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Will New Party Deepen Erdogan’s Isolation?

Will New Party Deepen Erdogan’s Isolation?

Monday, 15 July, 2019 - 08:00
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The move was coming even if late. After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled for a long time with undisputed authority, his party controlling and sweeping the rivals, the time came when his nearest confidant abandoned him and jumped out of his boat.


As his former ally and former prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu - who was a good friend and then became a bitter opponent – is on his way to establish a new party, another close member of the narrow circle and one of the founders of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), former Economy Minister Ali Babacan, submitted his resignation, saying Turkey was in need of a "new vision."


Babacan, as Davutoglu, is heading to establish another party, born out of the old shaky political coalition. The new alliance will group leaders who are upset with the president’s policies that have brought their country to its own fate. Not only the former president, Abdullah Gul, is the strongest supporter of the new endeavor, but dozens of senior AKP members and parliamentarians are waiting for the moment when the party is officially announced.


The new move is ready to be launched. Its program is well defined and prepared. The Erdogan ship is no longer safe to board. It is now sailing in a sea of broken waves, with a lost compass. The Erdogan regime has destroyed the state’s relations and alliances, which has negatively affected the internal situation.


Erdogan is fighting to maintain his party’s popularity through which he was controlling with a strong grip the state’s internal and external policies; but all this has become from the past. Many of the founders of the “Justice and Development” are no longer in his camp, and the rest are either afraid to abandon him or awaiting his departure. All this happens in the midst of internal political calamity after the party lost major municipalities in Turkey. This comes in parallel with a great political failure in foreign relations, whether with the European Union on the one hand, or with the United States of America on the other.


Then the S-400 deal with Russia came to make matters worse, and Erdogan found himself alone, not supported by any of his former allies, who were decreasing while his enemies were multiplying.


Perhaps the successive rifts are considered by Erdogan as a small snowball that does not imply any trouble. Didn’t he describe those who left as traitors, only because they wanted to correct the path?

However, the great difficulties facing his country, driven by reckless policies at home and abroad, will push towards a bigger snowball, until it reaches a level that Erdogan can no longer withstand.


No one knows the moment when the Sultan will see his power erode and his popularity fade away; but it is a moment that will undoubtedly come, and its signs are obvious for all those who are watching the aggressive policies pursued by Erdogan.


While he has been long resting on his party’s power and allies and the weakness of his rivals, the equation has changed in less than a year, and the Justice and Development has been slapped from within. While the top founders are scrambling to jump out of the Sultan’s train, all political parties and forces are standing against Erdogan’s policies.


It is certainly the first time his rule is that weak. Even if he is trying to show that he was still powerful, the circumstances surrounding him are exposing his weakness, revealing his isolation, and further alienating his friends.

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