Celal Baslangic

Celal Baslangic

The power to oust Erdogan’s Palace reign is here

Recent political developments compounded by the government’s ineptitude in disaster relief have ensured that Erdogan will lose the May 14 election. The public has found the power to hold its leaders accountable.

The calendar for the most critical period ahead for Turkey is gaining clarity.

If Erdogan does not backpedal at the last minute, the presidential and parliamentary elections will be brought forward by a month and held on May 14 instead of June 18.

In other words, the May 14 elections that will determine the fate of the country will occur in 66 days.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) - Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) coalition is entering this election as a Palace regime caught under the rubble in every aspect of living, from the economy to justice, from income distribution to deep poverty, from education to health.

As if having turned Turkey into a wreck in every sphere of life at the end of 21 years of rule was not enough, Erdogan was then crushed by the rubble of the February 6 earthquake that hit roughly three months before the elections were to occur.

Crushed under the weight of an economic collapse of his own creation, Erdogan was losing the election even before the earthquake according to a majority of the polls.

While it became apparent that the Palace regime would lose the election, the candidate from the biggest opposition electoral alliance was yet to be determined. The votes for the Nation Alliance surpassed those of the People’s Alliance, but still fell short of the requisite 50+1 on their own.

As such, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) inevitably became the key party of the election.

With its opposition on the basis of principles, the HDP, which continued to do politics while cornered by the party closure case on the one hand and the detention, arrest, and imprisonment imposed on its parliamentary members, mayors, and party members on the other hand, became an influential factor in the selection of the Nation Alliance’s candidate.

Such was the state of politics as the elections drew closer.

The Palace regime’s little partner Devlet Bahceli had announced months ago that their presidential candidate would be Erdogan, despite a candidacy for the third time being in violation of the constitution.

Their spokespeople had been pressuring the Nation Alliance at every turn, pushing “Who is your candidate? Reveal the name of your candidate.” Even before the opposition had determined its candidate, the regime saw clearly that they were about to lose rule, and as such, were waiting impatiently for the Nation Alliance to declare an opponent whom they could destroy using the media the Palace had on its leash.


As this was ongoing, the February 6 earthquake struck, taking tens of thousands of lives and leaving millions of our people homeless.

The Palace regime, which had abandoned people to their suffering, was caught under the rubble of this catastrophic earthquake alongside the tens of thousands of our people.

All election-related data before the earthquake had already been against Erdogan due to the economic crisis he had created.

We saw soon after the earthquake that the Palace regime, which was quickly losing power as a result of the economic crisis, took a significant political hit and its downturn in the polls accelerated due to its ineptitude and failure in reaching people after the disaster.

At that point, the “Aksener crisis” in the Nation Alliance erupted.

Aksener had said, “no” but as of March 3 it became certain that the Nation Alliance’s presidential candidate would be Kilicdaroglu.

From then on, Aksener faced a lot of pressure from her party cadres and members.

Particularly the liberal, urban, and secular Good Party cadres and members who did not have their origins in the MHP and who were in favor of center-right politics besieged Aksener by using their social media accounts, calling the party headquarters, and withdrawing their memberships.

Kilicdaroglu was the only candidate from the Nation Alliance who openly declared that he would hold the Palace’s “thieves of the public,” also known as the “Gang of Five,” accountable.

Kilicdaroglu had even had experts prepare reports on these “thieves.” He was proclaiming that this “public robbery” carried out by the hand of the Palace amounted to 418 billion dollars and that he would return this money cent by cent to the public if elected president.

In fact, he even promised to put up a “Gang-o-Meter” in the heart of Ankara if he won the election.

These “thieves of the public” who saw that Kilicdaroglu would be elected, attempted to contact party leaders and soften the blow but were unsuccessful.

They were attempting to turn their "bad luck" around, trying to avoid being tried and being held accountable, by reaching out to other candidates of the Nation Alliance and party leaders.

This "public robbery" of 418 billion dollars stood as one of the main factors against Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy.

The fact that Kilicdaroglu was Kurdish and Alevi was also a critical matter against his candidacy, though it is a point in favor of Turkish society that no one dared voice this objection explicitly.

Due to the structure of her party, Aksener was naturally among the leaders easiest to reach for the “thieves.”

Perhaps this was Aksener’s most basic objection to Kilicdaroglu being the Nation Alliance’s candidate.

But just as no one could voice explicitly that they objected to Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy because he is Kurdish and Alevi, there was also none brave enough to bring up the thieves candidly.

That is to say, in Aksener’s objection there was more of an anxiety around “what if he is elected” as opposed to a demand for a “winning candidate.”

In the meantime, allegations about the rejection of the 400-person "not to be tried" list given to Kilicdaroglu, and the fact that some relatives of his family won tenders from some municipalities alongside the "Gang of Five" were flying in the air.

In the end, Aksener could not hold out when faced with the objections from her own party, its members, and its voters because she had personally seen that some of the information coming from the surveys was clearly true. According to the results of the polls, Aksener would lose two-thirds of her own base if she switched sides.

Aksener witnessed this truth bitterly as 60 thousand of the roughly 600 thousands Good Party members withdrew from the party within two hours despite the collapse of the e-Government website.

The resulting picture clearly confirmed the claims that Aksener, who opposed Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy, had "committed political suicide.”

This is why Aksener, who had slammed the door shut in her exit returned to her seat at the Table of Six at the last minute, thanks to the skillful opening of the door by other party leaders in the alliance.

Here, the electoral power that brought Aksener back to the table and made Kilicdaroglu say "yes" to being the Nation Alliance's presidential candidate is the same power that will push Erdogan from his seat in the May 14 elections.


The power that made Aksener return is also the power that will remove Erdogan, who will not want to leave his seat when he loses the election, from the Palace in Bestepe.

It is also this power which made Aksener return to the Table that will tell a Kilicdaroglu who backs down from holding the “thieves” who stole 418 billion accountable, who gives up on a trial for the past Palace regime, and who attempts to play games to “stop.”

There are only 66 days left until the elections that will change Turkey's destiny regardless of the outcome.

The dark and bloody games that the Palace regime and its lackeys which foresee its loss will play pose the gravest danger during this period.

Another big threat is for the presidential elections on May 14 to go to a second-round on May 28, which Erdogan knows he will definitely lose.

The power that will render all these threats void is the power that brought Aksener back to the Table.

This power is the power of conscious citizens who assume responsibility over their taxes, their votes, and, of course, their futures.

These events have made clear that the power to oust the Palace regime has been found!

*Celal Baslangic: He was born in 1956 in Istanbul. He began a career in journalism at Ekspres in 1975. He graduated from Ege University, School of Journalism and Public Relations in 1978. He worked as a reporter, intelligence chief, regional representative, policy service chief, and editor-in-chief at the newspapers Demokrat İzmir and Politics and Cumhuriyet. In 1995, he was appointed as the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Evrensel Newspaper. He conducted the "Time, Space and Human" interviews at Radikal for more than 10 years. He became the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Beyoglu Newspaper in 2002. In 2011, he was a Member of the Founding Broadcasting Board of IMC TV. He worked as a columnist for T24, Haberdar, and Gazete Duvar news sites. In 2017, he became the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Arti TV and Arti Gercek.

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