You have quite a few sto­ries in France about frogs and toads. Since they are mean­ing­ful to you, I’m using the oppor­tu­ni­ty to serve  them up as a metaphor.

These last few days, our Turk­ish TV back­wa­ters were filled with croak­ing con­cern­ing the antic­i­pat­ed pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in June.

True, it allowed for a break from Ottoman-style mil­i­tary cer­e­monies atten­dant to the ads, where one can’t tell any­more if the Reis is prais­ing the dural­i­bil­i­ty of Turk­ish home appli­ances or those of the Nation’s borders.

Two frogs were involved. Two good old frogs accus­tomed to polit­i­cal cun­ning a la tur­ca. One ex Pres­i­dent, Euro­pean Islamist com­pat­i­ble, who has tak­en some dis­tances from his ex com­pan­ion, I have named Abdul­lah Gül, and a fas­cist mak­ing her come­back, Mer­al Akşen­er. Both want­ed to be as big as the bull.

Gül threw in the tow­el last week. He was­n’t lack­ing in encour­age­ments. He must have run out of air.

Yes, we were shown his num­ber as being “the union of the oppo­si­tion.” Pret­ty inflat­ed, to put it mildly.

Between the CHP who has­n’t found its prov­i­den­tial can­di­date and would have glad­ly pus­tu­lat­ed on the ex Pres­i­dent, the new HDP who was ready to kiss the frog if…if…if, and the Asken­er she-wolf, it was sud­den­ly sacred union time among the frogs. So Erdoğan let them croak while he was beat­ing through the coun­try­side on his way to oth­er ponds…

In the lat­est news, Mer­al Akşen­er is still pump­ing iron and as a con­se­quence the CHP (Kemal­ist oppo­si­tion) does­n’t know which way to go on inflat­ing. Mean­while, the HDP has lost a full week before announc­ing a can­di­date when every­one thought, before this grotesque polit­i­cal finag­gling, that it would be its jailed ex-leader who at one time per­son­i­fied the only way out for Turkey.

For­got­ten at once the vic­tims of purges, the resis­tants in jail, the mur­dered pop­u­la­tions, the army in Syr­ia, here we go again with the “elec­tions” and their shenanigans.

Vote use­ful, vote Frog! 

Except this frog did­n’t fall from the sky with the last rain. She could play out the plagues of Egypt all by her­self. She has dragged around the Par­lia­ment five times, and comes from  the good old ultra-nation­al­ist MHP Par­ty (who had quite a few peo­ple mas­sa­cred these past forty years, and not only on the Kur­dish side). As a good politi­cian enam­ored with pow­er, she has man­aged to swim for a while in the con­ser­v­a­tive Islamist waters that served as Erdo­gan’s step­ping stone at one time…she was their Min­is­ter of the Inte­ri­or in 1997, before return­ing to the wolves to start her “good par­ty”. In oth­er words,  she is an old frog who knows how to jump from one stoup to anoth­er, when required. A pure prod­uct of nation­al­ist Turkey, with the required bigotry…

You are going to like her, I’m sure. Plus, she’s a woman. Your sec­u­lar fem­i­nists will be delight­ed. Per­haps they’ll dis­cov­er a trace of mod­ernism in her, at age 65. The CHP is already offer­ing greet­ing gifts for the leg­isla­tive elec­tions… And they’ve just put them­selves through the hoop to seal an alliance.

So June will be  frog fish­ing month? 

I remem­ber, it was…ten years ago already… when Erdoğan was threat­en­ing,  mut­ter­ing in closed cir­cles that “the army would set things right”, as if the coup d’é­tat in 1980 had­n’t made enough vic­tims and we were too forgetful…This time, we’re being offered a sem­blance of a mir­a­cle potion, based on the drool of the prov­i­den­tial batra­cian, in the same imag­i­nary vein.

The only valid rea­son that might con­vince me would be if this elec­tion were the sec­ond round in the ref­er­en­dum in order to stop the imple­men­ta­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion­al reforms… But in the hands of the Grey Wolves, what would absolute pres­i­den­tial pow­er look like?…

Solu­tions against Erdoğan – espe­cial­ly for every­one — will not emerge from an elec­toral fish­ing con­test held in a state of emer­gency, via a fer­vent par­ti­san of Eter­nal Turci­ty.

I can already hear some telling me “it’s that or fas­cism”? Oh, in which version?

 It’s Turkey who is the sick man, not its present Reis.

Turquie • Trou­ver la bonne grenouille de juin Cliquez pour lire

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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