Stephen Zunes – Turkey’s Creeping Authoritarianism: Is the Resistance Enough?

Turkey’s march towards authoritarianism took another dangerous turn this past week with the forced resignation of moderate Islamist Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, apparently at the insistence of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Though constitutionally the Turkish prime minister wields executive authority and the president is largely a figurehead, Erdoğan—who served as prime minister for eleven years before term limits forced him to step down in 2014—appears to still be in charge.

And he is becoming ever more autocratic.

With his Justice and Development Party (AKP) controlling a sizable majority in parliament, Erdoğan has been steadily increasing his grip on power, with police raids on opposition media, the jailing of independent journalists on trumped-up charges, severe repression in Kurdish-populated areas and arrests of even moderate non-violent Kurdish leaders for alleged terrorist ties, the undermining of the independent judiciary, and the arrests of political opponents.
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