Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
Elections in Turkey and Erdogan’s ‘Defeat’
Turkey’s 7 June parliamentary elections are important not only for anyone eyeing oil and gas exploration in Turkey, but for anyone investing in the wider region because Turkey is a key player in the geopolitical dynamics of East and West—dynamics that in part dictate the future movement of oil and gas in a large part of the world.
Recep Erdogan, the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has enjoyed a great deal of power in Turkey, but this does not go unchallenged. The 7 June parliamentary elections have seen the AKP lose nearly 10% of the votes it had won in 2011 as well as its majority in parliament. Over the past couple of years, Erdogan has sought to increase his power base by turning a formidable ally into a formidable enemy—the Gulenists. He has also sought to increase his power base by resorting to tyrannical tactics that include attacking free speech and dealing harshly with protesters—none of which has scored him many points. Most recently, he decided to run for president, relinquishing the more powerful post of prime minister. The plan was to run for president and then re-write the constitution to render the presidency the more powerful position.
The loss of the majority in parliament makes this an impossible task. Plenty of Turks may want the AKP to continue in power, but would simultaneously like to ensure…