The most popular politician of Turkey has won the election for a second presidential term. His populist strategy of nationalism and public services transmitted to every corner of the country, product of an intense use of mass media communication, has shown to the whole world that Erdogan is still on the play and he has no intentions to leave it.
He started his political career being mayor of Istanbul before he became the Prime Minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014. After that he won the presidency on 2014 and inside office he changes the constitutional rules giving to himself the possibility of a third term that would end on 2028. In addition to that since last year the President and not the Prime Minister is the formal head of the Turkish government, «Mr. Erdogan can now appoint ministers himself, issue decrees, make crucial appointments in the judiciary, and authorize investigations of individual civil servants» (Karasz, 2018).
Erdogan won the election with a 53% of votes against the 31% that received his opponent Muharrem Ince. That numbers can be explained thanks to the shocking popularity of Erdogan. In the past years and under his leadership Turkey has developed crucial politics such as a cosmopolitan Islamism, open dialogue and recognition of Kurds and Armenians, and of course, the official entrance of the country to the European Union.
However not everything that shines is gold, the democratic institutions of Turkey were facing important problems since the merely beginning and now they can be labeled as not quite democratic yet. The Erdogan administration shows that political prosecution against all kind of critics is the daily bread on the streets of Istanbul as well in other parts of the Arabian country. Also, during Erdogan’s lead Turkey has faced «economic troubles that have increased inflation and unemployment while weakening the Turkish lira» (Daragahi, 2018). So the Erdogan´s victory on the polls are not a full triumph, «fascist regimes don’t usually win elections with 53%, they win with 90%. So this shows that progressive values are still here and can rise up» (Lowen, 2018).
Nevertheless, Erdogan´s level of popularity are enviable. He has the ability of a natural leader, he dominates the pulse of the public square giving speeches that influence the political appreciation of his audience. A good example of his charisma and rhetorical confidence is the next extract of his speech after his victory day: «The winner is our democracy. The winner is service-based politics. The winner is superiority of national will. The winner is Turkey. The winner is the Turkish nation. The winner is all the oppressed in our region. The winner is all the oppressed in the world» (Daragahi, 2018).
Evidently in politics exists opposite sides and that is always something good, especially if it is inside the logic of a democracy. The second term of Erdogan represents not just a continuity but moreover a new perspective of Turkish power over his internal matters and international affairs, the bonds with Russia are not well appreciated by the American and EU members and the scare of terrorism on the region is still open, those are examples of this point but quite limited by reality. The true is that Erdogan has more time and with it more power, his possibilities of becoming a real change for his country and the region are infinites. Men and destiny have once more the opportunity of impressed the world, let’s see if Erdogan would be that men.
Daragahi, B. Dispatch. Erdogan has Mastered Democracy. Foreign Policy.
Karasz, P. Five Takeaways from Turkey’s Election. The New York Times.
Lowen, M. Progressive Values are Still Here. Obtein from BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44601383?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/c6gzmx3zld1t/turkey-election-2018&link_location=live-reporting-story