Is Authoritarianism forever in Turkey?

March 5, 2014, The Turkey Analyst

Authoritarianism has remained a permanent feature of the Turkish polity since the founding of the republic. Authoritarian rulers who have gone too far in their abuse of power are showed the door by the electorate, but the structure from which authoritarian power emanates – an all-powerful state – remains intact. The civil war that rages among the ruling Islamic conservatives bolsters the power of the Turkish Leviathan, by demonstrating what can be achieved with “big brother” methods. In the poisonous atmosphere of mistrust and enmity that prevails in Turkey, people are not going to be predisposed to put faith in the notion of a state that is neutral and in everyone’s service; it is more likely that the eternal struggle to capture the state and deploy it to enforce parochial group interests is going to continue, sustaining authoritarianism.