Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been reelected as the president of turkey with new form of executive power after serving turkey as a prime minister from 2003-2014, and as a president from 2014-2018. Erdogan’s victory has roused a new form of expectation to the Islam loving people all over the world especially to the citizens of devastated countries of middle-east to be relieved from the outrageous activities of the imperialists as his previous steps seemed to be the prospect of overcoming these horrific matters.
In this election presidential and parliamentary election have been arranged altogether for the first time in the history of Turkey election where six candidates including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from Justice and development party (AKP), Muharrem Ince from Republican people’s party (CHP), Selahattin Demirta? from People’s Democratic party (HDP), Meral Ak?ener from iYi party, Temel Karamollao?lu from Felicity Party (sadaat party) and Do?u Perinçek from patriotic party participated in presidential election where Erdogan has become elected as the president securing maximum 52.59 percent of total votes where his nearer opposite leader Muharrem Ince got 30.62 percent of total votes. Eight parties took part in parliamentary elction where People’s Alliance formed by AKP and MHP secured maximum 53.66% and 344 seats and their nearer alliance Nation Alliance formed by CHP, HP and iYi got 33.95% of total votes and 189 seats and another three parties were not affiliated under any alliance got rest of the votes. In this election Sadaat party couldn’t secure any seat and got only 1.34% of total votes. About 83.25% of total voters used their suffrage in this election that is the highest participation in the history of Turkey general election.
Reasons behind Erdogan’s victory
Erdogan has kept consistency of winning in this election throwing back all anticipation of westerns media which they used to propagate before the election focusing the eliminated economic condition of turkey. Erdogan has participated in 14 elections during last one and half decade including six parliamentary elections, three referendums, three local elections and two presidential elections and won all of those election securing maximum percentage of total votes. Western media strived with their best effort to break the winning consistency of Erdogan through presenting him as a totalitarian one, killer of democracy, oppressor of the antagonists etc. but these slanders failed to down his popularity. Even they predicted that Erdogan would have to face second round election to be a president. There are some certain reasons behind the resistless success of Erdogan.
Inconceivable development of Turkey in almost all sectors probably the main reason behind such success which was started to appear after Erdogan’s victory in the Mayoral election of Istanbul. Erdogan turned Turkey from the morbid man of Europe to one of the flourishing power of the world. In 2002 total reserve of turkey was 650 crore dollars that became more than nine billion dollars in 2009.
Before Erdogan, Turkey was dependent on the influential western countries and followed genuflected foreign policy which lifted at the time of Erdogan even now Erdogan shows his fearless activities which raised him to a unique level. In 2015, Turkey destroyed Russia’s war aircraft as it was frequently breaking Turkey’s airspace even after Turkey’s caution that shows the audacity of turkey government.
Picking off the bans over Islamic culture that were started after the time of Ataturk specially withdrawing the ban of wearing headscarf in public institutions, appreciating turkey’s citizens to follow religious culture, increasing the number of Islamic school named as Imaam Hatib school, establishing minimum one university in each province, increasing the number of airport from 26 to 50 are the another reasons of the popularity of Erdogan. About 96 percent of total population of Turkey is Muslims who had been facing constraints in following some essential Islamic regulation since the time of Kamal Ataturk. Erdogan is gradually withdrawing those restrictions and returning Turkey people towards the era of Ottoman Empire that led him gaining huge popularity of these Islam loving people.
Erdogan’s involvement in resolving the problems arise in the Middle East countries especially in Palestine and Syria is another stimulating factor of Erdogan’s victory.
New Executive Presidential System
Turkey has entered into a new presidential system through a referendum in which the turkey government secured more than 51 percent of total votes conducted in 2017. It is like the presidential system of USA and France by which the president of those countries can make law by only a sign. Through referendum, office of the prime minister has been demolished and president will act as both chief of the state and government. Another executive power the president will get through this amendment are appointing vice president, ministers, judges, rectifying and making laws, announcement of the state of emergency, breaking parliament with his own decision.
Accelerating in execution of decisions and overcoming complexity are reasons of giving these powers to the president as the government said. But this referendum was criticized by opposition leader of turkey and western politician presenting this as the Turkey will be turned into ‘one man rule’ which is alarming for democracy though this amendment of constitution was done through a referendum in which more than 51% led for the “YES” vote.
Erdogan and Middle East
Erdogan has become the main actor in resolving the problems arisen in the Middle East countries including Syria, Palestine etc. through which the citizens of those countries are being devastated. Erdogan’s measure after announcing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by USA draws the attention of whole world. USA has been criticized all over the world after lifting its embassy from Telabib to Jerusalem inaugurated by Evanka Trump, the daughter of Donald Trump. Erdogan called upon all Muslim countries to protect Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and immediately announced a meeting of Organization of Islamic Co-Operation (OIC) after Trump’s declaration of shifting USA’s embassy from Telabib to Jerusalem and attacked Trump personally for his unilateral decision.
Erdogan also continues to increase his influence in resolving the problem of Syria as penetration of Syrian people in Turkey has become a great issue of Erdogan’s Government. Around three million Syrian citizens have penetrated into Turkey as refugees and not having enough humanitarian support due to this large number of inflation. Turkey is helping rival groups and continuing discussion with Syrian government for settling a sustainable solution to stop this infiltration in order to overcome this crisis that created a great problem for both Syria and Turkey. Erdogan said in an award giving ceremony that all the incidents happening in Syria, Myanmar and Jerusalem were not coincidental but intentional, and they were aimed at draining Muslims’ sources and energy by making them fight among themselves.
Erdogan has visited Algeria and West Africa in February, and has invested in Sudan, including opening a new naval base with direct access to the Red Sea. Turkey’s renovation of Suakin Island, a former Ottoman port has religious significance, as it is a former transit hub for pilgrims headed to Mecca and Medina.
Erdogan also played an important role in reducing Qatar crisis that the government of Qatar started to face after diplomatic blockade imposed by four middle east countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt claiming to stop broadcasting of Al Jazeera, Expel Yusup Al Qardawei, a spiritual leader of Egypt from Qatar and several other 15 facts. This involvement of turkey makes shaky relation between these blocking countries and Turkey.
West and Erdogan
Anti-western measures and military deal of Erdogan with Russia have created a tottering relation between western countries and Erdogan that is appeared in the anti-Erdogan propaganda of western media. West wants to see Turkey as a country that will be totally secularist and dependent on them in all spheres of Turkey and the government of Turkey will be genuflected of them but Erdogan’s moves are totally different from their interest that resulting in the unsteady condition between west and Erdogan’s government. Erdogan’s victory in spite of western media’s negative propaganda made the leader of the westerns desperate. However, few western countries including Germany, UK, Cyprus, Chili and Greece congratulated Erdogan after his victory with a little enthusiasm.
USA is being continuously criticized for not returning Fetullah Gulen, the unsung hero of conducting failed military coup in 2016 for abolishing Erdogan’s government though Gulen denies his involvement in that coup.
Erdogan also used to blast western countries over their Islamophobia and not taking any measure to stop absurdities outrage on the Muslims around the world. “Westerns are using anti-Islamic sentiments to reinforce its own ideology and lifestyle. There are efforts to degrade and defame Islam, which is the only religion that offers genuine solutions to the modern world’s problems. The West tries to put certain labels on Islam through some certain ‘project’ terrorist groups. Those are terrorist groups that have emerged lately,” Erdo?an said in a speech on April 16 at the World Muslim Minorities’ Summit in Istanbul.
Erdogan seeks a return to Islamic golden age through awaking all Muslim leaders around the world expanding his influence in middle-east especially in Syria and Palestine but he will have to face several challenges in upcoming days to implement his own policies as it goes against western’s aspiration. West can’t directly oppose Erdogan because he keeps political stability by suppressing terrorists and sheltering vast number of refugees. Kurdish conflict started in 1978 is another challenge for Erdogan to bring stability. In spite of those challenges Erdogan is gradually trying to resettle Islamic Ideology around the world that makes him a Charismatic leader and a hope of Muslim world.
The writer is an undergraduate student
at the University of Dhaka.