Topic:

Erdogan

Erdoğan vs. the Free Press

| April 27, 2018

The takeover of Turkey’s largest independent media group by an Erdoğan crony was not unexpected given the troubles and systematic state harassment suffered by the Dogan Media Company over the past decade. After the takeover, the opposition media will be limited to one large-circulation daily, a couple of small, left-wing newspapers, and a number of small digital platforms, with the third group now facing new pressure from the government.

The Islamization of Turkey

| April 22, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is focusing his Islamization policy on the education system in his bid to raise a “pious generation”. “Jihad” has become a frequent reference in the Turkish regime’s rhetoric, while Syrians in the country and in areas controlled by Turkish troops in northern Syria are eating off the same plate. The international community should act to stop a “Turkish bin Laden” in the making and al-Qaeda-like authoritarian rule.

Trump’s Security Strategy: Its Messages for Turkey

| January 7, 2018

US President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled National Security Strategy paper does not specifically mention Turkey. Some Turks think this is good, as any mention would likely have been negative. But some think it is bad for Turkish interests because the absence of a mention highlights Turkey’s diminishing political clout in its region. Regardless, the strategy paper has messages for Ankara on several wavelengths.

Political Economy in the Name of Erdoğan

| December 18, 2017

The failed coup attempt against President Erdoğan shook Turkish society and accelerated Erdoğan’s concentration of power. The Turkish economy also suffered a shock, with the lira dropping in value, a flight of foreign investment, and an increase in inflation. The tension between Ankara and the West continues to mount, adding to the country’s economic uncertainty. In anticipation of the 2019 elections, the opposition parties hope the economic issue will adversely affect the Justice and Development Party. However, Turkey’s domestic consumption and growing exports have produced a challenging but stable economic picture that should benefit Erdoğan.

Why Does the Average Turk Love Erdoğan?

| December 10, 2017

A quick glance at Turkey’s facts and figures helps to explain why the Turks love their leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. There are striking parallels between the political sociology of the average Turkish voter and Erdoğan’s Islamist worldview. In a way, Erdoğan is what the average Turk sees when he looks in the mirror.

A Turkish-EU Opera Buffa

| August 17, 2017

Turkey says it wants to join the EU, but has no intention of complying with membership rules. The EU says it wants Turkey to join, but is fully aware that it does not qualify. Turkey pushes forward in the hope that the EU might someday change its rules; the EU pushes forward in the hope that Turkey might someday qualify. Neither will happen.

Erdogan’s “Language Revolution” Epitomizes His Anti-Western and Cultural Islamism

| July 4, 2017

In deeply polarized Turkey, words are not just words. It has been part of Erdoğan’s campaign to make Turkey more Islamic and more Turkish. In his view, this entails ridding the Turkish language of “foreign” words – but foreign, to Erdoğan, does not include Arabic.

Turkey’s Rants, Raves, and Ramifications

Turkey’s Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who recently won a referendum granting him sweeping new powers, has launched a sharp attack on Israel regarding the Palestinians, Gaza, and Jerusalem. It is possible that this attack was part of a Turkish effort to gain hearts and minds in Arab countries.

The Turkish Referendum: A Turning Point?

| April 20, 2017

The legitimacy of the recent Turkish referendum is under dispute, further polarizing an already divided Turkish society. With no effective mechanisms for conflict resolution, and headed by an authoritarian Erdoğan, Turkey is heading towards a socio-political crisis. This might include a deteriorating economy, a flight of elites, and possibly even violence. Turkish nationalism remains very strong, however, and can be enlisted to divert attention from Turkey’s domestic problems. Erdoğan might decide to use his increased power to pursue an adventurist foreign policy rooted in his Islamist and neo-Ottoman impulses.

Turkey: Divided We Stand

| April 18, 2017

The referendum victory of April 16, 2017, which gave Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unchecked powers, has left Turkey bitterly polarized. Fresh rounds of political tensions are likely in a country where half the population loves the president and the other half hates him. Erdoğan’s longer-term game plan is to ensure that Turkey will continue to elect conservative, nationalist presidents and governments after his day is done.