Erdogan’s strongman rule is beginning to fray

Source:Financial Times Date:23Jul2021

In local elections in 2019, he lost Istanbul — where he began as mayor and which has always been at the heart of his mystique — as well as the capital Ankara and most of Turkey’s great cities. These intimations of political mortality have recently been amplified by the AKP plummeting in the polls. The party has been abandoned by core constituencies more drawn by widening prosperity than narrowing ideology. Erdogan’s growth model, based on cheap credit, consumption and construction, unravelled before the pandemic — or indeed Albayrak’s failure to defend the lira despite burning through more than $100bn in reserves.