The aborted coup in Turkey has fired up interest in a country which will play a critical geopolitical role in the wars of the Middle East. The spotlight will inevitably be on Erdogan - the powerful leader of the country - whose increasingly bizarre and authoritarian regime has increased tensions enormously both within and outside the country. His crackdown has been brutal and consistent - thousands of journalists arrested, academics officially banned from leaving the country, university deans fired and three quarters of highest ranking army officers arrested.In some senses, this coup has given Erdogan the license to make good on his repeated promise to bring order and stability under a 'strongman'. Here, leading Turkish expert Soner Cagaptay will look at where Erdogan comes from in Turkish history, what he believes in, how he has cemented his rule will assess the threats he faces - from the liberal youth to the Gulen movement, the army plotters and the Kurdish question.
Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. He has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Atlantic, New Republic, and Newsweek Türkiye. He has been a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey's oldest and most influential English-language paper, and a contributor to CNN's Global Public Square blog. He appears regularly on Fox News, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, BBC, and CNN-Turk.A historian by training, Dr. Cagaptay wrote his doctoral dissertation at Yale University (2003) on Turkish nationalism. Dr. Cagaptay has taught courses at Yale, Princeton University, Georgetown University, and Smith College on the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. His spring 2003 course on modern Turkish history was the first offered by Yale in three decades. From 2006-2007, he was Ertegun Professor at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies.Dr. Cagaptay is the recipient of numerous honours, grants, and chairs, among them the Smith-Richardson, Mellon, Rice, and Leylan fellowships, as well as the Ertegun chair at Princeton.