Nonresident Senior Fellow Howard Eissenstat Quoted in Al Monitor

POMED Nonresident Senior Fellow Howard Eissenstat was quoted by Ayla Jean Yackley in an article for Al Monitor entitled “Purge of Turkish mayors could hit opposition strongholds” on November 2, 2017.

“The internal purge seems to be compounding the AKP’s problems rather than solving them,” Howard Eissenstat, a Turkey researcher at St. Lawrence University and a senior nonresident fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy, told Al-Monitor. “The party has become too centered on Erdogan’s own personality, his concerns, his whims. It has lost the diversity and, with it, the capacity to connect to the grass roots and raise new leadership. A more open, flexible party would be more adaptive and more capable of meeting local needs.”

Now, Erdogan’s sights are trained on the CHP. Last week, a prosecutor opened an investigation into a CHP district mayor in the party’s stronghold of Tekirdag who called the president a “fascist dictator” in a video widely shared on social media. Erdogan said he was compelled to take action to prevent others from casting such aspersions.

“Erdogan’s instincts are demonstrably authoritarian. That shows in the way he is attempting to address these issues,” Eissenstat said. “But it also shows the extent to which he still sees himself as a democrat. He might rule as an authoritarian, but he still wants to win as a democrat. The question is whether he is willing to lose like one. And the answer to that, I think, is probably not.”

Read the full article here.