Jan 05 2018

Good Party leader determined to challenge Erdoğan - New York Times

Turkey’s new centre-right Good Party’s leader Meral Akşener is “potentially the most serious rival” to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in future elections, U.S. liberal newspaper The New York Times said.

Featuring a long profile of Turkey’s former interior minister, the newspaper said Akşener’s national support was one of the factors that had almost led to the defeat of Erdoğan in the constitutional referendum in April.

The referendum vastly expanded Erdoğan’s powers with a tight 51.4 percent “yes” vote, but it showed the country was “split in half,” Akşener was quoted by the Times as saying, and her Good Party is the “only party that can get votes from both camps.”

While appealing to the same centre-right voter base, Akşener opposes Erdoğan’s politics in almost every aspect, the newspaper said, such as his autocratic form of government and his anti-Western rhetoric.

Akşener says she wants to re-establish freedom of expression in Turkey and trust in the markets, reverse state of emergency measures, return to the parliamentary system, and restore an impartial justice system, The New York Times wrote. Akşener is also commited to equal opportunity for everyone and pledges to fight for women's rights in Turkey.