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HomeHeadlineBeyond Elections: A Nation's Turn from Erdoğan to A New Political Horizon

Beyond Elections: A Nation’s Turn from Erdoğan to A New Political Horizon

We will conduct very long and comprehensive analyses on the results of the March 31 elections, but the most fundamental comment to be made even before the counting of votes is finished is this; hatred for Erdoğan was decisive.

Voters everywhere in the world are like this. Sometimes the candidate they flee from, fear of, determines their vote choice, not the candidate they love or want. For example, the American people voted for Biden in the 2020 elections not because they loved him, but because they were afraid of Trump.

The most clear message of the March 31 local elections, in my opinion, was this. The election result was determined by hatred and anger towards Erdoğan, not by the attractiveness of CHP candidates or the success of their campaigns. The Turkish people said to President and AKP General Chair Tayyip Erdoğan, in the popular term of a period, ‘I’m not with you anymore’.

Erdoğan and AKP’s motto “We have problems, but only Erdoğan can solve them!” turned out to be in vain. With yesterday’s results, voters said, “No, Erdoğan cannot solve them, on the contrary, the source of the problems is the system itself!” In the end, Erdoğan took a heavy hit, and this is not a type of damage that can be easily healed.

According to AKP’s Şamil Tayyar, yesterday’s results were a ‘political disaster’ for the government.

So, what now?

Erdoğan made his classic ‘Balcony Speech’, but it was nothing like before. Neither the crowd, the enthusiasm, nor the excitement were there. There was a mourning atmosphere at the AKP Headquarters. He used a soft, constructive language, unlike during the election process, but from today onwards, he will become even harsher. Losing public support will push Erdoğan to follow tougher policies.

Especially, he will look for ways to maintain his one-man regime by putting more pressure on the bureaucracy. The regime had two legs: the public and the bureaucracy. The public leg is gone now. However, Erdoğan faces a dilemma. The bureaucracy is known to detect changes in the political climate early on.

After yesterday’s results, the ground Erdoğan was walking on cracked. Repairing this crack and preventing it from spreading is not easy. Now, there will be those who abandon ship through those cracks. Bureaucrats who blindly carried out Erdoğan’s unlawful orders will act more timidly in committing crimes.

Erdoğan will focus on Ankara from this morning so that the bureaucracy does not slip away after the people. But his job is harder than yesterday. At this point, it would be useful to remind the bureaucracy. The leader you backed and committed all kinds of lawlessness and immorality for is on his way out. He can no longer protect or watch over you.

Be sure that at the first opportunity, he will betray you and say, “Did you ask me when you committed crimes?” So, it would be beneficial for you not to miss the chance to return to the law from today onwards.

If we briefly look at the messages of the voters;

The Erdoğan era has ended. Erdoğan put himself in front of the candidates, toured city by city, and lost the elections he turned into a referendum-a vote of confidence. Do not pay attention to the narratives of AKP trolls and the administration trying to keep their spirits up.

The Palace and its entourage are so out of touch with the people that they still have not grasped the situation. Fatih Erbakan has proven to be an alternative to AKP and Erdoğan. Now a stronger player. Meral Akşener and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu have stepped down from the stage in a way that they cannot return.

Even though Akşener insists on staying, yesterday’s results have marked the end of her political life. If the Presidential election were approached with the right candidate, the picture could have been very different. Ekrem İmamoğlu has now become the political figure after Erdoğan.

The discussions about the successor ended as of yesterday. İmamoğlu became Erdoğan’s heir. Neither Bilal Erdoğan nor son-in-law Selçuk Bayraktar will have a political presence in a sociology that emerged. Devlet Bahçeli and MHP lost their role as the key party. The unspoken tension between MHP and AKP will escalate to a higher level. Devlet Bahçeli’s age and health are also a major crisis reason.

The partnership with AKP-MHP will now be questioned more strongly. Gelecek Party, Deva Party, Saadet Party, and Homeland Party can be said to have completed their political lifespans. The economic crisis is deeper than thought. The Palace and AKP elites are distant from this reality. They paid a heavy price for it. Deep poverty, high cost of living, and the treatment of retirees reflected harshly on the ballot box.

Mansur Yavaş developed a new language in politics with his ‘less talk more work’ motto. He won the election with a record vote. He became the symbol of the reaction against nasty politicians like Melih Gökçek. Erdoğan will huddle with his commanders to produce new narratives for ‘damage control’. Especially the narrative “You said there is dictatorship in Turkey, elections are not equal and fair. See, we have a very democratic system” will be used. Especially abroad.

However, the overwhelming victory that came out of the ballot box does not show that the election was equal, free, and fair. On the contrary, it shows that if there was an equal, free, and fair election, AKP would be buried in history. It was clearly seen that AKP voters either did not go to the polls or turned to Yeniden Refah in reaction to the Palace. The age, health problems, and the blows received by both Erdoğan and Devlet Bahçeli will be on the agenda more in the upcoming process. Neither of them may have the breath to recover the damage.

Kurds became the most key voter group in this election with strategic moves. The importance – effectiveness of social media and independent journalists was certified. Even if you capture all the media, a social media account can demolish your lies. Lastly, if yesterday’s election had been a general election, today Erdoğan would have been erased from the political scene. As I said; we will say, write, narrate, and analyze a lot about the March 31 elections. However, for the first step, hot off the press, the thing to say is; the voters fled from Erdoğan!

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Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Aslan is a leading Turkish investigative journalist in exile based in Washington, D.C.


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