Is Erdogan’s Light Dimming?

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is rapidly losing the support of liberals and business leaders who once saw it as an engine of reform, confronting it with serious challenges just three months before municipal elections…

But with those reforms halted and graft allegations swirling, critics accuse Erdogan of becoming increasingly autocratic and say the AK Party today resembles the same establishment parties it swept out of power six years ago…

Summing up a climate of disillusionment that has extended to traditional pro-AK Party constituencies in recent months, a commentator in the religious-leaning Yeni Safak newspaper wrote recently of Erdogan, “He came like Obama, but turned into some sort of Bush.”

Liberals believe the AK Party, which survived a legal case to close it down for Islamist activities, and the army have struck a deal that allows the party to remain in power in exchange for dropping EU reforms to curb the generals’ power...

…Turkey has age-old problems that are a time bomb,” [Cengiz Aktar, a professor at Istanbul’s Bahçesehir University and a liberal commentator] said. “With no reforms, we enter uncharted waters.”  (click here for full article)

UPDATE: Support for the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has dropped from 50.9 percent in September to 32.6 percent in November, a recent poll disclosed. The same survey also showed the number of undecided votes had increased. (click here)

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