The President of Turkey has crowned his successor. He is not one of his political friends or associates. He is psychologically incapable of such a thing.
He has crowned as his successor his strongest opponent. The popular mayor of Constantinople.
Erdogan announced a few days ago that if he is re-elected it will be his last term – 25 years in power.
And a couple of days ago, an ‘independent’ court in Constantinople sentenced that city’s current mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, to two years in prison on charges of “insulting public figures” – namely, Erdogan.
What despicable apparatus – but of course, we are talking about an authoritarian regime in a democratic covering!
Something similar happened to Erdogan himself when he was mayor of Constantinople. At that time, he was sentenced to prison for a poem he had recited during a speech, allegedly insulting to the Kemalist military establishment, and that only served to burnish his popularity, and thus ultimately ‘crowned’ him Prime Minister.
It seems he didn’t learn from that – or he just doesn’t care as long as he blocks the re-election path of the mayor.
It is clear that Erdogan sees the young mayor as the most important obstacle he faces to staying in power.
According to the polls, in an election between the president and the mayor, the mayor would be the winner.
The election will have to be held by June 2023, coincidentally around the same time as the Greek elections. We don’t need something like this.
Some will argue that this is an internal Turkish political affair that is none of our business. They will say “let them poke their eyes out. Why do we care?”
Yet, we do care and it makes us paranoid – a ruthless and unpredictable politician is capable of anything.
A politician, who has a stranglehold on the status apparatus, with a strong sense that he and his family are in danger cannot risk losing the election. A politician who is obsessed with his re-election – perhaps because he believes it will secure his legacy, or perhaps because he fears going to jail if he loses – is capable of anything.
And he can go so far as to “suddenly come one night” if he thinks he needs it to get re-elected.