Simon Tisdall writes: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a man of choleric disposition. The Turkish president has a track record of ruthlessness in dealing with opponents and critics and, thus, his response to Friday’s attempted coup by sections of the Turkish military can be expected to be fierce and brutal..
Erdogan’s combative outlook is the result, at least in part, of his experiences as a poor child growing up in a working-class Istanbul neighbourhood, and of the tough treatment handed out to him when, as mayor of the city and a rising opposition star prior to 2003, he was hounded, persecuted and sentenced to jail along with many of his supporters.
But his tough-guy stance is also the result of his determination to have his own way; his paternalistic conviction that he knows what’s best for Turkey.
Since becoming prime minister and now president, Erdoğan has frequently claimed to be the target and victim of murky conspiracies designed to depose him and destroy his neo-Islamist ruling party, the Justice and Development party (AKP). Usually, in his mind, these supposed plots are directed by hidden enemies based abroad. His particular bête noir is Fethullah Gülen, a former ally now exiled in the US. [Continue reading…]