No Longer Invincible, Turkey’s Erdogan Plans His Next Move

No Longer Invincible, Turkey’s Erdogan Plans His Next Move

Turkey’s domestic strife—starting with last summer’s Gezi Park protests and continuing with government corruption scandals and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s public falling out with the powerful Gulen Islamic movement—has forcefully reordered previous assumptions about the trajectory of the country’s politics.

While Erdogan had been expected to push for a new constitution that creates a more powerful presidency—a position Erdogan himself was clearly planning on assuming—that path is now blocked. This has raised questions about Erdogan’s next moves, and whether his failure to fulfill his presidential aspirations augurs further setbacks for the previously invincible leader.

Things certainly looked different three years ago. After Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted and socially conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) decisively won its third parliamentary election in 2011 with an impressive 50 percent of the vote, the prime minister’s future seemed his to dictate. Before the voting, Erdogan’s close associates said the post-election period would be his “usta,” or “master” session. The victorious Erdogan, they suggested, would be free of past obstacles and cruise toward the creation of an American- or French-style powerful presidency and his own coronation in 2014 as Turkey’s first popularly elected head of state. (This year Turkish voters, rather than parliament, will for the first time choose the president.)

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review