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Erdogan and his Government are dying in slow motion

Turkish democracy forces wanted to believe in changing the government through elections, but it didn’t happen.

If fair elections were held like before, Erdogan and the AKP would lose every election they entered.

In 1999, Ecevit’s DSP came to power with 22% of the vote, but three years later, in the 2002 elections, they suffered a historic defeat with only 1% of the vote.

However, Ecevit’s “core” 10% vote was thought to exist.

**

In 2013, Erdogan put democracy and the rule of law aside with the Gezi protests and the subsequent 17/25 December investigations.

Then he activated election manipulations.

He suppressed with state power, conducted propaganda with the media he controlled, targeted the weak points of the opposition, and did not hesitate to exploit the public’s concerns about security and terrorism.

After July 15, 2016, Erdogan no longer had the luxury of losing at the ballot box.

The truth that no one openly expresses is this:

The 2023 elections are the concrete embodiment of the thesis that “Erdogan will not leave through elections.”

Election manipulations are not limited to just the day of the election.

AKP organizations have divided the country street by street, household by household, and are monitoring individuals by name.

If there’s assistance needed, they provide it; if it’s a job position, they arrange it. If there’s any objection, they direct it to CİMER (Presidential Communication Center) with a petition.

The palace is not idle either, as it builds its narrative on the thesis that “the opposition is collaborating with terrorism.”

Citizens repeat what they see on TRT Haber (state-run news channel) word for word during street interviews.

Wasn’t it said during the 2019 municipal elections, “If Ekrem İmamoğlu is elected, he will fill the municipality with PKK members?”

This didn’t start three months before the election; it has been happening for the past 4.5 years.

The dice may be loaded, but the Palace (referring to the government) sets up the game long before the election:

One year before the election, they changed the electoral law to cut the advantage of increasing the number of parliamentary seats through alliances.

They eliminated the requirement for senior judges to be appointed as heads of provincial and district election boards.

As if holding Selahattin Demirtaş captive since November 2016 wasn’t enough, they further tied the hands of his party with a “closure case.”

They imposed a political ban on Ekrem İmamoğlu so that he wouldn’t stand against them.

While doing all this, they restrained Fatih Erbakan… They cleared the way for Muharrem İnce and his party, who lost control in the previous election.

With the last appointed members, they took full control of the Supreme Election Board.

Neither the “lack of a diploma” nor the third-term “illegitimate” candidacy would be a problem anymore.

There was no longer a need for ministers who were candidates for parliamentary seats to resign.

**

Despite the pandemic, economic crisis, and earthquake disasters, Erdogan’s mass support continued.

Otherwise, he would have been demolished like Ecevit.

I don’t think the opposition fails to read all of this.

They granted legitimacy to the government, campaigned in the elections, and accepted the results without debate.

I am not disappointed.

In the elections on May 14-28, 2023, we experienced that the democratic forces were close to overthrowing Erdogan, “despite the approved opposition.”

This is an important experience.

If one out of two people said “continue” to Erdogan…

Then one out of two people has also kicked him.

It’s not easy, but despite ten years of oppression and persecution, half of society is standing tall.

Now, just preserving their positions will be enough because Erdogan and the state are dying in slow motion.

What comes next will be a process too important to be left to the existing elements of the opposition.

Turkish version of this article first published at TR724.com

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