Turkey under Erdogan – Between Agony and Megalomania

Lecture and Debate with Kamil Taylan (Hessischer Rundfunk)


Time: Thursday February 26th, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, Room 2097

Please register at:

The event is in German Language

Link to audio documentation: Lecture of Kamil Taylan

In his thirteen years as Head of State and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan changed the Turkish Republic radically. The "new Turkey", which Erdogan build with his Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP), obviously drifts away from the western secular authoritarian state that the nation's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his followers had prevailed in the heartland of the former Ottoman Empire.


Currently, there are increasing signs that Erdogan's AKP represents an agenda for the resurrection of the former Turkish-Islamic Empire. This is not only indicated by the decomposition of secularism and the state-sponsored Islamization of education. This is indicated by an authoritarian style of government, which also includes blatantly criminal practices, such as the corruption scandal of 2012 and the - despite an explicit prohibition - recently completed construction of a megalomaniac presidential palace in Ankara.


Erdogan's policy could always rely on majorities, as the elections confirmed. However, critics of the AKP government face increasing repression including judicial and police authorities.


The pro-EU trend towards liberalization in the first years of Erdogan's government, especially the disempowerment of the Kemalist military, but also the abolition of death penalty and a more liberal policy towards the Kurds appear to have been a temporary strategic maneuver of appeasement, compared with the aggressive domestic and foreign policy of the present. It can be expected that the transformation of Turkey is far from completed, considering the disguised intention of Erdogan to stay in power until 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the now former secular Turkish Republic.



Kamil Taylan is a German - Turkish television journalist , sociologist and crime writer . He produces reports for television, which are shown on prime time television, for instance the award-winning ARD production " The day when Theo van Gogh died ." He is coauthor of the youth book „Oya“ (1988 ). It tells the story of a Turkish returnees child that is not native to the country of his parents. „Oya“ is often used as teaching material for intercultural learning in German schools. 2002 he received the German and European CIVIS media Prize and the Prix Europa for the film "The Red square: . . the fire trap of Rostock " . Much attention was also given to his documentary " The day when Jürgen W. Möllemann jumped to his death ."