İhsan Dagi: The wind  is blowing in the direction of  the opposition

For the first time in its history, the AKP is going to an election where it is not seen as a favorite. This is a new situation that puts heavy psychological pressure on the party and its leader. For a party that is accustomed to winning and has not even entertained the thought of losing in recent years, the possibility  is a nightmare.

The ruling party wanted to head for  the election on the back of the turn-of-the-year high minimum wages hikes and massive social aid expenditures. While the trend was in favor of the AKP, it was necessary to quickly ‘get the election out of the way’.


However, the events did not develop as AKP had calculated. This time, it was as if the ‘decision from the heavens’ was different…

Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy created a major crisis among the main opposition Nation Alliance, but it quickly congealed around a  compromise. Moreover, the agreed formula actively engaged the opposition’s two ‘star’ mayors in the presidential race. With all three of the three possible candidates deployed to the  field, the candidacy crisis in the opposition bloc was overcome to IYIP’S satisfaction in a manner that also pleased the electorate.


The participation of Yavas and İmamoğlu to the presidential team, the work they carried out with Kilicdaroglu and Akşener, the photos they gave together consolidated the opposition voters and revived their hopes. The wind began to blow behind  the opposition again.



As a result, AKP’s plan to hold elections with a wounded and divided opposition  failed miserably.

On the other hand, the earthquake, too, spoiled  AKP’s calculations. Although the house builders are made the scapegoat, the mistakes and faults of the post-earthquake relief efforts left  AKP defenseless on the political scene.


It is impossible not to connect the government with the destruction in cities such as Maras, Adıyaman, Malatya and Gaziantep, which have been ruled by the AKP for years, and the ongoing problems in the region. Management and coordination errors cut the wind  in the sails of  AKP.

Now, Erdogan and Bahceli are trying to enlarge the People’s Alliance in a hurry. Currently, six parties are included in the alliance. This figure could get even bigger. There is no harmony between the parties, joint projects and a common vision for the future.


The AKP’s problem is that, during its 21-year rule, there is no part of the political spectrum that it has not cooperated with but abandoned  with a fight. Nowadays, the AKP is not a party that can form great alliances and appeal to large sections of society, especially the center. That’s why it hopes for help from marginal parties. The participation of parties such as Hüda-Par and New Welfare Party in the People’s Alliance shows that the pool of alliances of the AKP has nearly dried out.


It took four or five months for the new wind they had caught in the early summer to make itself felt in the polls. Research after the earthquake shows that there has been a significant decrease in the AKP’s votes. It will normally take months for this to turn into an upward trend and become evident. The ruling party does not have that much time. With less than two months until the elections, time is running against the AKP.


Moreover, there is a new wave of excitement and motivation captured by the opposition. The wind is blowing in favor of the Nation Alliance, which left the resentments behind and formed the ‘team that will win’ in the presidential election.


The conjuncture is not in favor of the AKP. Indicators that affect the voting preferences of the society, such as inflation and financial difficulties, are negative. Earthquakes and recent floods keep the government completely on the defensive. AKP is far from giving an aggressive, agenda-creating, promising image.


The metal fatigue created by the 21-year rule seems to have bent the back of the AKP and cut its wind.


Original:  Siyasette rüzgar kimden yana esiyor? 



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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 www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.