Despite inflation of up to 85 percent, a shrinking middle class, impoverishment of the masses, and the regime’s favoritism of a small group of robber barons, the upcoming presidential elections in Turkey could mean a third term for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the “Welt“. Although the constitution does not allow a third term, even the worst polls give him around 40 percent approval ratings, which is remarkable given the catastrophic record of the last few years in office.
Election in Turkey: Erdogan and the Art of averting disaster
The “Welt” writes that Erdogan started 20 years ago with a promise to fight the “three Ys” – corruption, poverty, and bans – and to make Turkey one of the ten strongest economies in the world by the 100th birthday of the republic, as a full member of the European Union and without democratic deficits. These goals would sound like mockery today, and Erdogan has lost the ability to tell great stories and present catchy formulas.
Nevertheless, according to the “world”, Erdogan still masters the art of averting disaster and convincing a significant proportion of citizens that he is not the problem but the solution. During the election campaign, for example, he promised that there would be no amnesty for violations of building regulations, although he himself had given hundreds of thousands of such violations an amnesty four years ago.
Opposition to Kemal Kilicdaroglu pulls itself together
The opposition has pulled itself together in recent months and, in Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has set up an opposing candidate who is trying to adopt a moderate, positive tone, according to “Welt”. Many young voters are tired of Erdogan’s constant noise and his way of treating political opponents as enemies and traitors to the fatherland.
The “world” emphasizes that the decisive question in the upcoming elections is whether everything is going right and the opposition is not subsequently deprived of a possible election victory. Should Erdogan lose, be it next Sunday or in a possible runoff two weeks later, it would be the end of an era and the beginning of a new one in Turkish politics.