Turkish democracy has just died; Europe could not have saved it, by Douglas Murray.
Well farewell then Turkey. Or at least, farewell the Turkey of Kemal Ataturk. It’s a shame. Ataturk-ism nearly made its own centenary.
But the nation that he founded, which believed broadly in progressive notions such as a separation of mosque and state, has just been formally snuffed out.
President Erdogan’s success in the referendum to award himself Caliph-like powers for life finally sees the end of Turkey’s secular and democratic experiment.
Perhaps the poll which gave him victory was rigged. Perhaps it wasn’t. In the same way that perhaps the ‘coup’ last summer was real. Or perhaps it wasn’t. Either way, it’s all worked out very well for the man who once famously said that democracy, for him, was like a bus: he would ride it until it got him to his desired destination, at which point he would get off. On Sunday Erdogan got off the bus, coaxing or hauling his country off with him.
There is just one other thing worth saying. The official position of most EU countries, and the official position of the British government still to date, is that Turkey should join the EU. So far as one can tell the UK’s official – frankly barking – policy remains that although we are going to leave the EU we will continue to lobby for Turkey to join.
hat-tip Stephen Neil