See Part I
According to all of the latest independent reports, Erdogan’s claims to having had anything of a secular education are entirely bogus, because the only education that he unquestionably did have was his k-12 education, all of which was at Islamic schools, where he learned to read, and did read, the Quran. These were schools that prepare boys for the clergy. In fact, one of the reasons why Article 101 of Turkey’s Constitution requires the President to have a college degree is that k-12 schooling in Turkey prior to Ataturk was Quranic. Only post-high-school education then had some secular control. Though Erdogan grew up in Ataturk’s imposed secular Turkey, he seems all along to have been simply a closeted fundamentalist Sunni, who rose in politics because the Turkish public favored that, more than they favored Ataturk’s imposed separation of church-and-state. And now, even the EU is dependent upon Turkey, to absorb as many of the refugees as possible from the US-Saudi (and their jihadists) invasions of Syria, Libya, etc. (which invasions are aimed to overthrow leaders who are allied with Russia, but also to spread the Islamic faith, in precisely the Salafist-Wahhabist Sunni variety that the Sauds especially champion).
As Foreign Affairs reported, on 23 December 2015, about Erdogan’s Turkey: «Students who perform poorly on entrance exams for secondary school are shunted into imam-hatips where they study the Koran for up to 13 hours a week and take courses on the life of the Prophet Muhammad and Arabic [the language of the Quran]. Erdogan has boasted that during his tenure as president, enrollment in these schools soared from 63,000 to over one million».
Erdogan is part of a broader fundamentalist movement in Turkey to end the country’s secularism and return Turkey to its sectarian, Ottoman, past. Here is the way that one fundamentalist Muslim phrased the matter in a speech addressing American fundamentalist Christians in Colorado, on 14 November 1998, encouraging them in their fight for a statutorily Christian America to replace the existing secular US Constitution and system of government: «Religiosity went underground. While many Turks did lose their faith [after Ataturk’s reforms,] … many others simply feigned a loss of faith. (On my first visit to Turkey a student told me that he did not let his professors know that he prayed five times a day because he wanted to get a job after he graduated.)» Erdogan’s fake college diploma is part of that «underground» operation, to return Turkey to its previous system. Violating a secular Constitution is no sin, but a virtue, to believers in the view that law comes only from God, never from humans; i.e., not from democracy, the public, but from God. Thus, for Erdogan to violate section 101 of Turkey’s Constitution, is acceptable to people who believe the way he does (i.e., as a religious fundamentalist). It’s what had won him the Presidency.
The President of Turkey is globally important. Turkey is a crucial member of the Western alliance – the countries allied with the US against Russia – because it’s the single bridge between both the NATO alliance of anti-Russia countries (essentially, the US and the EU), and the anti-Russia GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) alliance of fundamentalist Sunni Islamic Sharia-law oil kingdoms against Russia: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman. Turkey is the only Islamic nation that’s both a member of NATO, and also a fundamentalist Sunni Islamic, and (under Erdogan) increasingly Sharia law, nation. (Unlike the others, Turkey has no oil of its own, however.) So, Erdogan is the regional bridge between America’s NATO military alliance, and the Sauds’ GCC military alliance. The only other such bridge (though not merely regional) is America’s President, Barack Obama, who is, in a sense, an even bigger such bridge than Erdogan is: the US President is the glue that holds the entire anti-Russia alliance together globally. Consequently, if Turkey’s regime collapses, then America’s regime might be the only remaining such geostrategic north-south bridge, holding together both ends of America’s anti-Russia alliance: otherwise known as the Western alliance. And, of course, with Pacific allies such as Japan and Australia, the US truly is the uniquely global superpower. But, if Erdogan falls, then an even heavier geostrategic burden will become placed on America, and the Sauds will consequently be even more dependent upon the US than they now are. Perhaps they’ll then need to reduce their funding to terrorist groups (such as they have always been requested to do, in private).From the Sauds’ standpoint, a return of Turkey back to its former Ataturk secularism, away from Turkey’s more recent Erdogan Sunni sectarianism, would thus likely be quite unwelcomed. Furthermore, how would the US, Sauds, Qatar’s Thanis, etc., then be able to get their weapons and jihadists into Syria to bring down and replace the secular Shiite ally of Russia who now leads that country: Bashar al-Assad?
So, Erdogan’s diploma-problem could turn out to have considerable global significance. If his diploma-problem fades away, then Turkey’s dictatorship will be established quite firmly, and Turkey’s Constitution will be empty verbiage, but Erdogan’s supporters will probably be even more passionate for him than they now are, because of their fears of the demons that he trumpets: Kurds, Shiites, etc. He’s an ordinary tyrant, in an extraordinary position, and thus is a tyrant with extraordinarily many foreign allies. That might pull him through.