General Question

Rarebear's avatar

A liberal democracy died yesterday. Do you care?

Asked by Rarebear (24471points) April 17th, 2017

Turkey voted itself a dictator with unprecedented powers. When Turkey was formed it was a liberal secular democracy. I disagreed with many of the edicts (couldn’t wear head scarfs in public for instance) but it was a stable democracy in a sea of Middle East unrest. Now they have voted Erdogan to be a defacto ruler for life.

How do you feel about it? Do you give a crap? Is it important to you?

My feeling is that this was one of the greatest electoral defeats for democracy in modern history and the Turks and world should be very afraid. He has jailed political opponents, and is turning Turkey, once a beacon of democracy, into just another regular strong man dictatorship akin to what many of the Arab nations have had.

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47 Answers

Sneki95's avatar

No.
If they like it, who am I to give them lessons? If they don’t like it, they should change it.
Not my country, not my problem.

ragingloli's avatar

It died the moment Erdogan faked that so-called “coup-attempt”.
The rest was an elongated inevitability.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes! I do care. I try to hope that possibly the people could push him out over time if they don’t like him, but that will be difficult. I think I read in Daily Chatter that it’s a reminder that democracies can be hijacked. Democracy is so very tricky.

I care about the French election too.

Seek's avatar

Well, there’s visiting the Hagia Sophia off my bucket list.

NerdyKeith's avatar

A former co-worker of mine is from Turkey and it upsets him greatly. It is a sad day for democracy and freedom. That man will destroy Turkey. It’s very sad.

ragingloli's avatar

No wonder Trump congratulated the new Sultan.

elbanditoroso's avatar

They weren’t much of a democracy. And they weren’t liberal, at least for the last 10–12 years.

So this is distressing, but hardly news.

Face it, populations like strong dictators. I don’t get it, but they do. Egypt. Israel. Turkey, now. And the USA….

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso I think driven by fear.

janbb's avatar

They were on the way there already. This has been coming.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Not from my country and has no relevance to it, so no.

flutherother's avatar

We visited Turkey the year before last and I liked the country and the people very much. I was sorry to hear it had come to this, it is very sad. How can you vote against democracy? It doesn’t make sense.

Strauss's avatar

@JLeslie _ I think driven by fear._

I fear you are correct.

Pun intended, but not necessarily light-hearted.

janbb's avatar

@flutherother I heard the term “managed democracy” on the radio in relation to Russia and I’m very sure this was a managed election.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother I think if people fear the minority population is growing, whether it be minority view, or minority race/religion/ethnicity, they might vote for no more voting if they get the person they think they want as their leader.

cazzie's avatar

Yeah, there are loads of cheap charter flights and hotel trips bundled for us Scandi’s to take advantage of. I am pretty sure that is going to stop now. They can also kiss goodbye to any trade deals and expectations that they have previously worked so damned hard for to enter the EU. They took a step away from civilisation.

flutherother's avatar

@janbb I hadn’t heard that term before but it sounds like it describes a country heading from a democracy towards a dictatorship. Turkey seems headed on that path and it is also deeply divided. The future does not look good. I’m glad I saw the Blue Mosque when I did.

janbb's avatar

@flutherother A number of countries are off my list for now.

@cazzie Yes, I can’t see them getting into the EU at this point.

cazzie's avatar

@janbb and that was a point that was so important to them just a year to two ago. Now, that light has been snuffed out.

DominicY's avatar

Yes, I do care. I’ve vacationed in Turkey before and it was one of the most beautiful and fascinating places I’ve ever been. I can’t say that I’ll be returning under Erdogan’s augmented rule. And I feel bad for the half of the nation that didn’t want this.

On the other hand, people do seem to love their dictators. And some of it is driven by fear. Turkey has had problems with terrorist attacks from Kurdish separatists and from ISIS. That puts people in a state of fear. Erdogan promises he can prevent those things. Turkey, in its previous secularism, has been somewhat oppressive to Islamists; Erdogan appeals to those who want more religion in the government and less secularism, that they feel was forced upon them by an oppressive government. Once you have a hold on people’s fears and their religion, you can have them do anything.

Strauss's avatar

The term fear had been used in several responses on this thread, and I don’t think by coincidence. People can be motivated by fear to do many things they would not normally consider, including to vote against their best interests

MrGrimm888's avatar

I care. But that is the type of government that seems to bring the most international stability in that region. As bad as it may be for the Turkish people, it may keep the country from descending into something more chaotic .

stanleybmanly's avatar

Events in Turkey are regrettable, but the country was in fact (by necessity) more accurately described as a parody of a liberal democracy. The nation was a victim of the dilemma confronting every Muslim country wishing to reconcile Islam with modernity. It was the central problem confronting the great Mestafa Kemal Ataturk in his establishment of modern Turkey. Ataturk (correctly) viewed the separation of mosque snd state essential to the robust functioning of Turkey in a modern world. This requirement bumps rudely against a faith regarding the “Godless state” as the paradigm apostasy. The conflict makes for grim choices. The secular state can persist only through the undemocratic suppresion of religious tendencies. Otherwise the religious dictates prevail with theocratic government strangling secular norms (Iran).

Patty_Melt's avatar

What a bunch of hyppocrites!
“Trump shouldn’t get involved. He is dropping bombs and he should let others countries handle their own business.
Oh no, there is a country doing different from us! They must be stopped!”
You know why masses turn to a leader, whatever kind?
People don’t agree.
Lots of stupid people are on the loose.
Lots of people don’t want to be bothered with the workings of politics, etc., etc.,.....
People whine incessantly how our government is not functing as it should, but squeal when another country chooses other ways to govern.
Stop trying to run the world from your cubicle/easy chair/nordic tracker.
We don’t choose leaders to nurture and comfort us. They are governing powers, not nannies. Not all bodies of humanity agree about which sort of governing they prefer.
I honestly believe the same leadership does not work equally everywhere.
When ours is perfect, then perhaps we can point fingers. Until then, let others decide for themselves.

Seek's avatar

I think you’re missing the point of a dictatorship, Patty.

People don’t get to decide for themselves. That’s the problem.

DominicY's avatar

@Patty_Melt People aren’t saying “they must be stopped” tho?? We’re not saying “let’s invade Turkey and make them Western!” We’re expressing disagreement with Erdogan’s move. It’s not hypocritical to express an opinion about another nation’s government.

I guess sometimes expressing one’s opinion is “trying to run the world”. Oops. Just invaded Korea there. Yikes. I’ll be more careful with my keyboard. ;)

I guess we can all stop pretending Turkey has any chance in the EU.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yes, I do. Deeply. I take it very seriously whenever a democracy falls. I’ve been watching Turkey for awhile now. Ask many Turks and they will tell you that the last remnants of Turkish democracy died last year during the attempted coup against Erdogan.

I’m watching Hungary, Greece and the Ukraine closely. Hungary has taken a sharp right turn during their recent elections. Ukraine is struggling with Russian invaders and fifth columnists.

Greece’s internationalist, ultra liberal socialist regime is arresting journalists for not obeying PC guidelines. They have effectively smothered freedom of speech. They are smothering Greek traditions and culture not considered PC. There is a huge right-wing, xenophobic, nationalist backlash. The Golden Dawn Party has tripled in size in the past year. Not only are they in their deepest financial crisis since the Depression Era, they have 1 million Syrian refugees they must deal with. There is violence in the streets of their cities and the country appears ripe for revolution. Another democracy threatened by extremists on both ends. Moderates need not apply.

France elected a centrist yesterday and once again defeated ultra right wing nationalist and isolationist Le Pen. But it was close.

Britain will have special elections soon, hopefully to correct the Brexit fiasco, but I don’t have my hopes up.

Right wing parties in Skandinavia, except Iceland, are growing in popularity due to the pressures of immigration and fear of losing their culture. This is unheard of since WWII in these liberal social democracies. It is sad to watch.

The world is changing quickly and I feel really, really old.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It was dead quite a while a go. The only thing that happened yesterday is they admitted it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Do I care? Sure, but there ain’t a fuck of a lot I can do about it, and I’ve got concerns about the future of our own democracy at the moment.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Patty_Melt

You’re ranting about something that literally no one here has said.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Okay, let me shorten that. I don’t care.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Patty_Melt So you lack compassion and empathy for other human beings?

Rarebear's avatar

@Patty_Melt Will you care if Marine Le Pen is elected? That’s closer to home.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

A number of answers in this thread have made an error conflating liberal and Liberal. Liberal with a lower case l means it is a society that has certain individual civil liberties. Liberal with an upper case l means left wing.

Turkey was a liberal democracy since it had some individual civil liberties codified in law. That is likely to change drastically after yesterday. It will probably lose the ability to call itself a liberal democracy.

I am sorry this has occurred. The Earth faces an uncertain future at the moment, and it’s being played out in various nations.

Rarebear's avatar

Yup. I wasn’t going to bother making that distinction but I am glad you did. Thanks.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I get what you are saying but a lot of “left wing” stances are derived from a standard of civil liberties. Those civil liberties are at risk when a right wing power in in control of government. So while both are different, they do cross paths.

There is also the argument that civil issues are greatly categorised as political. Sure they are not directly related to legal policy, but they are political nonetheless.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@NerdyKeith It is quite possible to be right wing and have a very strong expectation that individual civil liberties be upheld. They are not at all mutually exclusive. Research Libertarianism.

It is equally possible to be very left wing and disdain individual civil liberties. Research Soviet Communism.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake

So what do you figure are the chances of libertarianism taking root in Turkey’s government?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Darth_Algar I know next to nothing about Turkey’s current conditions, so I haven’t a clue. I guess that Libertarianism will not be what happens there. I suppose it will look more like classic dictatorships with rampant repression of all civil liberties.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake You have a point about libertarianism. I guess I tend to regard that as a class of its own outside of right wing and left wing.

Darth_Algar's avatar

There are right libertarians and there are left libertarians.

janbb's avatar

@Darth_Algar And also just plain wrong libertarians.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Gee. I think most librarians are really nice people. WTF?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Rilly. What is with these guys and their anti-librarian rip.

Strauss's avatar

I prefer my librarians to look like penguins.

janbb's avatar

@Strauss Yeah, so sexy when we take off our glasses, shake out our feathers and waddle up to you!

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