Turkeys Erdogan on the Cusp of Victory. What to Expect from a Third Term.
Erdogan received 49.4% of the votes in the Turkish Presidential election. His rival Kilicdaroglu had 44.96%. This sets Erdogan up for victory in the runoff vote on May 28.
Barring an upset, Erdogan will have an opportunity to consolidate his policies for a Turkey immersed in political Islam. He believes he represents the voice of the common people, advocating their interests against the Westernised elites. To achieve his vision for Turkey Erdogan believes he must suffuse society and politics with conservative Islam. While his foreign policy becomes more dependent on Turkeys historic enemy and natural competitor, respectively, Russia, Iran and an emerging China.
Erdogan is acutly aware that Russia has nearly geographically encircled Turkey after invading Crimea in 2014. Rather than look to the hated West for support he has chosen the risky alternative of courting the Russia, Iran, China Axis.
Erdogan, believes he understands the risks involved with tying his star to that of the triumvirate but puts those fears aside in his quest for a national outlook that regards Europe and the West as antithetical and adversarial, to Islamic polity. He is convinced the West is morally corrupt and that leftist and rightist political movements are alien to Islam and nothing more than the ‘snake oil’ of Western thought.
Erdogan dreams of a return to the days of Ottoman rule when Turkey dominated the Middle East and parts of Europe. None of this sits well with its Western allies who see Erdogans Turkeys alignment with the West under threat.
As a consequence of Erdogans rejection of the West it finds itself in bed with its historic adversaries, Russia and Iran who are undermining Turkeys policies in the Middle East while pressuring Erdogan into accepting foreign policy deals on Russia and Irans own terms.
All this and more can be expected should Erdogan emerge victorious once again.