Has Erdogan’s Attempt to Reshape Turkish Society Hit a Wall?

Turkish police officers arrest demonstrators trying to march to Taksim Square, Istanbul, May 1, 2018 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).
Turkish police officers arrest demonstrators trying to march to Taksim Square, Istanbul, May 1, 2018 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).
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A new mosque in traditional Ottoman style is currently being built in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square. Due to be completed later this year, it is just one of thousands of new mosques going up across Turkey. But the construction in Taksim is particularly symbolic—an apparent sign of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conquest of the political landscape and ability to reshape the Turkish nation in line with his wishes. He is currently campaigning for snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 in which he could further cement his grip. Despite a surprisingly energetic opposition campaign, Erdogan remains the odds-on favorite. […]

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