ISTANBUL -- To grasp Erdoğan's seemingly contradictory stance towards Putin requires some knowledge of the system of crony capitalism which has sprung up and flourished -- particularly in the energy and construction sectors -- in both Turkey and Russia. Aware that Turkey will emerge the loser in any confrontation with Russia, Erdoğan and the AKP have pragmatically accepted Russia's geopolitical superiority, while seeking to reap the maximum financial gain in the process.
Turkey is headed in a dangerous direction, toward a corrupt, authoritarian state. The country needs an Arab Spring of sorts, but within the democratic process. An electoral revolution, not a street putsch. The use of the rule of law to end an illiberal government. The ballot box must make political power accountable.
The steady erosion of sociopolitical conditions, the growing restrictions on free speech and the pervasiveness of the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party created deep anxiety and fear among the general public as they witnessed the gradual transformation of their country from a democracy to a police state.
As story after story emerges about the potential game changing 2015 election in Turkey, one party is virtually being ignored. But it has a good chance of playing the spoiler for the ambitions of the ruling AKP and its autocratic President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And it's a party once led by a former Erdogan all