Why Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the election

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Turkish electors are renowned for conveying healthy and sophisticated messages to competing politicians. In the last elections, fifty million voters succeeded in conveying their messages to each of the presidential candidates and their political parties. First and foremost, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected as the president, while the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) received a clear warning. It is our conviction that this is a healthy message for the future of the AK Party. As was evident in the general elections held on June 7, 2015, the AK Party has the capacity to interpret the messages of the electors in a constructive way by restoring and renewing itself.

Since its foundation, the AK Party has succeeded in detecting and resolving problems, and in acting in accordance with the priorities of the Turkish electorate. Thanks to its 15-year-long term in political power, which came to the fore through major economic, political, and cultural reforms and investments, the AK Party acquired the support of 40 percent of the total electorate, while some 10 percent made their decisions by taking into consideration the current economic parameters and the AK Party's vision of Turkey's future.

Leadership: Political power gradually wears out the political party which possesses it. The issues of the government naturally overshadows those of the political party in power. Staying in political power since 2002, the AK Party has rightfully become "the dominant political party" of Turkish politics, since President Erdoğan has always succeeded in rejuvenating the AK Party through reformation of its policies, vision and cadres.

Support of the oppressed: After the First World War, the War of Independence waged by the new Turkey against the occupation of Western imperial powers served as a model for all the oppressed people in the world. And in the world today, President Erdoğan has defended Turkey's national rights and interests against leading powers in the international arena, faced up to and cooperated with the Western powers, represented the conscience of humanity with his discourse "the world is bigger than five," and in the Palestinian issue, defeated the policies of the United States in the United Nations. President Erdoğan has acquired the support of oppressed people in the world from Latin America to Africa and Asia. He has eventually become a symbol of the oppressed world.

Support of the Turkish electorate: Among the AK Party's electorate, a feeling of complacency had predominated the electoral campaigns, they believed that President Erdoğan and the AK Party would have easily won the elections. However, the Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce's successful electoral rally in Istanbul motivated the majority of the voters of the AK Party to go to the polls. Representing Turkey's middle classes, the AK Party's electorate did not give consent for an electoral defeat of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by abandoning their sociological place in political power.

Electoral campaign: Since its foundation, the AK Party has developed an institutionalized political capacity for administering the government and the bureaucracy. Occasionally, the AK Party had difficulty keeping pace with the political capacity represented by Erdoğan. The AK Party's electoral campaign had been conducted largely by the president himself. If the communication strategies of the electoral campaign were on a par with the political capacity in question, then the AK Party's votes would have been higher.

Election manifesto: In the AK Party's election manifesto, three main topics came to the fore: the AK Party's successful policies and investments in its fifteen years of political power, its vision of the future and its promises in Turkey's troublesome issues. It succeeded to take into consideration the move of the Turkish electorate towards individual demands and concerns, including the issues of grants for retired people and public servants, abolition of the state of emergency, and paid military service.

Another successful electoral strategy that the AK Party adopted was the intentional negligence of the Good Party (İP). Taking Muharrem İnce as his main rival, Erdoğan easily overshadowed Meral Akşener. However, the AK Party did not successfully convey its vision of the future to young voters through the electoral campaign that would expose its achievements in the field of technology, including the establishment of 100 techno-parks, 1,000 R&D centers, four major technology centers, and numerous developments in city hospitals and the defense industry. In the field of technology, the electoral discourses of the opposition political parties performed better.

International Relations: In the field of international relations, the AK Party could have faced a substantial critique, as the tensions in foreign policy might have influenced the economic parameters adversely. Yet, the government's multidimensional and multilateral diplomacy concluded with significant achievements. From her pioneer role in the Syrian crisis to her recovering relations with the United Kingdom and the United States, Turkey has recently adopted a much more prudent foreign policy attitude. While Turkey currently cooperates with Iran in its struggle against the PKK, members of the European Union have begun to deal with Turkey in a positive way by seeing her strategic significance in the region.

Security: Turkey's struggle against three major terrorist organizations tipped the balance of Turkey's elections. During the climax of the Syrian crisis, Daesh was committing atrocious terrorist attacks in Turkey, the PKK was blasting bombs every day after its sabotage of the peace process and FETÖ was appearing almost as a second-state. Yet, all these three terrorist organizations were severely defeated by the cooperation of the government and the people. Now, their members have been chased out of our borders by Turkish soldiers. In this respect, the Turkish electorate trusted the president in leading Turkey's struggle against PKK and FETÖ.

President Erdoğan's exceptional capacity in dealing with Turkey's main issues and troubles, his experience in foreign policy and his success in the struggle against terrorist organizations persuaded the Turkish electorate to vote for him.

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