Turkey Continues to Be “Europe’s Ill Man”

The parliament of Turkey has approved the last article of the Constitutional changes that allows a partisan president. Earlier the Parliament had also adopted the provision of passing to Presidential system, as well as other articles that have been much discussed and criticized. The voting of the Parliament shows that at least now Erdogan has succeeded.

It is noteworthy that the current president of Turkey had plans for making Constitutional changes and passing to Presidential system still when prime minister. To fulfill his aims during these years he has resorted to various means – even to repressions and arrests. It should be mentioned that the resistance in the country against these changes were connected not so much with the change of the system, but with the person that initiated the changes and the path he passed. A large segment of the Turkish society has seen and felt tendencies of tyranny, which, in case of passing to Presidential system, taking into consideration the expansion of Erdogan’s powers, most probably, will increase.

As for the discussions on constitutional changes in the Turkish Parliament and its whole process, then it should be state that they do not reflect the views of the large segment of the society. The fact that there is no serious public resistance towards this process that would hinder Erdogan’s plans is due to the fact that the latter was able to find means to deviate public attention. Among those means is the fight against terrorism, the supporters of Gulen, as well as the actions carried out against the HDP deputies.

Though at this moment Erdogan has succeeded in reaching his aims, whether the whole process inside Turkey will go smoothly is difficult to predict. Nevertheless, one thing is clear. The events taking place in the country show that Turkey continues to “consistently” deviate from the democratic process, which should have paved a way for integration to the EU family. Today, however, despite the fact that 95 years passed after the last Sultan, Turkey remains to be “Europe’s ill man” and it seems that now Europe almost fully realizes this.

Greta Avetisyan

On the webpage of NGO “European Integration” hereafter you can read analyses and comments on current political developments by the experts of “Insight” Analytical Center for Applied Policy and Research within the “European Integration” NGO.