Turkey's ruling AKP governed by system of slavery, says founding member

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is like a tribe set upon a system of enslavement, whose members fear their leader, preventing them from expressing their thoughts, founding AKP member KemalAlbayrak said on Monday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP "uses the judiciary and the state as a tool of revenge,’’ Albayrak, who has resigned from the party, told Sözcü newspaper.

The AKP "spoke of science, law and democracy, but leaned toward oligarchy,’’ Albayrak said. "They spoke of unifying (the nation), but created division.’’

The AKP came to power in 2002 with Islamist politicians making up the backbone of the group that formed Turkey’s first single-party government since 1987.  The party succeeded in carrying out a series of reforms that helped cement its popularity in coming years. 

But the failed coup attempt of 2016 prompted a two-year state of emergency rule, bringing with it a broad crackdown on freedom of expression, with media outlets shuttered, hundreds of journalists jailed or facing charges for alleged terror links.

Moreover, a referendum held during the emergency rule has transferred vast authorities into his hands as Erdoğan, Turkey’s first executive president.

There is no freedom for discussion in the AKP, according to the former ruling party deputy, who cites fear of the party’s leader.

"Fear does not create thought, and where there is no thought, there is slavery,’’ he added. "The AKP is being governed by a system based on slavery and obedience.’’