Turkey has changed dramatically in the year since its failed military coup. But it is a change that began much earlier in the country, says Rainer Hermann of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The first republic was an imperfect democracy but the new one is neither free nor democratic. It is based on the myth of the "nation" gathered around Erdogan. Anyone who criticizes Erdogan or his religious conservative agenda is labeled an enemy of that "nation." Turkey's state of emergency has made it easy to stigmatize such critics and dissidents as "terrorists" and to persecute them. Firings and arrests have snowballed since the attempted coup. But they began back in 2014, as a reaction to corruption investigations focused on Erdogan's sphere of influence. Lists of names were compiled back then, now those same people are the ones being fired and jailed.
Hope for a new opposition
Early on, opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People's Party (CHP) called last year's event a "controlled coup." He claims that Erdogan had information about plans for the coup and had control over it - nevertheless he decided to let it be carried out. Kilicdaroglu's "Justice March,"which proceeded from Ankara to Istanbul over the last few weeks, will not topple Erdogan, but it does provide some hope.
For years the CHP was Turkey's encrusted state party - now it is redefining itself as an anti-establishment party fighting the new corrupt state party, the AKP. Erdogan has forcefully shown the CHP where its limits are. Recently Kilicdaroglu's deputy was sentenced to 25 years in prison. It is painfully obvious that Turkish leaders are not interested in "the victory of democracy." Not this weekend, nor any time thereafter.