Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Turkish flags next to a portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he gives a speech during a pre-election rally in Istanbul on June 17, 2018. Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

Following his electoral victory on June 24, President Erdogan assumed new and sweeping executive powers on July 9. He is now the head of state, government, the army, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the national police force.

The big picture: With the prerogative to appoint a majority of the judges to the Turkish high courts and his control of the country’s legislature, Erdogan has become the most unassailable Turkish leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established modern Turkey as a secular republic in 1923.

The background: Having grown up in secular Turkey facing social exclusion because of his piety and conservative views, Erdogan is motivated by deep-rooted animosity towards Ataturk’s legacy. Since coming to power, he has given conservative Islam a dominant role in society, education and politics, without formally lifting the secular language of the constitution.

In keeping with Erdogan’s vision, Turkey’s Council of National Education issued a policy recommendation in 2014 that courses on Islam be taught to all students as young as six. Such policies reflect the revolutionary instincts of the AKP in the mold of a majoritarian-style party. The upshot is that Turkey now discriminates against citizens who do not affiliate themselves with Erdogan’s conservative Islam.

Yes, but: Turkey differs from other one-party-dominant countries, as the AKP vote has never surpassed 50%. Erdogan barely won the June 24 elections, with only 52% of the vote, and owed his victory to support from the allied Nationalist Action Party. Nearly half of the country vehemently opposes him.

The bottom line: Despite its limited electoral dominance, the AKP operates as if it has overwhelming support, and eschews consensus-building. As Erdogan continues to establish a dominant-party system over a split electorate, Turkish society may be heading for a long-term political crisis.

Soner Cagaptay is a senior fellow the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the author of The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey.

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.