5 August 2016

Turkish regime's "collapse" possible

The Blog


Despite the triumph of the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over coup plotters in Turkey, sociological expert Immanuel Wallerstein still foresees possible collapse for the AKP-led government.


"It seems unlikely that Turkey can stem a bubbling up of internal opposition, which might lead to a total collapse of the regime", Wallerstein wrote Monday 01 August 2016 in a commentary on the "rise and fall" of the Turkish president.

Wallerstein was commenting on the apparent repressive measures applied by President Erdoğan against his opponents in the wake of the failed coup. Overall, Wallerstein's analysis of the political developments in Turkey seems balanced:
"When Erdoğan says that Gülen had long plotted the coup, his arguments seem plausible. It is for this reason that all the opposition parties – CHP, NMH, and HDP (left party with a strong base in Kurdish areas) – went into the streets to oppose the coup. When, however, the CHP and HDP plus commentators in Turkey and elsewhere say that Erdoğan seemed prepared to use the excuse of the coup to purge the country of every conceivable possible opponent, these arguments also seem plausible. In particular, his proposal to change the constitution to create an “executive presidency” is considered as leading to a dictatorship."
Wallerstein's comment about the "total collapse of the regime" is based on his analysis that Turkey's two biggest strengths in international relations at present - its control of refugee flows to Europe and the critical role of its airfields to the United States and NATO - may be "illusory". The "world context" has changed, Wallerstein writes.

"Erdoğan may have overplayed his hand" considering the way his efforts to reconcile with the Kurds and Armenians and unseat Bashar al-Assad from power turned into such failures. These losses, in addition to any further hostility in relations with the EU, the United States or Russia, may still turn the tide against his regime and result in him falling from power quite rapidly.


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