Erdoğan can rule alone now

Two weeks after his election victory Turkey's President Erdoğan was sworn in on Monday and the country's parliamentary democracy was replaced by a presidential republic. On the weekend once again more than 18,000 state employees were dismissed on the grounds that they had ties with terrorist organisations. Where is this "new Turkey" heading?

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Cumhuriyet (TR) /

What Turkey's one-man-rule is based on

Cumhuriyet explains what defines the system in the "new Turkey":

“The regime that has now come into force is a hybrid between conservatism, Turkish nationalism, Islamism and personal enrichment; it is explicitly tied to an individual and therefore bears his name. ... Erdoğanism is, after Kemalism, the second authoritarian regime in the history of the Republic to be integrated into a single person. Another similarity with Kemalism is that it comprises an ambitious social engineering project that aims to create, multiply and strengthen citizens who are agreeable to the system. But with Erdoğanism this project is based on mediocrity. This is perhaps the aspect in which it differs most from Kemalism.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

The gamble might not pay off

In the end Erdoğan's omnipotence could prove fatal, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung points out:

“Erdoğan need hardly worry now about opposition from the puppets in parliament and government. Turkey effectively also no longer has an independent judiciary. During the election campaign some optimists were convinced that after his victory the president would go back on his extreme demands and return to a reasonable economic policy. The events of recent days have failed to confirm this hope, however. Erdoğan has been quick to make good on one of his campaign pledges and bring the central bank further under his control. For a country with rampant inflation and a plunging currency, this is extremely risky. If his gamble doesn't pay off, Erdoğan alone will bear the blame. That is the other side of his almost unlimited power.”

Badische Zeitung (DE) /

This Turkey has no future in Europe

Those who were dismissed have experienced first-hand that Erdoğan alone has the say in the "new Turkey", the Badische Zeitung notes:

“With a stroke of the pen he decides over the fate of tens of thousands of people, without parliamentary control, without legal backing, and without pity. ... Those affected have lost not only their jobs but also their existence. Since their names will be published, they and their families will be ostracised. They have practically no chance of ever finding work again. The Turkish president is expected in Berlin in the near future. The chancellor can't show him the door. As difficult as it is, one must talk with Erdoğan. Germany's interests in migration, economic and security policy make that necessary. But this is no time for beating around the bush. Merkel must clearly say to Erdoğan: his Turkey has no future in Europe.”

Artı Gerçek (TR) /

Ad hoc dismissals

However you look at it the dismissals are not in keeping with the rule of law, Artı Gerçek complains:

“The situation is problematic from different perspectives. 1. because if these people deserved such harsh sanctions (!) why were they kept in the service of the state for two years? 2. This decision and its timing indicate that those in power pushed these harsh sanctions through without having any concrete information. ... 3. The fact that there is not proof to substantiate the allegations is legally and morally unacceptable. ... 4. If those in power have concrete evidence of a crime they must hand it over to the judiciary as quickly as possible and the affair must dealt with in court. If this doesn't happen this means an incredible despotism prevails here.”

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

Turkey-EU relations on hold

International relations will remain tense, predicts Hürriyet Daily News:

“In the area of foreign relations, Erdoğan's main challenge remains to be Turkey's problems with its biggest ally, the United States. ... With the European Union, relations will be frozen for at least the next sixth months due to the term presidency of Austria, which is at the forefront of anti-Turkish sentiments in Europe. Turkey, in the meantime, could make the necessary harmonization work since it abolished the EU Affairs Ministry, joining it with the Foreign Ministry. Migration issues are likely to play a role in EU relations, especially after Germany's recent moves.”