Abdullah Gul United Nations Information Centres/Flickr

Abdullah Gül’s Choice

The rise of Putinism in Russia can be traced to a single decision taken by a single man, Boris Yeltsin, for purely personal reasons. Now, Turkey’s future is seemingly in the hands of one man, former President Abdullah Gül, who must decide whether to stand behind his successor, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in the upcoming general election.

NEW YORK – Many historians and economists insist that we live in an age shaped by vast and impersonal forces. The actions and decisions of one man or woman, no matter how powerful, cannot determine the destiny of nations. This may be true much or most of the time. But there are moments when an individual leader’s choices can change the course of history. That has certainly been true in Russia, and it may soon turn out to be true in Turkey as well.