Sunday, March 3, 2024

New York Times Notes on Turkey Elections | principle

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A New York Times bureau chief wrote (The New York Times) Ben Hubbard in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election gives him another 5 years to deepen his conservative imprint on Turkish society and achieve his ambitions of improving the country’s economic and geopolitical strength.

He believes that Turkey’s allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – who have often viewed Erdogan as a frustrated partner because of his anti-Western rhetoric and close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin – followed the election closely.

The US newspaper report gave no indication that Erdogan plans to change his foreign policies, and summarized his most important observations about these elections in the following points:

First: The crises hurt Erdogan, but did not break him. It was the most challenging election for Turkey’s most prominent politician in 20 years, prime minister since 2003 and president since 2014. However, he won because of the strong support of a large section of the people and his skill as a propagandist.

The author added that many religious Turks, who are angry about the expansion of Islam’s role in public life and are angry about inflation, do not believe that the opposition can govern well.

Second: The recent earthquake in the country did not affect the elections much. Erdogan took power 20 years ago amid anger over the government’s “disastrous” response to a 1999 earthquake near Istanbul that killed more than 17,000 people.

Many expected this year’s earthquake to harm Erdogan’s position as well, but there is no sign of that.

Third: A warning about terrorism resonated with voters. Erdogan has undermined the opposition by portraying its leaders as weak and incompetent. He always argued that they would be soft on extremism. Many voters trusted him and distrusted the opposition for the country’s security.

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Fourth: Voting is free, but opportunities are not equal. International observers reported no widespread problems with the process of collecting and counting votes, arguing that the process was free. But – according to the author – they noted the enormous advantages Erdogan enjoyed before the polls began, including the ability to launch billions of dollars worth of government spending initiatives in an attempt to offset the negative effects of inflation and other economic pressures.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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