United World International author Onur Sinan Güzaltan was guest to a Russia Today program. He responded to questions on the developments in Türkiye after the elections. Below we present the transcript of the interview.
RT: Well, I’m delighted to be joined in the studio now by Turkish political scientists Onur Sinan Güzaltan. You are most welcome. A busy few days in your home country. Can we start with the reaction because the defeated candidate said the election was “unfair, but we will move on”. Do you think his 25 million supporters will be, will they heed that? We thought that there may be some animated reaction on the streets. How do you think this will go down with them this result?
Yes, it was a long night yesterday, and also a long two weeks for us in Türkiye. Now we have the results. Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu, the candidate of the opposition, said that the election was unfair, but he will move on.
I think in Türkiye we have the tradition of democracy. It’s not first time that we did an election. Many times we held elections and we know this culture. So I think that Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu is trying to hide his defeat by this concept of “unfair elections”.
On the other hand, I have to say that President Erdoğan as he is in government for more than 20 years, used this force to be reelected. Yet, I can’t say that this election was unfair and there were lot irregularities.
In terms of the mechanics of the votes, both first and second round saw a nearly identical spread of around 4-4.5 percentage points difference between the top 2 candidates. It was thought though, that man who got knocked out in 3rd place two weeks ago, the right wing Sinan Oğan and his supporters, would lend Mr. Erdoğan their vote and perhaps make it a little bit more comfortable. Did that happen?
Sinan Ogan, the third candidates in the first round of the election, declared his support for President Erdoğan, but Ümit Özdağ, the Victory Party leader – the main component of the alliance which fields Oğan as presidential candidate- did the same for Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu. So I think that President Erdoğan and Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu shared the votes of Sinan Oğan, 5.7%, more or less equally.
What areas will Mr. Erdoğan focus on in his his next term. As you say he has been in power as president, before that as prime minister, for considerable amount of of years. Where does he go now? Is it a continuation of what he has been doing already or are there particular issues that he newly wants to focus on?
The first thing is the economic situation. The economic crisis in Türkiye is really profound and heavy. That’s the first issue that Erdoğan has to address.
The second one: The earthquake that hit 11 city of Türkiye caused a huge destruction.
The third is about the refugees. We have more than 3.000.000 Syrian refugees, which was one of the main topics during the elections. This number is the official one, unofficial numbers goes even to 10 million. We have around 85 million citizens and 10 million a big number for Türkiye. And I think it is the most important issue that you have to solve because most of the Turkish citizens are concerned with possible security problems regarding the refugees.
And the fourth issue, which is related to the Syrian refugees, is the normalization process with Syria. We have a long border with Syria and the destiny of these refugees is dependent on the normalization process between the two countries.
Lastly, one of the most important issues is the balance policy of Mr. Erdoğan between United States and Russia. In my opinion the conditions and the course of events in the world will not let him to continue to follow this policy between. In the near future he has to choose one side openly.
So interesting few weeks and months ahead then in the early stages of his new term. Thank you for coming into the program and giving us your sense of all that, Onur Sinan Güzaltan, Turkish political scientist. Thank you.