Just a decade ago Turkey had met the set of democracy and governance-related requirements as a candidate for the European Union. Their economy was booming and their policy of keeping peace with neighbours allowed them to trade with ease and efficiency. They were setting themselves as a model democracy for the Middle East and the Muslims.
However, there has been a growing call by the Muslims across the globe for Islam to be implemented politically and not just spiritually. In order to preserve the progress Turkey had made, She had to listen to these wishes in a way that would not send liberal democracy a death sentence.
Thus began the brandishing of the Holy Qur’an by Erdogan in order to quell the thirst of the Muslims. It included the introduction of interest-free banking and tougher laws on religious marriages and adultery.
However this move to a more ‘Islamic’-coated democracy, which is far from Islam, has introduced other domestic issues which were kept quiet a decade ago. The once quiet neighbour policy of the Turkish government to an aggressive stance that heavily includes themselves in the Syria and Iraq quagmire as well as the forerunner in the refugee crises, has brought about terrorist attacks and a struggling economy that has now broken ties with Russia that supplied 60% of its countries energy after the downing of the Russian jet.
What has this new turn in Turkish politics achieved?
- When the Muslims lose their high standard of living, it’ll bring doubts into many that Islam cannot play any role in politics, even though currently this form of picking and choosing from Islam does not make a secular state into an Islamic state.
- The Muslims have experienced gradualism under the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and now a democracy led by ‘Islamists’ – both which have failed them domestically, in order to make the Muslims lose hope in Islam as a political ideology.
- Turkey will fall into the arms of both the EU and the U.S. which will force it to abandon the little Islam it has in governance in return for a booming economy and strong alliance once again.