Thursday 23 March, 2023

Al-Estiklal Newspaper

Those are the Most Prominent Opposition Candidates in the Turkish Presidential Elections

2021/07/28 11:07:00 |
Kilchdaroglu has the opportunity to become the best candidate for the opposition bloc
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A Turkish newspaper has highlighted the candidates for the presidential elections scheduled for 2023, amid a frantic struggle within the opposition parties and personalities to win acclaim.

The Star newspaper published an article by Hilmi Dashdemir, head of the Optimar Research Company, in which he said: "The presidential elections in Turkey were a very difficult process, whether they took place through the Grand National Assembly (Parliament) or through direct elections."

He added, "We even witnessed many cases in which no one was elected during the periods in which the elections were held in Parliament, and sometimes, the army threatened some candidates, such as politician Ali Fuad Bashgil, not to run for the presidency."

He added, "In fact, the 367 crisis and Operation 17-25 (December 2013, regarding the dispute with the Gulen organization), following the Gezi events, were attempts to obstruct Erdogan in his path."

He stressed, “we can say that members of the nation's coalition are raising their voices calling for early elections for the same reason."


Main Figures

Dashdemir said: "Just one year ago, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (Davlet Bahcheli) had said as a partner in the People's Alliance: Our presidential candidate will be Recep Tayyip Erdogan," thus cutting the way for "any disagreement, confusion or potential problem, and clearly stating his position."

He added, "As for the nation's alliance, everyone who sees himself qualified for the presidency continues to feel the pulse of the alliance to know the extent of acceptance he will receive. For example, there is Ekrem Imamoglu, who constantly tries to send messages related to his presidency and works behind the scenes for this, neglecting his job as the mayor of Greater Istanbul Municipality".

There is Ali Babajan, who sometimes crosses his borders to get closer to the base of the alliance to which he belongs.

However, Dashdemir said, "Before we analyze the status of the possible (National Alliance) candidates for the presidency: Ekrem Imamoglu, Mansur Yavash, Meral Akchener, Abdullah Gul, Ali Babajan, and Kemal Kilchdaroglu, let us remember the events that Turkish politics went through in modern history. "

Before the parliamentary decision that paved the way for the president to be elected directly by the people instead of the parliament, differences occurred during the voting in the National Assembly, and in the end some lawyers illegally set the requirement to obtain 367 seats in parliament to recognize the results, according to the Turkish writer

He continued, "After the AKP Chairman and Prime Minister at the time, Erdogan announced that Gul would be the party's candidate, the latter was elected in Parliament as president, and it became clear that Erdogan will be the one who will run in the 2014 presidential elections."

Although Gul expected that Erdogan would nominate him for prime minister, his position during the Gezi Park events and Operation 17-25 indicated that he had become a man of the West and therefore unreliable. Erdogan and Gul thus adopted contradicting paths.

Gül, who had already begun to form a parallel organization during his presidency, accelerated his work with his researchers, some academics, and bureaucrats.

On the other hand, Davutoglu's team tried to manipulate the political process through research, newspapers and television commentaries, hoping to appoint him to the presidency of the Justice and Development Party after Erdogan, according to Dashdemir.

Davutoglu said at the second extraordinary conference of the Justice and Development Party: "This is not a farewell conference, it is a loyalty conference". Yet, the farewell took place, and "without loyalty."


Possible Options

Referring to the potential candidates in the opposition bloc, Dashdemir said: "Now let's go back to our main topic and move on to talk about the first potential candidate: Imamoglu. Blinded by his victory as mayor in June 2019, he became engaged in public policy instead of performing his duty as mayor. This upset even the voters who voted for him."

He added, "Those who support Imamoglu believe that President Erdogan's path in public policy opened after he became mayor, but Imamoglu cannot be compared to Erdogan, as Erdogan was imprisoned for a poem he read and paid for his ideas, so he won more sympathy from the voters."

Erdogan also found solutions to Istanbul's main problems, such as water, during his short term as mayor, meaning he was very successful as mayor.

While "It does not seem that Imamoglu is achieving any noticeable success at the present time, and although he can be considered one of the best candidates after Kilchdaroglu, in terms of the acceptance shown by the HDP base among the political opposition candidates, this is progressively declining , according to opinion polls ', says the writer.

He added, "The second of them is Mansur Yavash, who carefully monitors the balance and is known for his calm and steady rise. He is an actor who does not forget that he is an Ankara politician and his origins in the MHP. He attracts the attention of the left somewhat with his messages and speeches in support of marginalized groups protesting at Bogazichi University."

Dashdemir pointed out that "some people prefer Yavash over Imamoglu because of his calmness and weight, and although Imamoglu's popularity is declining in opinion polls, while Yavash's popularity is rising, his political background in the Nationalist movement makes it difficult for him to attract the base of the HDP and the Republican People."

He continued, "The third of them: Meral Akchener, who artfully formulates her political plot. You may see her sending messages to the base of the national movement, and then, on another day, speaking in a language that appeals to the democratic base of the people. Democrats and the marginal left factions.

The fourth of them, Gul and Babajan, and "these two should be evaluated together, especially since they have been together in the political fields for a long time, and here it can be said that they agree in their good relations with the world order, especially with the British-American axis."

He added, "Gul has a very positive image in the eyes of the Kurdish voters from the democratic peoples. As for Babajan, he directs his policy towards the base of the democratic peoples on a liberal discourse that prioritizes youth, and unfortunately he can use indecent discourse to win a little applause."

Dashdemir noted, "However, there is an important issue that he (Babajan) forgot, which is that young voters are not on the same mind or even close, and despite his young age compared to the leaders of other parties, he does not have the perception of young people and is not dynamic, and does not give this impression.

The fifth of them, Muharrem Inji, whose political future seems to depend on whether Kılchdaroglu progresses as a candidate or not, but his path may open if the strategy of presenting a candidate who does not confirm the CHP as an identity or the strategy of presenting several candidates is followed.

It should be noted that if Inji had established his party after the elections of June 24, 2018, he would have now obtained 15 percent of the vote, and would have become one of the strongest candidates for the opposition. Nor would his future and political fate depend on Kilchdaroglu's candidacy, according to the Turkish writer.

Top Candidate

Dashdemir considered that Kılchdaroglu is the most prominent candidate among the current candidates in view of the opposition candidates, and although he rose to the leadership of the party after the cassette plot (video recordings) against his predecessor Deniz Baykal in 2010, Kılchdaroglu preferred not to delve into some issues such as running for the presidency.

He said: "This is due to many factors, the most important of which is his belief that he will not be able to keep his position as party leader if he loses the elections, so he was delegated to other personalities for such matters. 

Dashdemir added: "Kilchdaroglu is able to win the votes of the HDP base in the context of the Kurdish and Alawite bases because of his birthplace, Tunceli Province, and it was Kilchdaroglu who paved the ground for the peoples' democratic work with the Republican people, so HDP voters can easily vote for him."

He pointed out that Kilchdaroğlu was the one who managed the "opposing bloc to the presidential system" after July 15, and that he also supported the Good Party by presenting a number of its deputies to the party during its founding. By not presenting candidates in 10 provinces in the local elections, he left those areas to the Good Party.

"Therefore, the members of the Good Party owe it to Kilchdaroglu, just as the Happiness, Future and Medicine parties owe their existence to him," comments Dashdemir.

The writer concluded his article by referring to the percentage of votes obtained by the alliances, saying: “It can be said that President Erdogan currently has a voter turnout between 46 and 47 percent, according to our research, and while the percentage of undecided is about 10 percent, the opposition constitutes about 48-49 percent of the vote.” What unites the opposition is merely their opposition to Erdogan."

Dashdemir continued, "In summary, Kilchdaroglu has the opportunity to become the best candidate for the opposition bloc, but will he be able to get more than fifty percent of the votes? Who knows? We will wait and see."




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