Erdoğan’s Populist Authoritarianism


Violence and a weak opposition help explain the victory of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party in last week’s elections. Both are symptoms of a slide into authoritarianism under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In this report, Wikistrat’s Dr. Kadir Yildirim argues that unlike most authoritarian leaders, Erdoğan does not rely on the military. Instead, it is the great popularity he commands that keeps him in power, combined with a heavy dose of clientelism and media control. Maintaining this popularity, as well as the functioning of a well-oiled propaganda machine, necessitates an ever-increasing suppression of opposition and public contestation of the president’s power.

Click here or on the cover image to download the report.


Kadir Yildirim

Dr. A. Kadir Yildirim
Wikistrat Senior Analyst
Research Scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy


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