Turkey classed as authoritarian country in German think tank report

(Correction: The article incorrectly identified the foundation as the Washington-based Bertelsmann Foundation.)

The German think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung foundation has for the first time classified Turkey as an authoritarian country in its biennial Transformation Index.

The foundation said Turkey’s domestic politics had become increasingly influenced by nationalist, Islamist and authoritarian forces and had also undergone a radical transformation in its international politics, particularly since the advent of the new executive presidential system that came into effect after the June 2018 national elections.

“This election effectively brought an end to Turkey’s parliamentary system, which had been in place since the foundation of the modern Republic of Turkey in 1923,” the foundation said.

This new system has accelerated the process of authoritarianism under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan even after the end of the two-year state of emergency that his government declared after surviving an attempted coup in July 2016, it said.

“The domestic process of autocratisation has had far-reaching consequences for Turkey’s international relations. The country’s relations with the EU and the United States have rapidly deteriorated,” said the foundation. “Turkey’s EU accession negotiations have stalled, and its bilateral relations with several individual EU member states.”