The Rise of Erdogan: The Crisis of Turkey
When: November 6, 2017. 5:30pm
Where: Desert Academy, 7300 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe
Since the failed coup of July 2016, Turkey’s authoritarian slide has intensified. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used his post-coup State of Emergency powers to crack down not only on putschists, but a wide group of opposition factions from seculars to liberals to leftists, and Kurdish nationalists. Accordingly, Turkey is now divided into two blocks: a mostly conservative half (many members of which Erdogan has lifted out of poverty in the last decade) that adores him, and a mostly leftist half that loathes him.
Soner Cagaptay, the author of The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey, will discuss his recent book and the implications of Turkey’s deep societal polarization on the country’s stability, its democratic future, and foreign policy, including Ankara’s involvement in Syria, as well as ties with Russia, U.S., and Europe. We will have books for sale, and he’ll of course autograph his books for all.
Dr. Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. A historian by training, Dr. Cagaptay has taught classes at Yale, Princeton and Georgetown Universities. He has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish-EU ties, Turkish domestic politics, the Kurdish issue, and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Atlantic, The Guardian, and CNN.com. He has been a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s oldest and most influential English-language paper, and a contributor to CNN’s Global Public Square blog. He appears regularly on Fox News, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, BBC, and CNN-Turk.
A summary of the book: In a world of complex ties and rising tensions between Russia and the United States, the Middle East and Europe, Sunnis and Shiites, Islamism and liberalism, Turkey is at the epicenter. And at the center of Turkey is its right-wing populist president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Since 2002, Erdoğan has consolidated his hold on domestic politics while using military and diplomatic means to solidify Turkey as a regional power. His crackdown has been brutal and consistent – thousands of journalists arrested, academics officially banned from leaving the country, university deans fi red and many of the highest ranking military officers arrested. In some senses, the nefarious and failed 2016 coup has given Erdoğan the license to make good on his repeated promise to bring order and stability under a ‘strongman’. Here, leading Turkish expert Soner Cagaptay will look at Erdoğan’s roots in Turkish history, what he believes in, and how he has cemented his rule. The book will also assess the threats Erdogan has worked to combat – from the liberal Turks to the Gulen movement, from coup plotters to Kurdish nationalists – all of which have culminated in the crisis of modern Turkey.