Elections in Turkey: Erdoğan and his polarizing strategy

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Mariano Giustino

Elections in Turkey: Erdoğan and his polarizing strategy

Despite the harsh allegations of corruption, nepotism and authoritarianism by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, last Sunday, March 30th, the Prime Minister and his Justice and Development party (AKP) won the local elections in Turkey.

On Sunday night, Erdoğan addressed his people from the balcony of AKP headquarters in Ankara and he presented the victory as a revenge for the many challenges and conspiracies against him. The focus of his speech lay on the «parallel state» as he describes Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s movement, once a strong ally of Erdoğan and AKP.

Erdoğan argues Gülen is the mind behind a huge conspiracy against the Prime Minister, a plot based on many tapes leaked in the last months and still available on the Internet that show corruption inside the government. «The ones who betrayed the nation will pay!» Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shouted from the balcony on Sunday night.

The Turkish Prime Minister won this battle, but may yet lose the war.

He is likely to be remembered as the one who brought further polarization to Turkey. In fact, he failed in the most arduous historical task of leading Turkey into the pantheon of the most advanced democracies, uniting the different spirits in the country in a great democratic project that guarantees freedom and rights for all Turkish citizens in search of a better future.

Grave also the responsibility of the European Union: in blocking negotiations talks, the EU has failed to offer the stability that Turkey needs in its reformist project.


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