Παρασκευή, 21 Ιουνίου 2013

Erdoğan's fall from grace in Turkey is pure Shakespearean tragedy

Turkey's PM has become the personification of the corrupt despotism of the regime he was elected to sweep away

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo
Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has turned 'an insignificant protest in a scrubby little park into a national emergency.' Photograph: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images
As the protests in Turkey continue, spare a thought for the man whose personal tragedy few have the grace to acknowledge – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Until three weeks ago Erdoğan was destined to go down as one of the greatest reformers in Turkish history alongside Ataturk and Suleiman the Magnificent, despite all the bullying and the backsliding of the past three years.
Here was a man who seemed to have the power to tackle Turkey's century of conflict with the Kurds, Armenians and Greeks, and to lead it to a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future – a model not just for Muslim countries but for other rising economic powers shaking off less than perfect pasts.
But Erdoğan's greatest achievement – greater still than a decade-long boom that bucked global depression – was his breaking of the power of the military that had shackled Turkish democracy for so long. In pre-Erdoğan Turkey, we would have had a coup by now.

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