A monarch in the name of democ­racy

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY PANTELIS BOUKALAS

equiv­o­cally against the coup plot­ters. This did not mean sup­port­ing Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan, of course, as his demo­cratic deficits are all too fa­mil­iar, but rather, op­pos­ing those who turned their tanks against a gov­ern­ment that was elected by the peo­ple. The mem­ory of the 196774 Greek dic­ta­tor­ship was enough to set us against such a move­ment, even though it pro­claimed to be cham­pi­oning democ­racy. In one of the many para­doxes of this in­ci­dent, Er­do­gan also rushed to adopt the same pro-demo­cratic rhetoric. When he called on the peo­ple (via the same tech­no­log­i­cal medium that he has hounded) to take to the streets and re­sist the mil­i­tary fac­tion that led the at­tempted overthrow, he was call­ing on his peo­ple – his un­armed and poorly equipped army of fol­low­ers. These are fol­low­ers who over­look – per­haps even ap­plaud – their leader’s sul­tanic am­bi­tions and iden­tify with the Is­lamist agenda. These are peo­ple who couldn’t care less when Kurds are crushed, pris­ons are filled with dis­si­dents (a mas­sive cat­e­gory as a dis­si­dent is con­sid­ered any­one who ques­tions the author­ity of the pres­i­dent/monarch) or cen­sor­ship tol­er­ates only me­dia that rain praise on the regime. The Turks who poured out into the street were not just Er­do­gan sup­port­ers, but it was this cat­e­gory that won. It was they who led the lynch­ings against sol­dier-pup­pets, most of whom were

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