Gatestone Institute: How Democracies Decay

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by Burak Bekdil  •  May 2, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • Turkey's stealth Islamism and authoritarian practices are no longer stealth.

  • It is a powerful analogy showing how theoretically "democratic" Turkey is moving in the same direction as Germany's Weimar Republic did after 1933, in passing unconstitutional legislation.

Istanbul riot police rough up fans of the band Grup Yorum who protested the government's cancellation of the band's concert, April 12, 2015. The police stated that permission for the concert was revoked because it could have led to "undesired incidents" in the current "tense period."

"That [Turkey] sounds to me like the late Weimar Republic. So I would have no difficulty at all in agreeing that the logics of certain possibilities are being put together in ways that seem very reminiscent to the broader context of right-wing thought in Weimar Republic, especially after 1930." Thus commented Geoff Eley, a British-born historian whose early work focused on the radical nationalism in Imperial Germany, and, in Italy, fascism.

It is a powerful analogy showing how theoretically "democratic" Turkey is moving in the same direction as Germany's Weimar Republic did after1933.

Historians often refer to Germany's federal republic and semi-presidential representative democracy, which in 1919 replaced imperial rule, as the Weimar Republic.

After a period of relatively liberal democracy, President Paul von Hindenburg in 1930 assumed dictatorial emergency powers to back the administrations of three German chancellors, and finally Hitler.