Will Erdogan go more rogue?  Turkey referendum today will decide if they will morph from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency.

With roughly 55 million Turks eligible to vote throughout the country at 167,000 polling stations, one can safely assume that if Erdogan wanted the referendum to take place, the result might be favorable to him.

Thus the question, will Erdogan go more rogue?  Probably.

In case my worst fears are confirmed, the already tyrannical and influential Turkish Muslim President will be able to rule over Turkey’s people unrestrictedly and without accountability for all we can gather from his past actions.

The political metamorphosis of the country will mark the brutal end of “secular” Turkey.

The country’s first President, Mustafa Kamal Atatürk was a reformer who in 1928, introduced secularization via the 1928 amendment of the Constitution of 1924, which officially removed the provision whereby the “Religion of the State is Islam.”

Moreover, even the current Constitution of 1982 neither recognizes an official religion nor promotes any, including Islam to which more than 99% of Turks adhere.

Already in 2000,  when we were on assignment attending a conference at a Turkish university, the “moral” police was roaming around foreigners, especially couples.

Later on, we could witness the animosity other Muslim countries had towards Turkey.   The first reason that came to mind was the different language, but Indonesia also has a different language, so that could not be it.

In hindsight, secularization could well have been the reason for other Muslim countries to try to ostracize Turkey.  Until recently.

It also may be one of the key reasons why Erdogan wants to grab more power.  Once holding the reins, he could declare sharia as the law of the land.

Once again and rightfully, the question:  Will Erdogan go more rogue?

With such a bold step, Erdogan will also be able to consolidate his position among his Muslim peers.

By some estimates, first-time voters, i.e., whoever recently turned 18, will cast more than one million ballots in today’s referendum.

Astoundingly but also unsurprisingly, the Turkish Health Ministry is providing transport and assistance to sick and elderly voters.

Ah, the kind President and his acolytes are so thoughtful.

Furthermore, “thousands of prisoners will also be able to vote at any of the 463 polling stations set up inside state prisons.”

The Turkish national newspaper Milliyet estimates that around 78,890 convicted prisoners will be eligible to participate in the referendum and help grant Erdogan the victory he is seeking.

The Coup

The past can indicate the future, some say.

Will Erdogan go more rogue?  Decide for yourselves.

Last December 2016, upon Erdogan’s return from a vacation, he barely missed an assassination attempt and was able also to gather the population to help him stop a coup.

Some argued the so-called “coup” was self-organized in order for the President to be able to crush a military he probably knew he could not count on.

What happened in the aftermath

Erdogan and his faction took over the military and incarcerated up to 10,000 men, keeping them in holocaust-comparable conditions.

Tied like animals, with no water, thousands of men were savagely raped and starved for over a month.   Obviously, the goal was to break them and their families, the population at large.

TURKEY: Thousands of soldiers RAPED and STARVED as punishment for attempted coup. Dec. 2016

EU, NATO, and Turkey?

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – JULY 16: An unidentified man uses his belt to hit Turkish soldiers involved in the coup attempt that has now surrendered on Bosphorus Bridge on July 16, 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul’s bridges across the Bosphorus, the strait separating the European and Asian sides of the city, have been closed to traffic.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced an army coup attempt, that has left at least 90 dead 1154 injured in overnight clashes in Istanbul and Ankara. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)

If you can, zoom in on the face of the man in charge of whipping the poor soldiers.   Zoom in also on the other standing men’s faces.  They are smiling, enjoying their evil actions.

Barely a month ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Germany for blocking several rallies there ahead of an April vote in Turkey on boosting his powers as head of state, likening it to Nazi practices.

Turkey applied on April 14, 1987, to become a member of the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union (EU.)

Meanwhile, Turkey has been an associate member since 1963.

The fact that the EU did not reject Turkey’s demand is what is most worrisome in this part of the story, especially considering the “Nazi” behavior of Mr. Erdogan.

Today in Turkey

The Turkish people will try to decide if they can manage to be the majority despite the efforts implemented by the government on behalf of the President.

History is in the making at this precise moment in Turkey and, yes, there is opposition as one can expect.

In the case of a win, will Erdogan go more rogue?  Answer:  Yes.


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