By Payman Yazdani

Difficult for Erdogan to take unilateral step on Kurdish issue without MHP: Logoglu

June 28, 2018 - 13:34

TEHRAN - Referring to possible President Erdogan’s surprise efforts to resolve the Kurdish issue in Turkey, Turkish politician Faruk Logoglu says it would be difficult for him to take unilateral steps on the issue without MHP.

On Sunday June 24th, Turkey's long-standing leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a new five-year term as president.

Mr Erdogan got nearly 53% with almost all votes counted. His closest rival Muharrem Ince was on 31%.

Mr Ince accepted the result on the basis of poll figures - but said that everything about the vote was unfair.

To shed more light on the issue and the real reasons behind Erdogan’s reelection and the possible changes to Ankara’s domestic and regional policies, we reached out to a senior member of Turkey’s Republican People's Party (CHP), Dr. Osman Faruk logoglu.

Following is the full text of interview with him:

Q: What are the main reasons for reelection of Erdogan and success of AKP?

A: Among the reasons for President Erdogan’s last electoral success, some are more apparent than others.  With uninterrupted 16 years in power, AKP has created some 50 percent die-hard supporters who vote for him no matter what. Exploitation of religion along with material and financial handouts to the poor are the heart of this solidified support.  By identifying the CHP candidate Ince as his only rival, Erdogan also helped to win back run-away voters who would in any case not want to see CHP in power.  A third factor was the fact that even though the outcome of the elections was fair, the election process itself was neither fair, nor just or equal.  The media and the state apparatus worked for AKP to the exclusion of the opposition.   Finally, it was the failure of the opposition to stage a unified front against AKP.  

Q: Will we see any changes in Ankara’s policy in Syria and Iraq?

A: Any substantial change in Ankara’s policy in Iraq or Syria is unlikely.  That policy is currently dominated by the priority of fighting terrorism targeting Turkey in the two neighboring countries.  Ankara’s main concern is defeat of PKK and its Syrian extension PYD/YPG.

Q: Will there be any break throw for Kurdish issue in Turkey?

 A: What happens with the Kurdish issue remains to be seen.  President Erdogan has given mixed and sometimes contradictory signals about the nature of the problem and on how it can be resolved.  Now he has all the power he wants as the executive president.  Given his record regarding the Kurdish issue, it would be a pleasant surprise if he made a genuine effort to finally resolve this chronic problem.  

Q: Since MHP is one of AKP ally, how will this affect possible negotiations regarding Kurdish issue?

A: MHP is another factor in the Kurdish equation that makes the issue all the more intractable.  Now that MHP is a key in the parliamentary arithmetic, it would be difficult for President Erdogan to take any unilateral steps on the Kurdish question without MHP’s support.  And that support is unlikely to come.

Q: How do you see the prospect of Turkey’s economy?

A: The poor state of the Turkish economy is the most important problem facing the country today.  High inflation, steep unemployment, huge current accounts deficits, depletion in the value of Turkish lira are some of the leading indicators of the problematic situation.  However, the deeper problem is the erosion of confidence of foreign investors and institutions in the Turkish economy.  The top priority for President Erdogan now is to restore the confidence of the international community in Turkey’s economy.  This will require not only a package of strident economic and financial measures, but also a rational, consistent foreign policy, one that unequivocally puts Turkey in the Euro-Atlantic community.  Today foreign policy and economy are interlinked and run hand in hand.  A strong country requires a strong economy and a strong economy requires a coherent and successful foreign policy.  

Q: How do you see the prospect of Turkey and EU relation and accession talks?

A: The course of Turkey’s relations with the EU will actually be the litmus test of the general direction of President Erdogan’s outlook for the country.  AKP has never repudiated the goal of EU accession.  But it will take some goodwill on the part of the EU to revitalize the accession process.  If Ankara makes a move to energize the negotiations, it should be reciprocated by the EU for the sake of Turkish democracy."

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