The factors that make him undefeated
Losers of the elections Gulen and the CHP
Erdogan accelerates for the Presidency
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
Despite the corruption scandals with ministers taking bribes, the authoritarian function of the government, the incidents in the Gezi Park, the bans on Twitter and YouTube, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the absolute winner of the local elections in Turkey. With 45.5% of the votes the AKP received, it increased its percentages in relation to the municipal elections of 2009, where he had taken 38.8% of the votes. The Turkish prime minister has won in all eight elections since 2002 breaking every record in the political history of Turkey.
People vote for Islam
“The main cause of Erdogan’s win is the religion which he constantly propounds. No matter how many scandals are reveal it is difficult to politically beat God, or the one who constantly talks about religion”, argues a Turkish political analyst. Indeed, the Turkish Prime Minister immediately after the revelations of the corruption scandals changed tactic and started talking about “the national struggle against the parastate” and emphasized that “the good Islamist does not get involved in scandals”. With this assertion he asked for his, his family’s, as well as his ministers’ “catharsis” through the ballot box and not through justice as it should have been.
Economic stability and development brings votes
Another important reason for the victory of the Turkish prime minister is the economy. The Turkish people who have been tortured by many financial crises and devaluations of the turkish lira in the past, in the 12 years the AKP has been in power they believe that there is an economic stability. The Turkish economy has experienced significant growth over the last five years and the majority of the people did not want to “take the risk”. Between 2002 and 2013 Turkey’s GDP per capita increased from $5,000 to $10000. At the same time the benefits of the Turkish prime minister, such as free transportation to all pensioners over 65, the free transportation of patients in private hospitals, the distributing 10 million electronic tablets in schools, bring significant numbers of votes.
The main opposition does not exist in the cities of Anatolia
The big loser in these elections has been the main opposition. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) outside major cities such as Istanbul (40%) Izmir (50%) and Ankara (43%) has no impact on the popular base of the country. It is distant from the people and has not been reformed from its Kemalist past to create a contact with the popular base of the East. Typical examples are percentages taken by the CHP, in Diyarbakır (1.6%) and the city Iğdır (0.9%). A party cannot be considered the main opposition and receive these percentages in cities, when there have been brake outs of dozens of scandals the country. A basic mistake of the CHP is that it trusted in the power of Gulen’s order, which showed that despite its economic power, has a small electoral base.
Erdogan came in contact with Israel and the U.S.
A few days before the elections, Erdogan closed significantly fronts with Israel and the U.S. It is no coincidence that the right hand of Netanyahu, former member of Mossad, David Maidan, rushed to Ankara on March 24 to meet with the Head of the Turkish Intelligence, Hakan Fidan, and government officials . According to the newspaper Taraf, the two sides came to an agreement to restore diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level, for the amount of compensation to victims of the Mavi Marmara, as well as for the issue of the guarantees from Ankara that it will not cause tension in the eastern Mediterranean for the researches on natural gas. All these were agreed six days before the election.
At the same time, rumors in Ankara say that at the last minute, associates of Erdogan came into contact with the U.S. to come to some kind of truce in the conflict that existed in the relations between the two sides, as there was some kind of agreement concerning the limitation of the action of the order of Hizmet as well as regarding Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania.
At midnight on Sunday, Erdogan came out to the balcony of the main building of the AKP to greet the thousands of supporters, who were cheering for winning the elections. Beside him was his wife Emine, as well as his children, whose names were implicated in financial scandals. It was a picture reminiscent of a great dynasty.
They were all there. Bilal Erdogan, Sumeyye Erdogan, Esra Erdogan Albayrak. Among the crowd was also the former EU minister, Egemen Bağış, who has allegedly received $1.5 million worth in kickback. It was a clear attempt by the Turkish prime minister to show his power, not caring for the revelations of the scandals.
Confusion in Gulen’s order
Panic prevails in Gulen’s order, who are in dispute with the Turkish prime minister. Erdogan calls refers to the order as “terrorist organization” and in his speech after the election he called its members “agents”. He has already pressed charges against five journalists and newspaper managers, who are affiliated with Gulen, accusing them as “agents who harm the national interests” and calling for a prohibition on their leaving the country.
The first attempt of an approach by Gulen’s order has been done via the director of the newspaper Zaman, which belongs to the guild, Ekrem Dumanlı, who said that “if not for the discord in recent months the AKP would have received 55% of votes”.
Erdogan’s future plans
It is considered a certainty that the Turkish prime minister will run for President of Turkey next August.
According to the revision of the Constitution, passed in 2011, the president is elected by popular vote. But the percentage Erdogan has gotten is not enough to get him elected, since it take 51% of the votes for that to happen. “The role of the Kurds, that is the BDP’s, will be crucial. There might be a need to approach them”, said to IBNA a known reporter of an opposition newspaper. In Sunday’s municipal election, the BDP got 6% of the votes. Scenarios state that the Turkish prime minister may resign next June, to call early elections for August to be held the same day as the presidential ones. The question of course remains as to who will be Erdogan’s successor. The favorite, despite the worsening of their relations recently, remains the current president Abdullah Gul.