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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

1 hour ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

Developed countries reveal $100 billion climate finance plan ahead of COP26

Alok Sharma, head of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, speaks in Paris on Oct. 12. ( Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

After 12 years of fits and starts, industrialized nations on Monday put forward a detailed plan to provide at least $100 billion annually in climate aid to developing countries starting by 2023.

Why it matters: The plan, presented by representatives of Canada and Germany, is aimed at defusing one of the biggest sources of tension at COP26, which is the failure of industrialized nations to follow through on their financial commitments.