In 1997, the movie Wag the Dog told the tale of an American President who created a fictitious war against Albania to distract from domestic scandals, ensuring reelection. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan must have seen it, as he's following the same script against the Kurds in order to boost his party's flagging fortunes. But will it work?
The Turkish President's self-serving fake war against terrorism could have the tragic consequence of escalating the violence throughout Turkey and neighboring countries. If Ankara is truly interested in countering the Jihadists, it should have done that long ago, instead of arming and abetting ISIS and other terror groups.
ISTANBUL -- As the tough leader who gave the "terrorists" what they deserve, Erdogan can garner more nationalist votes for his party. Pro-PKK Kurds have lately emerged as the biggest obstacle to Erdogan's dream of drafting a new constitution with an all-powerful "presidential system" tailor-made for him.
Turkey is headed in a dangerous direction, toward a corrupt, authoritarian state. The country needs an Arab Spring of sorts, but within the democratic process. An electoral revolution, not a street putsch. The use of the rule of law to end an illiberal government. The ballot box must make political power accountable.
The steady erosion of sociopolitical conditions, the growing restrictions on free speech and the pervasiveness of the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party created deep anxiety and fear among the general public as they witnessed the gradual transformation of their country from a democracy to a police state.
VIENNA -- The success of the mainly Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party in capturing 13 percent of the vote in the recent election -- a total well above the party's core constituency -- should boost the Kurds' confidence and ease the way ahead in the peace process. But the far-right Nationalist Movement Party performed strongly in the election, capturing 16 percent of the vote, probably owing largely to popular opposition to the opening to the Kurds.