The world continues to hail the Turkish Constitutional Court’s decision not to ban the ruling AKP as a victory for democracy, while not taking into account in the slightest the possibility that the AKP may one day succeed in overturning Turkish democracy altogether, and replacing it with Sharia.
“Turkey’s Islamists Inspire a New Climate of Fear,” by Zeyno Baran in the Wall Street Journal, August 2, via the Hudson Institute (thanks to Ben):
This week’s verdict by Turkey’s Constitutional Court — which rejected an attempt to ban the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) for undermining the country’s secular foundations — has been hailed by the U.S. and the EU as a great step forward for democracy and rule of law. Fair enough. Banning a party that last year renewed its mandate in office with 47% of the vote would have been a huge setback for Turkey. But that doesn’t mean we should all sigh with relief and conclude that liberal democracy is flourishing under the Islamic-oriented AKP’s rule.
Government surveillance of AK Party critics and leaks to media of personal phone conversations have created a climate of fear. There is concern among some liberals that the country is becoming a police state. The foundation of a healthy democracy — the right to dissent and hold an elected government accountable — is gradually being undermined.
When asked about mass wire-tapping, Minister of Transportation Binali Yildirim gave a Kafkaesque response: “It is not possible to prevent being listened to; the only way is not to talk [on the phone]. If there is nothing illegal in our actions, we should not be concerned about such things.”
Some examples of recent intrusive practices in Turkey include the appearance on YouTube of voice recordings of prominent figures either from the military or antigovernment circles. Several anti-Islamist senior military officers have reportedly resigned over the past few years when faced with the possibility that their private conversations would be leaked. The leaks involve some top-secret military documents, so they are also highly illegal and might pose a serious security breach for the NATO alliance….
Read it all.