The so-called Islamic State and the (slow but steady) radicalisation of Turkey

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This article is featured in the ORIENT III 2017

Turkey’s journey towards one-man rule and a new political system without checks and balances turned a new corner with the disputed national referendum on 16 April 2017. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won new powers from voters, which confirmed his consistent efforts over years to transform Turkey from a secular western democratic country into a political Islamist and authoritarian police state. Erdogan once said that democracy, for him, is not the objective but rather a tool, comparing it to a bus within a journey. “Once I get to my stop, I will get off.” Apparently, after highly controversial elections, Erdogan has arrived at his stop, and he has gotten off the democracy bus. This article analyses how Turkey has come to this juncture, what this change means for Turkey’s domestic and international politics, and how it will influence Turkey’s foreign policy towards the west and the security of the region.

Ahmet S. Yayla, is Adjunct Professor of Criminology, law, and Society at George Mason University. He is also senior research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE). He formerly served as a professor and the chair of the sociology department at Harran University in Turkey. He also served as chief of the counterterrorism and operations department of the Turkish National Police in Sanliurfa between 2010 and 2013. He is the co-author of the newly released book ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate

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