Ethnic Exclusion & Reasons For Kurdish Mobilization
The plausible reasons that justify the Kurdish plea to establish a separate nation are constantly being discredited at both the regional and international level. Delimiting the issue to ethno-nationalism, the well-grounded causes of Kurdish mobilization are a victim of deliberate misinterpretation and unfair redundancy. Failing to exercise a bottom-up approach, the Turkish government does not wish to address the grievances of the Kurdish people who have for long been excluded from the socio-political activities of the state. This article highlights the reasons why the Kurds till this day remain to be a disadvantaged minority in Turkey.
Exclusion of Kurds from state power
Since the very creation of the Turkish republic, the government failed to incorporate the second largest culturally and linguistically distinct ethnic group within its state system. The Kurds who for most of the ottoman rule had a de factor tribal form of governance were without a warning subjected to direct rule by the Turkish government. The exclusionary nature of this newly formed republic was an outcome of its insistence on western secularism and its newfound devotion to nationalism. While the government did give a legal status to a few of its ethnic minorities including the Jews, Greek orthodox and Armenians, the omission of Kurds from this list was deliberate. The Turks refused to recognize the Kurds as an ethnic minority because to them, the Kurdish population was a threat to their nationalist model. The right hand of Kemal, Ismet Inonu himself stated: “We will eradicate groups who oppose Turkishness”. After WWII, a multi-party system was established in Turkey; the newly formed political parties tried to look for allies within the Kurdish population. However, these alliances were conditioned. A Kurd was only allowed to join a political party if he was willing to leave his “Kurdishness” behind. This absence of political channeling of the Kurdish population was a major turning point in the Kurd-Turk relations and which later led to the formation of revolutionary left movements.
Studies show that from the very start, during the presidency of Mustafa Kemal the Kurds were highly unrepresented in the government. The largest Kurd province, Diyarbakir hardly had any Kurdish representation in the parliament; majority of the seats were occupied by the Turks themselves. In most cases, the government used rebellion as a reason for prohibiting Kurdish representation in the government. However, it is to be noted that from 1950-1980 there were no significant armed rebellions, but still the access of Kurds to state power was highly limited. Statistics show that during these years, the fifteen provinces which make up 20% of the Kurdish population only had 8% Kurd representation. In other words, only 186 out of 2106 governors were Kurds. All observations made to assess the Kurdish inclusion in state power are parallel with the discriminatory claims of Kurdish politicians and bureaucrats. The 8% representation mark remained consistent from 1980-2014. Similarly, only 4% of the total governor positions were held by the Kurds from 1995-2011 even in areas where the Kurdish parties received more than 20% of the votes. These conditions are consistent till this very day without much hope for changes any changes in the inclusion of Kurdish political expression within Turkey.
Politics on Minorities
There is a general prohibition in Turkey against all those parties who claim that there are minorities within the state which can be differentiated based on their religion, nationality, race, and language. Although these restrictions do not directly specify Kurds, they are a de facto target, nonetheless. The article 81 of the Political Party Law known as “Preventing the Creation of Minorities” has multiple clauses under which:
- No party can claim the existence of a minority with characteristics different than that of Turks
- Supporting the goal of destroying state nationality or engaged in such activities by disseminating culture or language other than Turkish is prohibited
- No language other than Turkish can be used in printing or writing party agenda or statuses
- No pictures, placards, videos or brochures given by political parties in language other than Turkish
Although these clauses do not mention Kurds in particular, it is only for the governments protection which would otherwise be held accountable for discrimination at the national and international front. In this way, not only does the administration succeed in furthering its agenda, but also finds a way to blame Kurds for instigating rebellion without cause.
Securitization of Kurdish issue
Securitization, also known as the extreme version of politicization, is a process through which an issue which existed within a non-politicized arena moves to a politicized one and lastly to a securitized one which then justifies the use of extraordinary measures to counter it. The Turkish government securitized the Kurdish issue labelling it as an existential threat which threatened their national integrity. This allowed them to intervene militarily which resulted in thousands of civilian casualties. Reports published by the Association France-Kurdistan, 1.5 million people were deported and massacred in period of 1925-1939.After the WWII the persecutions became more selective and was largely restricted to Kurdish intellectuals. Later in 1980s, after a military takeover 12,2609 people were taken into custody.40,386 were formally charged out of which 900 were given a death penalty, 378 were tortured to death and 374 were killed in suspicious attacks at night. These activities did result in international intervention by international civil societies requesting a halt to use of force in the Kurdish region. However, the atrocities continued.
Another extraordinary measure has been the consistent declaration of “state of emergency” in the region with occasional curfews. Human rights associations, academics and media has also been targeted. In 2015, a prominent Kurdish Lawyer was killed for stating that PKK was not a terrorist organization, but an armed political movement. In addition, the non-mainstream Turkish media that has been criticizing the government policies is constantly threatened and attacked. This includes journalists and academicians being investigated from time to time.
The securitization of Kurdish mobilization has one aim: to reduce this issue to one that is entirely militarized and based on attacking PKK. This helps Turkey reduce the legitimacy of Kurdish revolt against the government, making it seem like nothing more than an illicit armed rebellion. It also blocks the Kurds from channeling their demands and justified grievances. Last but not the least, it also substantiates Turkish efforts to keep the Kurds out of state politics.
Oppression of Kurds
Other than the forced expulsions and massacres carried out against the Kurds, the Turkish government has succeeded in oppressing the Kurds through various other discriminatory policies.
Anything involving Kurdish emblems are banned. People selling Kurdish cassettes are arrested. Two French human rights workers were sentenced by a military tribunal to serve 51 and a half months in prison for carrying a Kurdish music cassette and a brochure in French about the Kurds. No shops are allowed to have a Kurdish name. The Turkish government went to the extent of prohibiting parents from giving their children Kurdish names or else face punishments. The German tourists have been arrested for spreading Kurdish propaganda. One of them was tortured for 10 days before release. Radio television shows have been outlawed. A Turkish Broadcaster who used a few Kurdish words while greeting was fined $1640 and was forced to give up his show slots after complains. In 2019, the Kurdish Theater festival was banned calling it a threat to “public safety”. And recently, the famous theatre play “Beru” was banned although the play was being performed in Turkey for over three years now. Furthermore, through diplomatic pressure, the Turkish embassies in Europe have prevented the participation of Kurds in cultural programs. In short, these policies have led to the death of the Kurdish culture.
Prohibition on use of Kurdish Language
The linguistic genocide of Kurds in Turkey has been one of the most prominent area of contention between the two parties. In an effort to change the ethnic composition of Kurds, the Turks took drastic efforts to ensure that the Kurdish language was eliminated from all spheres of life. From the early years, a ban was placed on use of the language in public spaces, government offices, politics, and schools. The job was specifically assigned to some government officials which ensured that the ban was strictly being carried out. Even the peasants or farmers who came to trade were not allowed to utter a single Kurdish word or else fined. Violence and separation from families was another tactic used to prevent students from speaking Kurdish. In the year 1964, boarding schools were built to isolate students who were then forced to forget their mother language. Symbolic violence was also used through which the youngsters were shamed for speaking in their parent language. The Turks even tried to rewrite history by publishing articles and books which claimed that the Kurds were indeed of Turkish origin and they forgot the language due their isolation in the mountains. This linguicide was not restricted to the borders of Turkey. A Kurdish language course was organized by the Nordic Cultural Foundation in Denmark for the Kurdish children living in Scandinavia. The Turkish embassy made efforts to put an end to it claiming that these people were still subject to Turkish Law no matter which country they resided in.
Indoctrination is a propaganda tool used in educational institutions throughout Turkey. Kurds are portrayed as primitive and diabolical. Their existence as a nation is denied through falsification of their language and history. In the third edition of the Oxford Turkish-English dictionary, the word “Kurd” is given the meaning “an uncivilized person”. This suppression at various fronts has made it hard for the Kurds to reveal their ethnic identity which in turn limits the effectiveness of their cause. Without a doubt, the Kurdish culture, language, and traditions are at the verge of extinction.
 Behlul Ozkan, “Kurdish Issue Still Volatile,” Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera, last modified June 9, 2011, https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2011/6/9/kurds-could-revolt-if-grievances-arent-fixed.
 Güneş M. Tezcür and Mehmet Gurses, “Ethnic Exclusion and Mobilization: The Kurdish Conflict in Turkey,” Comparative Politics 49, no. 2 (2017): xx, doi:10.5129/001041517820201378.
 “RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF THE KURDISH LANGUAGE,” Human Rights Watch | Defending Human Rights Worldwide | Human Rights Watch, accessed May 27, 2021, https://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/turkey/turkey993-08.htm.
 Maurizio Geri, “From a History of Exclusion to the Securitization of the Kurdish Issue: A Step of Democratic Regression in Turkey,” De Gruyter, last modified June 1, 2016, https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/mwjhr-2016-0006/html.
 Deutsche Welle (www.dw.com), “Turkey Bans Kurdish-language Play in Istanbul,” DW.COM, accessed May 27, 2021, https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-bans-kurdish-language-play-in-istanbul/a-55306289.
 Amir Hassanpour, “Kurdish Language Policy in Turkey | Kurdish Academy Of Languages,” Kurdish Academy – Just Another WordPress Site, accessed May 27, 2021, https://kurdishacademy.org/wp/kurdish-language-policy-in-turkey/.
Erdogan’s Victory: Five Challenges He May Face in His Third Term
Erdogan, as Turkey’s leader, must negotiate a complicated web of local and foreign challenges while retaining power. One of his most difficult tasks will be to strike a balance between the demands of his conservative constituency and the need to promote democratic norms and preserve human rights. He must also find solutions to economic issues like high unemployment and inflation while also handling Turkey’s ties with important trading partners such as the EU and Russia. At the same time, Erdogan must endeavor to keep the region stable in the face of violence and instability, notably in Syria and Iraq. Notably, he must find a solution to Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish problem, which has been a source of contention for decades. – With so many obstacles ahead of him, Erdogan will need to use all of his leadership abilities if he is to succeed in this new chapter of his political career. Now it’s time to observe the issues that Erdogan may face in his third term and their ramifications for Turkey’s political environment.
Consolidation of Power and Erosion of Democracy
In his third term as President of Turkey, Erdogan faces a serious challenge: the consolidation of power and the deterioration of democracy. He has attempted to consolidate authority, raising worries about an imbalance in the division of powers and the weakening of checks and balances. To solve this problem, Erdogan must emphasize power decentralization and ensure that democratic institutions have the autonomy and capacity to function independently and efficiently as a check on presidential power. Furthermore, the erosion of democratic ideals is a major problem in Turkey’s elections, threatening accountability, openness, and justice. To overcome this dilemma, Erdogan must emphasize the building of these institutions, assuring their independence and ability to function as effective checks and balances on the government. This necessitates a dedication to the rule of law as well as a readiness to engage in constructive discourse with opposition parties and civil society organizations. Furthermore, Erdogan must address the core reasons for political division in Turkey, such as economic disparity and regional differences. This might include enacting laws that encourage inclusive growth and investing in infrastructure projects that benefit all parts of the country. Finally, Erdogan must try to reestablish faith in the political process by ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections. This involves ensuring that all eligible voters have access to the polls and providing enough resources for election monitoring. Erdogan can help ensure that Turkey’s democracy stays strong and vibrant for many years to come by implementing these actions.
Erdogan has been chastised for his treatment of journalists, activists, and political opponents, with concerns raised regarding media control, prohibitions on public rallies, and restrictions on free expression. Erdogan must commit to defending free expression, creating a climate that stimulates open conversation, and respecting individuals’ rights to peacefully express different views. Furthermore, protecting the integrity and fairness of elections is critical for maintaining democracy. Gerrymandering, limits on opposition parties, and questions about election transparency have all posed obstacles to Turkey’s electoral independence and impartiality. Erdogan must emphasize strengthening electoral institutions, maintaining their independence and impartiality, and enacting election reforms that promote justice and inclusion.
Furthermore, he should endeavor to create a more diversified and inclusive political scene in which opposition parties have equal access to the democratic process. This might include things like boosting the political representation of women and minority groups, supporting free speech and assembly, and cultivating a culture of political discourse and compromise. Erdogan should also address foreign observers’ concerns about human rights violations and limits on journalistic freedom. Erdogan can demonstrate his commitment to democracy and guarantee that Turkey remains a stable and affluent nation for many years to come by following these actions. The success of Turkey’s democracy will be determined by its leaders’ capacity to respect the ideals of openness, accountability, and inclusion.
Economic Stability and Growth
Inflation, unemployment, fiscal discipline, income inequality, and foreign variables all offer obstacles to Erdogan’s third term in power in terms of preserving economic stability and attaining long-term growth. Erdogan must establish effective monetary policies, maintain fiscal discipline, and work with the central bank to keep inflationary pressures under control. To address high unemployment rates and offer opportunities for the rising population, he must also prioritize policies that stimulate investment, assist small and medium-sized firms (SMEs), and improve vocational training programs. To minimize dependency on foreign borrowing and promote fiscal stability, he must maintain fiscal discipline and competent debt management. In order to negotiate these hurdles and ensure economic stability, he must diversify trade partners, develop diplomatic connections, and execute smart economic policies.
To achieve these objectives, the leader must prioritize investments in infrastructure and technology to improve productivity and attract foreign investment, as well as education and training programs to develop a skilled workforce capable of competing in the global market. He must implement policies that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship to foster economic growth. The leader must address income inequality and ensure that economic growth benefits all citizens. The success of the leader will be determined by his ability to balance conflicting priorities and make tough decisions in the face of uncertainty. He can guide his country in the right direction by prioritizing investments in infrastructure, education, innovation, and social welfare while simultaneously preserving budgetary discipline and sound economic policies.
Managing Geopolitical Relationships
Managing Turkey’s geopolitical ties will be one of the most challenging challenges Erdogan will confront during his third term as president. Because Turkey is strategically placed at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, its external arrangements and universal relations are vital to its national interface and stability. Exploring the complicated geographical characteristics and maintaining connections with numerous world powers may be one of Erdogan’s most pressing challenges. Relations between Turkey and nations such as the United States, Russia, and European Union members have a considerable influence on its political, financial, and security relationships. Erdogan must closely supervise these ties in order to protect Turkey’s national interface while also strengthening regional structural integrity.
Erdogan may also face difficulties as a result of the Syrian war and its consequences for Turkish security and territorial stability. Turkey has been directly touched by the crisis, allowing millions of Syrian refugees to enter the country and coping with security concerns along its border. Erdogan must study the conflict’s intricacies in order to seek a peaceful settlement that protects Turkey’s security interests, promotes regional stability, and addresses the emergency. Furthermore, the Eastern Mediterranean debate is a significant impediment to Erdogan’s third term. Turkey’s claims and confrontations with neighboring nations about maritime borders, natural resources, and energy exploration have heightened regional tensions. Overseeing these issues while protecting Turkey’s interface requires mediation and dialogue with territorial partners like Greece, Cyprus, and other Eastern Mediterranean countries.
Additionally, Erdogan’s foreign policy decisions and opinions on a variety of global issues have the potential to affect Turkey’s worldwide reputation and ties with other countries. Erdogan must handle issues such as human rights concerns, territorial clashes, and geopolitical competitions while maintaining Turkey’s national interface and growing its image as a capable and powerful global performer. Erdogan must also deal with the challenge of balancing the East with the West in Turkey’s distant approach. Turkey has maintained close ties with both Western and Middle Eastern territorial powers. Overseeing this delicate shift requires Erdogan to advance interaction and engagement with a broad range of performing artists while avoiding alienation or overdependence on any one nation or area.
Addressing Human Rights Concerns
One of the primary problems Erdogan confronts in his third term as Turkish president is dealing with the country’s human rights concerns. Turkey’s human rights record has attracted worldwide attention and criticism, with concerns raised pertaining freedom of expression, press freedom, judiciary independence, and minority treatment. One of the most difficult tasks that President Erdogan must tackle is ensuring freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Turkey has been accused of stifling dissenting voices, with journalists, activists, and opposition organisations subjected to restrictions, censorship, and legal action. Erdogan must promote free expression by allowing for varied viewpoints, constructive criticism, and open and public discussion. A dynamic and democratic society requires the strengthening of press freedom and the independence of the media.
Erdogan must also address concerns about judicial independence and impartiality. A fair and independent court is required to defend the rule of law and protect citizens’ rights. Erdogan must work to improve the judiciary’s independence and guarantee that judges are appointed on merit rather than political reasons. Maintaining public faith in the legal system requires the establishment of a fair and transparent judicial system that promotes human rights. Dealing with ethnic minorities, notably Kurds, is another difficulty, and President Erdogan must address their concerns, encourage their integration, and safeguard their rights and cultural autonomy. This involves dealing with concerns such as discrimination, access to education and health care, and cultural and linguistic diversity.
Implementing comprehensive measures to promote discussion, reconciliation, and the empowerment of minority populations are critical stages in tackling Turkey’s human rights challenges. Furthermore, Erdogan as president should emphasize the battle against impunity for torture, ill-treatment, and abuses of human rights. A solid human rights framework must include the investigation of charges of human rights breaches, the holding of criminals responsible, and the provision of reparation to victims. Improving Turkey’s human rights status requires strengthening oversight systems, providing access to justice, and encouraging law enforcement openness. International collaboration and engagement can also help to address human rights concerns. President Erdogan should collaborate with international organizations, civil society groups, and other nations to exchange best practices, learn from successful experiences, and promote human rights discussion. Productive collaboration with foreign partners would help Turkey enhance its human rights protection and build a favorable image on the global stage.
Kurdish Question and Ethnic Tensions
The persistent Kurdish crisis and ethnic tensions in Turkey are among the fundamental difficulties Erdogan faces in his third term as Turkish president. The Kurdish community in Turkey has long demanded greater acknowledgment of its cultural and political rights, leading to decades of war and turmoil. President Erdogan must manage a complicated web of political, cultural, and social concerns in order to address the Kurdish issue. Finding a balance between the government’s security concerns and the Kurds’ genuine demands is one of the most difficult tasks. President Erdoan must work for a peaceful resolution via conversation and talks, as well as a long-term solution that safeguards the rights of both the Kurdish people and Turkish society as a whole. In order to promote inclusion, it is critical to promote Kurdish cultural and linguistic rights.
President Erdogan should emphasize policies that allow for more cultural autonomy within the framework of a united Turkish state, as well as policies that support the preservation and promotion of Kurdish language and culture. Equal access to education, health care, and economic opportunities for the Kurdish minority is also vital to eliminating socioeconomic disparity and strengthening social cohesion. President Erdogan must also address issues of prejudice and injustice among the Kurdish people. Ethnic conflicts can be reduced by ensuring equitable legal treatment, eliminating prejudice, and fostering social inclusion. President Erdogan should work to foster trust between the Kurdish people and the government, as well as an atmosphere in which all residents feel valued and included. Furthermore, effective institutions for Kurdish political representation must be established. – President Erdogan should support policies that allow Kurdish political parties to engage effectively in the democratic process and guarantee that the different perspectives and interests of the Kurdish population are reflected and represented in decision-making bodies. Erdogan must handle the security issues surrounding the Kurdish issue. Counter-terrorism and national security are vital issues, but it is critical to distinguish between violent extremist organizations and peaceful Kurdish political activities. Erdogan should pursue extremist forces while also creating prospects for constructive political engagement and reconciliation with the Kurdish people. International participation and collaboration can help solve the Kurdish crisis. Pesident Erdogan should be open to constructive conversation and collaboration with international players, particularly neighboring nations and regional organizations, in order to gain insights and aid in managing ethnic tensions and maintaining peace and stability.
To summarize, the Kurdish question and ethnic tensions are important issues for Erdogan in his third term as Turkish president. President Erdogan can lessen ethnic tensions and foster social cohesion by supporting cultural rights, combating discrimination, ensuring political representation, and pursuing peaceful solutions. Addressing the Kurdish issue successfully demands a broad and inclusive strategy that respects the rights and aspirations of all citizens and leads to a more peaceful, united Turkey.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Election Victory and Its Impact on the Region
On May 28, 2023, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emerged victorious in the second round of the Turkish presidential election. This historic win secures him another five-year term as the leader of Turkey. Erdoğan’s re-election has significant implications not only for Turkey but also for the broader region.
Erdoğan’s election victory solidifies his position as Turkey’s longest-running leader. Having already served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014 and as President since 2014, his continued rule until 2028 grants him a mandate to shape Turkey’s future. This consolidation of power allows Erdoğan to implement his political agenda, which has been marked by a focus on nationalism, Islamism, and a strong presidency.
Erdoğan’s victory is likely to have significant domestic implications for Turkey. Firstly, his re-election reaffirms the popularity of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) among a substantial portion of the Turkish population. It reflects the enduring support for his conservative policies and the perceived improvements in Turkey’s economy during his tenure. However, critics argue that his rule has been accompanied by a deterioration of democratic values, media freedom, and human rights.
Furthermore, Erdoğan’s win may exacerbate existing polarization within Turkish society. His presidency has witnessed increasing divisions between secularists and religious conservatives, as well as between urban and rural populations. The opposition, which has faced challenges and restrictions, will need to regroup and redefine its strategy to offer a robust alternative in the political landscape.
Erdoğan’s continued leadership will likely have implications for Turkey’s foreign relations, both regionally and internationally. Historically, Erdoğan has pursued an assertive foreign policy, seeking to assert Turkey’s influence in the region. His government has been involved in conflicts such as the Syrian Civil War and has sought to expand economic ties with countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia.
Erdoğan’s re-election is expected to maintain this proactive foreign policy approach. His leadership may continue to shape Turkey’s relationships with key regional actors such as Russia, Iran, and the European Union. While it remains to be seen how his policies will evolve, his tenure is likely to have implications for issues such as migration, regional stability, and economic cooperation.
The impact of Erdoğan’s victory extends beyond Turkey’s borders, influencing regional security dynamics. Turkey is a key player in the Middle East, occupying a strategic position between Europe, Asia, and the Arab world. Erdoğan’s leadership style and policies have shaped Turkey’s stance on various regional issues, including the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
His re-election is expected to maintain Turkey’s active involvement in regional conflicts. Erdoğan’s government has supported certain factions in these conflicts, which has sometimes put Turkey at odds with other regional powers. The continued engagement of Turkey under Erdoğan’s leadership may contribute to shifts in alliances, ongoing geopolitical rivalries, and potential diplomatic challenges.
On the economic front, Erdoğan’s re-election could both consolidate and exacerbate Turkey’s economic challenges. While the president’s economic policies have been credited with transforming Turkey into one of the world’s top 20 economies, recent years have seen economic turbulence marked by inflation, unemployment, and a weakening currency. Erdoğan’s economic approach, marked by his unorthodox belief in combating inflation with low interest rates, has been a subject of controversy and has raised concerns among international investors. His re-election means a continuation of these economic policies, and possibly deeper economic uncertainty.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s election victory and subsequent re-election as President of Turkey have significant implications for both Turkey and the wider region. Domestically, his consolidation of power will shape Turkey’s political landscape and potentially deepen societal divisions. Internationally, his leadership will influence Turkey’s foreign policy choices, impacting regional dynamics and Turkey’s relationships with key actors.
As Erdoğan begins his new term, it remains to be seen how he will navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead. The impact of his presidency on Turkey and the region will continue to unfold over the coming years, influencing political, economic, and security dynamics. Observers will closely monitor the actions and policies of Erdoğan’s government to assess the long-term consequences of his re-election for Turkey and the wider region.
Can Erdogan repay the people’s trust?
The Turkiye nation has concluded the most important election in the country’s modern history. The people of modern Turkey came to determine their destiny at a time when their national economic condition is at a very deplorable level. The depreciation of the lira against the dollar has made the cost of goods and the cost of living more expensive. Inflation is now rampant in the country. Economists say inflation reached 85 percent last year.
The country’s currency, the lira, has fallen to a tenth of its value against the dollar over the past decade. Abnormal inflation causes the prices of goods to rise. Imports cost more as the lira depreciates. On the other hand, 11 provinces in Turkey are struggling to deal with the shock of two earthquakes recently. More than 50 thousand people died in this earthquake.
Despite this severe national crisis and economic instability, the majority of the Turkish people have not lost faith in Erdogan. This is an amazing event. Turkey’s 2023 national election reinstated Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the sultan in power for the past 20 years, as president. On the other hand, the main challenger, the presidential candidate of the Nations Alliance and the leader of the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilizdarglu, was defeated.
Erdoğan was elected the first mayor of Istanbul in 1994. At that time, he took the initiative to solve various problems that arose in Istanbul due to rapid population growth, such as air pollution, waste collection, and a shortage of clean water. However, after four years, he had to stand in court for reciting a controversial poem. Erdogan was sentenced to four months in prison for spreading religious hatred. Basically, this event was the unforgettable beginning of the significant public opinion formation behind his rise.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan took power as the country’s prime minister in 2003. The people of Turkey trusted him in the 2018 elections as well. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been elected President of Turkey for the third consecutive term. He will lead the country in the international arena for the next five years. Turkey will create a new equation in geopolitics. An experienced Erdogan will negotiate well with international actors.
Erdogan comes from the conservative political camp. He entered politics with the Salvation Party of political guru Nazimuddin Erbakan. In 1976, he was elected head of the Beyoglu region of the youth wing. The National Salvation Party was headed by Nazimuddin Erbakan. He later served as Prime Minister of Turkey in 1996–97.
Modern Turkey emerged as a secular state under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in the 1920s. Erdogan created a new national manifesto with a lot of new energy, new plans, and a new national manifesto in that country. The first decade of his AK Party rule saw democratic reforms in Turkey. It had to be done because of the country’s desire to join the European Union. During this time, Erdogan was praised by liberals at home and abroad for reducing the authority of the army in the country and working to protect the rights of women and minority ethnic groups. However, Erdogan was criticized for becoming more authoritarian over the next decade. According to many, Erdogan has exacerbated divisions in Turkey.
Basically, he became popular in the Muslim world by expressing his anti-US and especially anti-European attitude in the polls, winning the hearts of the voters, and developing relations with Muslim countries. He converted Turkey from a parliamentary system to a presidential system in 2014. According to the opposition, Erdogan made such changes in the regime to enjoy sole power. Erdogan’s supporters regard him as ‘fatherly’, but opponents consider him an ‘authoritarian’ ruler. Its reflection can be seen in the international environment. During Erdogan’s regime, on the one hand, the distance between Turkey, an important member of NATO, and its allies, the United States and Europe, increased. At the same time, the closeness is increasing with anti-Western Russia and China.
Jeffrey Mankoff, an analyst at the Washington, DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, “Many officials and political leaders in Western countries are upset with Turkey’s Erdogan. They expressed disappointment in him. They believe that Erdogan is the main reason for Turkey’s growing distance from the West. He took everything personally and walked the path of cheap popularity.’
Therefore, with Erdogan ruling Turkey for the past 20 years, there has been a major change in Turkey’s foreign policy as well as socio-economic development. As a result of his long rule, he made many enemies and allies at home and abroad. Now it’s time to just watch, as Turkey’s economy is also seen as a big factor in this election. Will Erdogan be able to restore Turkey’s conventional economy, and how will he repay the public’s trust? These questions have become important.
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