Turkey is one of the countries which has seen its economy grow in leaps and bounds in the last period, with that has come a determination to be seen as important players in the region.This has been done under the leadership of the A.K.P (White) party which is a party based on the principles of Sunni Islam. It opposes the principles of Ataturk the founder of the Turkish Republic after the demise of the Ottoman Empire during the first world war.
Ataturk believed he could drag Turkey into the twenty century by imposing western norms on it,while at the same time controlling the power of the mosque. Under the leadership of the Turkish nationalists(Young Turks) a substantial section of the Armenian population where annihilated.At a later stage in the war against foreign intervention in particular by Britain who encouraged Greece in their attempt to regain Constantinople,which ended in defeat and the forced population transfers of Greeks from Turkey and Turks from Greece. This in turn created a more homogenous Turkish state.Ataturk attempted to position his new Turkish state between communism and the west this he did initially by beheading the leadership of the new Turkish Communist party and forcing it underground.His party the Republican Peoples Party always looked to the army as the last defender of the Republic if it came under threat. In 1960/1971/1980 the army carried out coup d’etats against the elected government’s of the day. At present the A.K.P government have on trial a number Generals and other ranks who they believe were in the process of planning a coup against them.(1997 military memorandum (Turkey)
The earlier coup d’etats were mainly against worker/student unrest and the left wing political parties which emerged with substantial support in society. This latest “coup attempt” which never happened would have been against a capitalist political party, all be it Islamist,but successful in creating wealth for the few in Turkey. One would think that might be the reason why this latest coup did not happen. After all if its about Ataturk’s founding principles, for the Turkish state or making money, I am sure the Turkish capitalist class will get into bed with anyone.
Within this context the Turkish state is seen by the west as an example of moderate Islamic rule. However tell that to locals who cannot buy a drink in certain areas or women who are frowned upon because they don’t wear scarf. A Prime Minister who according to a report in Der Spiegel said In 2008,” in a speech in the provincial city of Usak to commemorate International Women’s Day, in which he advised his “dear sisters” to have at least three, preferably five, children”. After the speech, a Turkish daily suggested that perhaps Erdogan would like to see International Women’s Day renamed “International Childbirth Day.” again from Der Spigel
In 2010, he invited representatives of women’s organizations to the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul and confessed: “I don’t believe in equality between men and women.”
A year later, on International Women’s Day in 2011, Erdogan talked about violence against women and statistics stating that so-called honor killings had increased 14-fold in Turkey from 2002 to 2009. But that, said the premier, was only because more murders were being reported, and that there are basically few acts of violence against women.
His view of women is traditional and patriarchal. Employment rates among women in Turkey is currently at 29 percent, the lowest of all 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In 1994 when he was Mayor of Istanbul he a told a female employee that women should never be allowed to “enter the innermost circles of political leadership, because this was “against human nature?”
This is who the liberal bourgeois have made a pact with they don’t particularly care of the role of women, its all about monetary growth,creating wealth for the wealthy, mainly men,women know your place. He has given them that, hence they care little of the judiciary/bureaucracy/military elite the old Ataturk guard.If they dont tow the line their ‘s many who will. While they make money,he ignores his pact with them. Erdogan goes on with his social engineering project,recently he said in relation to education reform “we would raise a religious generation”.
Erdogan’s “religious generation” can already be pleased about a well-established infrastructure of faith today. His party, the AKP, has transformed the Presidency of Religious Affairs, the Diyanet, into a massive agency. Its €1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) budget is larger than the combined budgets of Turkey’s European Union, foreign, energy and environment ministries combined. There is now one mosque for every 350 people in Turkey — and one hospital for every 60,000. (Der Spigel)
At the same time he vents his anger at artists and other intellectuals for their”despotic arrogance” because they dared to voice opinions over a play which the government banned because it was too vulgar. He then went on to say all government theaters would be privatized. The lesson don’t criticize the government,as many a journalist has found to their cost.
One would assume that Erdogan has ideas above his station maybe he believes he can become the next Sultan in line with the fascination for all things Ottoman at the moment in Turkey. He may soon find all his plans come a rye with his attempts to be a main regional player. So far it has not worked wel, in Iraq the U.S. allowed the Kurd s to establish an autonomous area bordering Turkey. The U.S. wished to use Turkey as a staging area for its invasion of Iraq,Turkey refused and so the Kurds on its border,their are consequences, the U.S. is letting Turkey know.
Now they are playing in ever muddier waters Syria a mish mash of differing ethnic groups and religions whereby the U.S. through its pawns in the Mid east are trying to engineer who rules in this important area of the world.Turkey is now aligned with the Saudis who want to establish Sunni dominance over the region and if they knock out Syria,Iran will follow.
However Russia/China have their own interests and don’t see it that way, as has been seen so far, this is not Libya and could turn into another Lebanon,with every possibility of sectarian warfare spreading to Turkey. Alawite’s are a discriminated grouping in Turkey alongside the Kurd’s. Turkey may just have opened a hornets nest for itself.
So while he pursues his social and religious re engineering of society by settling scores with world famous pianist Fazil Say,an avowed atheist, he had quoted a verse from a poem by the medieval Persian poet Omar Khayyam in a tweet: “You say wine will flow from its rivers. Is heaven a pub? You say two women per believer. Is heaven a brothel?”
He was prosecuted for” insulting religious values” asked was he surprised at this,he replied no given Erdogan once wanted to abolish the ballet.
The point being it may be easier for Erdogan to ban such humor then to get himself off the hook of a war which could unleash a sectarian backlash in his own backyard,undoing his own well laid plans.