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Senjata Rahasia Demokrasi di Turki

OXFORD – Upaya kudeta gagal di Turki lagi-lagi menyoroti kerentanan sebuah negara terhadap pengambilalihan kekuasaan oleh militer. Namun peristiwa tersebut juga menyingkap aset terbaru – dan sangat ampuh – sebuah aset yang layak dipupuk oleh negara-negara tetangganya: penduduk kelas menengah (middle class) yang kuat serta siap dan mampu dimobilisasi melawan ancaman ekstremis. Nah, pertanyaan yang harus dijawab Turki adalah: apakah Presiden Recep Tayyip Erdoğan akan memperkuat aset tersebut atau tidak. Bagi Timur Tengah secara keseluruhan, isunya adalah bagaimana membangun kelas menengah yang sanggup menjaga stabilitas.

Ketika ribuan orang memenuhi jalanan di kota Istanbul pada tengah malam, dalam upaya melawan aktor kudeta militer, jelas bahwa itu merupakan bentuk aksi kolektif yang perkasa – sebuah aksi yang patut dikagumi pemimpin politik manapun, apalagi jika ingin memperkuat negaranya. Analisis kudeta condong berfokus pada persaingan di dalam elite Turki dan kelemahan Erdoğan (pastinya tidak sedikit). Namun analisis tentang pergeseran struktural dalam ekonomi politik yang telah memberdayakan kelas menengah Turki masih relatif terbatas, padahal kelompok inilah yang melandasi pendirian Partai Keadilan dan Pembangunan (AKP).

Selama 20 tahun terakhir, Turki memberlakukan sejumlah aksi hebat di bidang perekonomian yang akhirnya menyembuhkan negara lesu di Eropa menjadi salah satu negara dengan ekonomi yang solid dan jantung perdagangan di Timur Tengah. Kunci keberhasilan transformasi ini adalah investasi pada infrastruktur, dukungan pada usaha menengah, ekspansi perdagangan regional, dan pengembangan sektor pariwisata.

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