Using any means to consolidate his power and spread his influence…
Turkey: Erdoğan Is Getting Coronavirus Dancing to His Tune
by Burak Bekdil • April 23, 2020 at 4:30 am
- One of the laws Turkey’s rubber-stamp parliament passed before the recess allowed the release of tens of thousands of common criminals to ease overcrowding in jails and protect inmates from the coronavirus pandemic. The amnesty, however, excluded hundreds of political prisoners including journalists, writers, academics and social media users critical of Erdoğan’s authoritarian regime
- In 2020, the collective fear is the coronavirus pandemic. And just as in the previous instances based on fear, it seems to be working in Erdoğan’s advantage.
- “The people tend to unite behind strong leaders in times of national crisis like war, terror, security threats, disasters or pandemic.” — Özer Sencar, president of Metropoll, non-partisan pollster, Hurriyet, April 16, 2020.
When a group of military officers attempted a putsch to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in July 2016, the Islamist strongman replied with two reflexes: survival, and a vigorous political campaign to make political gains from the failed coup. He succeeded in both.
Most Turks, including Erdoğan’s opponents, weary of decades of military coups, united behind him to resist the putsch that ended up killing 250 people and wounded more than 2,000. Erdoğan’s approval rating rose sharply from 45% before the failed coup to 67.6% in its aftermath. For many observers, that was not a surprise. Only a year earlier, Erdoğan had gambled over the Turks’ collective security concerns and won.
In the general elections on June 7, 2015, Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since it came to power in November 2002.