Erdoğan will cover up his errors with even bigger mistakes, columnist says

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is consistently making errors that he will try to cover up with even bigger mistakes, a columnist writing in Cumhuriyet said on Thursday.

Mustafa Balbay, a journalist and a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said many of Erdoğan’s recent decisions have backfired on him.

He said Erdoğan’s decision to ban opposition-controlled municipalities from collecting aid during the COVID-19 pandemic had even dismayed supporters of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Balbay also said that celebrations in response to the decision to re-convert the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque had been muted, and that Erdoğan had also angered some among the AKP’s parliamentary ally, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party, over his implicit criticism of Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who had signed a decree in 1934 to turn the site into a museum.

A recent law to decentralise bar associations, seen by the CHP and many rights groups as an attempt to weaken the power of lawyers who are critical towards the government over human rights abuses and erosion of the rule of law, was also being slated by some AKP figures.

Balbay said the government is now trapped in a negative feedback loop of its own making.

“The AKP will try to cover up its mistakes with bigger errors,” he said.

Turkish Minute

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