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Erdogan's victory to empower presidential republic, Islam — expert

August 11, 2014, 15:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

President of the Russian Institute of the Middle East Yevgeny Satanovsky says the newly elected president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will seek to expand his authorities

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MOSCOW, August 11. /ITAR-TASS/. The victory in the presidential elections of Recep Tayyip Erdogan promises restructuring parliamentarian Turkey into a presidential republic and gradual curtailing of secular society, President of the Russian Institute of the Middle East Yevgeny Satanovsky told ITAR-TASS.

Once in the president’s chair, Erdogan will seek to expand his authorities, the expert said, and the Turkish society does not have forces to counter his attempts.

“Erdogan can do everything, as we know from experience, his opponents never succeeded in defeating him,” Satanovsky said. “Even his former ally and the Islamic opinion leader in Turkey Fethullah Gulen suffered a crushing defeat, though he had dozens of thousands of supporters. However, when he disagreed with Erdogan, his supporters were very quickly purged.”

“The army was purged and neutralized long ago. Old-time generals were pensioned off or are set to go to prison in the Ergenekon case. Officers are appointed from the ranks of Erdogan supporters, Islamic people,” the expert added. “As for the protesters on Taksim Square, they can do whatever they like. Erdogan has become president, and you can do nothing about it. If they failed to do anything about it, as did the army and Gulen, who can change anything now, when he won the presidential election, and his was a rather sweeping victory?”

As Erdogan won, Satanovsky said, Islam would inevitable play a more important role in Turkey’s social life.

“Secular society in Turkey was created by Kamal Ataturk. But there is no more Ataturk Turkey, it is now the Turkey of Erdogan. The election results came as the final confirmation,” Satanovksy said. “Erdogan leans towards Islamists, radical Islamists at that, if we consider Hamas a terrorist organization. After all, the Justice and Development Party is to the same degree a clone of the Muslim Brotherhood as Hamas. Such a leader will not do the Turkish secular society any good.”

In his foreign policy, Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party sought to increase Turkey’s influence in the region, Satanovksy said.

“Erdogan’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu overtly says they are “the new Ottomans”. Hardly anyone failed to describe them as the new Ottoman Porte. The only difference is that they send in not the Janissaries but banks and trade companies,” the expert said.

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