A century after its founding, the Turkish Republic is drifting further and further away from the secular values that formed its foundation, while ethno-religious nationalism is gaining ground.
On May 28, Turks will decide whether to consolidate the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the strongman of Turkey’s politics who has reigned unchallenged for the last 20 years, or to vote for Kemal Kiliçdaroğlu, seen as Turkey’s “Ghandi”, who fosters a return to old republican values.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is trying to consolidate his regime by jockeying a third term at the helm of the country. The general elections this spring will take place amidst a severe economic crisis. To increase their odds, the Islamists have resorted to electoral handouts and sabotaging the opposition. The elections take place in a very special year: 2023 marks a century since Mustaka Kemal Atatürk proclaimed the republic, a republic which today is facing a full-blown crisis and is drifting further away from the vision of its founder.
Conspiracy theories in a nationalistic key are being used for decades to justify the primacy of the Turkish state, and lately, of the Erdoğan regime.