Huge Pro-Erdogan Islamist Rally In Germany, by Liam Deacon.
Around 50,000 supporters of Turkey’s Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan have rallied in Cologne, Germany to demand his authoritarian reign continues.
The Islamist crowd chanted “Allah hu Akbar!” and held signs reading, “Erdogan is a human rights activist”, whilst opponents waved banners insisting “Stop the Erdomania!”
UPDATE: A German reader reports that Merkel seems to be heading into serious trouble. This rally demanded democracy and equal rights for Turks living in Germany. There is now talk of starting a Türk party in Germany — which will hit the Greens and SPD hard because they currently receive about 80% of the votes from people of Türkish origin.
Erdogan last year said that to demand integration of Muslims in German society is a crime against humanity! Yesterday the foreign minister of Turkey said that they demand total visa waivers for all Turks into the Schengen Area (i.e. Europe) until October, otherwise the deal about refugees is off.
There is also criticism of Merkel in newspapers that normally support her. Her latest TV conference on Thursday was free of concrete policy. She only repeated the old East German slogan Wir Schaffen Das, a slogan she learned when she was party secretary for propaganda in the Communist Youth organization FDJ.
Turkey Faces Its Iran 1979 Moment, by Soner Cagaptay. It seems that perhaps the most important outcome of the coup is still hanging in the balance.
President Erdogan, having survived the coup plot, won fresh legitimacy and gained a new ally: religious fervor in the streets. Mr. Erdogan can use this impetus either to become an executive-style president, or he can encourage the forces of religion to take over the country, crowning himself as an Islamic leader.
Though the incremental acquisition of power has been more his style in the past, the powerful eruption of Islamic support for him over the weekend may prove too tempting. This is Turkey’s Iran 1979 moment—will a brewing Islamic revolution overwhelm the forces of secularism? …
[Mr. Erdogan] now regularly cracks down on freedoms of expression, assembly and association. He has shut down or taken over media outlets. He bans access to social media, locks up journalists and sends the police to harass opposition rallies.
Mr. Erdogan also promotes efforts to impose religion: In December 2014, Turkey’s Higher Education Council, a government-regulated body, issued a policy recommendation that mandatory courses on Sunni Islam be taught in publicly funded schools to all students, even ones as young as age 6. …
Revolutions don’t require majorities, but rather angry and excited minorities that are willing to act violently to take power. Following the failed coup plot, Turkish politics has not settled down.
Mr. Erdogan is still not in charge of the whole country, which is why as of Sunday afternoon he hadn’t returned to the Turkish capital. It is not yet safe for him. Religious fervor is running high; mosques continue to call for prayers throughout the day. Islamists and jihadists who are angry at the military roam the streets, while most Turks of other political outlooks are scared to leave their homes.
If Mr. Erdogan were to pump up religious fervor further, he could convert the religious counter-coup d’état into an Islamist counter-revolution, ending Turkey’s status as a secular democracy. Adding to the temptation is the fact that the military, divided and discredited in the public eye following the failed coup, is in no position to prevent a counterrevolution.
But an Islamist revolution would carry risks. Turkey would be stripped of its NATO membership, exposing the country to nearby enemies, including Russia. It would also almost certainly lead to an economic meltdown, hurting Mr. Erdogan’s power base.