Sandglass of Erdoğan’s career flowing faster than ever - Asharq Al-Awsat

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has cemented his place as the only leader beside Atatürk to have deeply affected modern Turkey’s destiny, however, his reign has come to an end as his recipe for success is no longer effective, wrote  pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat columnist Amir Taheri on Friday.

Erdoğan’s ruling AKP is lauded for its achievements during the earlier phases of its 17 years in power, such as overseeing economic development and significant changes in Turkish society while enduring numerous crises.

The Turkish president doubled the size of the Turkish economy in just two decades, partialy ended the decades-long war with ethnic Kurds, bringing the country into a more prosperous place than any time since the creation of the republic in the 1920s, the article said. 

Turkey’s strongman may have already missed the ideal when and how of his eventual exit, Taheri said, noting that the sand glass of his career is flowing down faster.

Erdoğan is nowadays ‘’presiding over what looks like an economic meltdown with rampant inflation, falling productivity and shrinking job opportunities,’’ the article said, adding that rather than calming things down, he is turning increasingly authoritarian.

The Turkish economy is reeling from a currency crisis last year sparked by concerns over economic overheating and the detention of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges. Erdoğan is now seeking to control interest rate policy, has widened the budget deficit three-fold and is risking U.S. economic sanctions for purchasing the Russian S-400 air defence system. 

The article pointed to the Turkish president’s sacking this week of the governor of central bank, after months of tension with the government over high interest rates, as one example of his increasing grip on the country. 

His trademark “no-enemies” foreign policy has been replaced by a policy that is bent on turning everyone, including NATO allies and European Union partners, against Turkey, the article said, while his signature success of cooling down the Kurdish cauldron is but a distant memory.

“Good or bad, the once successful Erdogan recipe seems not to be working anymore,’’ according to Taheri, who maintains all signs are cuing to the exit of Turkey's strongman.