Where Turkey is, there and subtly

Presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey were held on May 14. After processing 92% of the ballot boxes, Recep Tayyip Erdogan gains 49.76% of the vote, his rival Kemal Kilychdaroglu - 44.49%.


Presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey were held on May 14. After processing 92% of the ballot boxes, Recep Tayyip Erdogan gains 49.76% of the vote, his rival Kemal Kilychdaroglu - 44.49%.

The voting turnout was 85.6%. On May 28, the second round will take place. ATA Alliance candidate Sinan Ogan participated in the elections. He receives 5.3% of the vote, according to a correspondent for The Moscow Post.

The Anadolu agency, following its own counting of data from 95% of ballot boxes, reports that Erdogan is gaining 49.73% of the vote, Kylychadroglu - 44.52%.

The main opponent of Erdogan - a single candidate from the Republican Alliance - is a single candidate from the opposition People's Alliance Kemal Kylychdaroglu. The People's Alliance represents a coalition of six groups. The opposition wants to return to power a parliament and a government that reflects this diversity.

Yesterday, "the vote ended throughout the country, as befits our democracy...," Recep Erdogan wrote. He decided to declare these elections ahead of schedule in order to prevent a decrease in the popularity of the ruling party against the background of a worsening situation in the economy and an increase in opposition ratings.

Erdogan earlier urged on Twitter "all participants in the electoral process and colleagues to stay at the ballot boxes until the results are officially announced." He added that "while the elections were held in such a positive and democratic atmosphere, and the counting of votes is still ongoing, attempts to announce the results hastily mean usurpation of the people's will." He made this remark to the opposition.

Where subtly, can and break

Erdogan has done a lot to consolidate power and restore the national pride of Turkish society. In 1994, he became mayor of Istanbul for the pro-Islamic Welfare Party. Further, he headed Turkey since 2003, first as prime minister, then as ceremonial president, and then as real president.

In 2014, Erdogan became the first directly elected head of Turkey. In 2017, a referendum on constitutional reform was held, which expanded his powers. The referendum was held in a state of emergency.

The results of the elections in May 2023 may affect international relations in the region and the global balance of power. More than we would like depends on these elections for Russia. Namely, the economic well-being of the country, including important areas of export of oil and petroleum products. The well-being of citizens also depends, including those who from the northern latitudes strive to go to rest on the Turkish coast of the Black Sea. Much in the relationship may need to be reconsidered.

"We will expand Turkey's foreign policy by 180 degrees. We will bring to our country all the democratic rules provided for by the European Union, "Erdogan's rival promised.

There is something to lose

By the end of 2030, Russia and Turkey planned to increase trade to $100 billion. Russia is also ready to build the largest regional gas hub in Turkey.

Over the year, imports from Russia and exports to Russia doubled. In 2022, Russia became Turkey's largest trading partner, moving Germany. At the end of 2022, Russia became the leading exporter to Turkey, overtaking China. The volume of bilateral trade amounted to $62 billion.

Exports from Turkey to Russia in 2022 also almost doubled in annual terms - from $5.8 billion to $9.3 billion. Russia sells oil, food and metals to Turkey, Turkey to Russia - products, machinery and equipment. Russia accounts for 12% of the tourist flow to Turkey, 11% of its trade turnover and about half of the import of petroleum products.

According to the results of last year, Turkey overtook China and came out on top in terms of imports of Russian food with a share of 12%. According to the FCS, last year Russia supplied Turkey with 13 million tons of agricultural products worth $4.3 billion. In annual terms, export revenue increased by 38%. Turkey continues to hold a leading position in the import of Russian wheat.

Turkey is quite firmly "tied" to Russia economically and highly appreciates the high level of political interaction with Moscow. Ankara and Moscow are mutually strengthening their positions in the Middle East, in Europe and in the world as a whole. The most important in this relationship is the trust of the leaders.

Both for multipolarity

Both leaders are in favor of multipolarity. Erdogan does not pay lip service to "strategic autonomy," despite Turkey's membership in NATO. Ankara, under the current government, pursued an independent foreign policy. Erdogan intends to strengthen his country's position as a transport and energy hub located between East and West, a trading platform on the borders of Europe.

If Erdogan retains the presidency, it will maintain the usual alignment for Russia, will correspond to its foreign policy and economic plans in the current situation, close to the Western blockade. Russia appreciates Turkey's neutrality in the Ukrainian conflict. The most important factor in Turkish-Russian relations was the geo-economy, including the $20 billion Akkuyu NPP project. Russia also serves as a reliable source of pipeline gas supplies for Turkey.

It is not surprising that Western politicians and the media would like the defeat of Erdogan, who has led Turkey for the past twenty years. Kylychdaroglu intends to improve relations with NATO allies, to agree on the admission of Sweden to the alliance.

Experts believe that Western powers should not expect immediate changes in Ankara's foreign policy if the opposition wins. Kilicdaroglu is a "Kemalist," a Social Democrat devoted to the ideological foundations of the Turkish state created by Ataturk, who was friends with Soviet Russia.

Accountant and statesman

Kilichdaroglu - an accountant by profession and statesman by his views, never held elected positions. He is faithful to nationalism, but intends to resume the country's attempts to join the European Union. He stated that he would serve only one term and would not pursue financial policies based on religious views.

The West expects the opposition government to be accommodating and cooperative with the EU and the United States. In other words, it will be subject to manipulation in those directions that correspond to the goals of the West.

But there are restraints here. President Joe Biden is said to be influenced by the Greek lobby that has funded his political career for years. Kilichdaroglu will adhere to the current "Cyprus policy," will continue to defend Turkey's rights to maritime borders, special economic zones and exploration of gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara has learned to live under Greece's veto of its EU membership. In addition, it is fresh in memory how in 2016 the CIA supported an attempted coup to overthrow Erdogan. Ankara has also been irked by US ties to separatist Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq. Kilicdaroglu is a supporter of cooperation with the Assad government under the 1998 Adana Agreement, which provides for cooperation with Damascus in counter-terrorism.

The West opposes reconciliation with Syria, which both Turkish candidates want to achieve. Erdogan also largely followed a foreign policy based on the ideology of the Turkish state founded by Ataturk.

Kilichdaroglu is a secular liberal. One diplomat with experience in Turkey, speaking to Time on condition of anonymity, called him an "anti-Erdogan" and said: "There are moments... when a graylier personality is exactly what people need. " He comes from an Alevi family - a sect that is considered a non-core branch of Shia Islam and has similarities to the Syrian Alawites.

The opposition wants to return to the old system of government, to carry out large-scale reforms that expand the powers of parliament. But without a strong parliamentary majority, it will not be possible to do so.

Photo: Life.ru