Episode 3, March 2022: “He’s the quintessential populist” | Dimitar Bechev on Turkey Under Erdoğan

Dr. Dimitar Bechev of the University of Oxford discusses his new book, Turkey Under Erdoğan: How a Country Turned from Democracy and the West (Yale University Press, 2022), with POMED Turkey Program Coordinator Merve Tahiroğlu

Bechev talks about how the roots of Erdoğan’s foreign and domestic policies reach back to Turkey in the 1980s and 1990s; how Erdoğan has governed as both a quintessential polarizing leader and as a coalition-builder; the problem of exit strategies for rulers in autocratic regimes; and why he believes that the pendulum in Turkey will eventually swing away from authoritarianism and back to democracy.


This interview is part of POMED’s video series, “Between the Lines,” featuring interviews with authors of recent publications that explore rights and governance issues across the Middle East and North Africa. To be notified of future episodes, subscribe to POMED’s YouTube channel.