Erdogan wins Turkey’s 1st direct presidential vote


#1

Don’t know if you saw this yesterday, but, from the Washington Post:

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won Turkey’s first direct presidential election Sunday, striking a conciliatory tone toward critics who fear he is bent on a power grab as he embarks on another five years at the country’s helm.

“I will not be the president of only those who voted for me, I will be the president of 77 million,” Erdoğan said in a victory speech delivered from the balcony of the Ankara headquarters of his Justice and Development Party , or AKP.

“Today the national will won once again, today democracy won once again,” he told thousands of flag-waving, cheering supporters. “Those who didn’t vote for me won as much as those who did, those who don’t like me won as much as those who do.”

The three-term prime minister’s message of unity was in stark contrast to his mostly bitter, divisive election campaign, when he poured scorn on his opponents, cast doubt on their Turkish identity and even accused his main challenger of being part of a shadowy coup conspiracy he said was run by a former associate living in the United States.

This is actually very dramatic news.

Erdoğan is an Islamist…you may recall this, but just in case you don’t…

Erdoğan was one of the principal leaders of the Islamist Welfare Party, serving as mayor of Istanbul, up until the time the party was banned (for being Islamist) by Turkey’s Constitutional Court in 1998. He served four months out of a 10 month sentence for inciting religious hatred in 1999.

The party his is currently the member of, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was formed as a replacement, so-called, “secular” version of the Welfare Party.

Erdoğan had an interesting piece of symbolism once he recognized that the election was won. Per Radio France International:

(snip)

After learning that he had won about 52 per vent of the votes, compared to secularist candidate Ekmeleddine Isahnoglu’s 38.3 per cent and Kurdish left-winger Selhettin Dermitas’s 9.7 per cent, **Erdogan went to pray in the Eyup Sultan mosque, built after the 1453 conquest of Constantinople - now Istanbul - by the Ottomans.

That was where the Ottoman sultans were crowned** and Erdogan, who flew on to Ankara to meet his ecstatic fans, hopes to strengthen the presidency, which at present is largely a formal role.

(snip)

It will be very interesting to see the developments in Turkey…particularly considering what is going on with their neighbors to the southeast.


#2

My, my… this will be fun…

Didn’t Turkey ever hear of Adolf Hitler?


#3

From Asia News:

(snip)

Erdogan’s support is found among a majority of Turks, mostly devout Muslims and conservative, who began to share in the spoils of political and economic stability, which until recently only the Kemalist establishment enjoyed, that Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) provided since they came to power in 2002. And, as they say in Turkey, AKP politics are in the hands of Erdogan and Allah.

The silent majority that represents the real Turkey is found in central Anatolia, as opposed to the west coast, which more and more oriented toward different values.

In his first statements after his victory, Erdogan said that will be the president of all 77 million Turks. He also noted that whilst he allowed Kurds to speak their dialect, the country’s only language is Turkish. What is more, “Not just Turkey but Baghdad, Kabul, Damascus, Gaza, Aleppo, Bosnia, Skopje, Hamas and Jerusalem won today. The state and the real nation have become one.” This confirms the neo-Ottoman pretentions of the “sultan” Erdogan.

Erdogan’s propensity of dealing with those who oppose his political views with contempt and arrogance -using authoritarian methods such as blocking of Twitter and YouTube that tend to rouse opposition among those who are hostile to his authoritarian vision of politics - does not bode well. Indeed, his campaign was full of contempt and insults for his rivals, and not a real political programme.

(snip)

To repeat, this is of interest. Particularly with what is going on with the US arming the Kurds and the attempts of ISIS to establish their own fundamentalist caliphate.


#4

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