Erdogan’s in the saddle, now he must govern

The ‘Yeni Türkiye’ wants to return to the future.

The presidential elections of August 2014 marked a turning point in Turkish politics. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is today the country’s 12th president, the first elected directly by the people and a key architect of Yeni Türkiye (his novel concept of a ‘New Turkey’).

This idea of restoring a link with the Ottoman past is central to the agenda set by Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) 12 years ago. Under the charismatic guidance of its (nominally) outgoing leader, and thanks to new forms of political expression, the party has shown it can bring about change. The cornerstones of the transformation are reformed relations between civil and military powers and the creation of a competitive economy to attract foreign investment.

Turkey's stability and present economic growth are in large part due to the vision and cohesion of the AKP, reinforced by the undisputed leadership of Erdoğan, who has found ways to act as a bridge between Islamist conservatives and the newer, Western-oriented generation. With his move to the Çankaya Köşkü (the presidential palace) and the subsequent appointment of Ahmet Davutoğlu as Prime Minister, Turkey is now attempting an historic fusion of the country’s Ottoman tradition with a republican concept of politics, intended as a foundation for an Islamic culture built on ideals of justice and development.

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