Turkey's Transition to Presidentialism: From Populism to Authoritarianism
November 30, 2016 from 2:00pm-4:00pm EST
Georgetown University, CCAS Boardroom (ICC 241), Washington, DC
Speakers: Dr. Steven Cook, Council on Foreign Relations
Dr. Aykan Erdemir, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Dr. Sinan Ciddi, Insitute of Turkish Studies
Download PosterOnce hailed as a democratic 'model' for the Middle East, Turkey is increasingly perceived to be an authoritarian regime. Confronted with challenges and threats to his base of power, ranging from the Gezi Park protests, to the corruption allegations which surfaced in 2013, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has increasingly relied on populism, polarization, and nationalism as instruments of governance. The unfolding of a series of events, namely, the collapse of peace process with the insurgent Kurdish PKK, the start of a blood-feud with his ally-turned-foe Fetullah Gulen, and Western reactions to his increasing authoritarian rule, has increasingly emboldened Erdogan, and fed his long-time-dream of transforming the Turkey's political regime into a Presidential one. The failed coup attempt of July 15th provided Erdogan with an unprecedented opportunity to crackdown on opposition, as well as speed up the process of regime transition.