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The Winds of Change: Turkeys Evolution Toward Authoritarianism

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Technical Report

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Air Command and Staff College, Air University Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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The results of the 7 June 2015 Government of Turkey GoT Parliamentary elections will affirm the shift of Turkish politics away from Western democracy for the foreseeable future. Instability in the region has elevated Turkeys strategic value, and the most recent example of that is the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that has increased the strategic and tactical value of Turkey. The newly enacted Syrian Train and Equip program is a significant aspect of the US-Turkish relationship and underscores the strengths of each partner Turkish geopolitical value and regional leadership as well as US military, financial, and international coordination. President Erdogan wants to increase and consolidate power as he shifts Turkey from a Parliamentary system to a Presidential government. Repression of dissenting or oppositional voices is a disturbing aspect of Turkeys trajectory. A stable, democratic, free, and modern Turkey is beneficial to the US, Turkey, the Middle East, and beyond. As Erdogan guides his country toward a more conservative path, the US must understand Turkeys importance, concerns, desires, and trajectory in order to assist Turkey to remain a moderate, stable, mutually supportive and effective ally.

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