Recep Tayyip Erdogan's swearing-in as Turkey's new all-powerful president is the culmination of a long quest. But Turkey remains divided, and Germany must not abandon the Turkish opposition, says DW's Gunnar Köhne.
Erdogan can do all of that — it's just that then the economic and political growth he has long promisedwill fail to materialize. Instead, the fall of the Turkish lira and galloping inflation are the first signs of a serious crisis.
It still remains unclear if the new regime will function. Erdogan promised Turkish citizens that he would replace the cumbersome bureaucracy with a system that actually works. At the same time he has created dozens of vice presidential positions and advisory commissions whose competencies remain unclear. Erdogan wants to control everything personally, but he also needs colleagues who can do more than just be loyal to him.
Europe must not abandon the opposition
Erdogan can only implement his plans with an iron fist. If he relaxes, the country will become ungovernable. He knows this, yet he's once again showing conciliatory signs, such as his announcement to appoint politically independent experts as ministers. But more than anything else, such signals should be seen as attempts to calm foreign countries and investors.
A dark period is now beginning for Turks who support democracy. Never before have they had such an all-powerful opponent as Erdogan. Yet despite the despondency that took hold after the electoral defeat, the Turkish opposition will soon remember its strengths.
Germany and Europe should not leave the opposition alone in the future. We should guarantee safety to dissidents forced to flee and increase the pressure on Ankara. The EU made the right decision when it chose to provisionally end all talks over expanding the customs union with Turkey. And EU accession talks can also end immediately. As it stands now, there's really no point anymore.