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We have to strengthen our democracy

18 July 16 | Mehmet Y. Yilmaz
Mehmet Y. Yilmaz

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ETAD.A.E.

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PEOPLE

Antulio Richetta

Director IBI Group
We should first heave a sigh of relief. Turkey has driven past a very dangerous curve;

 

We barely came back from the edge of a cliff. From now on, July 15 will be remembered as a significant milestone in Turkey’s history of democracy. At the same time, the danger of a military coup d’état in Turkey has been entirely disposed of without any further debate.    

It is significant that this coup attempt was suppressed in a short time and that people took to the streets, standing against the tanks. Let us not forget that when those people were called to take to the streets, it was not known, even by the top officials, at what stage the coup attempt was.

It was also not known what portion of the army was involved in the coup attempt but despite such an environment, people were on the streets, lying in front of tanks and not allowing the coup to unfold.  
Was this coup attempt really staged by troops who were followers of Fethullah Gülen or was it a kind of a coalition where Gülenists were also involved? This issue should be seriously investigated so that the hidden extensions of the plotters within the army could be reached. 

It has to be pronounced that Turkey has passed an important test on its commitment to democracy. From the first moment, the country was able to confront the plotters with its political parties, media, nongovernmental organizations and a significant portion of its army. 

Let us hope that the disaster we avoided will be an eye-opener for everybody that our democracy needs to be strengthened. 

Erdoğan’s success 

Deserved credit should be given to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. From the first moment, without any panic, by objecting to the coup and calling people to town squares (and succeeding at it), he hit the most influential blow to the coup attempt. Thus, the junta who dreamt of toppling Erdoğan carried him to the peak of his power. 

Now, Erdoğan has climbed to the strongest point in his political career. After being a leader who won elections, was able to keep his party in power for many years and eliminated other founding partners in his party, he now has the title of “a leader who has suppressed a military coup.”  It looks as if from now on it will be impossible for anything against Erdoğan’s will to happen. 

The shape Turkey will take moving forward depends on how Erdoğan decides to use this.   
Well, which decision will he make? How will he use this absolute power? Will he use it to form an authoritarian rule as one man or for Turkey to have a pluralist and strong democracy? 

Indeed, it is possible for this coup attempt to have caused a change in Erdoğan’s mentality. It was the people who poured onto the streets who suppressed the coup. If one of the motives that made this population take to the streets at that hour was the love they felt for him, another motive, no doubt, was their commitment and belief in democracy. 

Will Erdoğan have a similar evaluation or will he think that the real power that suppressed the coup was his determination and the love the people had for him?  His final evaluation will determine which direction he will go. 

It would be good for the future of our country and our democracy if the wise people within the Justice and Development Party (AKP) who we hope exist assist him in his decision.

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