ISTANBUL — Dozens of members of Turkey ‘s political opposition were arrested in dawn raids on Wednesday, as a crackdown began on those questioning the legitimacy of a referendum on Sunday to expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip
Ece Temelkuran’s Turkey: the Insane and the Melancholy (2016) chronicles Erdoğan’s paranoid style of politics and his lurch into authoritarian populism.
Erdoğan claims victory while supporters celebrate near Taksim Square, Istanbul. Depo Photos/PA Images. All rights reserved.“The slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown.” Albert Camus’ description of the journey taken by many a rebel is an apt characterisation of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s trajectory. Turkey’s President has gone from Islamist activist railing against his country’s authoritarian secular elites to untouchable sultan purging his enemies – real and imagined. He has become a cliché.
Turkey’s Easter Sunday referendum will create a new political system in 2019, after parliamentary and presidential elections that year, with executive power to be concentrated in the hands of a president who also leads a political party. But President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaign for the changes could cost him key voter groups.