Erdogan’s ‘change’ – The Two Faces of the Turkish Prime Minister

Erdogan’s ‘change’ – The Two Faces of the Turkish Prime Minister


Opposition: “He is ill – He has the syndrome of the mad ruler’

His plan for the “New Turkey” and the “State of Erdogan”

By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara

It was in 2004, when Erdogan in a televised interview was revealing his origins declaring: “my family is of Georgian origin and I come from Batumi in Rizounta. I originate from Georgia. My wife is of Arab origin”. At the time the Turkish Prime Minister was showing a modern and democratic profile. Trying to prove that he would change the popular slogan in the Republic of Turkey at the time: “Turkey belongs to the Turks”. He promised to change all the structure of the military regime.

In 2014, on the eve of presidential elections, Erdogan showed yet another profile, since he noted in an interview that “they said many bad things about me, like that I originate from Georgia, and even worse, sorry to say (e.g. as an insult), they said I am Armenian. Terrible things. But I am a Turk from my grandparents”. Essentially, the Turkish Prime Minister’s statements after 12 years in power, show the signs of his change. He himself has become the same status quo, as the Turkish pashas, who he weakened, once were.

Many felt that Erdogan with this statement tried to attract the voters of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP).

Armenians in Turkey demand an apology and there is a whole debate about racism! The Republican People’s Party (CHP) reports that the Prime Minister will be brought before the courts. The MP of the CHP, Hursit Gunes, said that “we are not talking about a simple mistake; there has been a violation of the Constitution. It is a hate speech and will go to the prosecutor to condemn”.

Hürriyet’s columnist Mehmet Yilmaz says “Erdogan among the other characterisations regarding himself has added that of the racist. What he did is racism”.

“The ‘other’ Erdogan”

“He has the syndrome of the crazy ruler”, says the opposition

The Vice-President of CHP Aytun Ciray argues that “the Prime Minister has a disturbed mental state and shows signs of the “Mad Leader Disease”. The Ottoman Sultan Murat F had a similar disease and stayed on the throne for only five months”.

Polls show a certain win of the Turkish Prime Minister

All polls show that Erdogan will be the winner of the presidential elections. The question is whether he will be elected in the first round that takes place today or in the second round.

“Erdogan wants to be elected in the first round, and immediately after his election he will ask for an immediate congress to appoint a new prime minister of his choosing. He will have to do this until August 28, during which time Gul will still be President and will not be able to be elected Prime Minister”, says the political analyst of Hürriyet, Taha Akyol.

“But if the presidential elections go to the second round, that is on 24 August, Erdogan’s political strength will suffer and then Gul might run for Prime Minister”.

The plan for the “new Turkey”

Erdogan’s plan is to change the constitution in Turkey from parliamentary to presidential. He wants to concentrate all powers in his hands. “Look at Russia, look at the U.S.. The system there works better”, he has stressed in interviews.

The opposition is trying to lead the elections in the second round. The candidate of the two opposition parties (CHP – MHP) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglou, supports the current version of the constitution. He wants the constitution to remain as parliamentary democracy. The same also supports the candidate of the pro-Kurdish HDP Selahattin Demirtas, who is trying to attract the Kurdish voters, as well as many of the Turkish left.

All three candidates are religious and conservative

Essentially the Turks with their vote will determine the future of Turkey. If they elect Erdogan, who seeks to remain in power until 2023, they will choose the “new Turkey”, which is the motto of the Turkish Prime Minister, or the “state of Erdogan” as “Der Spiegel” calls it.

Political analysts say the Republic of Turkey founded by Kemal Ataturk in 1923 and all of its structure will change as Erdogan will have control of the government, the judiciary, the police, and the army, as well as the secret services. A structure, which as reported by the opposition, “will turn Turkey away from democratic values”.