Prime Minister Erdoğan has handsomely won the presidential election, as expected. His victory in the first round of this two-round direct presidential election was also largely expected. It is perhaps high time to make a number of assessments pertaining to the new political scenery. First of all, the elections took place in a relatively calm and relaxed atmosphere. The voting process was, as usual in Turkey, transparent and well controlled, not only by the legal autonomous institutions in charge of organizing the elections in Turkey, but also by civil society volunteers. The high standards of the organizational structure combined with a very high degree of involvement on the part of the voters remains a constant in Turkish politics. This is why elections and the results of the ballots acquire an even enhanced importance in Turkish politics.
The second assessment that can be established is the fact that Prime Minister Erdoğan has succeeded in attracting more votes by percentage than the best result of his party. This is a first round vote, therefore, obtaining the majority at this stage denotes a strong will on the part of the voters to have a "presidency" that is close to the average citizen, that is more "popular" and more accountable, instead of the distant bureaucratic post that has remained in place approximately since 1961. There is almost a tangible hope among the majority of voters for a new presidency in a new Turkey. The third assessment should be the fact that there is an overwhelming majority for a new Turkey where not only the top executive should be accountable directly to the voters, but also a new Turkey where liberties and different rights are better implemented and enjoyed. Both Prime Minister Erdoğan's performance and election outsider Demirtaş's good result point to this particular direction. This is due very largely to the Kurdish reconciliation process almost single-handedly initiated by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
A last assessment should also underline the situation since Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 of last year, when the prime minister, his family and very close collaborators were targeted by a very sophisticated coup attempt, mainly (but not only) staged by the Gülen Movement and its followers among the judiciary and security forces. Since, the prime minister handsomely won two different elections, which show that the public opinion has absolved him, his family and his circle of close collaborators of crimes and biasness that were attributed to them. Their honor and dignity have been rehabilitated by the most efficient democratic means, universal suffrage… The close collaborators of the prime minister, among them former EU Minister Egemen Bağış, who has spent incredible efforts for Turkey's integration in the EU, should feel relieved after this popular rehabilitation.
There is a final assessment to be made in lieu of a conclusion: Both elections in March and in August have shown in a blatant way that political stability in Turkey is strong and deep-rooted. At a time when all the environing, neighboring countries are either immersed in bloodshed caused by civil wars or strife, or at best are subject to deep-going political and economic turmoil, Turkish democracy and its functioning look like an oasis in the middle of the desert. It is high time, therefore, to overcome sterile and superficial oppositional tactics and to get down to the job: The job in question is extremely important and challenging; this is to find means and ways to export Turkey's stability and democracy abroad. No doubt this will remain the challenge of the decade in this desolate region of the world.