President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan faces a huge challenge in the upcoming June 24 elections. The president and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) are not only facing an opposition alliance representing of all kinds of diverse ideologies, but he also has to overcome the massive propaganda campaign launched of some Western powers that have a stake in seeing him leave office.
What is also interesting is that some of these opposition groups are either being coached by foreign powers or have links with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) that staged an unsuccessful bloody coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
The opposition's Nation Alliance is led by the left-wing Republican People's Party (CHP). The party speaks on similar lines with FETÖ. Its presidential candidate Muharrem İnce is busy fabricating lies as part of his smear campaign against Erdoğan and the AK Party. In fact, he and the party's leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu are basing their campaign not on projects to be offered to the public but on a defamation campaign that boils down to a war of attrition. In fact, İnce seems completely aloof on the powers of the president in the new system and is making promises that are beyond the powers of the chief executive.
The junior partner of the opposition alliance, Meral Akşener, and her conservative Good Party (İP) are suspected of being supported by FETÖ. In fact before the 2016 coup attempt, FETÖ did everything to help Akşener become the chairperson of the conservative Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The group used its prosecutors and judges to help Akşener hijack the MHP through legal tricks and they nearly succeeded. When Akşener failed and was kicked out of the MHP, she and her associates established the İP, which seems to have the backing of not only FETÖ but also some Western countries. Akşener is also running for the presidency, while her party is in the alliance for the parliamentary elections. In the past, Akşener has held a strongly anti-Kurdish stance but is now pretending she has special admiration for the Kurds simply to win some of their votes.The other junior partner of the alliance is the pro-Islamic Felicity Party (SP), which were sworn enemies of the CHP as the left-wing party helped the campaign to topple the SP's legendary leader Necmettin Erbakan in 1997. Yet they too have fielded party chairman Temel Karamollaoğlu as the party's presidential candidate but are in the alliance for the parliamentary elections.The fourth member of the Nation Alliance is the Democrat Party (DP), which is too little to mention.
They all have a deep hatred for Erdoğan and his AK Party. That seems to be the glue of their alliance.
Erdoğan is smack in the middle of this scenario. He has to fight all these parties and their presidential candidates and run his own campaign with his own priorities at the same time. He has to put up with their insults, allegations and deceptions.
Erdoğan also has to struggle against the Western powers that are coaching these people and the huge FETÖ network in the U.S. and Germany that provides support to the opposition parties, especially the CHP and the İP. So while Erdoğan is the favorite to win the presidential elections, the challenges he faces are rather tough.