Everyone has heard of Erdogan: Turkey’s bullish, mercurial president is the original postmodern populist. Around the world, other strongmen are now following the path that he has blazed. For the first time, Erdogan Rising tells the inside story of how a democracy on the fringe of Europe has succumbed to dictatorship.
Hannah Lucinda Smith, Turkey correspondent with The Times of London, has witnessed all that has befallen Turkey and the wider region since the onset of the Arab Spring. From the frontlines of the wars in Syria and Eastern Turkey, through the refugee crisis and the attempted coup against Erdogan, she traces how chaos in the Middle East has blown back on a country that was once heralded as the model of Islamic democracy. With access to key insiders, she also paints a vivid portrait of Erdogan’s descent from flawed democrat to staunch authoritarian.
Erdogan Rising is a story rooted in Smith’s first-hand experiences of a country divided, told through the eyes of a rich cast of characters. She journeys into the Turkey where Erdogan commands a following so devoted they compose songs in his honour, adorn their houses with his picture, and lay down their lives to keep him in power. But on the other side - sometimes just a few hundred metres down the road - she also meets the Turks who are mourning the loss of the country they once knew.
Erdogan Rising serves as a chilling warning of democracy’s fragility - and reveals how much people can change.
"Warm, funny, engaging and always informative, Smith's writing stands among the finest of a new generation of journalist authors. Essential reading - I was delighted by every page." (Anthony Loyd)