Erdoğan makes it on to Guardian’s 2018 list of autocrats

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been extensively criticized for his lack of respect for dissent and free speech in Turkey, has made it on to a list of autocrats published by prestigious British daily The Guardian.

In an article titled “2018: the year of the autocrat,” The Guardian said: “In Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, setting what he called “an example for the rest of the world”, bullied his way to another presidential term and sweeping extra powers.”

The paper was referring to Erdoğan’s re-election to the presidency in an election held in June as the first president under a presidential system. Turkey switched from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency following a referendum in April 2017. The new system is criticized for greatly expanding Erdoğan’s powers and destroying the separation of powers in the country.

The Guardian said 2018 was a year dominated by a handful of powerful men whose actions frequently imperiled the lives of millions and jeopardized the future safety and resilience of the planet.

“America’s Donald Trump, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, and a rogues’ gallery of like-minded, second-tier authoritarian figures around the world used their positions to advance national and personal interests at the expense of universal democratic, legal, environmental and human rights,” said The Guardian.

Other autocrats mentioned in the Guardian’s story are Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince; Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro; Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro; General Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar military; Prayuth Chan-ocha, prime minister of Thailand; Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi; and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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