As the Turkish election campaign reaches its final phase, a consensus is emerging that it should be regarded as a referendum on Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the man who has dominated the nation’s politics for almost two decades.
Erdogan has often boasted that he has never lost an election and, as polls indicate, he is unlikely to lose this time either. Since 2002, he and his AKP (Justice and Development Party) have won five parliamentary elections, three local elections, three referendums and one presidential election.
But what if the victory he expects next week turns out to be a tactical win and a strategic loss?
Erdogan won his first victory in a national election at a time that Turkish politics had hit an impasse and needed radical changes of direction and method. Erdogan provided that change and, at least during his first decade as the captain of the Turkish ship of state, succeeded in steadying the wayward vessel and pointing it towards what looked like peace and prosperity.
Now, however, observers of the Turkish experience are almost unanimous in thinking that not only those promised golden shores may be receding but that Erdogan’s leadership may have led to five new impasses.
via The Turkish Race