History Prof. Writes Report for POMED on Turkey Referendum

As Turkey prepared to hold a controversial constitutional referendum on April 16, the Project on Middle East Democracy, POMED, published a report by Howard Eissenstat, associate professor of history and nonresident senior fellow with POMED, titled “Erdoğan As Autocrat: A Very Turkish Tragedy.”

In it, Eissenstat discusses how, in less than a decade, the Republic of Turkey has gone from a period of promising political liberalization to fast-approaching one man rule under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He also explains how a serious democratic erosion has been underway for several years, but that repression has expanded dramatically following the failed coup of July 2016.

Eissenstat states that if Erdoğan’s proposal for an executive presidency is approved in the April 16 referendum, meaningful limits on his rule may disappear.

Eissenstat also wrote an opinion piece that was published in The Hill on April 12 and was scheduled to deli ever several interviews with national and international media on the day of the referendum.

Post-Referendum Update:

Eissenstat was widely quoted in national and international news outlets following the April 16 referendum, including the Associated Press, Muftah, Quartz, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He was included in an April 17 analysis in The Washington Post. On April 18, he was interviewed by the Canadian Broadcast Corp. (CBC) following Turkey's ambassador to Canada, Selcuk Unal.

He also penned a commentary, "The real winners, and losers, in the Turkish referendum," for Reuters.