The present political situation in Turkey reminds me of a vicious, no-holds-barred dog fight, teeth and claws aiming for the opponent’s most vulnerable spots (ministers’ sons arrested for corruption, shoeboxes full of millions of dollars found stashed under a bed; the arresters are themselves arrested or removed from office; AKP ministers forced to resign, one claiming on TV that since PM Erdogan approved all this, he should resign too; theories thrown out by AKP and its media that the Gulen Movement is behind this, followed by Erdogan and Gulen taking their gloves off and cursing each other; other theories that evil ‘foreigners’ are behind it; Erdogan calling criticism of him “treason”….) I won’t repeat the details of current events as the news has been full of them. I do, however, recommend an OpEd by Andrew Finkel here.
Oh and let me not forget to list the offensive billboards put up by the Islamist right (in this case, Erbakan’s otherwise unsuccessful crew) that show a leering Santa with a Semitic nose and the caption that “Christmas is a coup to overthrow our Muslimhood” and another showing a bearded Islamist punching Santa in the nose. They also held a demonstration where they “circumcised” a Santa.
Many familiar tropes, phrases, and accusations that I’m sure many people had hoped that Turkey had left in the past. It’s a haunting — nasty ghosts of regimes and eras past rising to scare the willies out of the present.