Do you suffer from terrible headaches caused by your democracy? Are you tired of different people speaking their minds openly and shamelessly and making you look bad? Do you want to shake things up a little and become an exciting land where bombs can explode any minute and take the lives of dozens, even hundreds? Are you a fan of great leaders from the past like Hitler and want to make sure that you become the sole ruler of an entire nation? Do you think it would be exciting to impose your moral values upon millions and severely repress them if they fail to follow your rules?
If your answer is yes, first of all, congratulations; you are on the right path of becoming one of the great dictators this world has ever seen. Secondly, please find below some key steps to assuring a successful conversion from a democracy into a totalitarian dictatorship, disguised under an umbrella of “conservative democracy”:
- Silence the media and news agencies: Free media is your first nemesis when it comes to creating an atmosphere of repression and fear. Thus, make sure that you silence every single media entity who dares to investigate and write about what your government may or may not have done. We have an impressive record of almost 800 journalists fired, while 156 detained and nearly 500 legal actions taken against journalists by judicial authorities, and that is only last year! Do some journalists write about your intelligence helping to ship arms to Syrian Islamist rebel groups, including the feared DAESH organization? No worries! Just arrest them with charges of treason and divulging state secrets! That would teach them! We currently rank as 149th out of 180 countries on theReporters Without Borders news media freedom index and we hope to make the 180th someday in the near future.
- Allow all extremist groups to cross freely from your country to wherever: Let’s be clear. Bashar Assad is a monster and we don’t want him torturing anyone else. His time of ruling Syria with an iron fist has ended. It is time for our true Muslim brothers to finally build a true Sharia-ruled country-and torture those infidels who deserve it instead. And no, Iran doesn’t count! Those arrogant Shiites don’t know anything about our true faith. Don’t make us remind you that we still don’t recognize Alevism, which is a common branch of Shiites in Turkey, as an official religion, and we even consider them heretics. Just send in some trucks filled with rocket parts, ammunition and semi-finished mortar shells to help our DAESH brothers and if caught, deny relentlessly and hunt down anyone who says otherwise.
- Who needs diplomacy and peace talks when you can bomb anywhere you like?: Diplomacy is an ingenious tool that the Westerners came up with and doesn’t solve anything. Why bother talking to Putin when you can simply shoot down his aircraft after it flew a mile into your country for 17 seconds? In our defense, they must have been striking ISIS-controlled areas, since they are open supporters of Bashar Assad. So Putin gets mad at your country, so what? We only import nearly 60% of our gas and 30% of our oil from them. OK, nearly 4 million Russians visited Turkey and created millions of jobs and venues, but that’s alright, who needs them? And yes, exports to Russia created a revenue of nearly 6 billion dollars for the Turkish economy and Putin might put an end to all of that. So what?
- Criticize one country for crimes against humanity, then go and commit some of the same yourself: Let’s be clear. No one is allowed to commit crimes against humanity towards the communities that you deem “likeable”. For instance, Palestine has always been a difficult subject when it comes to Turkey-Israel relations. Once one of the most important allies of Turkey, Israel had seen herself pushed back by the AKP administration, who even went so far as to compare them to the Paris attackers where dozens lost their lives and claimed that their approach to Palestinians must be considered as crimes against humanity. After all, Netanyahu murdered innocent kids and civilians! Yes! But wait, you’d say, aren’t you also doing the same thing? Yes, we moved our heavy tanks and artillery to the South East region and turned dozens of urban and civil districts into a war zone. Some hundreds of thousands of civilians had to flee their homes (that is, when they can) since we also put them under a tight lockdown and we directly shoot if anyone dares to go out of their homes for food and other commodities. And we accept that some civilians also had to die in the process of regaining our territory from the Kurdish rebels, but that is just collateral damage. It is not the same thing. We don’t like the Kurds, hence, that is not the same thing as in Palestine. You should try the same approach in your country.
- Compare yourself to Adolf Hitler and get away with it: This one is quite tricky, however, if you manage to do this, you can make sure that your country will be considered an incredible and news-worthy country filled with oxymorons. If you lack the skills on how to ace this step, just follow the footsteps of our democratic dictator, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan. When asked about why you’d rather have a presidential system, just give an example from history where it worked out just fine, like Hitler’s Germany. If you are brave enough, you can take it to the next level and say that you’ll have as many elections as it takes until you become the sole ruler, sorry, sole president of the country.
Following these steps would open the path of a totalitarian regime, just the way we like it. However, as one never ceases to learn and live new experiences, stay tuned for more success stories from Turkey.