Erdogan won the presidential election: Turkey remains a divided nation today


By Latheef Farook

In the recent presidential elections in Turkey Erdogan won run of 52 percent and secured five more years in power .

Commenting on the election results Erdogan said “the winner of this election is all the 85 million-strong Turkish nation”. Almost half the electorate in this deeply polarised country did not back his authoritarian vision of Turkey.

Thus Turkey remains a divided nation today.His call for unity sounded hollow as his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu denounced it as “the most unfair election in recent years”. Kilicdaroglu said the president’s political party had mobilised all the means of the state against him and he did not explicitly admit defeat.
International observers said that media bias and limits to freedom of expression had created an un-level playing field and contributed to an unjustified advantage” for Erdogan.
Speaking at his party headquarters in the capital Ankara, Kilicdaroglu said he would continue to fight until there is “real democracy” in Turkey. He added that “this was the most unfair election in our history… We did not bow down to the climate of fear . “In this election, the will of the people to change an authoritarian government became clear despite all the pressures.”

The opposition described the election as a last stand for Turkish democracy, accusing Erdogan of hollowing out the country’s democratic institutions during his 20-year rule, eroding the power of the judiciary and repressing dissent.
Erdogan also faces headwinds from a floundering economy and a shambolic initial response to the February earthquake. The government acknowledged its “mistakes” in its rescue operation and apologized to the public.
“This is not a crushing defeat for those who wanted change,” Asli Aydintasbas, a visiting fellow at Brookings Institution, told CNN’s Becky Anderson.

In an article tiled “What Erdoğan’s Victory Means for Turkey—and the World” columnist Yasmeen Serhan had this to state;

For Turkey, Erdoğan’s third and final term will mean “a continuation of today,” says Galip Dalay, an associate fellow at the London-based Chatham House think tank. Under Erdoğan, who first came to power as Turkey’s Prime Minister in 2003 (a role in which he served for 11 years before becoming President in 2014), the country has backslid into authoritarianism.

With a further five years at the helm, it’s unlikely that Erdoğan will choose to change tack on his domestic agenda. If anything, he is likely to go even further. “When autocrats face an unstable domestic context, they double down on repression,” says Gonul Tol, the author of Erdoğan War: A Strongman’s Struggle at Home and in Syria.

The repercussions of Erdoğan’s victory won’t just be confined to Turkey. It will have major international consequences—not least for NATO. Turkey has gone out of its way to forge close ties with Russia. While most other countries have sanctioned Russia in the aftermath of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Turkey has continued to do business with Moscow.

In a recent interview with CNN, Erdoğan touted his “special relationship” with Russian President Vladimir Putin and reaffirmed Turkey’s lone opposition to Sweden joining NATO. (Ankara previously blocked Finland and Sweden from joining the military alliance, citing concerns over their support for Kurdish militants that Turkey and the U.S. consider terrorist organizations; while it ultimately lifted its opposition to Finland, who has since become NATO’s 31st member, its veto on Stockholm’s accession stands.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Turkish strongman has emerged as a key power broker, adopting a crucial balancing act between the two sides, widely known as “pro-Ukrainian neutrality.”

He helped broker a key agreement known as the Black Sea Grain Corridor Initiative that unlocked millions of tons of wheat caught up in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, averting a global hunger crisis. The agreement was extended for another two months last Wednesday, one day before it was set to expire.

In a statement on Twitter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Erdogan for his victory. “We count on the further strengthening of the strategic partnership for the benefit of our countries, as well as the strengthening of cooperation for the security and stability of Europe,” Zelensky said.

Over the next five years, “You’ll see the strengthening of that [Erdoğan-Putin] relationship further,” Tol says. “He’s used the Sweden and Finland accession into NATO as a trump card to extract concessions from the Western world. And he has in many ways, so he’s going to try to milk that further.”

Still, most analysts expect that Erdoğan will ultimately acquiesce to Swedish membership—if not before NATO’s upcoming Vilnius summit in July, then perhaps by the end of the year. “Erdoğan cherishes Turkey’s presence in NATO because he thinks that it gives him further leverage in international affairs,” says Dalay. Indeed, Erdoğan has sought to portray Turkey as a valuable diplomatic mediator between Russia and the West, and has pushed to convene peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, just as it helped broker a key grain export deal between the warring countries last year.

Erdoğan’s victory could also have decisive consequences for the roughly 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. While Erdoğan did not go so far as Kılıçdaroğlu in vowing to expel all refugees from the country—a move the latter made following the first round of voting, in an apparent bid to chip away at his rival’s support among nationalists—Erdoğan noted that his government’s plans to build hundreds of thousands of homes in northern Syria would facilitate their voluntary return.

“Is the West ready to confront a more authoritarian Turkey?” asks Gonul. “Or are they going to keep this transactional relationship and say, ‘As long as Erdoğan keeps Syrian refugees in Turkey, we can work with him, we can tolerate him.’”


  1. “Almost half the electorate in this deeply polarised country did not back his authoritarian vision of Turkey.”
    > So when Kilicdaroglu& his supporters polarized society against vulnerable REFUGEES, amping up the HATE with racist undertones, isn’t that authoritarian?

    As for division, Kilicdaroglu led a bitterly divided alliance, did he not?

    So surely the less divisive figure one?


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