A Prescient Commentary on Turkey

From Dani Rodrik, two years ago:


The mysterious Ergenekon trials, which at first seemed based in fact, and later morphed into a wholesale witch hunt, seem to have been motivated by the Gulenists in the judiciary (+1 for the sinister theory of the Gulenists).  Now with the secular-military establishment weakened, they have turned on Erdogan.  Some recent commentary from Rodrik:

Turkey is caught between a prime minister who acts like a democrat and a judiciary that acts like it’s enforcing the rule of law.


  1. Meanwhile I hope all those domestic and Western experts who helped legitimize a rotten political regime will have the honesty to own up.

  2. I truly hope there will be a moderately Islamist democracy one day to show it’s not a contradiction in terms. But Turkey ain’t it.

  3. For years, the commentariat misinterpreted the changing of the guard in Turkey as democratization, ignoring the deeply undemocratic means.

  4. I’ve always been skeptical of conventional wisdom as an economist. But I’ve never seen CW depart from the facts so much as in Turkey.

  5. No one who looked closely at how Turkey’s new political regime was constructed would’ve been surprised at how brittle it turned out to be.

  6. Meanwhile as the new IMF report highlights, the last thing Turkey’s brittle external accounts need is a political crisis.

  7. Gulenists cannot challenge Erdogan in the polls and will try to force his resignation through the graft proves.

  8. Erdogan’s best hope is to call early elections with a new cabinet, to show he retains popular support.

  9. It’s clear that the issue is neither corruption nor democracy. The two sides are fighting for who will control future of Turkish politics.

  10. Any semblance of political normalcy has disappeared in Turkey. Erdogan is openly at war with a group within judiciary supported by Gulen.

  11. Fascinating day in Turkey. Prosecutors tried to detain Erdogan’s sons. Police, newly staffed by Erdogan, refused to act. New cabinet coming.


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