Turkey’s Authoritarian Legacy
It’s tempting to blame the country’s recent slide into repression on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s thirst for personal power. But did the ruling Islamist party ever really abandon the country’s long tradition of state authoritarianism?
For years, explaining Turkey’s democratic travails seemed an easy task. There was the persistence of an authoritarian tradition, whose source was identified as Kemalism—the secularist-nationalist founding ideology of the Turkish republic—and which the military embodied. According to the conventional narrative on Turkey, with which anyone who has only casually followed international politics during the last decades will be familiar, the Turkish military had a mission—to “protect secularism”—which explained, so we were taught, its habit of overthrowing governments. All that was needed for Turkish democracy to flourish was the emergence of a force strong enough to end the tutelage of the military.
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 & […]
Illusion’s End: Erdoğan and Turkey’s Coming Economic Chill
The rapid depreciation in the value of the Turkish Lira since the beginning of 2018 is the product not only of the collapse of any remaining vestiges of investor confidence […]
Why Turkey is Authoritarian: From Atatürk to Erdogan
For the last century, the Western world has regarded Turkey as a pivotal case of the ‘clash of civilisations’ between Islam and the West. Why Turkey is Authoritarian offers a […]
Will the Kurdish Question Secure Erdoğan’s Re-election?
The Kurdish question may serve President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, helping to secure his re-election. The election campaign has demonstrated that Erdoğan no longer energizes the masses; after fifteen years in […]