Erdogan Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Le choix tragique d’Erdogan

CAMBRIDGE – Depuis la première victoire de son parti aux élections législatives de fin 2002, le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan est obsédé par l’idée d’être renversé par un coup d’État. Il avait en effet de bonnes raisons de le craindre. Les élites ultra-laïques des appareils judiciaire et militaire n’ont jamais caché l’antipathie qu’elles éprouvaient pour Erdogan et ses alliés politiques.

Erdogan avait été plus tôt condamné à une peine de prison pour avoir lu un poème d’inspiration religieuse lors d’un meeting, ce qui l’a empêché d’assumer immédiatement sa charge de Premier ministre après la victoire du Parti de la justice et du développement (AKP) aux élections de novembre 2002. En 2007, l’armée a publié un communiqué déclarant qu’elle s’opposait à la candidature à la présidence d’Erdogan – essentiellement une figure de proue à l’époque – ou de tout autre candidat de l’AKP. Et en 2008, la Cour constitutionnelle turque avait de peu manqué de voter la dissolution de l’AKP, en le jugeant coupable d’être un « foyer d’activités anti-laïques ».

Ces efforts de la vieille garde eurent finalement un résultat inverse de celui escompté en renforçant la popularité d’Erdogan. Son emprise grandissante sur le pouvoir aurait pu le rassurer et l’inciter à adopter une approche politique moins conflictuelle. Mais dans les années qui suivirent, les gülenistes – partisans du prédicateur en exil Fethullah Gülen et ses alliés de l’époque – parvinrent à transformer son obsession en une véritable paranoïa.

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