Oguz Alyanak & Umit Kurt - The sultan and his sycophants: Erdoğan is leading Turkey towards a bleak future

When the Justice and Development party (AKP) came to power in Turkey in 2002, one of the first things its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, did was surround himself with well-educated bureaucrats. This practice was key to the AKP’s success in subsequent elections, as many citizens of Turkey trusted Erdoğan’s ability to recruit promising names to his cabinet. Competent policies in economy and diplomacy helped with the makings of a strong state – even a model democracy for the Muslim world, as scholars once argued.

It was this merit-based governance that defined AKP’s early years. Ministers such as Ali Babacan, Ahmet Davutoğlu or Abdullah Gül may have been feared by some secular Turks for their Islamic past, but for most others, it was their achievements that mattered…. Yet in recent years, there has been a swift change in conduct, with appointments made not for their merit, but loyalty to the country’s president, and subservience to his political party in power….


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