Commentary: Erdogan’s days are numbered



Erdogan’s AKP-MHP alliance suffered a devastating defeat in 31st of March municipal elections. Erdogan admitted to defeat, stating that voters’ message has been received. He promised change, but his regime has too many internal inconsistencies to sort out.

What the voters want?

Fix the economy

End corruption and cronyism

Adopt more moderate domestic policies, i.e. step back from the police regime and excessive Islamism.

Fixing the economy requires years long belt-tightening which will increase the burdens of his key constituencies.

Corruption has become endemic to his AK Party, with Erdogan, family and friends being the biggest beneficiaries.

Stepping back from unwanted Islamization is hindered by Erdogan’s new rival in the right, New Welfare Party. Ending crack-downs is already vetoed by his nationalist ally Bahceli of MHP.

While Erdogan’s political skills can never be discounted, it requires heroic efforts to reconcile these conflicting demands. In the most likely scenario, Turkey will hold elections in 2017, where he will lose to Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, while arch rival CHP becomes the largest party in the national assembly.


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.