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Právo: Erdogan may say rule of law is what people want

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Prague, July 20 (CTK) – The present-day West will have difficulties seeking arguments with which to oppose Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan because he will react saying that the rule of law means such measures which the people want, Jiri Pehe writes in Pravo yesterday.
Commenting on the developments after the recent abortive coup, he writes that a majority of Western politicians do not dare even to indicate it, but many of them would probably feel relief if the military coup in Turkey succeeded.
Erdogan has for some time been limiting various freedoms, he has gradually been shifting his country towards Islam and blackmailing the European Union and he will probably make use of the coup’s failure to stifle what has yet remained of democracy, Pehe writes.
He writes that Erdogan leans on the people’s majority support, which also lays bare the fundamental dilemma of the present-day West, where the opinion that liberal democracy is an elitist project and that it is necessary to more listen to people has been pronounced more and more strongly.
It is true that in liberal democracies it is also necessary to listen to the people, but at the same the seemingly “elitist” pillars, such as the division of power, secularism of the state, liberal constitutionalism and the rule of law must be respected, Pehe writes.
He writes that democracy without these pillars becomes the tyranny of the majority, as Alexis de Tocqueville, French sociologist (1805-59), warned.
A mere step divides the tyranny of the majority from the tyranny of the individual who declares himself the executor of the wishes of the people, while it is not difficult to shape their “will” with the help of the media after the opposition was suppressed, Pehe writes.
This is how the future of Turkey, a country with the second largest military in Europe, which is following in the footsteps of Russia, a country with the largest military in Europe, looks like, Pehe writes.
Even some post-communist EU member countries quite like this model of non-liberal “democracy,” Pehe writes.
He writes that some Western politicians, acting from the positions of liberal democracy, might like to distinctively set themselves apart from Erdogan, but this is difficult now that a sort of “religion of the people” has been rapidly rising in the West, too.
If the people in Turkey “democratically” elect an Islamic autocracy, no arrogant Western elites and Turkish city intellectuals can prevent them from doing so, Pehe writes.
He writes that it cannot be ruled out that what the radicalised people’s majority wants will soon be the “rule of law” in the West, too.

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