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Erdoğan: West à la carte

Turkish president and self-anointed overlord of the muslim world, Tayyip Erdogan’s pronouncements about the West are usually quite critical. He has accused western powers of amongst other things islamophobia, hypocrisy and neo-colonialism. So it might seem strange for him to be making laudatory remarks for the West as he has recently been doing, hailing their presidential systems of goverment (even the British monarchy) as examplary, and extolling Italy’s new voting system meant to produce more stable governments. On closer inspection though, his new found admiration makes perfect sense as it's just the means to legitimize his master plan of power consolidation. The constitutional rejigging of Turkey into a presidential system will allow him to govern the country from his ceremonial post without the term limits of the prime-ministership; plus it sure sounds better to be the President of the republic rather than the PM. The new Italian voting system, ensuring a single-party government through a two-round parliamentary election, is ideal for Erdogan to safeguard his party’s parliamentary majority at future elections (there’s one coming up in June) despite its eroding popularity. A strong majority is sorely needed not only to govern as he pleases but to also be able to enact those constitutional amendments he envisions.


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