econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 15 October 2015

Anger Over Ankara Response Is A Product Of Turkish Government's Past Record

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Cemal Burak Tansel, University of Sheffield

Turkish voters will go to the polls on November 1, still reeling from the horrific bombings at a peace demonstration in Ankara on October 10.

The labour, peace and democracy rally in Ankara was planned as an intervention into the cycle of conflict that has engulfed the country since the parliamentary elections in June. Those who gathered did not get the chance to shout their calls for peace. A dual explosion went off, leaving at least 97 dead and more than 500 wounded.

In the aftermath of the attack, there have been mass protests against the government. The public anger, it seems, is being directed not at the perpetrators of the attack but at the people in charge of the country.

This is because the Ankara attack was not an isolated event. It is the latest link in a long chain of assaults against democratic forces in Turkey. Outrage is directed against the government precisely because the culprits of the previous attacks have not been held to account.

Turkish authorities are reportedly focusing on Islamic State militants as the main suspects in the bombing. Prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has already stated, though, that the government is also considering the "usual suspects". That means the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

If these swift official statements were intended to reassure the public that the government is determined to identify the culprits and bring them to justice, they failed spectacularly.

Since the Ankara attack, dozens of protest meetings and rallies have taken place across the country. These have been aimed squarely at criticising the interim AKP (Justice and Development Party) government and president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

At first glance, this collective burst of anger could be interpreted as a condemnation of the initial official response from the government. Interior minister Selami Altınok had angered many by initially rejecting any suggestion that there had been failures in security preparations for the rally on October 10 - a view echoed by deputy prime minister Tuğrul Türkeş. Eyewitnesses and amateur video footage provided a damning account of the security forces' questionable but all-too-familiar response. It has even been reported that the police fired tear gas at people trying to lay flowers at the scene a few hours after the attack.

Yet this customary shirking of responsibility and the abuses of police power are not the main reasons that thousands are chanting "murderer Erdoğan!" or carrying banners that blame the state for the deaths of those gathered in Ankara.

A turbulent year

It is important to contextualise the Ankara bombings within the cycle of violence that has gripped Turkey since the June election. This vote marked the end of an era. The AKP saw its vote share drop 10% and lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since 2002. The HDP won an impressive 13% of the vote, securing 80 seats in the national parliament.

This new parliamentary dynamic prevented the AKP from introducing a controversial presidential system designed to radically extend Erdoğan's powers. Incapable of accepting this electoral mandate, the party blocked the formation of a coalition government and forced a new election.

Erdoğan attends a peace rally in September. EPA/Sedat Suna

Ever since, a climate of insecurity has pervaded. In July, 32 youth activists were killed in an Islamic State-linked attack in Suruç. Many people believe no serious investigation has been conducted into the attack.

After an alleged PKK cell attacked police officers in the aftermath of Suruç the AKP duly shelved the peace process that has been underway since 2012. By joining the US-coordinated strikes against Islamic State, the government gained a convenient pretext to launch strikes against the PKK and unleashed an intense crackdown on Kurdish activists. This triggered further retaliatory PKK attacks against Turkish security forces.

As the conflict intensified, the AKP's hostile rhetoric against the HDP and other opposition forces assumed a fully undemocratic character. Senior party figures blamed the election results and the ensuing hung parliament for the country's rapid descent into violence.

A mandate in tatters

As a result of all this, the public has little faith in the government's willingness to conduct a transparent investigation into what has happened in Ankara. This suspicion is mirrored by an almost equally forceful assumption that the AKP is complicit in the attacks against the Kurds, left-wing movements and other opposition forces. It has failed to prevent attacks against HDP offices all across the country and remained ineffective against Islamic State intrusions into Turkish territory.

This sentiment has been explicitly voiced by the HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş. He has openly wondered why the state has been unable (or unwilling) to properly investigate previous attacks and blamed the government for turning a blind eye to the people behind them. If the government's past record is any indication, it is no surprise that the public is not optimistic about the prospect of a comprehensive and transparent investigation.

The June election was the first stage of a wholesale rejection of the AKP regime which has been defined by a continual erosion of democracy and an intensified authoritarian neoliberalism.

For a party that has always highlighted its electoral victories as the proof of its own legitimacy, the AKP has shown a remarkable disregard for the popular will. It has endorsed a reckless politics of exclusion.

The public outrage at the Ankara bombings demonstrates that it is the same politics of exclusion and violence that will be the party's undoing. Barring a highly unlikely AKP victory (i.e. parliamentary majority) in the upcoming elections, the AKP's authoritarian ambitions will continue to confront both a growing grassroots mobilisation and a parliamentary opposition spearheaded by the HDP.

The ConversationCemal Burak Tansel, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Politics, University of Sheffield

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Is Free Trade Harming the Economy?
Bank of England Endorses Post-Keynesian Endogenous Money Theory
News Blog
Successful SpaceX Launch &amp; Landing Of Falcon 9 + Dragon CRS-10 Mission To The ISS (2017-02-19)
Investor Bulletin: Savings And Investing Basics For Military Personnel
Does Growing Mismeasurement Explain Disappointing Growth?
Why Does Economic Growth Keep Slowing Down?
Houses As ATMs No Longer - Part Three Of Five
Infographic Of The Day: What It's Like To Live On Minimum Wage
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Dollar, Oil Up, Gold Down, Investors Bet Higher Oil, Kraft-Unilever Deal Off, French Election Turmoil, Trump Worries Germans More Than Putin, Japan Imports Surge And More
Most Read Articles Last Week Ending 18 February
Living Through The Greek Crisis: An Anthropologist Reports From Thessaly
ITunes Still Popular Among U.S. Music Lovers
President Trump, You Need A Lesson In Autism - Here It Is
Defense Budgets Are Surging In The Baltic States
What We Read Today 19 February 2017
Investing Blog
Bulls Keep Running, But . . .
The Week Ahead: Trump And The Business Cycle
Opinion Blog
Charity Is Not How We Solve Poverty
At A Turning Point In US History, Shepard Smith Denounces Trump
Precious Metals Blog
The Best Gold Stock To Buy Right Now
Live Markets
20Feb2017 Pre-Market Commentary: US Markets Closed Today In Observance Of The Presidents Day Holiday, US Dollar Slips, European Stocks Rise
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government





























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved