Erdogan at his presidential palace and being held high by supporters
Turkish ‘democracy’ has become two Grey Wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
It appears that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gotten himself elected dictator of Turkey through 2029, by a conveniently slim margin of 51-49%. So for other autocratic world leaders out there hoping to replicate his feat—who are tired of pesky Constitutions and Executive limitations—here are a few helpful steps he took that you can follow:
(1) Stage a military coup against your authoritarian regime and blame the so-called conspiracy on an America-living cleric (Fethullah Gulen), who you can then accuse of being a shadowy foreign puppet. And don’t worry if you’re actually a member of NATO and host U.S. military bases on your territory, most of your paranoid lumpen supporters will barely notice the disconnect between your words and reality.
(2) Utilize mob violence against the opposition, and have your AKP & MHP Bozkurtlar goon squads attack over 500 HDP offices throughout southeastern Turkey (i.e. occupied Northern Kurdistan).
(3) Arrest and imprison the male and female co-leaders of the opposition HDP party – Selahattin Demirtas (Kurdish) and Figen Yuksekdag (Turkish), and throw them into solitary confinement, along with other members of Parliament. Since the international community has let you kidnap and imprison the Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan on an island (like Nelson Mandela) since 1999, they will hardly notice a few more political prisoners.
(4) Use a bogus ‘state of emergency’ decree to purge 100,000 state employees, imprison 40,000 people—including 2,700 local Kurdish politicians and forty-five mayors of Kurdish towns, shutter more than 150 newspapers and media outlets, and jail over 120 journalists without a court hearing. If you do this correctly, you may even win the distinct honor of Reporters Without Borders announcing that Turkey has become “the world’s biggest prison for professional journalists.”
(5) Seize municipalities in southeast Turkey (Northern Kurdistan) by levelling entire Kurdish cities (Sur, Cizir (Cizre), Silopi, Nisêbîn (Nusaybin) etc) and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Then appoint hand-picked custodians loyal to you, and have them do mass arrests, alongside torturing and executing prisoners; but remember to also tie some of them to the back of vehicles and publicly drag their corpses; or if women, expose their naked bodies out in the street after raping them. Also, don’t forget to shoot at civilians carrying white flags and block hospital entrances with tanks.
(6) Suspend around 11,000 teachers in Kurdish areas, and ban twenty-three predominantly pro-Kurdish radio stations and TV channels, including ones that merely air children’s cartoons. This tactic works especially well if you are running a quasi-apartheid state, and your power is based on an imaginary ethnic indivisibility and xenophobic hatred of other cultures. For an added bonus, you can then conjure up a fake controversy about nations like Holland and Germany trying to silence your crypto-fascist movement, as your fragilely-masculine nationalist supporters will really lap that up.
(7) Wrap yourself in the shroud of the most reactionary elements of fundamentalist religion and accuse your opponents of being sinful atheists. It also helps to play off the conservative public’s built in misogyny and say that you’re the only one who can protect women’s “dignity” by controlling their life choices and public attire. Now, if you can also find the time to arm ISIS as a proxy force against the revolutionary Kurds in Rojava and then have your nation receive a few blowback terror attacks from ISIS when they get disgruntled with their new Caliph, that’s even better.
(8) Ensure that Turkish State television channels are vastly in favor of your “yes” (evet) campaign and receive 90% of the airtime. Follow this same strategy for public billboards as well and ban any critical social media against you. Plus, it also helps if you only allow your “yes” campaigners to use state facilities and organize public rallies. If the “no” (hayir) people attempt to hold a rally, cut their power off or attack their rally with riot police.
(9) Embezzle billions from the national treasury and use that money to take over most of the mechanisms of government through an entrenched Deep State, where all of the major industries then have to pay you, your appointed family members, and your AKP party bribes in order to do business in your country. This way, you’re already essentially the dictator—or if you prefer, Sultan—behind the scenes and the sham referendum is merely superficial window dressing.
(10) If all of this fails to get you over the hump, then simply handpick the election board and make a few million opposition votes disappear or stuff the ballot boxes, but remember, you don’t want the referendum to look unrealistic, and a simple majority of 51% wins it, so don’t go overboard and give yourself 99% like Saddam Hussein used to.
So there you have it! Once all this is done, maybe you too can sit on a golden throne and occupy a 1,000 room palace in Ankara, while ensuring you’re an ‘elected’ dictator for life. Good luck… although despots with MİT secret police and Hüda-Par death squads behind them rarely need it.
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