Turkey Podcast: Can Erdogan Hold His Grip on Power?


PHOTO: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a funeral on the day after the failed coup attempt against him, July 2016

Last Friday I spoke with Malaysia’s BFM Radio about the context around the latest mass killing in Turkey, the New Year’s Day shootings of 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub.

Listen to Part 1: Why the Attacks — and Erdogan’s Tough Line — Will Continue

In the second part of my 20-minute interview, I explain why President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s grip on power is not slipping — yet — and consider his pivot to cooperation with Russia, including over the Syrian crisis.

Your browser does not support native audio, but you can download this MP3 to listen on your device.

I think there are a lot of Turks who will go along with Erdoğan in the short term. However, when you see a rise in unemployment, when you see a spike in inflation, when you see continuing attacks that are not only killing people but also crippling the economy, then I think that will be the crisis point.

But I don’t think we’ll see that for a few months at least.

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  1. Wrong title — any NATO-state-sponsored revolutionary worth his salt should really be asking how to overthrow the renegade Tayyip régime before it completely escapes control of the franchise, then proceeding in that vein to strategise on whether it is best to funnel weapons, training and targeting intelligence to the PKK, ISIS or both at once.

    • Wrong comment – a russian fascist Putin blogger is spreading lies and bulshit like allways. It`s time to kick Putin into his ass.

  2. Brushing aside Trump’s dismissiveness, the nation’s intelligence chief Clapper insisted Thursday that U.S. agencies are confident that Russia interfered in America’s recent presidential election. And he called the former Cold War foe an “existential threat” to the nation.

    Russians only chose to release info stolen from Democrats? Clapper: That is correct.

  3. FBI chef Comey:

    There were intrusions at state level voter registration databases. ..No doubt that russians intruded, took data from those systems

  4. Marco Rubio,Republican and candidat of the 2016 .US President elections:
    Cyber tools were used by Russia as means to end — Putin took active measures to discredit American political figures and he sows chaos.

    Rubio notes president .election questioning US intel community findings,
    ” It looks like if Russia succeeded”

    Putininocio has a strange way to beg for more sanctions. .

  5. Russian Disinformation Operations in the West

    Bottom Line Up Front:

    • The assessment by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia engaged in a concerted disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election is only the latest of similar assessments in other Western democracies.

    • Intelligence services in the UK, Sweden, and Germany have warned of Russian propaganda efforts aimed at undermining faith in democratic institutions.

    • In December 2016, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency warned of Russian interference in upcoming German elections.

    • The interference reportedly includes ‘propaganda and disinformation, cyber-attacks, cyber-espionage and cyber-sabotage’.


  6. Sweden’s most respected foreign policy institute has accused Russia of using underhand methods, including fake news, counterfeit documents, and other disinformation, to influence Swedish

    The report by Martin Kragh, a Russia expert at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, is the first empirical study detailing Russia’s use of ‘active measures’ in its information war against Sweden, which is largely directed at steering the country away from joining Nato.

    “The study lies within a subject area which a lot of people are discussing right now, and we want to contribute to that discussion,” Kragh told Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

    “It is completely normal for a foreign minister to say that some development concerns them, or is positive, but what we see as a problem is when illegitimate methods are used to try to influence opinion or decision-making in Sweden.”

    “It may not necessarily be politically effective to spread false documents, but we believe it demonstrates an intention to influence decision-making and that in itself is a reason to try to document and understand the ways in which it is carried out.”


  7. Obamas Imposed sanctions against Putins Russia have had one mistake only:
    Sanctions were far away from being sufficient.

  8. Tayyip’s pocket parliament is today debating a new Constitution Ermächtigungsgesetz relegating itself and empowering the Sultan to rule by absolute decree until 2029:
    All omens indicate he will be a temperate and benevolent dictator, with excellent role models:
    Which is all very well, however, since having Turkey’s credit rating cut to junk this past September for barking at his Yanki OverLords, the economy is diving in a toilet, so the increasingly impoverished ‘common man’ will have to be psychologically ‘compensated’ with a regular spectacle of pogroms/persecutions against Kurds, Gülenists and other approved Untermenschen.

    • As a russian fascist who knows murder and manslaughter, only (Russia is one of the bigggest murderes worldwide of journalists and members of the opposition). you have no idea of state building. Erdogan political ideas are based on a french state-building or the french presidential model to rule a country..

      What goes wrong at Turkey is exactly the same as inside Russia: Total abolition of the division of powers. and the reinforcement of state arbitrariness by undoing parts of the constitution.

      It can be assumed that Putin is helping Erdogan to dismantle democratic structures. The goal of corrupt Russian fascist bloggers is to alienate Turkey from western countries..

      • With any scant knowledge of Turkish history it is ludicrous to believe that Tayyip needed an external impetus or assistance to dismantle the putrid apparatus of Kemalism, itself a pronounced form of one-party fascism [later adapted with smatterings of ‘democracy’ for NATO’s propaganda purposes, though always retaining the DNA for regular ‘corrective’ coups] which was vigorously hated by the pious Sunnis of Turkey since its inception and only more so since the rise of the AKP [aligned to Muslim Brotherhood] to power and the subsequent inflowing torrent of Saudi money with much ideological sticky-string attached.
        Tayyip is not only a magnificent and heroic statesman tested under the fire of a battle brought by NATO-directed traitors within the keep, but is also something of a bard — here’s part of the poem for which he was jailed in 1999:
        The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” — thus his later statement as reported by ‘King’ Playstation in 2013, rings true to form:
        “Erdogan once said that democracy for him is [like] a bus ride — ‘Once I reach my stop, I’m getting off.’”
        However, the unofficial sanctions from his dear NATO ‘partners’ are now starting to bite, which, if I’m any judge of character, will drive Tayyip into a frenzy of reaction and thus further into the embrace of Russia, Iran and China, so, thanks to the wise foresight of Supreme Comrade Darth Putin, the fracturing of NATO is now hard-wired in:

        • “Tayyip is not only a magnificent and heroic statesman tested under the fire of a battle brought by NATO-directed traitors within the keep” You are totally outside the subject, Erdogan is a small man who does not respect his own religion first, and show signs of insanity by oppressing his own people. Turkish people deserve better than a lunatic leader surrounded by mad man.

          • How dare you malign the character of Supreme Leader Taqiyya Tayyip? Upon capture you shall be whipped on the soles of the feet with electrical cable until you learn to appreciate his virtues, lowly cur!

      • Well said, one leader take the all the power in his hands and people and institutions do not have enough power, and courage to oppose this.

        • In the region, the terms “people and institutions” without any reference to islam are a synonym of chaos.

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