July 23, 2016


Erdogan's mass appeal saved him on coup night (PASCALE TROUILLAUD, July 23, 2016, Times of Israel)

In the tense hours when rebel troops attacked with fighter jets and tanks, and commandos were closing in on him, Erdogan called directly on the Turkish people to resist the mutineers.

Using the social media he previously despised, and sometimes blocked, he mobilized the citizens who confronted and stopped the plotters.

"What makes Erdogan different is that he knew the people would move when he asked them to," said Can Acun, a researcher with Turkish think-tank SETA.

"He was aware of the strong linkage between him and the people that he had strengthened through long years."

Having risen from working-class roots, Erdogan served as Istanbul mayor and went on to lead the nation, as premier and then president, in a success story celebrated by his loyal Muslim conservative base. [...]

[I]n many working-class areas and the vast Anatolian heartland, Erdogan is beloved by millions who celebrate a bigger role for Islam in public life, have benefited from a revitalized economy, and share a new sense of national pride under a potent ruler.

Erdogan won the 2014 election with 52 percent of the vote, making him "the first directly elected president of the people, with an added legitimacy," said Pierini.

Unfortunately, the Brotherhood moved too slowly in Egypt, so it was ill-equipped to thwart a similarly anti-democratic coup.

Posted by at July 23, 2016 9:36 AM