This encore Reader's Corner interview originally broadcast in June, 2018.
Soner Cagaptay, is an expert on a country that many of us know too little about. That country is Turkey, the oldest democracy, and the largest economy, between India and Italy. Turkey occupies a crucial position between Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. And that makes its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a vitally important figure on the world stage.
July 24th, 2108, in elections described as among the most momentous in modern Turkish history, Erdogan tightened his grip on power. He won the election outright, earning five more years in office, as well as vast new presidential powers. But while his strongman approach resonated with a slim majority of voters, his critics are sounding alarms that Turkey’s democracy is imperiled.
Soner Cagaptay is the author of a recent and very timely book titled The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey. Mr. Cagaptay is the Beyer Family Fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations in scholarly journals and for many major media outlets.