Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Lurch towards Islam: An Electioneering Tactic or His True Face Revealed?
With less than six months left before nationwide parliamentary polls, Erdoğan has struck an overtly, indeed aggressively conservative stance. The prime minister’s election strategy clearly targets the 58 percent of the electorate that said “yes” to the constitutional changes that were put to a referendum on September 12. The 42 percent who said “no” feels unnerved by Erdoğan’s lurch not only towards religious conservatism but towards nationalism as well. The trouble for Erdoğan’s detractors, as ever, is that the opposition remains weak and divided. What will Erdoğan do with a third term? Will his slide towards conservatism persist? Or will his pragmatic side prevail? Is his lurch towards Islam mere politicking or does it convey a deeply ingrained ideology? The answer is, both. The question of just where Turkey is heading under Erdoğan will be best answered by the new constitution he has vowed to deliver.