OPINION | Turkey : The Crisis from Within

OPINION | Turkey : The Crisis from Within

By Federica Fanuli
Editor-at-Large, IndraStra Global

OPINION | Turkey : The Crisis from Within

Image Attribute: Turkish Flag / Flickr / (C) BY-SA 2.0 under Creative Commons

For a little while now, the political situation in Turkey seemed to be complicated. The recent attacks and the political crisis, which have brought in the resignation of the former Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, in early May, is a sign of a vulnerable country to the internal instability that inevitably suffers due to the Syrian variable and it raises a heavy doubt of an almost ambiguous role of Turkey in the fight against the jihadist terrorism.  

The resignation of Davutoğlu was in the air. The newspapers had already anticipated the break in relations between Davutoğlu and Erdogan, President of Turkey, although until recently the relations between the two ones appears indestructible. Davutoğlu had held the position of Foreign Minister, well known for its direct policy to have "zero problems with neighbors", but there seemed not to be any disagreement, as long as Davutoğlu and Erdoğan have begun to be divided on different issues.

The breaking point was reached on the choice of the provincial leader of the Justice and Development Party and the firm opposition of Davutoğlu to preventive detentions of journalists and academics who are considered as Erdoğan's opponents. Davutoğlu had also shown willing to reopen the dialogue with the Kurds, who demanding independence from the government in Ankara for decades. The political line of Erdoğan has prevailed.Opinions based on the air strikes against the Kurds or the jailing of anyone opposed to this "soft" regime. Erdoğan and Davutoğlu were also divided on foreign policy. Davutoğlu has always been in favour of the friendly relations of cooperation with the European Union. It was Davutoğlu, in fact, tried to promote the recent agreement between Turkey and the European Union on the current migrants issue. Erdoğan, in contrast, has focused on his political survival; he has constantly attempted to increase the powers of the President's office, eventually his own powers, pointing to a radical change in Turkey's presidential system, while on other hand Davutoğlu favored a balanced system between President and the Prime Minister. 

Erdoğan has chosen the Minister of Transportation, Binali Yildirim, head of the Party and of the government in Ankara. The newly appointed Prime Minister is among the loyalists of the President. A man of action, or maybe it's simply the ideal man to govern without hindering the President. A few days before the new assignment, Yildirim is faced with a new, yet another wave of attacks that destabilize the Turkish territory. 

In his first speech, the new Prime Minister had condemned terrorism and promised to pay a visit to Diyarbakir, the main Kurdish city in the southeast, where it continues to fight against the PKK. Erdoğan has pointed the finger against the PKK, accusing the Kurdish Workers' Party of being responsible for the massacres of the last hours, this total lack of security that has crippled the industry, the economy, and culture of Turkey. Staying on the subject of terrorism, the uncertain role of Erdoğan in Syria not paves the crisis but complicated the crisis. Ankara has repeatedly allowed the ISIS militias to cross the border in an unchallenged manner and simultaneously hitting the Kurdish resistance. Thus, this feeds the suspicion that for Turkey the lesser evil is DAESH that the Kurds because the President dreads Kurds process their independence claims. 

Erdoğan has three priorities in Syria. Firstly, he is putting his best efforts to remove the Assad from current Syrian government structure, i.e., favoring the regime change that promotes Turkey in a position of advantage in current regional dimensions. Moreover, the focus is on containing the Kurdish strength and preventing the consolidation of a Kurdish and anti-Turkish entities. Finally, he would eventually try to control migratory flows; despite the agreement with the European Union has a lot of holes in it. All this is happening in Turkey, where Erdoğan insists on denying the proven genocide of the Armenians, slamming his feet down and threatening to break relations with Germany, which recently approved the European resolution about this sad page of history. It is the Turkey where Erdoğan has removed immunity to 138 Kurdish parliamentarians, that Turkey which should join Europe.

About the Author:

Federica Fanuli (TR RID : M-9093-2015) was graduated with honours in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Salento and she has obtained a Master's Degree in Political Science, European Studies and International Relations from the same university. As a Foreign Affairs analysts, she is an editorial board member of the Institute of Global Studies, a columnist at The Sunday Sentinel, an editorial board member of Cosmopolismedia.it and Editor-at-Large at IndraStra Global. She can be reached at her Linkedin Profile.

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