President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in Turkey’s presidential election on Sunday, a win that would steer his increasingly authoritarian rule into a third decade. Addressing his cheering supporters from the top of a bus in Istanbul, Erdogan proclaimed that voters had given him the responsibility to rule for the next five years. The seasoned politician termed his victory, a win for the entire Turkish nation. Earlier, the head of the High Election Board told a news conference that Erdogan was leading Kilicdaroglu with 54.47% support, with 54.6% of ballot boxes logged. Erdogan’s opponent Republic People’s Party has not responded to the victory of the conservative leader so far.
The Republic of Turkiye held nationwide parliamentary and presidential elections in its country. Through direct polls over 64 million registered voters across 81 provinces and 87 electoral districts elected their parliamentary representatives and also chose the country’s most powerful executive out of four presidential candidates including incumbent ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The recent Turkiye election was contested by three main coalitions that put forth their electoral manifestos before the public to grab the attention of the voters. President Erdogan led an alliance of three conservative parties with a highly lucrative agenda including a fast recovery from the recent earthquake disaster along with the construction of 650,000 homes, a 20% decrease in rising price hikes, and managing a voluntary return of millions of Syrian refugees to their country. Erdogan also vowed to continue his fight against anti-Turkey’s separatist movements and start a jihad against extra-liberal tendencies including LGBT rights in Turkey’s conservative society. Erdogan’s rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a former civil servant, economist, and leader of the center-left Republican People’s Party has formed a coalition with six opposition parties to defeat the long-term Turkish ruler and conservative leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party. Kilicdaroglu put forth the idea of change in the two decades long of the AK Party rule.
The coalition promised to lower inflation, settle refugee issues, reconstruct earthquake-hit regions, fix the foreign policy issues with the West, and gain visa-free entry for Turks to travel to the EU’s Schengen area. Meanwhile, the left-wing Labour and Freedom Alliance pursued a significantly distant manifesto than the other groups which include legislation to protect LGBT rights, solutions to the Kurdistan issue through negotiations, along with bringing improvements in governance and economy.e election had been seen as one of the most consequential yet for Turkey, with the opposition believing it had a strong chance of unseating Erdogan after his popularity was hit by rising inflation and a cost-of-living crisis in recent years. There had been a close contest between Turkey’s reformist leader Teyyip Erdogan and former economist-turned-politician Kemal Kilicdargolu during both phases of the electoral contest. Interestingly, the left-wing Labour and Freedom Alliance also support Kemal Kilicdargolu in the presidential format but their joint work could not prove to be fruitful, and Erdogan’s charismatic personality, vibrant foreign policy, and reinvention of Ottoman era legacies in domestic and regional affairs played a crucial role in pushing Erdogan to the victory stand. The electoral process overall remained smooth and peaceful, while nominal electoral irregularities had been reported in some areas, particularly in earthquake-hit regions. There are mixed sentiments in the masses regarding Erdogan’s third-time consecutive victory for the topmost and most powerful slot in the country. At the global level, there is also a mix of joy and derision over the victory of a conservative Muslim leader, who always stood for Muslim brotherhood, pursued an independent foreign policy, and confronted Western hegemonism and monopoly at the global level.
Thus Erdogan’s victory had been celebrated in the central Asia, Palestine, Pakistan, Russia, and other multiple nations but it had been mourned in the Western capitals and much of the Middle East after Turkey took a more confrontational approach in its foreign affairs with certain regional and extra-regional players in recent past. Interestingly, the West was utterly annoyed with Erdogan’s conservative policies and hoping for a change through the election but Erdogan’s surprising victory trashed their plans regarding the revival of Western-style democracy in Turkiye. Erdogan’s victory also means further strengthening of economic and military ties between Ankara and Moscow, Turkiye’s opposition to Finland, Sweden’s inclusion into NATO, and the continuation of Ankara’s anti-US and anti-West posture for another half a decade that matters for the US strategists amid worsening NATO-Russia rivalry in Eastern Europe and intensifying Washington-Beijing tussle in trade, regional secuirty, and global diplomacy. At the same time, Muslims across the globe particularly in South Asia hope that the Turkish revolutionary leader would be able to reinvent a great Islamic legacy in Western Asia by craving a purely Ottoman-era Turkiye that will not only pave the way for Mulsim dominance in the region but also prove to be Masiah for destitute Muslim communities across the world. Apparently, Erdogan will succeed in transforming Turkiye into a modern Muslim welfare state, but Tukiye’s role in the 13threen century is less likely to be revived in the contemporary world. The West has to face this hard net for another five years term while Russia, China, and Pakistan would be able to steer their interests through collaboration with Erdogan’s government in the future. After all, Erdogan has proved to be a great leader of the Muslim world and Turkish people stamped their confidence in his leadership for the consecutive third time. Pakistanis also have great respect for him and have high hopes for the future.