With Erdoğan’s Victory, Turkey’s Startling Slide Into Authoritarianism Continues

Born in 1954, Erdogan rose from humble beginnings, gained prominence in the 1990s, faced conviction after a political poem.

Erdoğan, after prison sentence, presents himself as reconciler of Islam and democracy, leads AKP to victory, becomes prime minister in 2003.

The AKP's rise pleased Turks, and the West was hopeful as Erdoğan boosted Turkey's economy and pursued EU membership.

Erdoğan's democratic image faded as he leaned towards Islamism, clashed with secular parties, and curtailed democratic institutions.

Erdoğan's initial secular approach gave way to a more Islamist and authoritarian rule, marked by violent crackdowns and purges.

Erdoğan became the first directly elected president, leading Turkey's transition from a parliamentary to a presidential republic.

Erdoğan capitalized on a failed coup to consolidate power, leading to a constitutional shift and his presidency under a new system.

The constitutional changes grant the president expanded powers, eroding checks and balances and consolidating political control.