Election Of The 10th August 2014

Mr. Erdoğan has been elected the 12. President of Republic on the 10th of August 2014.  Attentive observers noticed that none of the candidates could be in a position to get the absolute majority in case of a massive participation. On the contrary, a low rate of participation would allow Mr. Erdoğan to pass over the fatidical bar of 50 percent.  Actually, the mass of abstainers made Mr. Erdoğan’s dream a reality.


Analysts confirm that Mr. Erdoğan would not have got the absolute majority if the participation had reached 90 percent, as it was the case in municipal elections, March 2014. The relatively low rate of participation (74 percent) is partly caused by inexact estimations of some “well-known” research institutes which overevaluated the probable rate of Mr. Erdoğan, thus despairing the opposing electorate and inciting it to abstention


The mass of abstainers belongs overwhelmingly to the electorate of opposition. Indeed, the nominee of CHP+MHP has got 5 mio. less than the total obtained by both parties in municipal elections of March 2014.


It would be inadequate to describe the electoral campaign as an uneven, unequal, irregular  process.  To qualify it, one should not hesitate to make use of attributes such as unjust, unethical and illicit. First of all, Mr. Erdoğan, one of the candidates running for presidency held his post on the top of the executive and profited of all opportunities available for his position of prime minister. For his personal campaign, he made use of the state airplane taking him to all provinces for electoral meetings organized by his party or for inauguration of facilities established thanks to the taxes of the totality of the citizens. During his interviews transmitted by televisions, a Turkish flag was exhibited on his right side, enhancing the apprehension he was representing “the nation”, although he was only one of the candidates


Picking out one of the days preceeding the day of the election, one states that the occupation time of the TV screens is 108 minutes for Erdoğan, 2 minutes and 38 seconds (1/41thErdoğan’s) for İhsanoğlu and only 8 seconds (1/810th Erdoğan’s) for Demirtaş. It must be noticed that this iniquity happens on the screens of TRT, official broadcasting institution financed by our taxes. Circumstances did not change in the press, that is widely depending on advertisements and inserts of banks and big companies, depending themselves on the “goodwill” of the government. The governmental implementation during the campaign and beyond, is plenty of examples in this sense.


Religion and islamic belief had never been exploited before in such an extent. Some of the imams preaching in mosques sermonized that to vote for Erdoğan was one of the conditions of the contemporary Islam.


During weeks, we had to contemplate Erdoğan’s portrait on every single billboard and we heard his voice through radio and television more frequently than our partners. The rate of 51,8 percent obtained in the wake of such a “national” mobilization must be somehow disappointing for Erdoğan, and even discouraging for his “presidential” projects.


Mr. Ekmelettin İhsanoğlu, who was not sufficiently backed by CHP and especially by MHP, could cast around 39 percent. Nearly anonymous before the campaign, he gained the esteem and the respect of the majority of the turkish people, showing them how one may be conservative without being reactionary.


The third and “small” candidate, Mr. Demirtaş, deserves compliments, as he was absolutely brilliant during the election campaign and raised the poll of his party to nearly 10 percent (6 percent on the 30th of March). His speech was not at all one of an upholder of a party supporting an ethnic group. In case he succeeds to unite HDP, the “kurdish” party, to the national political scene, this would be a crucial acquisition either for him and for the political scene of Turkey. Figuring as the sole left oriented candidate he got, beside Kurds, votes of urban constituents possessing environmentalist and “post-materialist” sensibilities.


In the very near future, we may expect a remake of the governmental staff. The old guard will probably be purged and Mr. Erdoğan will collaborate with a “loyal“ prime minister, Mr. Davutoğlu.  In the span of time separating the date of official proclamation of the results and the ceremony of entering in office, Mr. Erdoğan is, according to the constitution, neither member of his party nor member of the parliament. Consequently he is not entitled to act as a prime minister. However, he was operating as the chief of his party, chose “his” prime minister, and continuing to govern as prime minister, thus violating the constitution.


To summarize; the rate obtained is largely below AKP’s expectations. Mr. Erdoğan’s speech after the informal proclamation of the results revealed that his political attitude will remain unchanged. This feature predispose him to despotic inclinations that will be obviously incompatible with democratic aspirations of the majority.  Evenly, this rate does not entitle him to aim to instaure a presidential system.


Mr. Erdoğan’s electoral victory may be considered a “Pyrrhic victory”, because his accession to the presidency of the republic will drive his party most probably into a chaotic situation. In addition to this bitter reality, he will continue to be regarded as a corrupt politician by a large majority of his compatriots.

About Aydιn Cıngı

Political scientist, founder and former chairman of Social Democracy Foundation