Turkey Under Erdogan: How a Country Turned from Democracy and the West
Since coming to power in 2002 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has overseen a radical transformation of Turkey. Once a pillar of the Western alliance, the country has embarked on a militaristic foreign policy, intervening in regional flashpoints from Nagorno-Karabakh to Libya. And its democracy, sustained by the aspiration to join the European Union, has given way to one-man rule.
Dimitar Bechev traces the political trajectory of Erdoğan’s populist regime, from the era of reform and prosperity in the 2000s to the effects of the war in neighboring Syria. In a tale of missed opportunities, Bechev explores how Turkey parted ways with the United States and Europe, embraced Putin’s Russia and other revisionist powers, and replaced a frail democratic regime with an authoritarian one. Despite this, he argues that Turkey’s democratic instincts are resilient, its economic ties to Europe are as strong as ever, and Erdoğan will fail to achieve a fully autocratic regime.