The elections in Türkiye and the Erdogan we love to hate

The elections in Türkiye and the Erdogan we love to hate

Erdogan has been America’s and the EU’s favorite child for many years, a leader who, as many have said, can move about as comfortably in the living rooms of the West as of Islam.

Elections in Türkiye. The main question is whether Erdogan will ultimately be “thrown down” from his throne. And it remains to be seen how well he has managed to control the Turkish state. A state that could – if controlled by Erdogan – bring down Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s opponent if he wins the elections.

In these elections, the dilemma of Erdogan or change (in this case Kilicdaroglu) has been raised – perhaps – more insistently than ever. And this is perhaps the first time that even in the camp of the Turkish president, they cannot declare with certainty that they have won the elections.


The polls point the finger at Kilicdaroglu, despite all this, even the opposition should not be sure that on Sunday evening he will manage to become a government.

Even pollsters can’t actually trust themselves in a country with millions displaced by earthquakes, thousands dead, but also a deep economic crisis for years.

Messages to the West

Kilicdaroglu promised a “180 degree turn” in foreign policy, wanting to send its own messages to the West.

And he succeeded as international headline media calls on the world to write Erdogan’s political end. And to call on people to vote for Kilicdaroglu. How much good it did Kilicdaroglu, however, remains to be seen.

Foreign policy does not win elections

However, Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu know that foreign policy does not win elections. But the messages inside. And especially the economy. With Kilicdaroglu betting on the left profile, wanting to tell the world “I am one of you”, “I understand you and I can bring about change” and Erdogan wanting to appear as the one who knows and has the power to carry on is at the helm of the country.

Analysts commented that Erdoğan has proven that his voters go to the polls “rain or snow”, which is what Kilicdaroglu must conquer in these elections.


But who is Recep Tayyip Erdogan really?

Erdogan has become a “red flag” in Greece mainly in recent years and due to the political polarization following the failed coup in 2016. The period from 2019 to 2023, until the deadly earthquakes in Turkey, can be described as the worst in the history of Greek-Turkish relations in recent years.

The first period

However, this was not always the case. Since the first period of Erdogan’s government and until the coup, it was the most peaceful period in Greek-Turkish waters.

Erdogan has been America’s and the EU’s favorite child for many years, a leader who, as many have said, can move about as comfortably in the living rooms of the West as of Islam.

Erdogan started out as a member of political parties that were constantly banned by the military or judges.

Do like the Christian Democrats

He himself wanted a party that could function within the limits of the system, and therefore not be banned like its predecessors. And it aimed to give the party the character of an ordinary conservative party with its members being Muslim democrats on the model of the Christian democrats of Europe.

The Virtue Party was banned in 2001 and split into Erbakan supporters who founded the Happiness Party (SP) and reformers who founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by Abdullah Gul and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Pro-reform politicians realized that an Islamic party would never be accepted as a ruling party by the state apparatus.

With references in the center

Therefore, the AKP has clearly declared itself as a broad democratic conservative party with young center politicians, such as Ali Babacan and Mevlut Cavusoglu. At the same time, he stressed that he respects Islamic rules and values, but without an explicit religious agenda.

As a result, the AKP won 34% of the vote in the 2002 general election.

The Justice and Development Party won the 2002 elections, but Erdogan was unable to become Prime Minister immediately due to an electoral hurdle.

prime minister in waiting

Consequently, his close associate Abdullah Gul was initially appointed Prime Minister. With Erdogan becoming the 57th Prime Minister of Turkey on March 14, 2003.

Visits to Greece

In May 2004, Erdogan became the first Turkish prime minister to officially visit Greece since 1988 and the first to see Muslims in Thrace since 1952.

His visit to Greece in 2010 was also described as historic.

Erdoğan arrived in Athens on May 14, 2010 with Ahmet Davutoglu, then Turkish Foreign Minister, and 320 Turkish businessmen. At Athens International Airport, according to etiquette, he was received by Greek Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos, then he visited the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister at Maximos Palace and finally the President of the Parliament.

21 chords

During Erdoğan’s historic visit, 21 cooperation agreements-memoranda were signed between the two countries on various issues. Those which today more or less constitute the positive agenda. And then the founding meeting of the “Supreme Council for Cooperation between Greece and Turkey” took place.


Erdogan’s relationship with the West began to change when he felt strong enough to believe he could break the rules.

The decision to acquire the S-400, which deprived it of the F-35, was decisive in the dramatic deterioration of relations with Washington. Diplomats avoiding a reversal that would bring him back into the US fighter program.

Greco-Turkish crisis

The deepest Greek-Turkish crisis erupted from the signing of the Turkish-Libyan memorandum.

She spoke on the ground with the leadership of the refugee crisis on Evros by Ankara in 2020 which alarmed Europe and the ensuing “Oruch Reis” crisis and brought the two country on the brink of war.

2021 has been a year of relative calm, arriving at the Mitsotakis-Erdogan lunch with a view of the Bosphorus in 2022, and an optimism that has reversed fairly quickly.

After the Prime Minister’s trip to Washington and his speech to Congress and Erdogan’s “Mitsotakis yoke”.

A trip that Ankara considered a challenge and which marked a milestone for declarations of direct threats of war against Erdogan’s Athens, the messages sometimes being directed to Washington.

The Turkish and Athens polls

Turkey votes on Sunday and no one can predict an outcome. In Athens, they are following developments more closely than ever. And everyone wonders what effect the vote in Turkey will have on Ankara-Athens relations.

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