Erdoğan ruling Turkey by deluge of inexplicable decrees - analyst

Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has transformed into an authoritarian system, with the lack of transparency or accountability making it difficult for even Erdoğan supporters to trust the state, wrote Pınar Tremblay, a visiting scholar of political science in Los Angeles at California State Polytechnic University.

Turkey is a country where laws are now arbitrary and the truth invisible, Tremblay wrote in an article she panned for the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, pointing to lack of real information on the inflation rate, COVID-19 infection rate and poverty rate, among others.

Erdoğan has signed over 2,700 presidential decrees since Turkey switched to a presidential system following the June 2018 elections. The system has transferred sweeping executive powers to the president, who rules with only limited checks and balances.

“Erdogan’s government is an endless law generating machine,’’ Tremblay wrote, signing off on “so many presidential decrees, even the law professors cannot keep track.’’

The decrees span from those allowing police and the intelligence agency to acquire heavy weaponry on their own tenders to a decision ordering Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia to be reconverted into a mosque.

Many decrees are mere revisions to previous decrees, the analyst wrote, complicating matters to the point where news agencies have simply given up and journalists who dare explain the truth find themselves in court and sometimes in jail.

Moreover, only four percent of written questions posed to the government were answered at the Parliament last year, Tremblay said, stressing the lack of accountability at even the highest level.

And attempts by pundits for clarification too are met with silence.

“Where accurate data is not available, experts and intellectuals are regularly ridiculed and ignored, we end up mediocre at best,’’ she wrote