All the PM's Conspiracies
The End of Erdogan

Even if his party manages to scrape by in Turkey’s upcoming municipal elections on March 30, Prime Minister Erdogan has already done irreparable harm to his brand.

Published on: March 13, 2014
Henri J. Barkey is a professor of international relations at Lehigh University.
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  • JohnOfEnfield

    All this reminds of another president I know.

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  • ilse karaim

    End of Erdogan? It seems more likely to be the wish of Prof. Barkey; however, most recent polls show Erdogan’s party still has more than 40% support, securing both Istanbul and Ankara, while the main opposition party has less than 30%.

    • Rol_Texas

      “Even if his party prevails in the upcoming March 30 municipal elections (that is, if they win a plurality of votes), he has severely damaged his own brand. He is a diminished figure.”

    • John

      First, As a Turk, I am ashamed to have Erdogan as a PM. There are a couple of cases in Asia, where presidents/politicians that are accused of corruption, choose ending their life than to face shame. Our guy on the other hand has no sense of shame. This bothers me the most.

      Anyway, there are rumors, pictures of voting papers already stamped with AKP on the Internet. I am pretty sure that somehow they cheated on the elections the second time they got chosen. So that is the main factor. In addition, Erdogan’s core voters are from the ghetto. People that somehow graduated high school and like many Turks are religous. That type is not aware of whats going on in the country. To them, he is a charismatic leader that is taking Turkey to the next century while allowing more room for religion. This portion of Turkish population (the majority I can say) do not follow news regularly. Well, even if they try to catch up with the news, they are most likely going to see Erdogan propoganda anyway, since most of the media is controlled by him. In short, most of his supporters are not aware of whats REALLY going on.
      It’s really annoying to see your country to transform into a version of Nazi Germany.(special thanks to USA for supporting and picking Erdogan when he was coming up).

      • ali

        I say be aware of charismatic Turkish leaders.Previous gifted leaders in Turkey took care of several genocides and attrocities

      • A.T.

        Hi “John”,

        I am running 2 companies, graduated in Denmark, Holland and England for triple-Bachelor degrees within 4 years. Also I have launched charity organizations and right now, at the age of 26, I am employing 200 people.

        I hope I am privileged to ask you some questions:

        1. Would you count me to the profile of Erdogan supporters above (Yes, I am supporting Erdogan and the AKP)?
        2. If yes, please tell me the “whats REALLY going on”?


  • Gavurbey

    Even after ten years and increasing margins of victory in elections, pundits such as Barkey refuse to take Erdoğan, the AKP, or the people who vote for him seriously. Thus, they will continue to be confounded by the election results and Turkey’s continuing development as a culture, democracy, economy, society, and state.

  • trt

    take a look at agypt’s pm. mursi…. isn’t he just another agent in the name of Sionism…. isn’t he equal to turkeys PM. Emperialism is the biggest problem on earth…..

  • YK

    It’s really hard to imagine how a prime minister can survive under these circumstances. But wait! Maybe it is even harder to imagine not knowing how and by whom a leader of a country is recorded on tape…That probably explains the survival as well.

  • Jon

    Excellent analysis. Another sad, but revealing fact is how poor the Turkish vocabulary of Erdogan and his “Harvard educated” son, Bilal, is on those recorded tapes. The demise of borderline-illiterate, street-smart politicians is nothing new in developing countries…

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  • gubblerchechenova

    Never mind that the opposition s just as bad.

    Yet, Europe keeps taking in Muslim immigrants.

  • gubblerchechenova

    “These include, Americans, Jews, Israel, Germans, neocons, CNN, Financial Times, a variety of international and domestic banks, the Council on Foreign Relations. Even the Queen of England, if you can believe it, has nothing better to do with her time than plot the downfall of the Turkish Prime Minister and his supporters.”

    Silly to mention the queen. But who can deny the Jewish/neocon role in the oppression of Palestinians, the Iraq War, the war is Syria, the destruction of Libya, and the economic strangulation of Iran(a nation with no nukes while Israel has 300 illegal ones)? Your denial of the Jewish role in world affairs is loonier than Erdogan’s jokey mention of the queen.

    Who in the West are spearheading the effort to undermine Russia via Ukraine? It ain’t Mexican-Americans, black-Americans, or most white gentile Americans.
    It’s Jewish-Americans and Jewish-Brits who are leading the charge?

    You got guts and eyes to admit that?

    • ali

      I think you are as mad as your master the Islamist Erdogan.

    • scott stams

      Yeah, except that Svoboda, a rabidly anti-semite neo-nazi party is currently sharing power in Kiev. You either are not that well read or, more likely, are an anti-semite muslim yourself. Do you have the guts to admit that?

  • stevesailer

    The organization headed by Imam Gulen, who is holed up in a fortified compound in the Poconos, is the largest operator of charter schools in the United States. The Gulenists take in over a half billion dollars of American taxpayer money each year to run over 130 charters in this country:

  • stevesailer

    According to Wikileaks, the American ambassador to Ankara, James Jeffreys, cabled Foggy Bottom:

    “Gülenists also reportedly dominate the Turkish National Police, where they serve as the vanguard for the Ergenekon investigation—an extensive probe into an alleged vast underground network that is accused of attempting to encourage a military coup in 2004. The investigation has swept up many secular opponents of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), including Turkish military figures, which has prompted accusations that the Gülenists have as their ultimate goal the undermining of all institutions which disapprove of Turkey becoming more visibly Islamist. (COMMENT: The assertion that the TNP [Turkish National Police] is controlled by Gülenists is impossible to confirm but we have found no one who disputes it.…)”

    In defense of the Gulen cult that is taking down Prime Minister Erdogan, however, let me point out that they appear to be serious, sober-minded men who take the long view of things. So, maybe they deserve a chance to run Turkey for awhile to see how they do. Or maybe they would be a disaster. I don’t know.

    • YK

      Steve, the problem is while they want to run Turkey, they do not want to form a political party and ask for people’s votes. I find this unacceptable regardless of how serious and sober-minded they are.

      • stevesailer

        It’s almost as if Turkey is full not just of conspiracy theories, but of conspiracies.

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  • free_agent

    I’ll believe in the end of a bad government when I see it.

    But it’s not clear that there is a serious democratic alternative. It looks like Turkish elections are machine politics on a national scale, you get to choose which autocrat rules you. It sounds like for years the military provided the autocracy and the remainder of power was handled democratically. Now it looks like a choice between Erdogan and Gulen. Countries have emerged from messes like this (Taiwan and South Korea), but it’s not inevitable.

  • cammo99

    How much does the MB and sharia law advocates stand to gain if Erdagon leaves? Will this be another false front for an “Arab Spring” sic, they are Turks, that is just a phony propaganda invention for the west to hide the next likely Islamic Revolutionary state?

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  • Wayne Starlett

    Before I even read this, from having looked at the title, I’m presumming you think the elections will matter. Someone with his power can produce any result he wants..

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  • Enough Is Enough

    “… He came awfully close. He managed the economy relatively well, delivered a slew of new services in both health and education to citizens of modest means, and invested heavily in infrastructure, from transportation to utilities.” – It is quite obvious (at least for those who actually lived -no, survived- through the Erdogan dictatorship) that, with all due respect, Dr. Barkey has no clue about what Erdogan has (NOT) done over the past decade. And, even to compare him with Ataturk…

  • kuala

    very accurate!

  • Guest

    The election results are out: Erdogan’s AKP took %45.5 of the votes, the highest local election result in the history of Turkey. Looking at the conclusion of the analysis and the result of the elections, some may argue that the author, Henri J. Barkey has “severely damaged his own brand. He is a diminished figure” as an analyst who writes about Turkish Politics?

    However, an analysis of this failure would be a very educational and enlightening read. I bet it would give us a much more accurate presentation of Erdogan and the politics in Turkey.

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