The Turkish nationalist candidate’s support for Erdogan heralds the opposition

ATA Alliance presidential candidate Sinan Ogan announced that he will support the People’s Alliance presidential candidate, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the second round to be held on May 28 on May 22, 2023 in Ankara, Turkey.

Yavuz Ozden | Diaa’s photo Getty Images News | Getty Images

The alleged kingmaker in the Turkish presidential elections, a candidate from a third party whose support could be likely as a result of the vote, declared his support for the incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, dealing a blow to the opposition and its hopes to topple the Turkish president after two decades. in power.

Turkish nationalist candidate Sinan Ogan, who is running for president in Turkey’s May 14 elections, threw his support for Erdogan late Monday. Oğan won a surprising 5% of the vote in the primary contest, exceeding expectations and becoming a figure needed by both Erdogan and his rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu, hoping to win the votes of his supporters.

The country of 85 million has a crucial presidential election run-off on May 28, with no candidate winning more than 50% of the vote. Erdogan, 69, finished strongly with 49.5% of the vote. Kilicdaroglu, 74, received 44.9%.

The outcome of the first round of the Turkish presidential elections was a blow to the opposition, consisting of six different parties led by Kilicdaroglu, who is running as a candidate for change, economic reform, protection of democratic values ​​and closer relations with the West.

Despite the suffering of the Turkish economy, a sharp devaluation of the currency, high inflation, and the government’s slow response to a series of devastating earthquakes in February that killed some 50,000 people, Erdogan remains so far ahead. Ogan’s endorsement is even more bad news for the Turkish opposition.

See also  A Glimpse into the Russo-Ukrainian War: What We Know on Day 284 of the Invasion | world News

“I announce that we will support the candidate of the People’s Alliance, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and we call on the voters who voted for us in the first round to vote for Mr. Erdogan,” Ogan said Monday.

He said it was a decision made “after deliberations and because we believe it is the right thing for our country and our people.”

An ultra-nationalist anti-immigrant, Ogan was a presidential candidate for the Ancestral Alliance, a coalition of Turkish right-wing parties. He has previously said his support will depend on each candidate’s stance hardening toward immigrants, refugees and Kurdish groups that Ogan considers terrorists.

As a result, Kilicdaroglu issued a letter full of anti-immigrant rhetoric – but failed to impress Ogan and his constituents.

“Hard to see a path to victory for Kilicdaroglu,” Timothy Ash, an emerging markets analyst at Bluebay Asset Management, wrote on Twitter.

Soner Cagaptay, a historian of Turkey and a senior fellow at The Washington Institute, noted that most of Ogan’s May 14 voters are from the same regions as Erdogan’s staunchest supporters. “Almost identical to Erdogan’s rule, which means his victory on May 28!” Cagaptay Books.

Others described Kilicdaroglu as facing an “uphill battle” in the fight for victory.

Kilicdaroglu himself responded to Ogan’s announcement via comments on Twitter.

“It’s clear who stands with those who sell out this beautiful country,” he wrote Monday, including in the anti-immigrant language of his response. Turkey is home to four million refugees, mostly Syrians and Afghans, many of whom experience repeated racism.

“We are coming to save this country from terrorism and immigrants. This is a referendum,” he wrote. “Let’s not allow anyone to deceive anyone anymore. I invite all young people and eight million citizens who did not vote to come to the polls.”

See also  The latest news from Russia and the war in Ukraine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *