strengthen the rule of law, justice and freedom. It must ensure that the sense of justice is not poisoned and restore the sense of security and hope that the economy needs.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Turkish opposition closing itself down

The weak opposition in Turkey has allowed Erdoğan to destroy democracy in the country, the Süddeutsche Zeitung posits:

“It is not correct to say that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is abolishing democracy in Turkey practically on his own. As tempting as it is to blame him for this catastrophic collapse, a single person - even the seemingly all-powerful president - could not do that on his own. Yes, critical minds are being locked away and the rule of law is collapsing at breakneck speed. But the Turkish tragedy is also manifest in the state of the opposition. It has a self-destructive side that is now coming into its own, and which ultimately leads to the question: just who can stop Erdoğan now?”

Financial Times (GB) /

The economy is Erdoğan's weak spot

With his increasingly autocratic style of government President Erdoğan is weakening Turkey's economy, and this could be his downfall, the Financial Times speculates:

“Mr Erdogan’s efforts to tame the central bank, bully lenders into cutting rates and seize assets of businessmen whose sympathies are suspect will hurt long-term prosperity. Tourism is suffering from a spate of terrorist attacks and the current political climate will take its toll on consumer confidence. Mr Erdogan’s enduring electoral appeal is undeniable but it was founded in large part on his ability to deliver tangible improvements in living standards. Against a backdrop of slowing growth, the question now will be whether he can retain the devotion of his own followers.”

T24 (TR) /

A coup against freedom and the law

The arrest and custody of leading MPs from the pro-Kurd HDP puts Turkey's entire future at risk, the liberal daily T24 warns:

“This is another coup against freedom and the law. Yes, it is another coup that declares six million votes null and void. Yes, it is another putsch that declares the will of the Kurds null and void. Yes, it is another coup that hardens the Kurds' stance towards the state and that will distance them even more from it. Yes, it is another coup that invests not in peace, but in war. This dark coup will, as expected, destroy freedom and the law. How sad! Both inwardly and outwardly Turkey is hurtling away from peace. Turkey is being dragged into a bloody chasm. How tragic! Turkey doesn't deserve this.”