I have long been thinking about writing on Erdogan’s notion of “Bureaucratic Oligarchy.” I think it’s a key term in understanding Turkish politics. The pre-referendum days seemed a particularly appropriate time for it, so here it is.
The piece has had a mixed reception. Some people actually thought that I was trying to “legitimize Erdoğan” and, and a few troll accounts labelled me an apologist. That was strange. They must have been referring to the part towards the end, where I describe what the presidential system means to its top supporters. Maybe they expected me to chime in midway, just to basically say “this is all a bad idea,” or make some personal remark about Erdoğan. I didn’t do that mostly because the description of the system – as it exists in the minds of those who advocate for it – is what I wanted to bring to attention. People can make up their own minds about things.
Anyone who wants a story about heroes and villains should read comic books. I write about politics.