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.
Turkey’s Constitutional Referendum and Erdogan’s Faded Democratic Credentials
The Turkish constitutional referendum of April 16, 2017 dealt yet another blow to President Tayyip Erdoğan’s already faltering claim to democratic legitimacy. Not only did both the referendum and campaign […]
Turkey and Russia: Aggrieved Nativism par excellence
Turkey and Russia have recently both turned to an aggrieved nativism that delegitimizes democratic opposition. This nativism is nationalist, anti-elitist, protectionist, revanchist/irredentist, xenophobic and “macho”. Despite three decades of post-Cold […]
“Weaponizing” the Diaspora: Erdoğan and the Turks in Europe
Scandals have emerged all over Europe over the alleged illicit intelligence activity of organizations loyal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But the issue is considerably larger. The Turkish government […]
Turkspionaget pågår över hela Europa
Ekots rapportering om spioneri och direkta hot mot turkiska regimkritiker i Sverige är graverande men inte förvånande. I både Tyskland och Nederländerna har liknande härvor börjat uppdagas, och utgör föremål […]
Ticking Clocks: Erdoğan and Turkey’s Constitutional Referendum
Whatever the outcome, the Turkish constitutional referendum on April 16 will not resolve the country’s chronic domestic instability, heal its deepening social divisions, revive its flagging economy or end its […]
Can “Constitutional Engineering” Once Again Succeed in Pacifying Turkey?
Historically in Turkey, there is a relationship between the rise of emancipation movements and “constitutional engineering”, between class- or ethnic-based challenges to the established order and the imposition of authoritarian […]