Is Erdogan De-Secularizing Turkish Democracy?
A Turkish court filed arrest warrants against 162 former and current officers last Friday. The officers are are accused of having participated in a conspiracy against the Turkish government in 2003, formerly known as “Operation Sledgehammer”.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long been working on removing the army´s secular forces in order to replace them with pro-AKP officers. This seems to be part of that effort. The charges against the players in "Operation Sledgehammer" may be trumped up.
In September 2010, the Turkish government, led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), won a national plebiscite on constitutional amendments. It was designed to remove obstacles to consolidating power.
The military and the independent judiciary used to be secular stumbling blocks against Islamist ambitions. But now it seems Turkey's democracy is failing in this objective.
Niklas Anzinger is a Contributing Writer for The Propagandist