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Who will be the leader of Turkey after Erdogan?

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erdogan elections

Since President Erdogan has been successful in every election he has entered for years, there is a view that “Erdogan will never lose” which is accepted by most of the people in Turkey. This is actually a reasonable view because, despite several adverse events, Erdogan and the AK Party have been superior to the polls for years.

I think that President Erdogan will win the next election, even if he is not as strong as he used to be, as long as his health allows him and he wants to be in the political arena.

But of course, it is a fact that Erdogan is not as powerful as he was a few years ago, and the criticism towards the Erdogan government and the country’s course, including those who voted for him, is too much to be underestimated. We can also understand this from the alliance he had formed with the president of the Nationalist Movement Party, DevletBahçeli, which had criticized him repeatedly in the past.The AK Party, chaired by Erdogan, is no longer a party that will win the elections alone.

But it should also be noted that AK Party is a lucky party. Because, CHP (Republican People’s Party), which has been acting as the main opposition party for years, is not a party that can take over the majority of the people because of its constant chaos, wrong choices and attitudes. You may not be able to see another major opposition party, which draws an amateur image like CHP, in any country of Europe.

As a matter of fact, many secret meetings have been organized with many people who want to be in charge of the country’s government after Erdogan. I want to write the names of the different profiles that could play the first chair in the leadership of Turkey after Erdogan.

The only one who can win elections against Erdogan

Meral Akşener, who was elected to the parliament for the first time in 1995, while President Erdogan was the mayor of Istanbul, and served as the first female Minister of Internal Affairs in Turkish history after a year, is a respected name for her political experience by many people today.

In 2001, Akşener, who took part in the founding stages of the AK Party with two names, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdullah Gül, who later served as the Prime Minister and the President, left the party as a result of disagreements in the establishment of the AK Party, then turned into a very popular political icon in the Nationalist Movement Party, which is one of the most well-established parties of Turkey.

After the failed election results of the Nationalist Movement Party, where she served as a member of parliament and parliamentary deputy speaker for many years, Akşener, who rolled up her sleeves to become the party’s leader, has formed The Good Party against the obstructions of Devlet Bahçeli, who is thought to run the party with a dictatorial approach by many, and her party achieved a successful result in its first year, surpassing the 10% threshold.

I think Meral Akşener is the only name to win the election against President Erdogan, who has been superior to his rivals in every election for years. Meral Akşener is a politician who is at the forefront with her nationalism but keeps it in a very good balance and she’s not a person like French Marine Le Pen, who has rhetoric towards racism and fascism.

In Turkey, the majority of the population position themselves as the center-right wing and both the AK Party and most of the political parties that have been successful in the past are center-right parties. Meral Akşener is a figure who is positioned in the center-right wing, but she is also a strong social democrat leader with strong rhetoric and sympathetic attitude.

I can already say that Meral Akşener will continue her successful political graphics and that one day she will be at the highest level of Turkish politics, although she is subjected to a great deal of pressure from her party and her rise.

He loves Erdogan and the people love him

Suleyman Soylu, who was the president of the Democratic Party, which had an important place in Turkish political history in the past as it elected three presidents and seven prime ministers, became one of the most trusted names of President Erdogan after a few years, even though he did politics in opposition to Erdogan and the AK Party at the time.

Suleyman Soylu, who currently serves as the Minister of Internal Affairs, is one of the most respected names of the nationalist-conservative wing, just like Meral Akşener. Especially in recent years, his successful and determined struggle against the PKK, the terrorist organization that committed numerous murders in Turkey and his being in the forefront of positive developments regarding internal security has gained Suleyman Soylu a very positive sympathy by the Turkish people.

However, the possibility of Minister Soylu taking over the leadership of Turkey does not seem to be much at the moment, because Minister Soylu, who has expressed his loyalty to Erdogan at every opportunity, cannot make such a move when Erdogan is still the President. He even made it clear that he was planning to leave politics after Erdogan on a TV show he attended on CNN. But of course, there is a saying in our country that “A period of 24 hours is a very long time for politics” and we can see that Soylu to make a move for leading Turkey after Erdogan.

Besides, I have to say that apart from Suleyman Soylu, politicians who are currently working at the AK Party will crave for their seats in the AK Party in a possible disintegration process because, people, who have the qualities of leadership to meet the demands of the people like Erdogan, do not take part in the AKP positions.

Perhaps the only hope of the left in Turkey

As I mentioned before, if we look at the dynamics of Turkey, it is a very low possibility that a power with the left understanding rule the country, but MuharremInce, who is backed by the social democratic masses against Erdogan in the presidential election on June 24, 2018, and who has the characteristics of a leader that has been longed for years, is the strongest name on the left that can change this dynamic.

It would not be wrong to say that Ince, who served as a member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) since 2002 when AK Party came to power, is Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s biggest rival, who has been sitting in the chair of the general presidency for years despite the party’s failed results. Although MuharremInce, who has been competing against Kılıçdaroğlu at every CHP congress in recent times, has not yet achieved this goal, but he is the is the most important name forcing Kılıçdaroğlu to resign and it will be a development that we can see very soon.

MuharremInce, who has already declared that he will be a candidate for the presidency in the elections after five years, has carried out a successful work in the elections a few months ago. Despite the intense love of those who voted for him, he got 30% and fell below Erdogan’s 52% electoral success.

To become the leader of Turkey, Ince has to step up on this rate and gain the sympathy of the right wing in Turkey. This is difficult, but with its political attitude and populist style, Ince can achieve it.

Turkish people may need the experience and knowledge of their former prime minister

Ahmet Davutoglu, who was one of the most important figures of the AK Party until a few years ago and who was both the president of AK Party, and the Prime Minister of Turkey between 2014 and 2016, is a name with a reputation in AK Party although he had to resign as a result of a ridiculous statement published by several media oligarchs in Turkey.

It would not be wrong to say that Davutoglu, who has not met with Erdogan in any way lately, has withdrawn into his shell because he is not as active in political developments as he used to be. I think that Davutoglu, who is said to be founding a strong political party against Erdogan from time to time, should carry out an active and correct opposition policy against Erdogan in order to become Turkey’s leader after Erdogan because, so to speak, it is not possible for the people to sympathize with the return of a name that is scratched and forced to withdraw to his shell by Erdogan to active politics after Erdogan.

However, Davutoglu, who is touted as Ahmet Hodja in the conservative sector, is one of the most experienced politicians in the country and is always a name that is likely to be re-elected to the top seat. One of Davutoglu’s greatest advantages will be the support given to him by some of the prominent figures who have successfully taken part in Turkish politics.

There are other alternatives as well

As we often see in Turkish political history, a name that is not known very much, may show up suddenly and become the leader of the country. So even though I can guess a few names, we should not forget that it may not be possible.

For example, Cihangir Islam, who is preparing to succeed the wise leader of Felicity Party that once came to power, Temel Karamollaoğlu, is a new hope of the highly conservative group in Turkey, even if he is far from his former power. Islam, who maintained his medical success in parliament and made a good opposition, will be one of the most remarkable figures of the parliament until the next general elections scheduled to take place in 2023.At the same time, he is a politician with a vision that can move Felicity Party and its masses, which is declared as reaction istby some people, to a lot of innovations and to get votes from the voters who are opposed to him.

If the wave of young leadership spreads to Turkey as it did with Macron in France, with Kurzin Austria, with Trudeau in Canada and with Tsipras in Greece, Faik Tunay, who became a CHP deputy at a young age, is also a name that can play first chair even though he is of central right origin. Tunay’s strong international connections and his ability to speak many important languages will be a great advantage for him and for his leadership of Turkey. Although Tunay has not been seen much in the political arena lately, it is quite likely that he will progress in the right direction at the right time, using his young age’s advantage.

Of course, even if they haven’t been involved in politics until now, the successful names of the business world can step in this direction in a possible conjuncture. Ali Koç, who is the member of the country’s richest and most respected family, is the first to come to mind in this direction although he is dealing with the very unsuccessful outcomes of the football club he is currently president of. Although he has repeatedly stated that he does not intend to enter politics, he is a businessman who can be accepted by the public with his charisma and success. In the past, we have witnessed ultra-rich names such as Cem Uzan and Cem Boyner enter into politics and fail. Ali Koç, on the contrary, can be an example of success.

In conclusion, I should say that the emergence of a successful name from the business world to the leadership of Turkey will not produce as negative results as in the case of Trump, the first example in the world that comes to mind. At least in the international perspective…

Emir Eksioglu, is a journalist and an entrepreneur. Previously, he published articles in important institutions such as Times of Israel, Huff Post, U.S. News, GQ, Tehran Times, Cumhuriyet and was introduced as the youngest media boss thanks to some of his investments in Turkey. His articles have been translated into numerous languages despite his young age. He has many initiatives in technology and media fields.

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Middle East

Process to draft Syria constitution begins this week

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The process of drafting a new constitution for Syria will begin this week, the UN Special Envoy for the country, Geir Pedersen, said on Sunday at a press conference in Geneva.

Mr. Pedersen was speaking following a meeting with the government and opposition co-chairs of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, who have agreed to start the process for constitutional reform.

The members of its so-called “small body”, tasked with preparing and drafting the Constitution, are in the Swiss city for their sixth round of talks in two years, which begin on Monday. 

Their last meeting, held in January, ended without progress, and the UN envoy has been negotiating between the parties on a way forward.

“The two Co-Chairs now agree that we will not only prepare for constitutional reform, but we will prepare and start drafting for constitutional reform,” Mr. Pedersen told journalists.

“So, the new thing this week is that we will actually be starting a drafting process for constitutional reform in Syria.”

The UN continues to support efforts towards a Syrian-owned and led political solution to end more than a decade of war that has killed upwards of 350,000 people and left 13 million in need of humanitarian aid.

An important contribution

The Syrian Constitutional Committee was formed in 2019, comprising 150 men and women, with the Government, the opposition and civil society each nominating 50 people.

This larger group established the 45-member small body, which consists of 15 representatives from each of the three sectors.

For the first time ever, committee co-chairs Ahmad Kuzbari, the Syrian government representative, and Hadi al-Bahra, from the opposition side, met together with Mr. Pedersen on Sunday morning. 

He described it as “a substantial and frank discussion on how we are to proceed with the constitutional reform and indeed in detail how we are planning for the week ahead of us.”

Mr. Pedersen told journalists that while the Syrian Constitutional Committee is an important contribution to the political process, “the committee in itself will not be able to solve the Syrian crisis, so we need to come together, with serious work, on the Constitutional Committee, but also address the other aspects of the Syrian crisis.”

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North Africa: Is Algeria Weaponizing Airspace and Natural Gas?

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In a series of shocking and unintelligible decisions, the Algerian Government closed its airspace to Moroccan military and civilian aircraft on September 22, 2021, banned French military planes from using its airspace on October 3rd, and decided not to renew the contract relative to the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline, which goes through Morocco and has been up and running since 1996–a contract that comes to end on October 31.

In the case of Morocco, Algeria advanced ‘provocations and hostile’ actions as a reason to shut airspace and end the pipeline contract, a claim that has yet to be substantiated with evidence. Whereas in the case of France, Algeria got angry regarding visa restrictions and comments by French President Emmanuel Macron on the Algerian military grip on power and whether the North African country was a nation prior to French colonization in 1830.

Tensions for decades

Algeria has had continued tensions with Morocco for decades, over border issues and over the Western Sahara, a territory claimed by Morocco as part of its historical territorial unity, but contested by Algeria which supports an alleged liberation movement that desperately fights for independence since the 1970s.

With France, the relation is even more complex and plagued with memories of colonial exactions and liberation and post-colonial traumas, passions and injuries. France and Algeria have therefore developed, over the post-independence decades, a love-hate attitude that quite often mars otherwise strong economic and social relations.

Algeria has often reacted to the two countries’ alleged ‘misbehavior’ by closing borders –as is the case with Morocco since 1994—or calling its ambassadors for consultations, or even cutting diplomatic relations, as just happened in August when it cut ties with its western neighbor.

But it is the first-time Algeria resorts to the weaponization of energy and airspace. “Weaponization” is a term used in geostrategy to mean the use of goods and commodities, that are mainly destined for civilian use and are beneficial for international trade and the welfare of nations, for geostrategic, political and even military gains. As such “weaponization” is contrary to the spirit of free trade, open borders, and solidarity among nations, values that are at the core of common international action and positive globalization.

What happened?

Some observers advance continued domestic political and social unrest in Algeria, whereby thousands of Algerians have been taking to the streets for years to demand regime-change and profound political and economic reforms. Instead of positively responding to the demands of Algerians, the government is probably looking for desperate ways to divert attention and cerate foreign enemies as sources of domestic woes. Morocco and France qualify perfectly for the role of national scapegoats.

It may be true also that in the case of Morocco, Algeria is getting nervous at its seeing its Western neighbor become a main trade and investment partner in Africa, a role it can levy to develop diplomatic clout regarding the Western Sahara issue. Algeria has been looking for ways to curb Morocco’s growing influence in Africa for years. A pro-Algerian German expert, by the name of Isabelle Werenfels, a senior fellow in the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, even recommended to the EU to put a halt to Morocco’s pace and economic clout so that Algeria could catch up. Weaponization may be a desperate attempt to hurt the Moroccan economy and curb its dynamism, especially in Africa.

The impact of Algeria’s weaponization of energy and airspace on the Moroccan economy is minimal and on French military presence in Mali is close to insignificant; however, it shows how far a country that has failed to administer the right reforms and to transfer power to democratically elected civilians can go.

In a region, that is beleaguered by threats and challenges of terrorism, organized crime, youth bulge, illegal migration and climate change, you would expect countries like Algeria, with its geographic extension and oil wealth, to be a beacon of peace and cooperation. Weaponization in international relations is inacceptable as it reminds us of an age when bullying and blackmail between nations, was the norm. The people of the two countries, which share the same history, language and ethnic fabric, will need natural gas and unrestricted travel to prosper and grow and overcome adversity; using energy and airspace as weapons is at odds with the dreams of millions of young people in Algeria and Morocco that aspire for a brighter future in an otherwise gloomy economic landscape. Please don’t shatter those dreams!

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Middle East

Breaking The Line of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

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The conflict between Israel-Palestine is a prolonged conflict and has become a major problem, especially in the Middle East region.

A series of ceasefires and peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine that occurred repeatedly did not really “normalize” the relationship between the two parties.

In order to end the conflict, a number of parties consider that the two-state solution is the best approach to create two independent and coexistent states. Although a number of other parties disagreed with the proposal, and instead proposed a one-state solution, combining Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip into one big state.

Throughout the period of stalemate reaching an ideal solution, the construction and expansion of settlements carried out illegally by Israel in the Palestinian territories, especially the West Bank and East Jerusalem, also continued without stopping and actually made the prospect of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian crisis increasingly eroded, and this could jeopardize any solutions.

The attempted forced eviction in the Sheikh Jarrah district, which became one of the sources of the conflict in May 2021, for example, is an example of how Israel has designed a system to be able to change the demographics of its territory by continuing to annex or “occupy” extensively in the East Jerusalem area. This is also done in other areas, including the West Bank.

In fact, Israel’s “occupation” of the eastern part of Jerusalem which began at the end of the 1967 war, is an act that has never received international recognition.

This is also confirmed in a number of resolutions issued by the UN Security Council Numbers 242, 252, 267, 298, 476, 478, 672, 681, 692, 726, 799, 2334 and also United Nations General Assembly Resolutions Number 2253, 55/130, 60/104, 70/89, 71/96, A/72/L.11 and A/ES-10/L.22 and supported by the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2004 on Legal Consequences of The Construction of A Wall in The Occupied Palestine Territory which states that East Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian territories under Israeli “occupation”.

1 or 2 country solution

Back to the issue of the two-state solution or the one-state solution that the author mentioned earlier. The author considers that the one-state solution does not seem to be the right choice.

Facts on the ground show how Israel has implemented a policy of “apartheid” that is so harsh against Palestinians. so that the one-state solution will further legitimize the policy and make Israel more dominant. In addition, there is another consideration that cannot be ignored that Israel and Palestine are 2 parties with very different and conflicting political and cultural identities that are difficult to reconcile.

Meanwhile, the idea of ​​a two-state solution is an idea that is also difficult to implement. Because the idea still seems too abstract, especially on one thing that is very fundamental and becomes the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, namely the “division” of territory between Israel and Palestine.

This is also what makes it difficult for Israel-Palestine to be able to break the line of conflict between them and repeatedly put them back into the status quo which is not a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The status quo, is in fact a way for Israel to continue to “annex” more Palestinian territories by establishing widespread and systematic illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Today, more than 600,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In fact, a number of resolutions issued by the UN Security Council have explicitly and explicitly called for Israel to end the expansion of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied territory and require recognition of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the region.

Thus, all efforts and actions of Israel both legislatively and administratively that can cause changes in the status and demographic composition in East Jerusalem and the West Bank must continue to be condemned. Because this is a violation of the provisions of international law.

Fundamental thing

To find a solution to the conflict, it is necessary to look back at the core of the conflict that the author has mentioned earlier, and the best way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to encourage Israel to immediately end the “occupation” that it began in 1967, and return the settlements to the pre-Islamic borders 1967 In accordance with UN Security Council resolution No. 242.

But the question is, who can stop the illegal Israeli settlements in the East Jerusalem and West Bank areas that violate the Palestinian territories?

In this condition, international political will is needed from countries in the world, to continue to urge Israel to comply with the provisions of international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and also the UN Security Council Resolutions.

At the same time, the international community must be able to encourage the United Nations, especially the United Nations Security Council, as the organ that has the main responsibility for maintaining and creating world peace and security based on Article 24 of the United Nations Charter to take constructive and effective steps in order to enforce all United Nations Resolutions, and dare to sanction violations committed by Israel, and also ensure that Palestinian rights are important to protect.

So, do not let this weak enforcement of international law become an external factor that also “perpetuates” the cycle of the Israel-Palestine conflict. It will demonstrate that John Austin was correct when he stated that international law is only positive morality and not real law.

And in the end, the most fundamental thing is that the blockade, illegal development, violence, and violations of international law must end. Because the ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict is only a temporary solution to the conflict.

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