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On May 14th, after 5 years of a contentious presidency, and 20 years of AKP (The Justice and Development Party) rule, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will finally be facing some challenging opposition. Erdogan’s tenure as president has been marked by steadily eroding Turkish democracy and a tightening grip on power. He has engaged in widespread arrests of critics, political opponents, journalists, and academics, and has steadily been working to curtail free speech, human rights, and an independent judiciary.
Erdogan has consistently supported Hamas and has frequently made statements like “Whoever is on Israel’s side, we are against them.” (July 28, 2019). Turkey, a member of NATO, under Erdogan, has bought Russian missile systems, (which, in 2019. led EMET to become involved in an effort to halt plans for his purchase of American F-35 planes), and has launched attacks against Kurdish allies of the United States in our fight against ISIS.
On Sunday, Erdogan will finally be facing some tough opposition. Because of Erdogan’s slow and inept response to the earthquakes that rocked Turkey in February, and their sky-high inflation, the polls have been narrowing between Erdogan and his challenger, Kemel Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main, secular, opposition party, (CHP), the Republican People’s Party.
Come hear renowned Turkish expert, Sinan Ciddi of FDD, as he explains the result of the upcoming Turkish elections, and why it matters to the people of Turkey, to NATO, and to the Russian war on Ukraine, the region, and the globe.
About the Speaker: Sinan Ciddi is a non-resident senior fellow at FDD and an expert on Turkish domestic politics and foreign policy.
He is also an Associate Professor of National Security Studies at Marine Corps University (MCU). Prior to joining MCU, Sinan was the Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies, based at Georgetown University (2011-2020). Between 2008-2011 he established the Turkish Studies program at the University of Florida’s Center for European Studies. He continues to serve as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Sinan was born in Turkey and educated in the United Kingdom. He was previously an instructor at Sabanci University between 2004-2008 and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the same institution between 2007-2008. Distinct from his articles and opinion editorials, his book titled Kemalism in Turkish Politics: The Republican People’s Party: Secularism and Nationalism (Routledge, January 2009) focuses on the electoral weakness of the Republican People’s Party.
He obtained his Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2007 in the field of Political Science. He continues to author scholarly articles, opinion pieces and book chapters on contemporary Turkish politics and foreign policy, as well as participate in media appearances.