The public political agenda in Turkey was exceptionally busy this week once again.
The presidential election in the United States seems to have resulted in a win for Democratic Candidate Joe Biden. Many leaders of the world, and many political leaders from the opposition in Turkey, have already congratulated Biden on his victory, although government officials are waiting for the decision to be official amid allegations of fraud.
The Minister of Treasury Finances and the son in law of the President Erdogan Berat Albayrak has announced his resignation decision in a post on Instagram. While many politicians did not approve the unofficial method of the announcement, some are still showing their support for the minister.
The Azerbaijani city of Shusha, the second-largest city in Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been under the Armenian occupation since 1990s, has been liberated. While the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has congratulated the people of Azerbaijan with a video, many messages also came from Turkish political leaders.
Turkish reactions to the US presidential elections
The Presidential elections of 2020 were held on November 3rd in the United States.
The elections campaign was quite contentious, with allegations of foreign intervention leading to another scandal after the previous one in the 2016 election.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden has won over 270 electoral seats according to many domestic and foreign sources, while President Trump has applied to the Supreme Court for the counting process in particular states to be stopped and re-counted.
Many world leaders and political leaders in Turkey have congratulated Joe Biden, mainly from the opposition parties, while President Erdogan and the government officials wait for official results.
Turkey’s main opposition leader late Saturday congratulated the incoming US president and vice president on their electoral victory.
“I would like to congratulate Joe Biden for his election as the 46th President of the United States of America and Kamala Harris as Vice-President,” Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said in English on Twitter.
“I look forward to strengthening Turkish-American relations and our strategic alliance,” he added.
The Co-Chairs of HDP, which is known as the political party affiliated with the PKK terrorist organization, Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar also offered their congratulations to Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, saying that they considered their election win “an important achievement and a turning point in the history of America.”
Meanwhile, the government has been silent on the US elections since Vice President Fuat Oktay said Friday that they were “impartial.”
“We are following the election in the US impartially, that’s it. We do not choose sides,” Oktay said in an interview with the pro-government television channel A Haber.
“For Turkey, in the United States or any other country, Trump or Biden, this does not mean much for us,” he had told the broadcaster.
Resignation of Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister
On Sunday evening, the Turkish Finance Minister and Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak announced he is stepping down due to health reasons and to spend more time with his family.
“After serving in ministerial posts for nearly five years, I took the decision not to continue my duty as the finance minister due to health issues,”
He added he would spend more time with his family whom he said he “neglected” during his political life, according to a statement on his Instagram account.
The resignation was confirmed by officials at the finance ministry, HaberTurk reported.
Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said on Twitter he hoped Albayrak’s resignation would be rejected by Erdogan, adding that “our country, our people and our community need you”.
Mehmet Mus, the deputy parliamentary group chairman for Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), said that Albayrak had taken important steps to strengthen the economy and he hoped that Erdogan would not accept his resignation.
“We personally witnessed his diligent work. If our president sees fit, I hope he continues at his current post,” Mus said on Twitter.
Albayrak, 42, is married to Erdogan’s elder daughter Esra and has been the finance minister since 2018. He had been the energy minister before that between 2015 and 2018.
Albayrak is commonly criticized for being on duty as the son-in-law of the Turkish President.
During Albayrak’s two years as the finance minister, Turkey suffered a currency crisis in 2018, followed by a recession as the Turkish Lira hit multiple record lows against the dollar this year. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Albayrak’s stewardship came under heavy criticism.
As a result of the departure of Turkey’s top two economic policymakers, the other being the president of the Central Bank of Turkey, the value of the Turkish Lira was boosted on Monday.
His resignation was finally recognized and accepted by the Turkish Presidency on Monday evening. It is not clearly known what the long term effects of this resignation will be for the Turkish economy.
The Liberation Of Shusha
The Azerbaijani city of Shusha has been liberated from the occupation of Armenian forces, the country’s leader announced on Sunday.
“After 28 years, the adhan will be heard in Shusha,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, wearing a military uniform, said in his address to the nation.
Shusha, which was occupied by Armenian forces on May 8, 1992 is of critical importance in liberating Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan. It is located on the road to Khankendi (Stepanakert), the region’s largest city.
Noting that November 8 will remain as an important day in Azerbaijan’s history, Aliyev said “Shusha is not only the pearl of Azerbaijan but of the whole Caucasus.”
“This history will live forever. This is the date of our glorious victory. And we won this victory on the battlefield, not at the negotiation table,” he said in his speech at the Alley of Martyrs in the capital Baku.
Emphasizing that Azerbaijan has strengthened both its economy and its army during these years, Aliyev said: “We proved to the world Upper Karabakh is historical Azerbaijani land.”
Aliyev, congratulating the Azerbaijani nation, said it is “one of the happiest days” in his life and that “our victory march continues.”
“If the Armenian leadership does not respond to our demands [withdrawal of occupying forces from the region], we will go till the end,” he said.
“The blood of Khojaly victims did not go in vain, our martyrs were avenged. We took our revenge on the battlefield,” the head of state said.
Besides its strategic importance, Shusha is known as one of the symbols of Azerbaijani history and culture. Many prominent Azerbaijani musicians and scholars were born here.
“We are liberating our lands from occupiers through the sacrifices of our people, soldiers and officers. Today, I bow once again before the souls of our martyrs,” he said.
Aliyev expressed happiness over fulfilling his late-father’s will, and said “I am fortunate to have fulfilled a father’s will. We liberated Shusha! This is a great victory! Today may the soul of the National Leader and our martyrs be praised! I felicitate you, Azerbaijan!”
While world powers have called for a sustainable cease-fire, Turkey has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.
Turkish officials on Sunday welcomed Azerbaijan’s liberation of the city of Shusha from Armenia’s occupation.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated Azerbaijan on the liberation of the strategically important city of Shusha.
“Liberation of Shusha city also implies that liberation of remaining occupied territories is in sight,” Erdogan said at the 7th regular provincial congress of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the northwestern Kocaeli province.
He also said Turkey shares the happiness of Azerbaijani people, who have been liberating their occupied cities and Karabakh step-by-step.
Also welcoming the news, Vice President Fuat Oktay said that the establishment of sovereignty is an important development and good news for Azerbaijan.
“Shusha is liberated from the Armenian occupation. Congratulations on your victory, my dear brother country,” Oktay said on Twitter.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu joined them in welcoming the liberation of Shusha, which he called the capital of culture.
“On the National Flag Day, the glorious Azerbaijani flag will fly over Shusha forever. Live in happiness with your tricolor flag, Azerbaijan,” he said.
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also shared his congratulations on the liberation of the strategically important city of Azerbaijan via Twitter.
Also, Omer Celik, the spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party, expressed happiness over the Shusha victory.
The President of the main opposition party CHP, Kemal Kilicdaroglu also congratulated Azerbaijan’s victory of liberation Shuhsa in a Tweet:
“I full heartedly congratulate the liberation of Shusha, the Heart of Nagorno-Karabakh, from the Armenian occupation, and the glorious victory of the Azerbaijani Army.”
The President of the Vatan Party Dogu Perincek was also one of those who congratulated the Azerbaijani people for their victory in a tweet:
“We welcome the liberation of the cultural capital city of Shusha of our Azeri brothers, with such happiness and joy. The liberation of the entire Karabakh is very near.”