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Why Erdoan Will Win Again – Cengiz Aktar-breakinglatest.news-Breaking Latest News

 


On January 1, the centenary of the Turkish republic will be celebrated. In many ways, 2023 will be a momentous year, as it will also be an election year. This anniversary is one of the top five reasons why President Recep Tayyip Erdoan will be re-elected. A victory for him in the centenary year would send the message that the new Turkey, as opposed to the old one created by Mustafa Kemal Atatrk, is here to stay. This achievement would mark the culmination of the de-Westernization of the regime.

The president will be forced to win the election because otherwise he will have to face serious charges of corruption and violation of the constitution in court during his twenty-year term. And he may have problems with the International Criminal Court for military campaigns in neighboring countries. He can’t take that risk.

The masses who support the regime are in favor of dictatorial systems of government. Moreover, even if they are economically dissatisfied, they see no alternative

His re-election is also likely due to the limitations of the opposition which, with the obvious exception of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), is unable to form a common front behind a strong candidate. No leader has emerged who can match Erdoan’s charisma, which not only appeals to his electorate. Moreover, the opposition program is based on two arguments: to get rid of the president and to distance itself from the HDP or the Kurds in general. This is not enough to convince disgruntled citizens, especially young people.

Other reasons for the president’s inevitable success lie in external support. The Middle East’s oil dynasties and Russian President Vladimir Putin have pledged support for Erdoan and Turkey’s struggling economy to secure his re-election. Looking at the country’s accounts, one suspects that a lot of hidden funding is coming in. The most interested is Putin, who has a golden opportunity to continue to sow discord within NATO.

But it is not only autocracies that support Erdoan. The West supports it indirectly by turning a blind eye to the regime’s aggressive behavior inside and outside Turkey, to “keep” the country in NATO. Erdoan’s extravagance, his eternal victimization, the threats against Greece and the military operations against the Kurds are forgiven.

Another reason lies in the complex electoral engineering, which leaves nothing to chance. This includes aspects such as bureaucracy, constituencies and related regulations. The Supreme Electoral Council (Ysk) appoints pro-regime judges. The presidents of the electoral commissions will also be composed of judges appointed by the government. Polls and commissions will therefore be under the direct control of Erdoan.

The council and the electoral commissions may use any pretext not to admit a candidate. This would prevent the opposition from participating in elections in certain constituencies. As for vote counting, the council worked with a Turkish defense and software company, Havelsan. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict the outcome.

Moreover, the fact that Sleyman Soylu has been confirmed in the Interior Ministry and that an Erdoan loyalist, Bekir Bozda, has remained on trial allows the government to firmly control the system and the country. The attack in the center of Istanbul on November 14, probably orchestrated by the Soylu apparatus, suggests future violence. The regime’s unofficial militias will also be ready to intervene on election days.

Finally, the government is aware that there is little consensus among Generation Z, those born between 1992 and 2012, who are sensitive to climate change, LGBT rights, animal rights, etc. It is in the light of this fear that the opposition of the Ministry of the Interior to the creation of the Greens must be understood. The Social Media Censorship Act should be read with the same logic. The electoral campaign will once again favor the regime thanks to the main source of information for the Turks: television.

Erdoan became an elected dictator after the regime reformed in 2018 created a presidential system with no checks and balances. This means that there are people who happily elect their dictator. And the rest of the electorate grumbles but ends up bowing, desperate, before the dictator and his regime. ns

Cengiz Aktar is a Turkish essayist and professor of political science at the University of Athens. His latest book published in Italy is The Turkish malaise (The Canneto 2022).

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