Türkiye: Erdogan or Kilicdaroglu? K. Filis analyzes the data 7 days before the elections in iefimerida.gr

By | May 8, 2023

With a week to go until the crucial elections in Turkey, the battle between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu remains unfinished.

Opinion polls remain in Kilicdaroglu’s favour, but Erdogan is still expecting a surprise.

The associate professor of International Relations at the American College of Greece and ANT1 international affairs analyst, Konstantinos Filis, tries to take an X-ray of the political situation that is taking shape in the neighboring country. Speaking to iefimerida.gr, Mr. Filis talks about a tightrope situation for the two gladiators, including the parameters of the votes of the earthquake victims, the Kurds and the new voters. He confirms that Muharrem Ince is a threat to Kilicdaroglu, while pointing out Erdogan’s strategy in relation to the Western international media headlines against him.

Finally, it explains the window of opportunity that will open in Greek-Turkish relations after the elections, since for the first time we will have two governments almost simultaneously with a fresh popular mandate and a time horizon of 4 years for Greece and 5 years for Turkey. He points out, however, that the first year will be decisive and revealing of the intentions of both parties. “If this period of time passes without any substantial results, then we will return to the intensity of the last three years, with even greater risks,” he predicts.

The complete interview of K. Philis in iefimerida.gr

  • What predictions can be made one week before the elections in Turkey? Polls Show Kilicdaroglu, Erdogan Too Tough To ‘Die’?

Any prediction is risky. The situation of the two gladiators is moving on a tightrope and all the results seem to have smaller and smaller probabilities. From the dominance of Erdogan and the parties that support him in the parliamentary elections, to the complete opposite, with the universal victory of the opposition. It is unknown how the almost 6 million first-time voters will behave and whether and in what percentages the majority of Kurds will adopt the opinion of the pro-Kurdish formation in support of Kilicdaroglu or hesitate due to association with Aksener, who it evokes very bad memories in the Kurdish element, when during her tenure as interior minister, the para-state burned down Kurdish villages. Furthermore, we do not know by what criteria the earthquake victims will vote, under what conditions and how easy it would be to falsify the result in certain regions of Turkey. Therefore, everything is open.

  • Could Inje’s candidacy threaten Kilicdaroglu’s dominance?

Of course. Ince, who is described as a conceited personality with strong relativistic elements, is strongly and understandably upset by Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy, as Ince was the previous candidate for the Kemalist party, but without the support of even his own party. So, he was already embittered by the attitude of the leadership towards him, holding him responsible for his defeat, and apparently this is what Erdogan invested in to somehow ally him to prevent his opponent from winning the first round. According to opinion polls, the Inje ranges between 4 and 8%, and the higher, the lower the chances that the presidential election will be decided in the first round. Erdogan’s obvious goal is to meet Kilicdaroglu in the second round in terms of leadership and effectiveness. Of course, where Inge is leading his voters, most of whom are young people who are just as disenchanted with the other two, and if they follow his lead, could prove decisive to marginal effect. Of course, he can support abstention or conscience vote.

  • Do foreign media headlines against the current president constitute interference in Turkey’s internal affairs as Erdogan’s side claims?

Shape illusions, which end up buttering Erdogan’s bread. And he himself will use them to reinforce his narrative, which is the following: his own Turkey is an independent power, which moves independently in the international arena, which thanks to its policies has achieved expanded degrees of autonomy and autonomy vis-à-vis the West, what constitutes an interregional power with hegemonic aspirations in its broader environment, which produces its own defense systems and its own car, now also its own energy, so that it has less dependence on the outside to be able to follow a policy that only serves the Turkish interests. So the West, according to Erdogan’s narrative, doesn’t want him to stay in power, both because it’s not good for her, because she can’t control him, and because Kilicdaroglu has made sure to make a secret deal with her, including to bring the International Monetary Fund once again in Turkey. So, when the opposition leader is accused of being a puppet of foreign interests and the Interior Minister, Soilou, wanting to get ahead of events, denounces an attempted coup through elections, you realize that the Foreign press reports, especially the Western press, are used by the ruling party as alleged evidence of a conspiracy against Erdogan.

  • Should Greece “want” the election of Erdogan or Kilicdaroglu?

what greece wants is her normalize Türkiye and return it to western traffic, this time in terms of democratization, not formal but substantial, functioning of the rule of law, recognition of the rights of minorities and freedom of expression. It is almost a given that if Erdogan’s dominance continues at home, despite any adjustments, especially in the field of the economy to avoid a serious crisis and partially restore investor confidence, in institutional governance issues the slide will continue. towards authoritarianism. Erdogan will appreciate the result as blank check despite the odds and the seven-party coalition to overthrow him, and even more coded towards the expression of the different, surrounded by a narrow circle of sycophants and fearful that his destabilization plans will not be stopped, even with the help of the factor abroad, it will reasonably be done more teacher.

Equally important is that at the end of its next term, the Justice and Development party will have completed 25 consecutive years in power, having completely controlled all the articulations of power and creating a whole generation of bureaucrats, judges, soldiers and diplomats committed to the policy. Islam. We want a neighbor who will turn to Europe, carry out the necessary democratization reforms at home and change their perception not about the greatness of Turkey, as Turks are taught from an early age, but about how to solve the various . We want a neighboring country that is essentially closer to the EU. not transactionally but on the basis of some commonly accepted rules (not principles because for some time this will be practically impossible), a development that will give us the possibility through the modernization and improvement of the customs union to promote a dialogue agenda that satisfies the Greek positions and neutralize the absurd Turkish claims.

Therefore, Mr. Moscow, the face is not the problem, although in some cases it plays a very important role, but the paradigm shift in Türkiye both in relation to the interior and in relation to the exterior. This does not mean that a less authoritarian Turkey at home will become more accommodating towards Greece. And the counter-argument here is that Erdogan is capable of forcing even a bad compromise with Athens at home, while Kilicdaroglu, forced to take into account in each of his decisions the correlations of the motley alliance that he will lead, even if it gets closer to Europe seriously, he will have a hard time winning over Aksener, for example, but also other extreme nationalist elements within his own party.

  • In a previous interview you predicted the possibility – after the elections in Turkey and Greece – of pressure from the European/American factor for a new round of diplomatic rapprochement. Do you stick to the budget? Will this effort depend on the results in the two countries?

Regardless of the outcome, processes have long been underway for some initiative, most likely from Germany with the blessing of the United States, to seek common ground between Athens and Ankara. Washington and Berlin consider that the conditions are already in place for the start of a real dialogue between Greece and Turkey, both because of the economic crisis in the shadow of the earthquakes and because of the need to seek funds abroad, mainly from the West, on the of Ankara and by the easing of the tension of the last months.

All stakeholders realize that the window of opportunity, given that for the first time we will have two governments almost simultaneously with a new popular mandate and a time horizon of 4 years for Greece and 5 years for Turkey, is a maximum of two. years. According to me, the first year will be decisive and revealing of the intentions of both parties. If this passes without any substantial results, then we will return to the intensity of the last three years, with even greater risks.

And here let me pose the following question: So if the first year is over and let’s say that by early 2025 no meaningful results have come out of the consultations, how will the frustration of yet another failed attempt work? And despite the intention of some Americans and Europeans to solve the problems that plague the region in general (including perhaps the Cyprus problem as well?), all actions must be taken with care, because one more failure can turn into a Fuse negative developments, if the site of resolution efforts is established.

And one more thing: a Turkey that, regardless of the winner, will sink for a period of time and certainly for the first 18 months in introversion, how could it accept the courageous compromises required, not for the fix, but even for the start of a normal dialogue with a good chance of a positive outcome. How will a Turkey that will hold autonomous elections in nine months from June, which may lead to early national elections, adapt to the conditions required to seek a solution with Greece? Because in the current circumstances and the agenda set by Turkey, there is no space (not even a minimum) for an agreement. Finally, those involved must keep in mind that a good solution is a sustainable solution.

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