Distrustful Onion of Türkiye

Distrustful Onion of Türkiye

The price of onions in the Turkish market was very high until the last week before the election which was one of the biggest slogans of opposition during the propaganda for the 2023 Turkish presidency and parliamentary election as the daily fact of high inflation over 40% around the country. So, the Ak Party called them Onion Alliance against Togg (domestically produced car). But the onion betrayed the opposition and didn’t wait until the election and dropped to a reasonable level. The Togg remained.
Türkiye’s presidency and parliamentary election ended on the 14th of May night successfully without any psychical clash but with two-sided teasing and hot debate. This election was full of surprises. Republican Alliance won the substantial majority in the parliament. In contrast, although current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won over his competitors by a huge difference but couldn’t manage to gain the presidency for the next period yet. Even the opposition was also shocked by the huge support for Erdogan after his so-called failures in domestic politics, especially the economy generally and Earthquake management recently.
The next round of presidency “battle” will be held on the 28th of May as is scheduled already between Recep Tayyip Erdogan who gained 49.5% votes and the second most voted opposition candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu whose votes are 44.89%. Besides more upcoming meetings, social media trolling, and other various election propaganda campaigns, both sides need to put their new cards on the table to convince the voters of the other two defeated candidates: Sinan Oğan candidate of the far-right coalition who gained 5.17% and Muharrem Ince with 0.44% who quitted from election two days before. Sinan Ogan failed to become president, but the election made him the most “wanted” person in Turkish politics nowadays by his votes and supporters which are few but quite determinant of the result after two weeks. He is far-righted and against the politics of Erdogan in all fields except his counter-terrorism policies, while he is discrediting the main opposition for its “reluctant position” in terror. Before the election, Ogan already demonstrated that he will be the determinant of the second round, and he is open to bargaining with anyone who proposes a worthy offer.
It was not too impossible for Erdogan to lose this time. In my opinion, if he loses, he does, not for his strong competitor but for his wrong policies, weaknesses, economy, inflation, and willingness of democratic voters to renew the Turkish political order and change the current regime to a “better” one. Yes, inflation and the economy impacted this election and he and his party showed less performance compared to previous elections. But successes in foreign policies, developments in domestic industry, exports, defense systems, counter-terrorism activities, and raising of conservative actors in all fields of society also impacted as well to protect him while the weaknesses of the opposition offered him a helping hand as extra. At the end of the day, President Erdogan didn’t lose but didn’t win enough yet to continue in his position for one more administration period.
It’s too early to congregate any side before the 29th morning, but what we can see from now is that opposition not only need weak Erdogan to defeat him but also strong leadership and convincible discourses for strengthening themselves, as Erdogan should decrease inflation, reconcile his relationship with domestic and external actors, and do more and more revises to the current situation. But 14 days will now allow the opposition to change its candidate and Erdogan to set aright his deficiencies. So, we will live our next two weeks to witness many promises wondering about Mr. Sinan Ogan’s pricy decision.
As an East Turkistani and Turkish citizen, I voted for the more stable Turkiye with a strong leader and practiced experiences of governing. I am not satisfied with the current Turkish stance in East Turkistan cause of the aspect of Turkish-Sino relations while with great gratitude for its domestic huge support. But I am very doubtful of the “promises” unmade by the opposition. East Turkistan's cause is the independence of occupied land and the stopping of the ongoing genocide. That means a Turkiye with more international influence economically and politically, with a strong capacity to support various legitimate advocacies of the people of East Turkistan, with foreign policies to mediate international conflicts, and with pro-East Turkistan public opinion.
Concludingly, Turkiye will not be the one of today after the election with any leader. Erdogan or Kilicdaroglu can’t govern the country with the legacies of the Ottoman Empire at its age of 100 years in this re-defining international order with neither purely defensive nor offensive international policies internationally and with fragmented societies domestically. The election will determine the leadership, governing cabinet, dynamics, and various inter and intra-actors and allies, but the realpolitik of the current world, the geopolitical position of Turkiye, and external regional actors are the real determinants for the Turkish Future after its 100 years birthday in both scenarios. So, Türkiye really needs a leader with a vision who is capable of counterbalancing all threats and achieving more opportunities while Turkish society prepares the next leader to provide voters with more options for the next elections, without any need for distrustful onions.

Abduresid Eminhaci