Western norms, standards and principles are “fundamentally against the functioning of political Islam in Turkey, including in other countries where Islam claims to rule,” Aktar said.
For Aktar, a mixture of Western ideals and local dynamics could have allowed political Islam to create a Muslim counterpart to Christian democracy, but the opportunity was missed.
2013 has been a critical year in this sense, Aktar said, with two important events that shaped Turkey. The first was a peaceful protest in a public park in the heart of Istanbul that shook the Turkish government.
The Gezi protests began as a small sit-in against plans to destroy a small park in Taksim, one of the city’s last green spaces, to make way for a shopping center in May 2013. They quickly grew. turned into nationwide mass protests after the extreme methods used by the police to disperse the protest.
A total of 11 people were killed in protests over the summer, and 8,000 others were injured by police, tear gas, water cannons, baton charges and occasionally live ammunition.
In December of the same year, a corruption scandal involving senior officials of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government and members of their family shook the political landscape. “The Bribery and Bribery Operation,” as it was called at the time, was a criminal investigation that resulted in the arrest of 52 members of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in power in Erdoğan.
Aktar pointed out that the Turkish strongman began to feel “a huge phobia” in the aftermath of the second half of 2013. He disagrees with those who argued that Erdoğan was against democracy from the start. of his political career.
“This is not true, he started to completely change the way he ran the country after a certain point,” Aktar said, adding that over time he had become a “full-fledged dictator.”
Aktar also spoke of Turkey’s destabilized relations with the West. For Aktar, Turkey has lost a lot after its relations with European states began to fail.
“Third countries in the Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa also lost because Turkey meant something to these countries,” he said.
That Turkey was a country that would coexist peacefully with the West was an extremely important message to Western countries, Aktar said. “It’s gone too,” he said.
For Aktar, the West also missed an opportunity to include Turkey in the European continent and to solve its problems in cooperation with Turkey. “Therefore, it is a common failure,” he said.