Presidential election: after Erdogan’s victory – the opposition fears the future

presidential election
After Erdogan’s victory – the opposition fears the future

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrate in front of the Presidential Palace in Ankara. photo

© Mustafa Kaya/Handout/XinHua/dpa

The re-elected Turkish President Erdogan promises that nobody in the country will lose with him – and at the same time zeroes in on his opponents. The opposition already fears for the future.

On the day after Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected president, the Turkish opposition and experts warned of the possible consequences of the head of state’s renewed term in office.

“Erdogan is already inciting hatred against LGBT people in his first speeches and is cruelly misusing them as a pawn for his misanthropic propaganda,” said the chairman of the German-Turkish parliamentary group, Max Lucks (Greens) of the German Press Agency. Queer organizations in the country had already launched calls against Erdogan before the election.

Erdogan won the run-off election against the opposition candidate of the CHP party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, on Sunday evening and a little later rushed: “My brothers, isn’t this CHP for the LGBT?” There is nothing like that in his own electoral alliance, according to Erdogan. He received a loud applause from the audience.

Rapper Ezhel: “I’ve had enough of my country”

The renewed election victory of the conservative-Islamic politician is likely to fuel frustration, especially among young opposition figures. Erdogan has been putting strong pressure on the creative industry for years. The Turkish rapper Ezhel, who lives in Germany, wrote on Instagram, for example, that he did not want to return to Turkey for the time being. “I’m fed up with my country. Even if I can’t come for the rest of my life, you will always be in my thoughts and in my heart,” he wrote to his fans. Ezhel is one of Turkey’s most popular rappers and is known for his lyrics critical of the government.

International partners congratulated the new old head of state of the NATO country on his victory. President Izchak Herzog wrote from Israel, to which Turkey has only recently made rapprochement: “I am convinced that we will continue to work together to strengthen and expand the good relations between Turkey and Israel.” Congratulations also came from the EU and the USA, although Erdogan had campaigned with sharply anti-Western slogans. Among other things, he accused foreign media of trying to fall against him.

Turkey is an important partner of the EU, for example because of the refugee agreement. However, the relationships are chronically conflicted. The relationship with Germany is also characterized by frequent tensions. Chancellor Olaf Scholz nevertheless acknowledged Germany’s cooperation with Turkey after Erdogan’s election victory on Sunday evening.

As an ally of Russia and Ukraine, the country also plays an important role in the Ukraine war. Putin, who is said to have a good personal relationship with Erdogan, immediately congratulated him, as did Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Strong support in Germany

Voters in Germany also contributed to Erdogan’s election victory. A clear majority of those entitled to vote voted for the incumbent. With around 95 percent of the ballot boxes counted from Germany, the incumbent received 67.4 percent of the votes from this group, according to figures from the state news agency Anadolu. Official figures from the electoral authority on the result of the runoff election in Germany were initially not available.

In Turkey, Erdogan was primarily able to attract votes from provinces in Central Anatolia and the Black Sea region. In the earthquake region, he was ahead in almost all provinces. However, the most populous provinces – Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir – went to the opposition, as did the predominantly Kurdish south-east of the country.

The country’s judiciary is highly politicized and not considered independent. Experts also called the elections unfair. Proceedings are underway against many political opponents, such as Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, who is threatened with imprisonment and a ban on politics.

The pro-Kurdish HDP is threatened with a ban, and its former boss Selahattin Demirtas is already in prison. The re-elected president shot at him on Sunday evening: Demirtas is a terrorist whom he will never release. The crowd gathered in front of him then demanded the death penalty for the former HDP boss. According to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, Demirtas is unjustly in detention.

The opposition also fears a further deterioration in the economic situation, such as rising prices and rising inflation. Erdogan’s policy is considered unorthodox because he only responded to the massive increase in inflation with moderate interest rate hikes. Turkey’s national currency, the lira, fell on Monday, nearing last week’s record low.


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