Erdogan’s populism loses appeal

Revival of liberal values means Turkey’s political future is up for grabs, argues Fadi Hakura

The World Today
3 minute READ

Fadi Hakura

Former Consulting Fellow, Europe Programme

Turkish politics has been predictable for more than a generation. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP Justice and Development Party, who came to power after the 2002 election, have centralized decision-making and control over state institutions to an extent unprecedented since the founding of the modern republic in 1923.

In the first five years of his tenure, Erdogan enacted reforms to initiate European Union accession negotiations, adopted a conciliatory stance on the Kurdish question, and implemented an International Monetary Fund restructuring programme negotiated by the previous government.

Abroad, he pursued a ‘zero problems with the neighbours’ policy and pushed for the reunification of Cyprus under a United Nations peace plan that was ultimately rejected by the Greek Cypriots.

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