Post-election political landscape in Türkiye
    Review by Melih Altınok

    REGION  09 June 2023 - 02:00

    Türkiye has finally concluded the highly anticipated presidential and parliamentary elections that have captured the attention of the entire globe, Melih Altınok says in his new review for the Daily Sabah.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, emerged as triumphant, leaving his opponent, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, behind with 52.2% of the vote in a decisive presidential runoff. With the dawn of a new era, he took the solemn oath and embarked upon a fresh term. His first task was to announce the Cabinet.

    Erdoğan, who renewed 80% of his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) lawmakers, reset his Cabinet. Only two out of 17 ministers (health and tourism) remained from the previous Cabinet.

    The appointment of Mehmet Şimşek, a prominent figure recognized by international markets, as treasury and finance minister, and the expected changes in the Central Bank, signaled a focus on the economy and provide important clues about the upcoming period. Erdoğan is determined to bring down rising inflation to reasonable levels and halt the depreciation of the Turkish lira.

    This issue is of utmost importance because those who secured Erdoğan's recent election victory are the economically disadvantaged groups, workers and the impoverished. Despite the high cost of living, they did not abandon Erdoğan. In return, the Turkish president will undoubtedly repay the credit bestowed upon him by his electorate.

    One prominent figure in the Cabinet is undoubtedly Hakan Fidan, the chief of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). He has now been appointed as the foreign minister. Fidan, who has amassed an impressive depth of diplomatic experience over the course of 13 years, is one of Erdoğan's closest confidants. The strategic moves made by China and Russia in the region, aimed at challenging the influence of the United States, have elevated Türkiye's position in the eyes of the West. It is expected that under Fidan's leadership at the Foreign Ministry, Erdoğan will further deepen Türkiye's unique policy of maintaining a delicate balance in international relations.

    Indeed, the ruling front is beaming with joy as President Erdoğan's supporters hold on to hope for the new era.

    Despite entering the 21st year of their reign, Erdoğan continues to ignite excitement among the electorate, while his rivals find themselves in a state of despair.

    Opposition front

    The opposition coalition, initially formed by six parties and later unofficially expanded with the involvement of others, has already crumbled, even before the political landscape has had a chance to stabilize. Resignations are piling up, and accusations are being hurled in all directions. It seems nearly impossible for them to form an alliance against Erdoğan in the local elections, which are just 10 months away. The opposition media is also engulfed in harsh self-criticism, with phrases like "we failed to understand the process, we were foolish" echoing through its corridors.

    On the other hand, Kılıçdaroğlu, who suffered several defeats against Erdoğan, remains determined to hold his position as the leader of the main opposition. He has even started purging those who voice their discontent within his party, the Republican People's Party (CHP).

    Most recently, Kılıçdaroğlu forced all members of the Central Executive Board (MYK), whom he held responsible for the election defeat, to resign. In their place, he appointed individuals who have become caricatures in the public eye, lacking any notable qualifications. His sole concern seems to be eliminating any element within the party that holds potential for opposition until the long-delayed party convention, and transforming the party into "a bed of roses, free of thorns."

    While those who always label Erdoğan as a "dictator," despite never winning an election themselves, and see Kılıçdaroğlu, who has been in his seat well into his eighties without a single electoral victory, as a "democrat," opposition voters have struggled to recover from the shock.

    This segment, generally described as "left-leaning," is once again attempting to intimidate people by attributing the election results to the "ignorance of the people" and demeaning them, as they have always done.

    The act of resorting to shameful populist tactics during the election period, such as the "go away" campaign targeting foreigners, especially Syrian migrants and refugees, in the country, has also left a sense of shame on those who voted for Kılıçdaroğlu. In addition to the election defeat, they have completely lost their moral high ground, leading them to launch attacks on Erdoğan supporters in the public sphere with a sense of bitterness.

    Indeed, in a nutshell, the opposition has begun working from day one to lose the upcoming elections once again!

     

    Caliber.Az

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