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Turkey: authoritarianism, Islamism and neo-otomanism (DIEEEM13-2017)

For the last 14 years Turkey has evolved in a determined way in every scope, this is a nation that has nothing to do with the one before the President Racyp Erdogan became prime minister in 2003. The politic change on course is driving to a new regime based on a presidentialism in which the parliamentarism characterizing the last decades is going to be diluted and losing importance.

Concerning the domestic context, it is more Muslim and more authoritarian, referring to foreign policy, Turkey is more assertive, and the alliances being traditionally kept are changing, to some extent surprising, even its relationships with the western organizations, NATO and EU, are, at least, disturbing.

The most remarkable issue, after 8 decades of absence, is its return to the region of Middle East, not only to be in, but also to be a relevant and influential actor and to say a lot respecting the security and stability of the area.

The objective of this article is, in its first part, to describe and analyze the transformations suffered by Turkey in its internal ambit, and deal, more in particular, with the changes accelerated after the failed coup in July 2016 and the celebration of the constitutional referendum on 16 April of this year to consolidate the Erdogan’s project, to turn the parliamentary regime, based on a defective semi-supervised democracy, into a presidential and authoritarian one.

The internal policy is conditioned by its foreign action and vice versa, the second part is dealing with the evolution of its foreign policy, how it is influenced by the conflict in the neighboring Syria and the persistent dispute with the Kurds, the change of alliances, concerning the rapprochement to Russia, how it is pushing off the West, its intent to be the leader in the Sunni Muslim world, in clear competence with the Saudi Reign, as well as turn into an important regional power, very necessary to pacify and stabilize the convulsive Middle East.

Erdogan intends to replicate the glorious centuries of the Ottoman Empire, so he is converting the foreign policy in what it can be called “Neo-Otomanism“, that implies to be more influential, nationalist and assertive abroad, and more anti Kurd, and also nationalist, inside.

Author: José Antonio Albentosa Vidal


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Turkey: authoritarianism, Islamism and neo-otomanism
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