Prominent political scientist says Erdoğan’s only option is to hit wall

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Baskın Oran

Professor Baskın Oran, an expert in political science, has said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has entered a cul-de-sac due to his increasingly authoritarian policies, saying he cannot turn back due to his personality and that his only option is to hit the wall.

“Erdoğan cannot maneuver. He cannot take a step back due to his personality because once one’s charisma is undermined, it is impossible for it to recover. Erdoğan’s has not allowed his charisma to be undermined until today. Particularly after the July 15 coup attempt, he had the standing of a very determined and powerful leader. His only option is to eventually hit the wall,” said Oran. His remarks came in an interview published by the Cumhuriyet daily on Monday.

Turkey survived a failed military coup on July 15 that claimed the lives of more than 240 people and injured a thousand others. President Erdoğan purged thousands of people from state bodies on allegations that they had links to the coup. There are also currently around 170 journalists behind bars in Turkey.

According to Oran, Turkey cannot be administered and the country’s foreign policy, economy, domestic policy and social psychology are all suffering.

Commenting on Erdoğan presenting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), also known as the Shanghai Five, as an alternative to the EU in the wake of Turkey’s deteriorating relations with Europe, Oran said: “I have been following Turkish foreign policy for a long time. I have not only not seen but also not heard or read anything about Turkish foreign policy being dragged into such a swamp in the past.” He said Turkey’s efforts to join the SCO are simply ridiculous

In Oran’s view, President Erdoğan is suffering from “power poisoning” because he has remained in power for such a long time.

Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) first came to power in 2002. Erdoğan served as prime minister until his election to the presidency in 2014.

“[Remember] the famous saying of Lord Acton: ‘Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely’,” said Oran, adding that Erdoğan is creating more and more polarization and tension in the country in order to consolidate his supporters.

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