Discussion Group May 1, 2023: Turkey

Our next discussion group meeting will be on Monday, May 1st at 5:00 p.m. PST via Zoom on the topic of Turkey – Between Earthquakes and Elections, following on the April 28th luncheon presentation by Scott Kilner on this topic.
Not long ago, the United States saw Turkey as a uniquely democratic Moslem-majority country and a model for the Islamic world. In sharp contrast, today most U.S. observers view the country as our most problematic NATO ally, dominated by the increasingly authoritarian President Erdogan. Against the backdrop of recent devastating earthquakes, Turkish citizens will go to the polls on May 14 to elect both the next President and a new parliament.
Some question to guide our discussion, including those that Scott Kilner will have addressed at the luncheon lecture on April 28th:
1.  What are the chances that Erdogan’s 20-year-reign will end?
2.  How is the aftermath of the earthquakes expected to affect the vote?
3.  What are the implications for the U.S., NATO and regional neighbors of Turkey’s evolving foreign policy?
The following resources are provided as background for our discussion:
A.  Update on Turkey: Between Earthquakes and ElectionsScott KilnerWACMB Luncheon Lecture on 28 April 2023. Recording will be posted by 29 April at https://www.wacmb.org/member-resources/, password: Gibraltar
B.  Erdoğan Is In Danger. Council on Foreign Relations, 13 March 2023 at https://www.cfr.org/article/erdogan-danger, and Will Turkey’s elections finally spell the end of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan?  The Guardian, 16 April 2023 at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/apr/16/will-turkeys-elections-spell-end-of-recep-tayyip-erdogan
C.  Turkey has a newly confrontational foreign policy. The Economist, 16 January 2023 at https://www.economist.com/special-report/2023/01/16/turkey-has-a-newly-confrontational-foreign-policy
D.  Ahead of a critical election Turkey’s economy is running on borrowed time. The Economist, 26 March 2023 at https://www.economist.com/europe/2023/03/26/ahead-of-a-critical-election-turkeys-economy-is-running-on-borrowed-time
E.  CIA World Facebook on Turkey (Turkiye) at https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/turkey-turkiye/
Looking forward to our spirited discussion.
Boyd Haight and Linda Dilger