Real support for Erdogan and problems of the opposition:
“These elections were not free and fair. Erdogan's regime has closed almost all the holes in his regime that could undermine his power. He will arrest all those who disagree, that's why people are afraid. As for the reactions of the opposition parties, in my opinion, the absence of confrontation according to official data does not mean that there were no falsifications, but that there is no opposition left in Turkey and no courageous journalism or academic community that will ask questions about falsifications at the elections. In Turkmenistan, too, opposition parties do not talk about falsifications, as in other dictatorial regimes.
As for Erdogan's support in society, he has real support somewhere around 40-45%, but this is not a guarantee of a peremptory victory. In any case, we are talking about small percentages of falsification. The second round showed that the opposition was not preparing for an alternative vote counting system, as during the first round. There is an official government agency in Turkey that gives data on election results for the Justice and Development Party. The agency does not have representatives at every ballot box, and they receive data from Erdogan's party.
There is also the opposition agency Anka, which also gives results through the main state agency. They also do not have their representatives near the ballot boxes in all of Turkey. The opposition has not made any website available to evaluate the election results. People simply compared the data of the official agency and the Anka agency. At first there was an indicator of 60%, and then reduced to 52%. Anka simply showed that Kalychdaroglu was ahead at first, and then Erdogan won again. In the end, they showed the same numbers. This manipulation through the Anka opposition agency was just done differently this time. During the first round, Anka showed the data of the state agency, and now they first showed the superiority of Kalychdaroglu, and then they still showed the victory of Erdogan. For both agencies, the data source is Erdogan's party.
The fact that the opposition does not respond to official data is not an indication that there are no falsifications. Everyone knows that there were falsifications and that Erdogan stole some percentage, but there is simply no real opposition and journalism left in Turkey. That is what underlies this silence. The opposition in Turkey is now completely pocket-sized. We did not even see representatives of the opposition parties at night, until the very end, they could not organize and mobilize their supporters.
The opposition yesterday completed a softer task - to transfer or strengthen the power of Erdogan and give him greater legitimacy in the foreign arena. They didn't fight like real opposition. Erdogan first left and people in the West and outside the country thought that this was some kind of election like New Zealand, in which the dictator would never win. Erdogan pays a lot of attention to his legitimacy in the foreign arena. The opposition in Turkey with their own hands gave Erdogan victory and strengthening in the foreign arena.”
Western reaction to Erdogan's victory:
“After the announcement of Erdogan’s victory, not only Azerbaijan, Qatar, Russia or Venezuela congratulated him, but all Western leaders, including Biden, Scholz, and Macron, as if these elections were fair and transparent. This is a lie, of course. The opposition in Turkey is fighting not for power, but for its positions. Erdogan either bribes them or threatens them. The country has huge problems in both foreign and domestic policy. We do not know, for example, how many refugees became Turkish citizens or in which ballot box they voted. We just don't have the data. Why did the Kurds vote for Turkish nationalism? During the first round, they voted for the nationalist Turkic parties. People are just afraid and don't want to talk.
The opposition is silent because it is not opposition. In Turkmenistan, the opposition also does not talk about falsifications. For example, we do not know how many million people have died from the pandemic in Turkey. We do not know how many times people in different ballot boxes voted for the same candidate. The opposition does not have reliable data, and they are not available. It is pointless to judge elections by official results.
Erdogan will increasingly turn to authoritarian methods to consolidate his power. The strategic course will be precisely in the direction of authoritarianism, but at the same time it needs to attract at least some financial support from the West, because the economy is also in a very bad state. Therefore, in the coming months, he will change the rhetoric against the West and soften it. This is not only because of the economy, but also in order to present himself as a legitimate and democratic leader, as was the case in the early 2000s. Until 2011-2013, Turkey had a more or less functioning democracy, but after corruption scandals, there was no democracy left there.”
Türkiye and NATO
“Erdogan needs to show himself as a loyal ally of NATO, the West, and that his authoritarian style of government be recognized as the same as 15 years ago. Authoritarian leaders cannot return to the rule of law or democracy after such crimes, so his strategic course will be to tighten the authoritarian regime. Most likely, he will ratify the process of Sweden's accession to NATO before the alliance's summit in July this year. I think militarily Erdogan is in the Western bloc, so perhaps he will increase military supplies to Ukraine. This is his family business - his son-in-law makes drones and armored vehicles. With Azerbaijan, Erdogan will increasingly coordinate efforts and put pressure on Armenia. This will create difficulties for Moscow.
Despite the authoritarian style of government, Erdogan is still a very valuable player for the Western countries. In the post-Soviet space, you will not find such a "bold politician" who tests Russia's red lines in military and political ways. What NATO could not do for three decades in the Karabakh issue, Erdogan did within three or four years from the start of the second Karabakh war. Now we are talking not only about relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey, but also about the weakening of relations between Armenia and Russia, the issue of Armenia's membership in the CSTO and so on. Therefore, militarily and strategically, Erdogan is a valuable player in NATO. For example, he slowed down the integration of Finland into NATO. He is not against her membership, he just wants to beg for something in return. And now he has remained in power and in the near future he will approve the entry of Sweden into NATO.”
Relations with Russia
“Erdogan is not an anti-Western politician, he just makes his dialogue tougher and tests Moscow's red lines. In the coming years, I think Turkey and Erdogan will maintain relations with Russia, including energy. In the coming months, Moscow and Ankara will take some steps to create a gas hub in Turkey. This is very beneficial for Turkey, while Russia becomes more dependent on Erdogan in this sense, but this will allow it to maintain a minimal presence in the European gas market. On the other hand, the decision will strengthen Turkey's position as a NATO member in Russia's southern direction. This is very valuable for the West, so the creation of a gas hub does not contradict the interests of Western countries. We are not talking about two hundred billion cubic meters, but rather about ten to fifteen. This is not such a large volume for the West.
Leading Western countries make Russia more dependent on Erdogan, and on the other hand, Turkey allows the West to finance the Turkish economy, which is in crisis, with Russian money. In my opinion, Erdogan will strengthen trade and economic relations with Russia, even parallel imports. In the short term, Moscow needs this, and Turkey is helping the Kremlin to some extent. In strategic and military-political terms, we will see a more active Turkey in the post-Soviet space in the coming years. In the long term, the fact that Erdogan remains in power is risky for Russia, because we will see a more active Turkish military policy in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan or Moldova, which wants to integrate into Euro-Atlantic institutions through Romania and other NATO countries. In this Türkiye helps Chisinau.
Moscow now faces a choice between its short-term interests in trade and economic relations with Turkey and long-term risks in the military-political and strategic sense.
The attitude of the Turkish population towards Erdogan amid the collapse of the lira:
“The economic situation affects the election results. If there were no economic problems, then Erdogan would have announced his victory in advance. All reputable and respected economists in Turkey and in the West say that there is no way for Erdogan to fix the economy. It is important for him to appoint those responsible for finances, because now there is a person who knows nothing about economics. Everyone laughs when he speaks on TV, which is why Erdogan forbade him from doing so.
On the other hand, Erdogan cannot appoint competent people, because then he will not be able to steal, receive his commission. For Erdogan, two things are important in life - money and power. This is a corrupt regime, so he can not appoint anyone to key positions, except for his loved ones. This will create risks for him, but the opposition is in the same condition. In Turkey, there is even such an expression: “Both Erdogan and the opposition are all bad, but Erdogan steals, but works.” People feel economic problems more closely. Now they are already saying: “They steal, but they don’t work like that anymore.” After some time, they will say: "They only steal and do not work." Then it will be more difficult for Erdogan to remain without power and it will be more difficult to win the next elections.
The economy may improve for several months, there may be some visibility, but the main course will not change this. In a year, we will see the weakening of the Turkish lira, because the system is so arranged - Erdogan cannot appoint competent people who do not steal to manage these state structures. Turkey should have applied to the International Monetary Fund for a long time, but does not apply, because if the IMF helps Turkey, it will do it only on the condition that a certain percentage of this amount needs to be cleared and verified.
Therefore, now Erdogan says that he will reduce the interest rate at the cost of inflation. The official inflation figure in Turkey is 50%, but no one believes it, because in fact 150% is the minimum. The strategic course of the Turkish economy is moving towards the scenario of Venezuela, where one loaf is worth millions. In a year or two, this is exactly how everything will be in Turkey, and then people will understand that Erdogan not only steals, but also does not work.”
Can the opposition led by Kalychdaroglu continue the fight?
"No fight Kalychdaroglu did not lead, does not lead and will not lead. This is just a signal for candidates for the post of head of their party, because now everyone will criticize him. Many opposition-minded people will say: “Why is he the only candidate of the opposition bloc? Why couldn’t the mayor of Istanbul be nominated?” It would have been harder for Erdogan to "win" these elections if the opposition candidate had been Ekrem Imamoglu.
The intra-party struggle may become tougher in the opposition, because Kalychdaroglu is already 74 years old, everything can happen, the republican parties in Turkey are very different. In the internal party struggle for the members of this party is more important than the struggle of the general Turkey. It is possible that Kalicdaroglu will leave his post, but in my opinion Erdogan would like him to stay, because Imamoglu is more risky. Imamoglu and Erdogan will fight this fight harder, and Kalicdaroglu is not such an ambitious and dangerous opponent for Erdogan.”
Congratulations from the leaders of other states began to come to Erdogan even before the official announcement of the results of the second round of elections. The first to do this were Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Emir of Qatar and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and a little later, Vladimir Putin. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Erdogan immediately after the CEC announced the official results.
The second stage of the elections was held in the country, as no candidate received more than 50% in the first round. At the same time, the first round of elections was not without public scandals. So, Erdogan handed out money to children right at the polling station where he came to vote. Two days before the vote, Kemal Kılıçdaroglu accused Russia of editing videos that discredited candidates and using content made using Deep Fake technology. Before that, Erdogan, in a speech to supporters, showed a video from Kılıçdaroglu, in which the leader of the Kurdish militants appears.
A few days before the first round, candidate Muharrem Ince (Fatherland Party) abruptly withdrew from the election, explaining that he was doing so because of the publication of a fake sexual photograph. According to Ince, he has been harassed for the past 45 days. He called all the photos and other materials published with him fakes made to prevent him from winning the vote.