An interesting analogy made by Visual Politik in this video claims that:
[Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the] "Anakin Skywalker of politics, he started out as the good guy in the movie but we all know that, eventually, he will fall to the dark side..."
Oddly enough he is said to have gained popularity after being president of Istanbul for being arrested for a public reading of a politically charged Islamic poem. This earned him support from a religious majority that felt oppressed by military secular rule. Which sound to me like someone who is not progressive, but maybe the choice of his countrymen.
However, he was seen to take authoritarian measures, including the arresting of protesters (keeping protests peaceful is not simple, and handling violent protests can be catastrophic). He supposedly deterred a military coup d'état.
The Turkish constitutional referendum, was widely regarded in the media as power seizing move by Erdogan. Reading the Wikipedia article, much of it sound to me like a transition from parliamentary system to the executive presidency (which works fine in many countries). Of course, it isn't helpful when such measures are approved by very narrow margins.
It caught my attention that international witnesses did testify that Voters had genuine choice on 2018 elections but at least some controversies arose during the referendum of 2017.
One thing I'm really missing from this picture is related to actual public approval and on-the-streets support for Erdogan. Is he popular? Do people discuss whether or not he is a dictator on the rise or just the president for now? Is it realistic to say he could have manipulated at least some elections on his favor?