In an article focusing on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the author gets confused where to begin among numerous related themes. Still, it is apparent that we have, on the one hand, a president who always dares to challenge the crooked world order with the discourse of "the world is bigger than five" that targets the U.N. Security Council's inability and/or unwillingness to distribute justice in the international arena and its support for regional chaos and that has already inspired some of the oppressed nations of the world.
On the other hand, we have an influential leader who moved the country ahead of the European economy through envisioning a developed, democratic, liberal, and open nation by stirring up a country that was formerly playing a subservient role in the colonial system and by wholesomely implementing its membership in the European Union. Meanwhile, the state's structure has returned to the Anatolian people by the president's victory over the Jacobin intellectuals and governors of the Ancient Régime.
After a decade of successful governance, the appearance of Turkey's true potential paved the way for the realization of the cultural and geopolitical power emanating from the imperial legacy of the Ottomans.
Last but not least, the president succeeded in resolving many of Turkey's fundamental and long existent political problems from the exclusion of religious people and the headscarf issue to the existence of torture and torment in the state's security structure and state oppression in the southeastern regions.
Yet, the gallant steps taken for the resolution of the long-standing Kurdish problem have come to the front as the pillars of one of the most crucial reformations in Turkey's history. The low-density war that has gone on for 40 years without any resolution, and which has caused thousands of deaths, is a condition preventing Turkey from becoming a greater state by inflicting irreparable political, social and economic wounds.
Thus, the enmity against Erdoğan held by Turkish politicians who have established a unity of mission with various foreign powers, from Germany to Israel, has begun. The political tactics adopted by certain Western countries and their Turkish partners for governmental changeover has failed, but one by one, the people have maintained their support for Erdoğan through calamities and conditions by embracing his vision for the country as a whole.
I would like to ask the question: "What does the president want to do?" in the context of the upcoming general elections. Within the framework of this question, I would like to analyze and somewhat predict the president's potential influence on the electorate's voting.
The founding leader who every time succeeded to vanquish his competitors in the elections is presently not at the head of his political party. According to the polling company GENAR's research in February 2015, although those surveyed responded with a voting rate for the president of 54 percent, that for the government is around 47 percent, a 7 percent difference.
By reading elections strategically, the president well knows from his previous electoral experiences the importance of putting forth a claim of novelty and change to the electorate. For the upcoming elections, the president has put forward the establishment of a new constitution and the introduction of a presidential system. While voters' present support for the introduction of a presidential system is about 45 percent, Erdoğan would get 56 percent of the votes if the system is adopted and established.
In conclusion, the president aims to identify the people's support for himself with their support for the government through initiating a public discussion on the themes of a presidential system and new constitution. This, I believe, is the most critical stratagem for the upcoming elections.
About the author
İhsan Aktaş is Chairman of the Board of GENAR Research Company. He is an academic at the Department of Communication at Istanbul Medipol University.