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What exactly is the 'New Turkey?'

The “New Turkey” that President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan hails in every speech simply refers to a Turkey ruled by religious conservatives.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (2nd-R) is congratulated after being named prime minister and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) during a party meeting in Ankara on August 21, 2014. Turkey's president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan named Davutoglu to succeed him as ruling party leader and prime minister, promoting an ally who is expected to show unstinting loyalty to the new head of state. AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN        (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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These days, the key concept in Turkey’s political lexicon is “New Turkey.” President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan hails it in every speech, as do members of his Cabinet and political team. Pro-Erdogan writers reserve their columns for the praises of New Turkey, reminding readers that the old one is thankfully gone and that those who long for it have lost. But what exactly does “New Turkey” mean?

It is hard to tell, because the narrative is often vague. We are told simply that New Turkey will be a place where “democracy” will be consolidated, and the era of military coups and interventions will be forever in the past. This is, of course, good news, but we are also told that that democracy is only about the ballots and hardly anything else. In fact, to assert that “democracy is not just about the ballots” has become taboo, sparking reactions from Erdogan and his ardent supporters. They apparently presume that those who say such a thing are justifying military coups against elected governments, as was the case in Egypt.

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