“The votes of the nationalist Ogan will be decisive”
Armed with the “unwavering” support of Anatolia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “will end up winning” in the second round, while for the opposition it is a “lost opportunity”. In any case “decisive” will be the votes of the third candidate for the Turkish presidency, Sinan Ogan, who with over 5% of the votes will be the real balance in the ballot. This is the analysis of the former Italian ambassador to Turkey, Carlo Marsili, who in an interview with Adnkronos comments on the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections held in Turkey.
Erdogan, accustomed to electoral triumphs for 20 years, this time “has won a three-quarters victory”, says Marsili, explaining his reasoning. “In the meantime, he won the parliamentary elections and it was not at all obvious. This ensures him greater governance if he were to win in the second round and therefore he had half of the victory. Furthermore, he obtained a fairly higher number of votes (almost 2.5 million, ed) to that of the opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu and is not far from the absolute majority, even if he has not reached it” and “for this reason I have the impression that in the second round he will end up winning”.
The ambassador considers the votes of the nationalist Ogan “decisive”, a nationalist with Kemalist sympathies who left the Mhp, Erdogan’s allied party, and who obtained a “surprising” result. “Let’s see how he orients his voters, so far he hasn’t pronounced himself”, continues Marsili, underlining how Ogan has taken away the support of both candidates.
During the electoral campaign, recalls the ambassador, “Ogan, who does not like Erdogan, made it clear that he could support Kilicdaroglu, but on condition that the latter publicly said he wanted to renounce the Kurdish votes, an impossible request” given that without the push of the Kurdish vote in the provinces of south-eastern Turkey Erdogan’s challenger “could never have reached” 45%.
For Kilicdaroglu and the six parties that backed him, on the other hand, it was “a lost opportunity”, articulates Marsili, highlighting how “great expectations” had been created in the anti-Erdogan electorate and there was a strong conviction of winning light of both international and domestic surveys.
According to the ambassador, Kilicdaroglu “didn’t gain any votes compared to what were his strongholds except for the push from the Kurds” since “he won in all the provinces of the Mediterranean coast”, where the opposition had already won in administrative elections, and in the south-east with a Kurdish majority, while almost all of Anatolia except Ankara and Eskisehir voted overwhelmingly for Erdogan as if the earthquake had not occurred and there were no economic problems and very high inflation”.
On the exchange of accusations of “betrayal of democracy” between the AKP, Erdogan’s party, and the opposition, Marsili declares that “a fairly old story” has been repeated in Turkey, i.e. the official Anadolu agency has begun to disclose the data from the areas where the government is strongest, “I think this also happened to us at the time of the Christian Democrats. In reality, the results have been accepted and all of Turkey is very calm today. If Erdogan wins there will be controversy, if Kilicdaroglu wins there will be there may be more problems, but the transfer of power will not be traumatic”.
Marsili now expects two weeks of “very tough” electoral campaign, with Erdogan who “will present himself as a man of stability, given that he has the majority in Parliament and will say that if the other wins, there will be difficulties in governing”. Kilicdaroglu, for his part, “will continue with the themes of his propaganda and will hit on the key to the economy, human rights and the need to change sides after 20 years. Furthermore, he will also be able to point out that three Islamist deputies have entered Erdogan’s coalition who they even invoke sharia”.