The New Sultan of Turkey?

Photo: Recep Erdogan / Aljazeera

Photo: Recep Erdogan / Aljazeera

Not too close to call

Despite early polls that hinted at a much closer race, the result of the Turkish Presidential Elections were quite clear. President Erdogan was re-elected with 52% of the vote, while Muharrem Ince, the outspoken runner-up only secured 30%.

Why you should care about Turkey

In terms of geopolitics, this election consolidates the power of a strong Russian ally in a crucial region between the Middle East and Europe. In terms of domestic politics, Erdogan has successfully institutionalized power through a referendum by transitioning Turkey from a parliamentary system to a presidential one. Critics are calling it a one-man rule. 

Anti-Erdogan media stems from a diverse collection of mainly western media outlets (regardless of political affiliation) that warn of Erdogan’s power in harming both Turkish and western interests. These outlets believe the election was marred by the fact that Erdogan had placed Turkey under a state of emergency since a failed coup in 2016. Another concern centers around Turkey’s realignment from a NATO country to a pro-Russian state.

Pro-Erdogan media stems from mostly Turkish or Russian outlets. They focus on the fact that Erdogan earned his concentrated power through a fair referendum. They claim that if the function of democracy is to reflect the views of the people, western media outlets cannot claim that such consolidation of power is “likely to set back democracy.” They also believe Erdogan’s diplomatic moves have put Turkey back on the map by initiating strong political ties with new allies, such as Russia.

Here today and here tomorrow

In many ways, President Erdogan does not fit the typical archetype of an “autocrat”. He has maintained free elections with no blatant voter fraud. He is not a political outsider, rather a political veteran. He enjoys widespread popularity. And he refuses the typical “hermit kingdom” model. These characteristics have allowed Mr. Erdogan to be successful in maintaining power despite an attempted coup. It seems that the new 'Sultan of Turkey' is here to stay.n.

When you get the keys to the country



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