Turkey’s three-dimensional populism, three leaders and three blocs

Posted by ap507 at Jun 20, 2018 05:05 PM |
In an article for Open Democracy, Dr Omer Tekdemir discusses Turkey's upcoming election
Turkey’s three-dimensional populism, three leaders and three blocs

Source: Open Democracy; Jailed presidential candidate for Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition, Selahattin Demirtas, makes his first television appearance in over a year and a half on June 17, 2018. Depo Photos/Press Association. All rights reserved.

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The upcoming presidential election in Turkey is another interesting example of the global populist zeitgeist, albeit taking on diverse forms in different countries in southeast Europe, the east Mediterranean and the Middle East. Turkey has been subject to the power of the right-wing conservative populist, Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the last 16 years under the former football player Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who is in some sense a charismatic leader).

The AKP’s hold on power has created a sense of despair on the part of the opposition (similar to that during Thatcher’s years in the UK with her claim that ‘there was no alternative’ to the neoliberal order) until June 2013 and the emergence of the Gezi protest movement, which has been compared to other grass roots (or square) movements such as occupy, the anti-austerity movement and the Arab spring...


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