“While the parties in the parliament in Turkey are trying to iron out their differences for the coalition, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pulled another card from his sleeve,” said Evren Celik Wiltse, a political science assistant professor at South Dakota State University. The Ankara native recently returned from Inece-Kirklareli, Turkey, where she served as an election observer.
“Counting on the ‘rally around the flag’ syndrome, he is initiating a two-front war against ISIS and against the Kurds. As the conflict escalates, and caskets of soldiers arrive into communities, the public opinion starts to take a right-wing, nationalistic turn.
“The president is banking on a failure of coalition talks, on the rising tide of nationalism in the country, and unification of the right-wing votes under his AK party in the early elections in the fall. This seems like a more guaranteed path to a presidential system than the potential hurdles of a coalition government.”
Celik Wiltse, who specializes in comparative politics and international relations, earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bogazici University in Istanbul, and her doctorate degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Contact Evren Celik Wiltse at 651-788-0886 or Evren.Wiltse@sdstate.edu.