In 1998, several years before Recep Tayyip Erdogan became Turkey’s prime minister, he offered what may well have been the best indication of how he would lead the country.
“Democracy is like a train,” he said. “When you reach your destination, you get off.”
Eighteen years later, under President Erdogan, those words resonate even more clearly. Less than a month after the failed coup against him, the Turkish leader has gone to great lengths to silence his critics.
The steps he has taken – by his own admission, a “purge” and “cleansing” of the Turkish state – have shaken Western leaders’ faith in Mr. Erdogan, and raised questions about the future of democracy and the rule of law in his country.