Under 20 years of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule, Turkey has transformed into a near-autocracy

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In 2002, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, obtained a parliamentary majority in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The seemingly unstoppable rise of political Islam throughout the turbulent 1990s had finally culminated in a much-dreaded loss for a Kemalist political establishment committed to the secular vision of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the modern Turkish republic. Twenty years on, many of the prophesies about Erdogan’s leadership remain unfulfilled. The fears of his opponents were encapsulated in the slogan “Turkey will not become Iran!”. Turkey decidedly did not turn into Iran, but it did turn...