Reclaiming Democracy: COVID-19 and the Liberal Future


Just over a year ago, opposition candidates won the mayoralties of İstanbul, Ankara, and nine other cities across Turkey in a striking political upset for President Erdoğan, notes the Project on Middle East Democracy. Now, the COVID-19 crisis has put the spotlight back on these opposition mayors. As they struggle to protect their cities’ residents and minimize the pandemic’s humanitarian costs, Erdoğan has shut down their soup kitchens, blocked their fundraising activities, and imposed erratic curfews—all to deny his emerging rivals any political credit. These are only Erdoğan’s latest interventions against the opposition mayors and their efforts to reclaim democracy in their cities.

Please join POMED – a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) partner – on April 30 for a virtual discussion on Turkey’s opposition mayors, one year after the municipal elections withHarun Ercan, Former advisor, Diyarbakır Municipality; Seren Selvin Korkmaz, Executive Director, IstanPol Institute; Aylin Yardımcı, Digital Editor, İstanbul Municipality. Moderated by: Merve Tahiroğlu, Turkey Program Coordinator, POMED. RSVP

It’s too early to tell what the future will bring for liberal democracy around the globe after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to GLOBSEC and the Wilfried Martens Center (see above).


Does this pandemic herald far-reaching changes in the nature of our political systems? Will it result in permanent restrictions of some individual and civic freedoms and encourage more invasive forms of governmental control? How should we assess developments so far and how will our social contract look like in the post-pandemic era? If you missed the #OnlineEvent ‘COVID-19 and the Future of Liberal Democracy’, you can now watch it and give your comments on the matter and on what both @Yascha_Mounk and @AChryssogelos debated. The online event took place on 16 April 2020 and you can watch the debate above.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email