NATO Has an Enemy Within and He’s Heading for Downfall


Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends an election rally in Mardin, Turkiye on May 10

Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends an election rally in Mardin, Turkiye on May 10

when Turks go to polls on weekends, they not only determine the future direction of their country’s political development. They will decide whether Ankara can maintain its status as an important linchpin of the Western alliance.

With Turkey’s economy in a meltdown and the country still struggling to cope with a devastating earthquake in February, the opposition has made a rare move to oust the country’s authoritarian leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I believe there is an opportunity

Once hailed as a pro-business modernist forging closer ties with Europe, including Turkey’s accession to the EU, the 69-year-old Turkish president has been in power for two decades and has taken control of his country’s affairs. adopted an increasingly authoritarian approach to He clearly has an Islamist view.

This raised questions among Western leaders about Turkey’s continued credibility as a NATO ally.

The tension first appeared Ankara Support for Al-Qaeda-Linked Islamist Groups It intensified during the Syrian civil war when Erdogan was accused of causing the mass migration of Syrian refugees to southern Europe.

These were exacerbated when Turkey signed an arms deal with Moscow in 2017 to purchase Russia’s state-of-the-art S-400 anti-aircraft missile system. The US responded by excluding Ankara from its F-35 stealth fighter program and imposing sanctions. Recently, Turkey has irritated NATO leaders with its bogus opposition to Sweden joining the alliance.

Turkey’s ability to remain a member is arguably due to Turkey’s strategic location on NATO’s southeastern flank. As a result, many NATO leaders, along with tens of millions of Turks, will be desperate for Erdogan to be ousted from power in Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

Voting is certainly one of them Close battles Turkey has witnessed in recent yearsOpposition leader Kemal Kulchidalor is backed by a six-party coalition, with a slight edge over Erdogan, according to the latest polls. The 74-year-old former accountant and leader of the Republican People’s Party, Kurtidalor, has support built by Erdogan, as do those of Erdogan and his supporters, the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Steadily rising over his commitment to dismantle the oppressive authoritarian regime that wasabout setting destroy the secular constitutional framework It was founded by Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Kurchidalor’s pledge to abolish Erdogan’s presidential system by re-establishing parliamentary powers and the prime minister’s office and guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary and the press particularly struck a chord with young Turks. Many of them desperately want relief from Turkey’s dire economic woes (inflation is currently at about 45%) and state-sponsored repression.

As Kılıçdaroğlu said in a recent BBC interview: I tell young people that they are free to criticize me. I make sure they have this right. ”

Beyond Turkey, Western leaders have a keen interest in Kılıçdaroğlu’s commitment to pledge to mend relations with the United States and reaffirm their country’s NATO status. There is even talk of reviving the long-dormant Turkish government’s move to join the EU.

One of the most serious challenges Erdogan has faced since leading the AKP to victory for the first time in 2002 is Kurtidalor’s bid for power, but the Turkish president remains a formidable foe. is a man who was willing to serve time in a Turkish prison for supporting Islamist views early in his political career in the 1990s.

Erdogan, who has helped the AKP win multiple elections, has faced rivals, including the immense power he enjoys within the all-powerful presidential system he established after the 2017 constitutional referendum. enjoys many advantages. This has resulted in the shutdown of most anti-government media, the nationwide persecution of citizens implicated in the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan, and the dismissal of tens of thousands of police, military personnel, civil servants and judges. it was done. , more than 95,000 people are detained.

Erdogan has also shown himself to be a bad loser when the results go against him. , ordered a rerun. On that occasion, he eventually accepted the result, but there are concerns that he will not be so kind if Sunday’s vote does not go his way. It has already laid grounds for challenging the results, claiming that it was part of an “attempted coup”. It suggests there is no guarantee that Erdogan’s back will be seen even if the opposition wins.

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