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公投结果有可能令土耳其进一步两极分化

布鲁金斯学会 2017-04-21 08:44
摘要:土耳其上周日举行公投,51.4%的选民赞成一揽子修宪举措,让土耳其从议会制改为总统制,48.6%的选民反对。一旦2019年修正案生效,它们将会极大地巩固土耳其现任总统埃尔多安的行政权,而对他的制衡会非常有限。许多观察人士认为,这将加剧土耳其近期滑向独裁主义的趋势,进一步削弱先前获得的民主成果。

Referendum results risk further polarization in Turkey

原文标题:Referendum results risk further polarization in Turkey

中文摘要:布鲁金斯学会专家Kemal Kirisci在《公投结果有可能令土耳其进一步两极分化》一文中说,土耳其上周日举行公投,51.4%的选民赞成一揽子修宪举措,让土耳其从议会制改为总统制,48.6%的选民反对。一旦2019年修正案生效,它们将会极大地巩固土耳其现任总统埃尔多安的行政权,而对他的制衡会非常有限。许多观察人士认为,这将加剧土耳其近期滑向独裁主义的趋势,进一步削弱先前获得的民主成果。土耳其新的治理形式不太可能帮助解决该国面临的诸多国内外挑战,包括结束围绕库尔德问题的暴力行为,振兴经济,以及帮助结束叙利亚冲突。尽管心存忧虑,但和平公投的事实——而且参与率超过85%——应该被视为成功。然而,这种成功很快被日益增多的违规指控掩盖,这已导致零星的抗议活动,暗示土耳其可能会进入长时间的争论期。不以多数主义、“赢家通吃”的方式解释公投结果将非常关键。土耳其领导人应设法克服两极分化,鼓励和解。(编译:刘小云)

原文:

Turkey’s referendum on Sunday, the electorate voted 51.4 percent in favor and 48.6 percent against a package of constitutional amendments that will transform Turkey from a parliamentary into a presidential system. Once the amendments take effect in 2019, they will enable the current president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an to enjoy dramatically enhanced executive powers with very limited checks and balances. Many observers believe that this will exacerbate Turkey’s recent slide into authoritarianism, further eroding the democratic gains from an earlier era.

The president and his prime minister, Binali Y?ld?r?m, declared the result a decisive victory that they argued reflected the will of the people, saying this would be the beginning of a new era. A pro-government newspaper called it a “people’s revolution.” Addressing the nation from the balcony of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters in Ankara, Y?ld?r?m was careful to emphasize unity: “there are no losers,” he said, “all votes are of equal value to us and we will protect the rights of all citizens irrespective of how they voted.” Erdo?an’s tone, on the other hand, sounded much more uncompromising, if not confrontational. As he addressed his supporters in Istanbul, he seemed to disregard the will of the other nearly-half of the electorate, and showed no signs of changing his controversial style of politics.

For his part, the main opposition leader Kemal K?l??daro?lu—of the Republican People’s Party (CHP)—argued that a constitution is meant to represent a societal consensus and serve as a source of reconciliation. Indeed, the referendum results and their distribution across the country project a deeply divided Turkey. Metropolitan centers such as Ankara, Antalya, Istanbul, and Izmir—three of which are governed by AKP mayors—as well as all the provinces along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, voted “no,” together with many of the Kurdish populated southeastern regions of Turkey. The “yes” votes came largely from along the Black Sea coast, including Erdo?an’s home province as well as conservative parts of central and eastern Anatolia. However, Erdo?an’s alliance with Devlet Bah?eli, the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), seems to have fallen short of bringing about a satisfactory result for either party, despite all the bravado that marked their language. The overall share of ”yes” votes suggests a decrease of roughly 10 points compared to the percentage of votes that AKP and MHP were able to get in the November 2015 national election.

Shortcomings to consider

Turkey will move into a completely new system of governance in 2019. The results, however, should be interpreted with three key points in mind.

First, the electorate went to the polls Sunday without having had a chance to form an informed opinion about the constitutional amendments and what exactly they’d mean for Turkey’s future. The government framed the reforms as a desperately needed transformation if the country is to face its many challenges, most notably recent security threats. The “no” campaigners, on the other hand, were not given a fair chance to put forward their case and explain to the electorate why the amendments risked adversely affecting Turkish democracy and governance. As The Economist pointed out, it was “Yes” supporters who enjoyed overwhelming access to the media, while critics—be them politicians, journalists, or others—were muzzled if not detained through the various provisions of the state of emergency rule. Notably, even the prime minister—a staunch Erdo?an loyalist—remarked that the country never had a chance to discuss the proposed amendments. The referendum was more a popularity contest for Erdo?an than a learned vote on the content of the proposals.

The referendum was more a popularity contest for Erdo?an than a learned vote on the content of the proposals.

Second, President Erdo?an was never able to answer the crucial question as to why, exactly, he needed such a system overhaul. After all, when he took leadership of the country in 2003, Erdo?an ushered through a long list of reforms that elevated the quality of Turkish democracy and the country’s economic performance—to the point where other countries considered it a model. Then-President Obama acknowledged Turkey’s impressive performance during a 2009 visit, when he addressed the Turkish parliament. In 2012, Obama named Erdo?an among the top-five world leaders he trusted. So why does a government system that has served Erdo?an so well need to be changed so dramatically? It was never explained. Instead, Erdo?an and his government argued vaguely that Turkey was facing internal and external conspiracies threatening its stability and unity, and that they were essentially fighting for a second national liberation war, reminiscent of the first one fought against occupying Western powers after the end of the First World War.

Finally, the constitutional amendments risk bringing Turkey back to where it was in the late 1940s, when it first set out on its democratization process from a single-party system. From then on, Turkey has sought to improve its democracy and rule of law, but it was always an uphill battle, especially given the numerous military interventions. The most conspicuous gains to democratic governance—in which pluralism and rule of law were respected—were achieved under Erdo?an’s leadership. But these gains have eroded in the last couple of years, and Turkey is now characterized by an increasingly majoritarian understanding of democracy—if not outright authoritarianism. This risks bringing Turkey back to where it was seven decades ago.

In need of a new trajectory

Turkey’s new form of governance is unlikely to help address many of the internal and external challenges it faces, ranging from ending the violence surrounding the Kurdish question to reviving the economy and helping to bring the conflict in Syria to an end.

In spite of the concerns raised above, the very fact that a peaceful referendum has been held—and that the participation rate was over 85 percent—should be regarded a success. However, this success is fast being overshadowed by growing allegations of irregularities, which have already engendered sporadic protests—suggesting that Turkey may be entering a long period of contestation.

It is going to be very critical that the results of the referendum are not interpreted in a majoritarian, “winner-takes-all” manner. Turkey’s leaders should adopt an approach to overcome polarization and encourage reconciliation. However, Erdo?an’s speech to his party supporters was not very promising in that sense. He continued to blame the West and says he is considering the restitution of capital punishment. This is a discourse that betrays the days when his governance was touted as a model, his relations with the West were at their best, and adherence to liberal values most promising.

责任编辑:刘小云