Turkey will play a critical geopolitical role
in the events of the Middle East. After the
attempted coup of July 2016, the spotlight is
on Recep Tayyip Erdogan – the powerful leader of the country whose increasingly authoritarian regime has increased tensions both within and outside the country.

Erdogan’s crackdown on dissent has been brutal and consistent – thousands of journalists arrested, academics officially banned from leaving the country, university deans fired and three quarters of the
highest-ranking army officers in custody. As his opponents accuse the AKP of heavyhandedness, Erdogan promises to bring order and stability under a ‘strongman’.


In this book, leading Turkish expert Soner Cagaptay looks at where Erdogan comes from in Turkish history, what he believes in and how he has cemented his rule. The New Sultan tells the story of the increasingly Islamic Turkey Erdogan has built, and assesses the threats he faces – from the liberal youth to the Gulen movement, the army plotters and the fallout from the Kurdish question.

Highlighted Publications and Events
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April 18, 2017

"The New Sultan" Book Launch

Dr. Soner Cagaptay discusses his new book "The New Sultan" at the Washington Institute with panelists Amberin Zaman and Gönül Tol. 

April 19, 2017

Book Talk - U.S. Department of State

Dr. Soner Cagaptay discusses his new book "The New Sultan" at the Ralph J. Bunche Library at the State Department.

March 31, 2017

Erdogan Is Dividing Turkey Against Itself

The Atlantic

A demonize-and-polarize strategy has worked for the Turkish president in the past. But it may ultimately tear his country apart.

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David Ignatius, columnist 

Washington Post

This is a brave and balanced narrative of Turkey's mercurial President Erdogan. Soner Cagaptay explains how "the new sultan" built a modern and prosperous Turkey, but how his "dark, illiberal side" undermined these achievements and throttled democracy. Turkey is now at a crossroads, and Cagaptay provides a clear roadmap. Nobody tells Erdogan's story better or more honestly.

James F. Jeffrey, former ambassador to Turkey

My most challenging mission in a 35-year diplomatic career was dealing with Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Along with Bibi Netanyahu and Supreme Leader Khamenei, Erdogan has been one of the three Middle Eastern leaders of consequence in the twenty-first century. Cagaptay's book captures both the man and his state; I wish I'd read it before serving as ambassador to Turkey.


Soner Cagaptay

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