What good is it if a man gains great political power but permanently loses his country and its international partners? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might soon find out.
Erdogan is running an increasingly divisive campaign in the run-up to the April 16 referendum to possibly expand his role in Turkish politics. In recent days, his tone has become more disdainful and dangerous than usual. On March 5, it was reported that several German municipalities had canceled rallies by a Europe-based Turkish nongovernmental organization allied with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The rallies would have involved speeches by ministers of Erdogan’s AKP with the intention of whipping up votes to pass the referendum among Turkish citizens living in Germany and other European countries. Erdogan blamed the cancellations on the German federal government and charged that the move was “not much different than Nazi practices.” The irony here is that Erdogan uttered remarks in 2016 that some observers interpreted as admiration for Adolf Hitler.