What Will Erdogan Do to Stay in Power?

Source:Foreign Policy Date:04Feb2023

Great coverage of Turkish elections  and foreign policy implications by Henry Barkey


Current polls suggest that Erdogan and the AKP could lose the election, scheduled for May 14. For any other leader, such levels of unpopularity and economic malaise might spell certain defeat. But Erdogan is known for his tenacity and his ability to win elections, and he has managed to steady his poll numbers. Given how much is at stake, he is likely to employ almost any means to avoid defeat. As his recent foreign policy moves suggest, he also has several cards to play, and he may seek to manufacture a crisis—including with the West—to change the domestic mood. Europe and the United States must prepare for such a development to minimize potential damage and must have a strategy in place to counter it. Turkey is far too important a country to be allowed to drift away from Western influence.