All the President’s Men: Institutions and key players in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey's cabinet

All the President’s Men: Institutions and key players in Erdogan’s Turkey

Wednesday, 3 November 2021 - 5:00pm
Seminar Room
Selim Koru (Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey)
Dimitar Bechev (Oxford School of Graduate and Area Studies)
Sinem Adar (German Institute for International and Security Affairs)

All the President’s Men: Institutions and key players in Erdogan’s Turkey

Over the past two decades, the Turkish state has transformed from an imperfect parliamentary system to a highly centralized presidential regime. State institutions are increasingly political and informal in their day-to-day operation, and unusually susceptible to the influence of business groups, religious networks, regional cliques and organized crime. In theory, the “Erdogan System” pits these networks against each other to compete in the achievement of government objectives. In practice, this leans the Turkish state into a top-heavy pattern of megaprojects, geopolitical brinkmanship and export promotion, all of which externalizes the Turkish state. While Turkey’s footprint across the map widens, its citizens now see a precipitous decline in the quality of their lives. As Turkey nears elections scheduled for 2023, a field of opposition politicians are now campaigning on populist platforms and systemic change. This talk will reflect on how the Erdogan system is evolving, and where it might lead beyond 2023.

Selim Koru is an analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) and a fellow at the US-based Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). His writing on Turkish politics has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, and War on the Rocks. He is currently working on a monograph on the ideational and institutional structure of “New Turkey.” Koru holds a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in international relations and economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is currently a PhD candidate studying the political thought of Friedrich Nietzsche at the University of Nottingham. He divides his time between Ankara and London.

Sinem Adar is an Associate at the Center for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. Prior to this, she held post-doctoral fellowships at Humboldt University, University of Goettingen, and South Florida University. Dr. Adar has a PhD in Sociology from Brown University. Her research at CATS focuses on Turkish domestic politics and Turkey-EU relations with a focus on migration and Turkish diasporas.


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