ANKARA -- The Turkish electorate knows that the AKP is corrupt, has strong authoritarian tendencies and continues to plunder (but distributes some of) Turkey's resources. But they also know that it can deliver services as it did until 2011. Above all, the voters favor stability and economic predictability. Fundamental values such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and free and fair elections constitute much lesser concerns.
The scandals, the palaces in the Bosporus, the prosecution of his opponents, Taksim Square and the violent confrontation with the young protesters, the hundreds of journalists in jail.. In the eyes of some of those who believed in him the liberator now seemed a dictator.
What makes Turkey's authoritarianism, especially the AKP's, so hard to battle, is that it is covered with a thin layer of democracy. Elections are being held, the turnout is high, no wide range fraud was reported, four parties made it into parliament. But the campaign was all but democratic, given the government's violence, further control over the press and detention of opposition politicians.
ISTANBUL -- In his seminal 1996 volume, The Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington described Turkey as a "torn country." According to Huntington, despite its adoption of Western institutions such as democracy and the rule of law, Turkey remains firmly rooted in the culture of the Islamic world and is therefore experiencing a "civilizational crisis." Today, Turkey is still the only secular, democratic republic in the Islamic world; sadly, under Erdoğan's increasingly Islamist rule, it is proving Huntington right with every passing day.
"This is a success exceeding our expectations," a party official said, acknowledging the scale of the victory was a surprise.
Turkey is a key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS.
Turkey heads to the polls on Sunday, and things don't look good for its president.
ANKARA -- Erdogan has divided the country on ethnic, sectarian and lifestyle levels in an unprecedented manner. Traumatized by the terror attack, Turkey will first need to facilitate free and fair elections, then form a coalition government and then go about rehabilitating the country's deep divisions. Rooting out domestic ISIS cells must be a priority. The alternative is the Pakistanization of Turkey. We cannot afford to let this happen.
ISTANBUL -- The civil strife and jihadism that have torn apart states like Libya, Iraq and Syria have now begun to menace Turkey as well. The Turkish authorities have even turned a blind eye to ISIS activities within Turkey on numerous occasions. No part of the country, not even Ankara, is felt to be safe anymore.
A radical break with the past is the only way to provide the families of the Ankara massacre victims with the answers they deserve. The current state can't properly and convincingly investigate the political murders committed against its citizens. Only a truly new Turkey, based on pluralistic citizenship, can.
The images reignite doubts about the government's fight against Kurds.
Two months of talks have failed to produce a coalition government.