Washington, D.C. — Generational change and shifting attitudes in conservative Turkey could bring fragmentation of the country’s dominant right-wing bloc and threaten the continued dominance of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress based on nationwide polling and focus groups of key constituencies.
Erdoğan is losing ground domestically under the pressure of a cratering economy, an ongoing refugee crisis, and his long-term incumbency. Young Turkish conservatives and some less ideological right-wing nationalists—crucial constituencies that Erdoğan cannot afford to lose—are unhappy with the state of the country and are increasingly considering potential conservative alternatives or successors, the report finds.
“While Erdoğan remains the undisputed leader of the Turkish right, waning enthusiasm presents a real threat to his continued dominance,” said Max Hoffman, the associate director of National Security and International Policy at CAP and author of the report. “There’s a long way to go until the next election, but young voters may desert him in sufficient numbers to allow the opposition to defeat him.”
Erdoğan’s weakening domestic position may encourage conservative challengers and breakaway factions. It also raises the likelihood of greater repression at home and more aggressive action abroad, as Erdoğan has often lashed out when faced with threats to his grip on power, raising critical risks and choices for the United States and Europe.
Read the report: “Turkey’s President Erdoğan Is Losing Ground at Home” by Max Hoffman.
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