Should anyone envy Erdoğan as the all-powerful president?

Published 26.07.2014 00:34

Turkey is a tough country to run. It not only faces an array of international problems due to its strategic location but it also has to face a magnitude of domestic problems that would bring down any ordinary government in Europe. Yet, the boat continues to sail on its own steam and the going remains strong.

So why would anyone want to become the all-powerful president, elected by the people and put in a tough position once elected?

For the joint candidate of the opposition, Prof. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, this is an occasion to pass the time and have the experience of a lifetime. For the pro-Kurdish candidate Selahattin Demirtaş, it is a chance to show the power of the Kurdish vote in Turkey. For Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the situation is different.

The people, in the March 30 elections, gave Erdoğan and ONLY Erdoğan a clear mandate to run the country. The people expect him to remain at the helm and sail this boat through troubled waters.

Erdogan's term in office as prime minister will end in the first half of 2015, yet the people's expectations of him remain high.

Erdoğan has seen the limitations of the office of the prime minister and, with the people electing the president through popular vote, sees this as an opportunity to revamp the presidential office and turn it into the chief executive's office of Turkey.

Erdoğan has to cope with the Gaza situation, where Turkey has given nothing but support to the Palestinians as the world turns its back on them, including many of the Arab states.

The prime minister as president still has to deal with the deteriorating situation in Iraq where religious extremists are still holding 49 hostages of the Turkish Mosul consulate.

In Syria, Assad continues butchering his people and the country has degenerated into a massive mess.

Egypt continues to be run by a military coup leader who is not only making life harder for his people but is making life hell for the people of Gaza. These are only a few of the worries for Erdoğan in the international arena.

Back at home, Erdoğan has to deal with a police force that is riddled with factions. The police force has lost the trust of the people. The same thing can be said for the judiciary.

Erdoğan, as the all-powerful president, has to deal with this situation without any further delay. Added to this are a group of unrepentant people who are trying to topple the government through clandestine methods. There is also the fact that economic growth is not achieved through production increases but through unproductive industries like the construction sector and through money speciation.

Yet, Erdoğan is prepared to take on the challenges simply because he wants to leave a revamped and first class Turkey to the new generations even if it means changing the parliamentary system.

So his farewell to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group on Tuesday was in fact the opening a new chapter for the "new Turkey" where Turkey will be run from the presidential palace.

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