After a constitutional referendum, in which citizens were voting about acknowledging a system change of the country from the parliamentary into the presidential one, Turkey is surely lost for democracy and the European Union, although not for NATO for the time being

People who went out into the streets of Turkish cities after results of the referendum were announced, in which the system change of the country had been accepted, accused the president Recepo Tayyipow Erdoganow falsifying them. There were epithets said like: a thief, a murderer, a counterfeiter. Fraud was to be based on acknowledging thousands voting cards without suitable seals as important. In three biggest cities – giving nearly half of the Turkish national income – where frauds were obstructed, that is, a home town of Erdogan – Isanbul, Ankar and Izmir, most votes were gained by opponents of changes in the constitution.

Also the mission of Organization of Security and Co-Operation in Europe stated that the course of the campaign and referendum did not meet international standards. In the campaign the opposition did not have an access to media, and using the mentioned bordered with forgery. After a few hours from the referendum it is seen that the desired opposition of its cancellation did not have any chances for a success. The results were acknowledged.

A la Ataturk

Comparing Erdogan to Mustaf Kemal Ataturk, considered as the father of the modern secular Turkey, does not make sense, but the current president dreams about a similar place in history like his great predecessor has. He often refers to him, compares himself to him but differences are big. If outvoted changes are implemented, Turkey of Erdogan who gains dictatorship rights, will finally break relations with the West and values which guided its founder.

After the election of president nearly a hundred years ago, Ataturk began rebuilding the country, which was to be oriented on the West. He introduced the Latin alphabet, equal rights for women, who could finally work and vote. He dissolved caliphate and forbade Muslim brothers any activities – the country was to be secular.

The imams, calling for a prayer, had to speak not Arabic but Turkish language. The sharia law was replaced with western codes and soon before his death, the president had made an effort to prevent the country from reversing from the course; if necessary an army could intervene. Since the times of Ataturk, it had intervened a few times.

Strange putsch

Born in 1954, Erdogan (two years after Turkey made a closer relationship with the West: the country joined NATO), became popular in the mid of the 90s of the last century, when he managed to solve some problems of Istanbul as its mayor. How did the Party of Justice and Development (AKP), created by him in 2002 on the basis of an Islamist group win the election? He said what the Turkish wanted to hear, among the others, that religion is a private issue of citizens. When he became popular, he changed the course of his policy; in the beginning he began to sort out the army.

During a few years he contributed to imprisonment of over 700 officers, journalists and scientists – under allegation of preparing a coup and – to changes in the constitution giving him more control over the army. He has been sorting out the army and the opposition in a similar way since the mid of the last year – because of the so-called a strange putsch, probably provoked by himself.

The putsch was used to introduce an emergency state which has been obliging till today; over 50 thousand people have been arrested, of whom nearly a half are soldiers. About 120 thousand accused people were released from practices, including 4 thousand judges who are accused of relations with Fethullah Gulen – a leader of a movement and who was to be responsible for the strange putsch; a lot of media were closed down.

A lifelong president

If the outvoted regulations are implemented, president Erdogan will become a chief of the country and the government, holding authority via decrees. The parliament will be only an embellishment. Holding the office of president will be limited to two cadencies, but their counting will begin in 2019. Today 63-year-old Erdogan will be able to hold authority for 12 years, that is, nearly throughout his whole life.

There is no smoke without fire. The authorities of Turkey say that the new system will provide stability. In the country there are still exploding bombs, there is an economic crisis, and the Turkish armies are engaged in the conflict in neighbouring Syria, towards right aiming of the Syrian Kurds – most of them inhabit Turkey – to create their country.

Erdpgan says that he would like to discuss the issue of aiming at accession of Turkey to the European Union at a referendum, because his country cannot wait any longer. However, he does not have to do it, because his dictatorship will mean that accession of Turkey to the EU will become unreal. The West will (have to) cooperate with Erdogan – Turkey is too important in many issues, including the immigration crisis. But it is unpermitted for sultans to be in the EU.


„Niedziela” 19/2017

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: