A supporter holds a flag depicting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a pro-government demonstration in Ankara, Turkey, July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Patriotism in Turkey has always been strong, but in the wake of July's failed coup by members of the military, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tapped freely into the populist, banner-draped fervor to remould the nation in his image.The questions are, what sort of Turkey does Erdogan want, and what steps will this powerful and sometimes unpredictable leader take to achieve his vision? In speeches and comments before and since the failed putsch, Erdogan has frequently referenced the Ottoman period, when Turkey's forefathers held territory stretching from southeast Europe to the Caucasus, North Africa and Iraq.At the U.N. General Assembly in September, the most high-profile speech Erdogan has made abroad since the failed coup, he expanded on two of his favorite themes: How Turkey helps the oppressed and serves as a role model in the Muslim world, and how power at the United Nations is too narrowly held.Since coming to power in 2003, first as prime minister and then as president, Erdogan has overseen a period of rapid economic growth and increased regional influence.A poll in late July, two weeks after the coup attempt, showed Erdogan with two-thirds approval among Turkey's 78 million people, his highest rating ever.Duff does not think Erdogan will pivot to the East permanently.
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