Here comes my second most intense critic of AKP government. (here is the first one back in October 2008)
Things have changed. Now AKP has become a center-right wing party riding on wild capitalism. Although it sounds like a cliché, this is exactly what is happening. Recently, PM. Erdoğan attended a mall’s opening ceremony (why does a PM attend a mall opening is another question) and declared that “grocery stores are passé. Now it is the time of malls. Grocery store owners have to unite to survive”, something like that… I wonder if AKP leadership is doing any calculations on class politics. With all commercial-legal regulations AKP government is playing against small-scale businesses. They were never good at with workers and now they also abandon those businesses. Is this a rational calculation? I have heard more and more complaints from ordinary people who voted for AKP. Macro-economic developments might be doing all right but micro-economic woes grow. I do not believe AKP can still win with playing cultural and political politics. Yesterday, PM Erdoğan was lamenting: Youth memorize the top song lists in Western countries but do not know our cultural values, stuff. I do not belive this cultural populism will always work…
There has been a worker strike which had gained momentum and gradually media coverage: TEKEL has been privatized and the new owner will probably fire most of the workers. Workers will get compensation but most want to continue to work and they strike. It is not a new story and not always workers are right and TEKEL workers’ action is partially manipulated by anti-AKP circles. However, there is a pattern of AKP’s anti-labor politics. AKP is just too pro-corporate. I am not even anti-capitalist but this level of pro-corporate politics will turn masses against AKP and its possible democratisation moves…
and a politics roundup:
[Originally published in Hurriyet Daily News] Turkey’s latest national controversy over the alleged coup plan codenamed “Sledgehammer” will probably remain as just that: a controversy. The generals who seem responsible will probably not face any trial, for the military remains as an untouchable institution, especially after being saved last week by the Constitutional Court from civilian scrutiny. A bit like the ancient legal maxim, “The prince is above the law,” Turkish laws place the generals above the justice system that we, the lesser mortals, are subject to. In the media, too, the controversy will probably remain as a controversy, because people will continue to make judgments solely based on their pre-existing convictions. Those who believe that the military is indeed a crucible of coups and other crimes will be convinced in the reality of the Sledgehammer scheme. On the other hand, those who see the institution as the heroic savior of Turkey, or at least their own social class, will refuse to believe that some generals actually sat down and made plans that involved the killing of innocent citizen
In my opinion, any reference to Feb. 28 calls to mind not only the tanks that were paraded in Sincan to ?fine tune? democracy but also the ideological profiling or labeling campaigns conducted by the illegal West Study Group (BÇG) junta.