Longtime readers will remember Sabatina James, who has appeared several times in this space, most recently as a speaker at the Brussels conference in 2012. In the following article translated by Rembrandt Clancy she discusses the recent failed coup in Turkey, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan manipulated and exploited to assist his attempts to assume dictatorial powers.
About the Author
Sabatina James was ostracised by her own family and condemned to death because she gave up Islam and professed Christianity. Born in 1982 in Pakistan, she is a publicist living today in a secret location in Germany under police protection. She is an advocate for persecuted Christians and for women in forced marriages. Among her books is Sharia in Germany: When the Laws of Islam Break the Law, which has appeared in the last year.
Erdogan’s Seizure of Power
by Sabatina James
Original German Language Source: Junge Freiheit
Translated by Rembrandt Clancy
21 July 2016
The coup in Turkey automatically reminds us of German history. The attempted assassination of Hitler, along with the endeavour to remove him from power on 20 July 1944, was planned primarily by officers who otherwise may have been unable to act against him. The event was preceded by difficult discussions.
To begin with, Hitler wished to dispense with democracy, but then decided in favour of taking the democratic route to the seizure of power. So on the one hand, he had actually sidelined democracy; yet on the other hand, he came to power electorally, and the Reichstag approved his Enabling Act with a two-thirds majority, keeping in mind that beforehand Hitler had substantially restricted freedom of the press and then also expelled the Communist deputies from parliament so as to achieve this two-thirds majority.
The Reichstag fire was in reality no danger whatsoever to democracy, but Hitler’s previous restrictions on democracy were the real danger. His subsequent purges did not lead to the preservation of democracy as he maintained, but rather more so to its abolition. After the assassination attempt, the officers were accused of an attempted coup; after democratisation, the accusation maintained that the officers had acted much too late and should have intervened much earlier, as soon as the democratic structures were being dismantled. The question of who the real putschist is, Hitler or his adversaries, has been assessed very differently at different times in Germany, even in opposite ways.
Advocacy of Sharia
In the case of Turkey, the situation appeared to be more straightforward, at least as long as one did not look at the situation too closely. Erdogan was no blank slate. As leading member of the Islamistic-fundamentalist party under Erbakan, he became the Lord Mayor of Istanbul. He drew attention with the sentence: Democracy is like a train: we ride it “until we reach our destination”, then we step off.
His public advocacy of sharia through the elimination of democracy earned him an arrest; the sentence was one year in jail and a life-long ban on political activity; in effect, he was never again allowed to hold political offices. To counter this, Erdogan managed a shrewd chess move: he re-established the banned party with fewer explicit formulations, became party leader without himself taking part in elections, won the elections by invoking Islam and had a law passed which served only one purpose: the lifting of the political ban against him.
With that, the way was clear to the highest offices of the state. However, the constitutional state, the separation of powers and democracy had been damaged, especially considering Erdogan had not become opposed to his earlier propositions.