For The Los Angeles Times:
Last month’s constitutional referendum may have yielded a victory for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, enshrining vast powers for him and his Justice and Development Party, or AKP, but the results were far closer than his supporters were expecting, largely because of growing discontent within Turkey’s conservatives.
Erdogan has counted on conservatives’ support for more than 14 years, but his authoritarian style of governance and his pragmatic foreign policy are pushing a segment of Turkey’s Islamists to turn against him.
“The AKP is no longer a humble party. It cannot hear any criticism, whether from its own members or from others,” said Abdullatif Sener, one of 74 people who founded the party in 2001 and who served as deputy prime minister under Erdogan until he quit in 2007. “Those critics still in the party have no power to direct it. Many are keeping quiet themselves, because they know if they criticize Erdogan, the next day they will be targeted.”
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