Internationally and domestically, criticism of constitutional changes proposed by Turkish Parliament has centered on claims that they would make Turkey less democratic. Yet supporters argue they are essential to protect democracy from shadowy forces.
Ankara, Mar.31.─ Ever since the attempted coup last July, Turkey has been going through an exceptionally difficult period. It was the first time in the 94 year history of the Republic that the country was able to resist a military coup – Turkey has experienced a coup nearly every decade since 1960.
This time, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on citizens to take to the streets. The mostly conservative masses went outside and faced off against the tanks, helicopters, and warplanes of the Turkish military. More than 200 people were killed and hundreds of others were wounded on the fateful night of July 15.
Following the coup attempt, Erdogan launched an intense campaign to change the country’s parliamentary system into a fully fledged presidential model.
In much of the world, military coups tend to be linked to right-wing political agendas. In Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries, however, they are more likely to win support from much of the left – and be used against conservative governments.
A prominent Turkish socialist, Idris Kucukomer, asserted in the 1970s that the country’s “left is the right, and its right is the left.” That assertion stirred a heated debate in Turkish socialist circles that has continued ever since. It has also reinforced criticism ...
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