After the evening of Feb. 24, Turkey will never be the same. Around 9:00 p.m., recordings of five telephone conversations appeared on YouTube alleged to be between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son, Bilal Erdogan. The conversations are said to have taken place Dec. 17 and 18. Was this the anticipated big bang expected to change the course of political developments in Turkey? Is there more to come?
We will have a wait a bit longer for the answer, but what is beyond question is that this is the most serious and damaging blow to Erdogan since the government corruption investigations became public in December. Whether it is a lethal blow remains to be seen. It might, however, have inflicted a fatal wound to the man who until recently was a larger-than-life Turkish political leader and an international statesman whose grip on power was presumably secure and would remain so for years to come, perhaps until the centennial of the Republic of Turkey, in 2023. Not anymore.