Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family Fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute.
Articles & Testimony
The president might find the current situation ominously similar to two decades ago, when a combination of devastating natural disaster and deep public dissatisfaction swept his Islamist faction to power.
The earthquakes that struck ten southern Turkish provinces on February 6 mark the country’s worst humanitarian disaster in modern history. Bustling cities were leveled, ancient citadels crumbled, and thousands of residential and commercial buildings collapsed. In addition to numerous casualties in neighboring Syria, more than 44,000 people have died in Turkey as of February 24. More than 100,000 people have been injured and millions more are currently homeless. Yet the disaster poses not just a logistical challenge, but also a political one. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president since 2003, now faces the most important test of his career...