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Don midwest
Don midwest

Juan Cole this morning

Warning to US: Erdogan has used same techniques as Trump to de-Democratize Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, began his legitimate political career at the turn of this century with a push for more political pluralism in a Turkey that had long been dominated by an elite, secular military.

Now that he has won another term, Erdogan’s rise as an authoritarian strong man is a key lesson to America about how Trump could move the US in a similar direction. Trump’s antics on racism and immigration have distracted the American public from the massive numbers of federal judgeships Mitch McConnell is allowing Trump to fill with far right ideologues, after having blocked or run the clock out on Obama appointees. Trump is in a position to shape the officer corps, ensuring that fellow travelers of John Kelly and Jim Mattis take control. Trump is attempting to create public distrust of the print and broadcast media, substituting what is virtually Trump Administration t.v. over at Fox as well as far, far right kooks on the internet like the Breitbar crew and Alex Jones. Trump strongly allied with the Christian religious Right, who are his most reliable constituency. All of these steps were taken by Erdogan, as well, and over time they created an elective dictatorship where civil society is often just banned and there is no free press.

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