Türkiye has completed yet another election process without a serious problem. The runoff elections were held on May 28. Some 85% of Turkish constituents went to the polling stations and cast their votes for two candidates, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the candidate of the People’s Alliance and his opponent, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as the candidate of the opposition Nation Alliance.
President Erdoğan has received 52.18% of the vote, while his rival Kılıçdaroğlu received 47.82%. Thus, President Erdoğan has won over 10 elections – including presidential elections, parliamentarian elections, local elections and referendums – that he entered since 2002. This is a record-high number in the history of modern Türkiye, which made Erdoğan the longest-serving statesman in the history of the Turkish Republic.
In spite of this outstanding record of free and fair Turkish elections, the Western world still belittles the results of the Turkish elections. Most of the Western political actors, intellectuals and media insistently continue to call President Erdoğan an “authoritarian leader” or a “dictator.” Unfortunately, this widely shared misperception has been shaping their policies toward Türkiye. Before almost all elections, the effective Western actors have been mobilizing their support for the opposition of Erdoğan, irrespective of whoever they are.
For the last several months, almost all leading Western media outlets have covered the Turkish elections. Some of these platforms consider the Turkish elections as the most important election of the year 2023 in the world and they have heavily invested in the elections in order to secure the election of Erdoğan’s rival. Almost all headlines of infamous Western media platforms directly targeted President Erdoğan and his government. Nevertheless, the Turkish people have given unforgettable lessons to the Western actors and President Erdoğan has won a landslide victory after each election.
The incorrigible West, who believe in Middle Eastern exceptionalism and have an Orientalist understanding toward Türkiye, neither take any lesson from their past mistakes nor do they want any Muslim country to experience a consolidated democracy. In principle, the West does not recognize any result of the elections won by politicians who prioritizes the political independence of their country or by any anti-Western politician. Since President Erdoğan has been asking the West to have a relationship based on equal partnership, the West tries to overthrow him.
For instance, the West did not condemn the failed military coup attempt of July 15, 2016, against the elected government of Türkiye. They went further, most Western governments have been hosting and protecting the putschists since then. Ironically, they even provided any kind of assistance to violent non-state actors that are recognized as terrorist organizations by Western governments. Therefore, the Western support of any anti-Erdoğan political and societal actor is not a surprise. Since President Erdoğan does not meet their expectations and does not accept a dependent and hierarchical relationship with the West, Western political actors rebegin their anti-Erdoğan campaign before every election.
Considering that this is the first time Western leaders have acted so quickly to congratulate Erdoğan, it seems that they have gotten tired of their misguided policies, mainly shaped by anti-Turkish think-tankers and academicians. Since staunch secularist academicians, elitist intellectuals and fugitive members of anti-Türkiye terrorist organizations will continue to shape the anti-Türkiye perception in the West, the Western governments will continue to follow antagonistic policies toward Ankara.
However, Western political actors should not forget that these anti-Türkiye policies are all counterproductive. As a result of the otherization of Türkiye by the West, Türkiye will accordingly reorient its foreign policy and improve its relations with non-Western countries. In other words, the future of Turkish-Western relations largely depends on their perspective of Türkiye and on their relations with anti-Türkiye terrorist organizations.
Sooner or later, Western leaders and governments will recognize the importance of Türkiye and the meaning of the leadership of Erdoğan, who built his political career on popular votes and the national will. As many leaders in the world also accept, President Erdoğan’s strong leadership is not directed against any country, but for the benefit of his country. This is why, one of the main slogans of President Erdoğan is the development of native and national (“yerli ve milli” in Turkish) perspective, which is also misinterpreted in the West as political nationalism. His ultimate target is the development of an Ankara-centered outlook. The Western political actors will also come to the point of recognizing President Erdoğan as an effective player in international politics representing a rising Türkiye. Let’s see what time will tell.
In this article
- 14 May 2023 Turkish General Election
- 14th May 2023 Türkiye's General Election Results
- 2023 Turkish General Elections Presidential Candidates
- 2023 Turkish Presidential Election
- Anti-Turkish Sentiment | Anti-Turkism | Turkophobia | Turkish Fear
- Daily Sabah
- Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
- Turkish Local Elections
- Türkiye's 2023 Elections