On August 10, Turks go to the polls in an election widely expected to deliver another electoral victory for Turkey’s strongman, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His election is likely to be the result of a now-typical combination of circumstances: a formidable campaign machine, a weak opposition, a strong economy – but also a widespread use of administrative and financial resources that have tilted Turkey’s electoral playing field, and means that the country’s elections may still be free, but certainly not fair. Erdoğan will view his election as a coronation; as a confirmation that he is now the undisputed leader of Turkey. Few will note that he is technically moving to a less powerful position – and in this sense, the main implication of his move to the presidential palace is likely to be a further de-institutionalization of power in Turkey.
The Rise and Rise of the Turkish Right
Since March 31, the defeat in Turkey of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic conservative Justice and Development Party, the A.K.P., and its ultranationalist electoral partner Nationalist Movement Party, the M.H.P., in municipal […]
The Myth of Erdogan’s Power
Far from a sultan, the Turkish president is hemmed in by the nationalists who back him—and they don’t want him to get too close to Russia. This month, Turkish President […]
Turkey’s election reveals the durability of nationalism
Suat Kiniklioglu was formerly deputy chairman of external affairs for Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) before parting ways in 2012. He is a senior fellow at the Institute for Security & […]
A Road to Understanding in Syria?
Getting to better relations with Turkey will not be easy. But it’s far from impossible. In early June, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu […]
Turkey’s Emergency Election: The Primacy of Raison d’etat
It is not President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “power hunger” that accounts for Turkey’s snap presidential and general election. Instead, raison d’état is behind this event, which will enshrine presidential rule. […]
Living on Different Planets: Washington, Ankara and the Zarrab Case
Reza Zarrab’s testimony in early December to a New York court was hardly helpful in breaking the impasse in Turkish-American relations. By implicating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan directly in […]