When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Turkey, Beware Of Erdogan's Blind Faith In Majority Rule

Portraits of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Selcuk on Sept. 27
Portraits of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Selcuk on Sept. 27
Nuray Mert


ISTANBUL — The 2010 referendum to change Turkey's constitution to give more power to the presidency prevailed in part because of the "It Is Not Enough, But Yes" call for support. I voted "No" then. And now, as it appears that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to hold another referendum that will give even more power to the executive, I will vote "No" again. And this time, "No" is not enough.

With a referendum due next spring to finalize the reinforced presidential system, it is necessary to begin speaking about the vote now. And speaking loudly and clearly: I vote "No!"

I do not say this because I am against an Erdogan presidency. I am opposed to a "Turkish type presidency" and it would not be any different if the leader was someone with whom I agreed on political matters.

The "Turkish type presidency," or "unitary presidency" as it is sometimes called, is the search for a system for coalescing power around a single individual. The system that Erdogan's allies have described would feature no separation of powers, no independent judiciary, no real measures to safeguard rights and freedoms. This is the issue, not Erdogan.

You can't elect a sultan

This system risks creating an authoritarian regime. Its proponents see features such as a separation of powers, checks and balances, and guarantees of individual freedom as political weakness. Their approach to democracy says: "Let us deliver our will to a strong leader and he will know what to do with it" — the rest is just chatter.

Such an executive presidency, for its supporters, is ultimately the next-best alternative since you can't elect a sultan.

This thing we call "elections" is the result of the idea of modern politics and the majority of the people. But if we are talking about an order in which the dictum of religion will prevail, its reference cannot be "the people" or "the majority of the people." And nobody yet has been able to answer the question of how the dictum of religion may be applied to politics since the determination of what is "right" in a religion cannot be assigned to the will of the majority .

The mania for rule-by-majority reduces democracy to its most primal state. Instead, a modern democracy is a system in which as many different sectors of society as possible are included within the governing mechanisms. In contrast, what we call the "will of the people" is a secular-mystic concept invented to replace the religious references of the past. It's not hard to see why the right-wing, nationalist and Islamist political culture is pushing the rule-by-majority edict further and further away — the majority of Turkey is Sunni, Muslim and Turkish.

So, to return to our main point, the executive presidential system risks sliding quickly into a modern authoritarian regime that relies on the majority as the sole reference. I say a loud and clear "No" to this prospect but I also believe that we should go the extra mile to explain to others why we say no.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Look At This Crap! The "Enshittification" Theory Of Why The Internet Is Broken

The term was coined by journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the fatal drift of major Internet platforms: if they were ever useful and user-friendly, they will inevitably end up being odious.

A photo of hands holding onto a smartphone

A person holding their smartphone

Gilles Lambert/ZUMA
Manuel Ligero


The universe tends toward chaos. Ultimately, everything degenerates. These immutable laws are even more true of the Internet.

In the case of media platforms, everything you once thought was a good service will, sooner or later, disgust you. This trend has been given a name: enshittification. The term was coined by Canadian blogger and journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the inevitable drift of technological giants toward... well.

The explanation is in line with the most basic tenets of Marxism. All digital companies have investors (essentially the bourgeoisie, people who don't perform any work and take the lion's share of the profits), and these investors want to see the percentage of their gains grow year after year. This pushes companies to make decisions that affect the service they provide to their customers. Although they don't do it unwillingly, quite the opposite.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

Annoying customers is just another part of the business plan. Look at Netflix, for example. The streaming giant has long been riddling how to monetize shared Netflix accounts. Option 1: adding a premium option to its regular price. Next, it asked for verification through text messages. After that, it considered raising the total subscription price. It also mulled adding advertising to the mix, and so on. These endless maneuvers irritated its audience, even as the company has been unable to decide which way it wants to go. So, slowly but surely, we see it drifting toward enshittification.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest