Taking Illiberalism Seriously
Illiberalism cannot be wished away, and deserves to be taken seriously on a number of fronts. How the debate about the nature of successful governance will be settled in one country has repercussions for others. Erdoğan’s 11-year tenure as prime minister was marked by an exceptionally successful period in Turkish history, but his mode of governance is deeply illiberal. While Erdoğan’s sympathizers argue that he is authoritarian but successful, Erdoğan’s core team argues that he is successful because he is authoritarian. Those who wish for a less authoritarian Turkey ought to redeem liberalism globally and nationally. And liberals and secularists in Turkey have yet to prove that they will govern effectively and democratically, and that they will sincerely respect the rights of the pious.