Why the U.S. ejected Turkey from F-35 fighter jet program, and why the turbulence will only grow

July 22, 2019

NBC News

"Developments in the past two decades have split American and Turkish strategic views of each other, and it is unlikely that these views and those who implement them will converge any time soon — unless, of course, Russia plays its hand wrong as it did at the beginning of the Cold War, threatening Ankara and pushing Turkey back into Washington’s arms," says Cagaptay.

An Underdog Challenges Erdogan

June 30, 2019

Wall Street Journal

"By annulling Mr. Imamoglu’s victory, Mr. Erdogan unwittingly boosted his rival," says Soner Cagaptay.

Erdogan’s presidential system isn’t working. The Istanbul election shows why

June 24, 2019

Washington Post

"Turkey is too large demographically, too big economically and too complicated politically to be governed from a palace," said Cagaptay.

Turkey and Russia are not friends, despite appearances

June 16, 2019

The Hill

"Erdogan is unlikely to walk away from Putin’s shrewd S-400 offer because he fears Russian reprisal. As a result, the consequences for U.S.-Turkey relations could be grave," said Soner Cagaptay and Andy Taylor.

Why Turkey’s Election Results Test Erdoğan’s Grip on Power

April 02, 2019

New Yorker

“Istanbul is where Erdoğan’s political career started, and it made him a rock star, in political terms,” he said. “Losing that city is a big blow to his political brand,” said Soner Cagaptay.

Go deeper: How U.S.-Turkey relations reached a breaking point

August 18, 2018


"It went from a crisis in the bureaucracy to a crisis at the presidential level," Cagaptay says.

Turkey's Economy May Be in Freefall, But Erdogan's Base Believes He Can Do No Wrong

August 16, 2018


Muslims who believe they are caught up in the historic struggle of the Cross against the Crescent require a leader for victory. After the July 2016 coup attempt, Erdogan has proven himself to be that leader.

U.S. sanctions could hurt Turkish economy but strengthen Erdogan

August 07, 2018


The Turkish economy, already in a fragile state before sanctions, could well melt down. But while the sanctions might cripple Turkey’s economy, they are unlikely to pose a threat to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power.

The New Sultan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey

July 31, 2018

Hoover Institution

Erdogan’s personalization of power and domination of political and civil institutions has rendered Turkey politically brittle, in a state of permanent crisis. Erdogan knows that his actions have left him with no graceful way to exit the scene. What’s more, when Erdogan does leave office—and one day he will—there will be few institutions left standing to keep the country together.

Erdogan’s tightened grip on power 'could increase Turkish business migration'

July 17, 2018


“Erdogan... has a blank canvas to sketch his ideals of what Turkey can be and has more power than any previous Turkish leader could dream of. I believe a new republic has begun in Turkey,” says Cagaptay.

Political divide deepening in Turkey as Erdogan assumes more power

July 12, 2018


Erdogan has become the most unassailable Turkish leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established modern Turkey as a secular republic in 1923.

Erdogan Begins New Term and Names His Son-in-Law Finance Minister

July 09, 2018

New York Times

"Nearly half the Parliament — representing a population the size of Spain’s — remains opposed to Mr. Erdogan, said Soner Cagaptay, author of a book on Mr. Erdogan, The New Sultan.”

Erdogan Tightens Grip on Power as He is Sworn in as President

July 09, 2018

Financial Times

"This is a historic day in Turkey--almost as significant as [Turkey's founder] Mustafa Kemal Ataturk setting up his own republic in 1923," said Soner Cagaptay, author of The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey.

As a ‘kingmaker,’ Turkey’s nationalist faction could bring trouble

June 28, 2018

The Hill

Erdogan could not have won if not for the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which has emerged as the “kingmaker” of Turkish politics with its support of Erdogan... However, taking into account historic trends, the AKP-MHP alliance does not bode well for Turkey’s stability. Without exception, all Turkish governments supported by the MHP have collapsed in grave crises.

Erdogan inaugurates a new political era in Turkey

June 28, 2018

The Economist

Expecting him to heal divisions he has partly been responsible for creating is naive, argues Soner Cagaptay, the author of a recent book about Mr Erdogan. “He’s not authoritarian because he is crazy, but because he is rational,” he says. “Down the line, it’s the only way for him to avoid losing power.”

Erdogan’s megaproject dreams face market backlash

June 26, 2018

Financial Times
“It helps him win elections because citizens have access to better services and transport,” said Soner Cagaptay, author of The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey. “But there is a more grandiose theme there, of making Turkey great again. Erdogan knows that it has a very emotional appeal to his base.”

Erdogan opponent concedes election defeat, warns against Turkey’s ‘one-man regime’

June 25, 2018

Washington Post

“If the MHP hadn’t allied with Erdogan, he would have lost the presidential and parliamentary elections,” Cagaptay said. The alliance “was a masterstroke by Erdogan — probably his most important masterstroke of the last 16 years.” 

Turkey’s president sweeps the board and assumes greater powers

June 25, 2018

The Economist

“He’s not authoritarian because he is crazy, but because he is rational,” says Soner Cagaptay, the author of a recent book about Mr Erdogan. “Down the line, it’s the only way for him to avoid losing power.”

Now, Erdogan Faces Turkey’s Troubled Economy. And He’s Part of the Trouble.

June 25, 2018

New York Times

Describing Erdogan's appeal, the New York Times quotes Soner Cagaptay's The New Sultan when describing the leader as "born on the wrong side of the tracks," citing this quality as reasoning for Erdogan's support from "newly prosperous Islamists who were long marginalized under the secular republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk."

Erdogan’s Victory in Turkey Election Expands His Powers

June 24, 2018

New York Times

The victory means Mr. Erdogan will almost certainly make good on his desire to become the country’s longest-ruling leader, surpassing Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

'One-man rule?' Why the Turkey elections matter to the US

June 23, 2018

NBC News

“The biggest issue at stake is that the election will not resolve Turkey’s ongoing (political) crisis, it will only deepen it,” said Soner Cagaptay, author of "The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey" and a director of the Turkish program at the Washington Institute.

Four Things to Watch in Turkey's Elections

June 22, 2018


In The New Sultan, Soner Cagaptay describes Erdogan's rise to power. Now, if he wins on Sunday, Erdogan will become Turkey’s most powerful leader since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk established the country in 1923.

An angry and erratic Erdogan is on the cusp of becoming more powerful than ever

June 22, 2018

The Telegraph

“Erodgan lives in an echo chamber that he has created,” said Soner Cagaptay, author of The New Sultan, a biography of Mr Erdogan. “And he’s in there with the 40 million Turks who support him and all of his political advisers.”

Turkey Book Talk: Soner Cagaptay on Erdoğan and the crisis of modern Turkey

July 21, 2017

Soner Cagaptay discusses his book "The New Sultan: Erdoğan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey" (IB Tauris) with William Armstrong of the Turkey Book Talk podcast.

The Loneliness of Recep Tayyip Erdogan

July 15, 2017

The Atlantic

His lifelong resentment of secularists has decimated Turkish democracy.

Erdogan’s big meeting with Trump gets obscured by White House chaos

May 17, 2017

The Washington Post

During two separate photo ops at the White House on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waited silently while reporters barraged President Trump with questions about his sharing of top-secret intelligence with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador in Washington last week.

After Trump Vows to Arm Syrian Kurds, the Next Move Is Erdogan’s

May 11, 2017

The New York Times

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey lost his first major political battle with the Trump administration, which is arming the Syrian Kurds who the Turks consider enemies. The question now is what Mr. Erdogan, a headstrong leader, will do next.

US to arm Syrian Kurds in affront to Turkey

May 10, 2017

Backing for YPG comes ahead of visit to White House by Recep Tayyip Erdogan next week.

Turkey steps up crackdown on humanitarian aid groups

April 27, 2017


Turkish authorities have detained 15 staff of a US NGO working on Syria relief operations – the latest in a series of moves restricting humanitarian aid groups in the country. Observers attribute the crackdown on foreign NGOs to a resurgence in Turkish nationalism and government concerns about Kurdish empowerment inside Syria.

Turkey's Erdogan consolidates power

April 20, 2017


An analysis of Erdogan's recent attempt at power consolidation during the referendum.

Erdogan left with a divided Turkey after referendum

April 17, 2017

Deutsche Welle English

By expanding his powers through a slim, contested victory in Sunday's referendum, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan has consolidated his rule - but over a nation bound for social turmoil. Diego Cupolo reports from Ankara.

What Erdogan’s narrow referendum victory means for Turkey

April 17, 2017

The Washington Post

A close analysis of what this close victory for Erdogan means for the future of Turkey.

Erdogan follows referendum win with extension of state of emergency

April 17, 2017

Financial Times

Opponents fear greater autocracy from newly empowered president.

Erdogan enfrenta sociedade dividida após referendo

April 17, 2017

O Povo 

Erdogan confronts a divided country before his referendum.

Como despertará a Turquia amanhã?

April 16, 2017


What kind of country will Turkey wake up to tomorrow?

Erdogan realises decade-long dream of power

April 16, 2017

Financial Times

For a triumphant Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the victory in Sunday’s hard-fought referendum — albeit close — is more than an electoral endorsement of his status as Turkey’s most powerful man.

Turkey Investigating 17, Some Americans, Accused in Failed Coup

April 15, 2017

The New York Times

A Turkish prosecutor has opened an investigation into 17 people accused of fomenting last year’s failed coup, including many prominent American officials, academics and politicians, state news media reported on Saturday.

Erdogan brings Turkey to another turning point

April 15, 2017

The Irish Times

What will Turkey's upcoming referendum really mean for the country?

Turkey's Troubling Turn

July 19, 2016

Foreign Affairs


Before the failed military coup on July 15, Turkey was struggling to recover from a bombing and shoot-out that killed 45 people at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on June 28. Although the attempted takeover complicates the country’s crackdown on terrorism, its security problems began long before this summer’s turmoil. The three jihadists who planned the attack had been in Turkey for quite some time, having traveled over 750 miles from Syria, rented an apartment in Istanbul, and then assembled bombs for a month. They did so without raising alarm for a simple reason: Turkey itself is radicalizing and the jihadists blended in.

Erdogan’s Final Agenda

July 19, 2016

The Atlantic's Uri Freidman interviews Dr. Cagaptay on what is next for Erdogan after the failed coup.

An Extremely Vulnerable Turkey

December 20, 2016

The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge spoke with Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute, to discuss the assassination, Turkey’s relationship with Russia, and what’s next for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey's permanent state of crisis

December 20, 2016