Friday, December 8, 2023

Comment: Sweden disappointed again – Erdogan’s shadow still hasn’t subsided


Sweden won’t be able to get rid of their monster for at least another two weeks. It is quite possible that Turkey’s Erdogan will remain in power and it will become even more difficult, writes special editor Seppo Varjas.

Moni was disappointed in Ankara and Istanbul on Monday. It is the same in Stockholm, but official Sweden does not dare to express it. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s wall is still in the face of Sweden’s NATO membership.

Supporters of challenger Kemal Kilikdaroglu hoped he would defeat Erdogan in the first round of Sunday’s presidential election. This was also expected by the leadership of many of Turkey’s NATO allies, although certainly not as loudly.

Based on the official election results, it looks like NATO and Sweden still haven’t gotten over their monster.

Officially, it appears that President Erdogan was several percentage points ahead of his main rival, Kilikdaroglu. However, he did not appear to reach more than 50% of the vote. Then the second round will not be held. The second round is coming in two weeks.

Supporters of Kilikdaroglu’s CHP party believe that their candidate is leading the polls, but they also do not claim that they received more than half of the votes. The party is not going to complain about the results of the first round.

Sinan Ogan, the third candidate, got about five percent of the vote. Some observers expect his supporters to vote for Erdogan instead of Kilicdaroglu in the second round.

Erdogan increased the power of the president and reduced the power of parliament. Nevertheless, it is not insignificant that Erdogan’s AKP party and its allies hold a majority in parliament. As the second round draws near, it is eating away at the morale of the opposition.

Kilicdaroglu still has a chance to win the second round, but it will take hard work and luck.

The Turkish market is also among the suspects. Stock prices fell on the Istanbul Stock Exchange and the Turkish lira weakened due to the election result. The financial world does not trust the strange economic policy of President Erdogan.

Kemal Kilikdaroglu should give his all in the second round of the presidential election.

Kemal Kilikdaroglu should give his all in the second round of the presidential election. Photo: Kyodonews/Zuma

The anxiety and fear don’t end in Stockholm.

Türkiye blocks Sweden from joining NATO. Kilicdoroglu is seen as more pro-Western than Erdogan, who has a well-known beef with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Kilicdaroglu may accept Sweden’s membership as soon as he comes to power. This will be his gift of tomorrow to the West. Then Sweden’s membership in NATO could be sealed before the organization’s summit in July.

If Erdogan wins, he could be even more flamboyant. The Western media were already rejoicing about the defeat awaiting Erdogan. For a leader like Erdogan, the media is the state he operates in.

If Erdogan is victorious, he will pay off the fish debt at home and abroad. Continuing to torture Sweden would be a great way to do that. Otherwise, Erdogan may crack down on issues affecting several NATO and EU countries.

It is quite clear what kind of result is expected in Stockholm, but it cannot be said out loud, so as not to enrage Ankara’s grumpy masters even more.

Erdogan’s biggest support comes from outside the big cities, even though he is a former mayor of Istanbul. Erdogan and his AKP party echo the populist nationalists’ international theme: for the forgotten.

Erdogan has been in power for two decades as prime minister and president. He is the harbinger of populism.

Erdogan’s opponents in Turkey fear that if Erdogan wins in two weeks, authoritarian populism will quickly turn into a de facto dictatorship.

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