HDP to be kingmaker in Turkey’s elections - Foreign Policy
Kurdish votes will be significant in the upcoming elections in Turkey and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is poised to be kingmaker in the parliament after the elections, Foreign Policy wrote in an article posted on its web site.
In the article titled “Elections to Watch in 2023,” American magazine “Foreign Policy” analyzed elections that will be held throughout the year in several countries.
In the section Turkey, the magazine made a brief history of President Tayyip Erdogan in power.
IN HIS FIRST DECADE ERDOGAN WAS WELL LIKED IN THE WORLD
“For most of his first decade in office, Erdogan was well-liked the world over. (...) In many ways, Erdogan made Turkish society more equitable—for example, by nixing a hijab ban in state institutions and allowing Kurdish to be taught in schools. He also oversaw high GDP growth and poverty reduction, moving Turkey firmly into the ranks of upper-middle-income economies.” the article said.
According to FP, Erdogan was greeted In Western capitals as a groundbreaking leader who could toe the fine rhetorical and diplomatic lines between Western and Islamic contexts, and he proved to the global public that overtly Islamic societies were just as modern, dynamic, and innovative as their Western counterparts.
IDENTITY CRISIS MORPHED INTO DEMOCRATIC EROSION
But roughly around 2013, “Turkish identity crisis between secular and religious forces morphed into full-blown democratic erosion” FP said.
“By then, Turkey’s economic miracle of the early 2000s had been hampered by the 2008 recession, and scrutiny instead turned toward abuses within Erdogan’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP). That summer, activists demonstrating against the destruction of Istanbul’s Gezi Park were met with extreme police violence and state repression. Months later, dozens of people linked to the AKP were detained in what was then the largest corruption scandal in Turkey’s history.”
ERDOGAN CONSOLIDATED CONTROL OVER MEDIA AND JUDICIARY
After the coup attempt in 2016, cleaning house became a convenient justification for Erdogan’s 2017 referendum to transform Turkey into a super-presidential system, which proposed getting rid of the post of prime minister and granting the president expansive executive powers while eliminating many checks and balances. Observers warned that the measure could spell the end of Turkish democracy, yet it managed to pass with the narrowest of margins.
NERVOUS ABOUT ELECTONS
According to Foreign Policy magazine, Erdogan is nervous about this summer’s presidential and parliamentary elections. “[T]here is evidence that Erdogan and the AKP have overstayed their welcome among large numbers of Turkish voters,” FP’s Steven A. Cook wrote in November 2022. “Consequently, the Turkish leader has begun to pull as many levers as possible … to whip up nationalist sentiment and gain political advantage.”
“It is arguably too early to make full-blown predictions about an election in six months’ time, especially since we don’t yet know whom Erdogan’s main presidential opponent will be. But Turkish voters clearly feel Erdogan has gone too far—and that his regression in recent years has dwarfed the innovative leadership of his first decade in office,” the magazine said.