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Erdogan… 'The Miserable Man'

Erdogan… 'The Miserable Man'

Friday, 2 August, 2019 - 08:45
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has sharpened his speech against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, when he warned him that the ruling president’s party had been overwhelmed by “widespread misery”.

In parallel, the leader of the opposition Republican People's Party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, criticized Erdogan’s policies - which he considered wrong in Egypt, Syria, and Libya - and called on the Turkish president to change his foreign policy, abandon the Muslim Brotherhood, reconcile with Egypt, and stop sending arms to Libya.

Between the transformation of yesterday’s allies into today’s enemies and the Turkish opposition’s exploitation of the state of confusion in the regime’s foreign and internal policies, Erdogan's AKP seems to be living its darkest moments. The old days of its glorious popularity are gone, while political skirmishes within the ruling party are the most painful to the president. Successive defeats are seen from within the ruling party as a natural result of domestic political failure and reckless policies.

It may be too early to say that developments in Turkey indicate that the Justice and Development Party has reached its end, but the enormous and extraordinary popularity that Erdogan used to enjoy has become something from the past.

It is enough to see that Erdogan, despite all his frantic campaigns and hundreds of speeches during the municipal elections, was unable to help his aide - former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in the Istanbul elections.

The party has encountered failure after Erdogan used to easily determine who will be elected in any municipality of his choice.

Erdogan, who served as prime minister in 2003 and took over the presidency since 2014, has governed Turkey for 16 years. Today, he is suffering in his tenure and his road is no longer paved with roses.

His previous sweeping victories in five parliamentary elections, three rounds of local elections, two presidential elections by popular vote and two referendums between 2002 and early 2018, have all become history that cannot be repeated again.

It is true that the presidential elections will not be held until 2023, but the path of Erdogan’s rule will be thorny until that date. Erdogan - who won the Jewish courage award, quickly recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and strengthened his economic ties with Tel Aviv - is now boasting the Palestinian cause.

Erdogan, whose country is ranked first in imprisoning journalists, is bragging about press freedom. Erdogan, whose foreign ministry said that “the policy of violence pursued by the Chinese authorities against the Turkic-speaking Uighurs minority in the Xinjiang region of China represents a great disgrace to humanity,” returned to declare that the “Uighurs minority live a happy life.”

There are dozens of such contradictions. Erdogan’s policy of jumping on two ropes was finally uncovered.

History will undoubtedly remember Erdogan; but his image will first start waning in the Turkish popular memory. The man has become more politically desperate. Soon, he will be the target of his closest allies, who will turn on his policies, oppose his principles, and work to overthrow him, after none of them had dared to hint at this possibility throughout the years of his rule.

Indeed, he is the president who has become miserable, because of his intolerable policies at the internal and external levels.

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