Erdogan’s Dream: The Sultan Rules

In 2013, The Economist published on its cover a photomontage of Ottoman Sultan Selim III and Turkey’s then Prime Minister (now President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to illustrate Erdogan’s growing autocratic tendencies (left). In 2015, Erdogan himself posed in his palace with the costumed “16 warriors” that guard him, who are meant to represent the 16 polities in Turkic history, including the Mughal empire, Timurid empire and Ottoman empire (right).

It is election time in Turkey. On June 7, the Turks will go to the ballot box to elect a government and a prime minister who will rule the country for four years.

In reality, they will go to the ballot box to decide whether they want an elected Sultan or not.

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wants more than just to win a parliamentary majority for his Justice and Development Party (AKP). He wants a two-thirds majority, so that the constitution can be amended to introduce an executive presidential system and the Sultan can once again officially rule…