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Friday, 22 June 2018

Turkey’s ‘Do or Die Moment’: Snap Elections Could Determine Future of the Republic

Dr Can Erimtan 21st Century Wire

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (or the Prez) and his Justice and Development Party (or AKP) are now heading into the most important elections in recent Turkish history. Elections that will decide the long term future direction and orientation of the Republic of Turkey.

Turkey’s long-serving leader Tayyip Erdoğan has so far handsomely succeeded in irrevocably changing the look and feel of the Turkish Republic – from being an ostensibly secular nation state beholden to the example and legacy of the founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) to a land of believers, adhering to the rules and regulations laid down by the Prophet Muhammad (c. 570-632) loudly proclaiming to be Muslims. Following his victory in the 2017 constitutional referendum envisaging the country’s transformation from a parliamentary to a presidential republic, national and presidential elections to be held in 2019 were then supposed to turn this political potentiality into a living actuality thereby also structurally and bureaucratically solidifying the momentous changes already intoduced. But then, somewhat abrupt and unexpectedly, Erdoğan and his sole political ally, the rather pointless ‘fascist’ (some would say, nationalist or racist) politician that is Devlet Bahçeli, jointly decided to call for early elections in order to receive a popular mandate for continuing to shepherd the new “Nation” that was supposedly born on 15 July 2016 into heretofore uncharted territories.

The ruling AKP (or Justice and Development Party) and the previously opposition MHP (or Nationalist Movement Party) are now united in a so-called ‘People’s Alliance’ (or, Cumhur İttifakı, in Turkish), exemplifying what could be termed the ‘Turkish-Islamic Synthesis’ of the 21st century. Then, speaking from his homestead at the presidential or People’s Palace (Beştepe Millet Sarayı, on 18 April 2018), Tayyip Erdoğan told the world that “[w]e have decided that elections should be held on 24 June 2018. Our preference has been to try to hold out till the date in November 2019. However, whether it be the cross-border operation in Syria, or the historic developments in Iraq and Syria have made it so that it is paramount for Turkey to overcome uncertainty.”

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