Jun 26 2018

Erdoğan has no global equal, despite scare tactics – adviser

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proved he has no rival in global politics after winning a nationwide vote for the 13th time in elections on Sunday, said Ibrahim Kalin, his spokesman and chief political adviser.

Erdoğan secured his victory despite “a clear agenda of manipulating readers and viewers” by some of the Western media and political activists, who promoted opposition politicians “rather than reporting the facts on the ground”, Kalin said in a regular column for the Daily Sabah newspaper on Tuesday.

“There is no other living political figure anywhere in the world who can claim this title,” Kalin said. “This speaks volumes about not only his political genius but also the sociopolitical realities of Turkish society, which many outside observers fail to understand.”

Erdoğan based his success on raising the living standards of the nation’s lower and middle classes and fixing an economy that was battered by a financial crisis just prior to him winning power in 2002, Kalin said. Erdoğan has also “created a more resilient and inclusive political system and made people from diverse backgrounds more welcome in the fields of economy, politics and social mobilisation,” he said.

The Turkish president was re-elected with 52.5 percent of the vote. His governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) will wield a legislative majority in parliament with its far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP) allies. Erdoğan beat his closest political rival, Muharrem Ince, by more than 20 points, despite opinion polls and political commentators predicting that he would be forced into a two-man run-off with Ince.

The predictions of some in the foreign media “for the fall of Erdoğan turned out to be false again,” Kalin said.

“Their selective coverage had a clear agenda of manipulating readers and viewers, but none of these tactics worked. This raises serious questions about their credibility. Worse, they keep failing to understand Turkey's social and political dynamics. This election should be another lesson for them.”