The GuardianThe Guardian

West caught between fear and hope as Erdoğan extends 20-year rule in Turkey

By Patrick Wintour

28 May 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. Western governments are concerned that President Erdoğan might take Turkey further from the liberal secular West.

Western capitals remained silent through Turkey’s presidential campaign – privately hoping Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s erratic 20-year rule would come to a surprise close – but now he has been handed a decisive mandate to serve a third term, the west is caught between fear and hope.

It fears he will exploit the result to take this Nato founder member further from the liberal secular west, but hopes against hope that, not being eligible to run again and thus freed from the need to pander to a nationalist electorate for the rest of his political life, he may at least be open to persuasion and base his foreign policy on something other than self-preservation.

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