Recep Tayip Erdogan is a ruthless politician. He acts like a street thug insisting on having his way. This is what has just transpired in forcing his long-time friend and ally Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu to resign. Since Erdogan wants to change the constitution to grab all powers in his hands as president instead of allowing the prime minister executive authority as per the constitution, Davutoglu is being pushed out. Erdogan wants to be king!
Friday May 6, 2016, 09:39 DST
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s announcement on May 5 that he would not seek a new term as prime minister and head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has opened the way for President Recept Tayip Erdogan to crown himself Pasha (king) of Turkey.
He already has a brand new palace at a cool price tag of $1 billion that reportedly has 1,000 rooms, fit for a pasha’s harem!
Davutoglu made the announcement at a press conference following a meeting of the party’s central executive committee after months-long rumors of tensions between the prime minister and Erdogan. While Dovutoglu refrained from criticizing his boss, he added that he would step down after an extraordinary meeting of party leaders that will likely be held on May 22.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), slammed Davutoglu’s ouster as a “palace coup” aimed at consolidating Erdogan’s power.
“Davutoglu’s resignation should not be perceived as an internal party issue, all democracy supporters must resist this palace coup,” CHP leader Kilicdaroglu said at a press conference on May 5 soon after the prime minister announced his decision. What the supporters of democracy can do he did not spell out.
Speculation that had been swirling for weeks immediately intensified about the likely successor to Davutoglu. Names of Transport Minister Binali Yildirim and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak have been mentioned as potential successors. Albayrak, believed to be the favorite, is Erdogan’s son in law and is one of his close advisors together with the president’s son Bilal. The latter has been involved in numerous financial scandals.
Since rising to power in 2002, Erdogan has not spared even his close associates in his quest to grab more power in his hands.
Erdogan broke away from his mentor, the late Dr Necmettin Erbakan although he had made his mark in Erbakan’s party. Erdogan felt the late leader was too cautious and also too Islamic in his approach. He took a number of party members including Davutoglu and Abdullah Gul (later to become prime minister, foreign minister and ultimately president for one term).
Once he became prime minister, Erdogan’s first target was the powerful military. Not only Turks but people worldwide cheered him for taking on the meddlesome military that had staged numerous coups in the past.
He next went after the Gulenists—followers of the exiled politician Fethullah Gulen who himself has dubious credentials and connections, and currently resides in Philadelphia in the US. Many people cheered this as well seeing it as a move to prevent meddling in state affairs by outside players.
Many Gulenists had penetrated the judiciary, the police force and universities. Erdogan gradually weeded them out. While not knocked out completely, the Gulenists have been weakened considerably.
After serving the requisite terms as prime minister as permitted by the constitution, Erdogan was not about to retire gracefully. His taste for power grew exponentially. Megalomaniac and egotistic, he next went for the presidency sidelining his long-time friend and ally, Abdullah Gul who was president. Gul lasted only a single term in the presidency.
Even though Erdogan was elected president in 2014, he refused to allow Dovutoglu to make important policy decisions. According to the constitution, executive powers reside with the prime minister. Erdogan was not going to allow the constitution to get in his way.
He has been rampaging through the political landscape making all the important decisions. In the June 2015 parliamentary elections when the Turkish people refused to give his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) a parliamentary majority because they did not agree with Erdogan’s plans to turn the country into a presidential system, the latter sabotaged the political process.
He forced another parliamentary election in November. But between June and November, he engineered a crisis with the Kurds tearing a peace agreement he himself had framed and signed. The crisis scared enough Turks who feared instability to give the AKP a majority in parliament once again. The Kurdish party was virtually wiped out.
Erdogan now wants to use this parliamentary majority to ram through constitutional changes giving the president vast new powers. When Davutoglu resisted this, the street thug that Erdogan is, reminded him not to forget who made him the prime minister!
Turkey has already been turned into a de facto dictatorship with Erdogan the absolute boss. Once the constitution is amended, there will be nothing stopping Erdogan from declaring himself king!
But perhaps Erdogan should remember before he crowns himself king that the higher the monkey climbs, the harder it falls.