Past record, concrete pledges brought Erdoğan campaign success
- MUSTAFA KIRIKÇIOĞLU, ISTANBUL
- Jun 29, 2018
Pledges on problematic issues affecting the country and positive steps to maintain stability and security have led to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's victory in Sunday's election, experts told Daily Sabah.
Muhammet Ali Kumru, a political scientist who also ran for Parliament on the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) candidate lists in Istanbul, said that Erdoğan's recent determined stance against national threats and his past performance boosted people's confidence in his campaign.
Erdoğan won the presidential election on June 24 in the first round by garnering 52.6 percent of votes. The AK Party votes remained at 42.4 percent, a gap of nearly 10 points between the chairman's total vote and his party's.
"Simply, he [Erdoğan] explained the developments on people's social and economic status during the AK Party's governance and the differences of their life standards. Also, people saw him as guarantor of national security and stability," Kumru said.
Under Erdoğan's chairmanship, the AK Party has won every election since its establishment, including five general elections in 2002, 2007, 2011, the June 2015 and November 2015 snap elections and three municipal elections in 2004, 2009 and 2014. Erdoğan also won the presidential elections in 2014.
İhsan Aktaş, the president of the polling body GENAR Research Institute, said that Erdoğan built its election campaign on three pillars and personally carried out his own campaign.
"He talked about what he did, and what he will do in future to solve ongoing problems. Also, steps that were taken before elections such as retirement grants obviated opposition's criticism," Aktaş said.
Kumru said that the AK Party also carried out an active campaign as field teams personally reached nearly 100,000 people in Istanbul's 14 districts.
"It is easy to convince people over 40 as they know the problems in Turkey very well before the AK Party era. However, when it comes youngsters who grew up during the AK Party era, it's hard to persuade them," he said.
AK Party came to the power by earning a landslide victory in the November 2002 parliamentary election, when Turkey was suffering from economic problems that undermined the coalition government led by late Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit.
Aktaş also said that Turkey's recent agreement with U.S. in northern Syria's Manbij was also vital for Erdoğan's campaign, as it showed Ankara's influence, and possibly weaken the PKK's position in northern Syria.
He also asserted that Turkish people accustomed to see Erdoğan as defender of oppressed people due to its support to Palestinian cause and Rohingya Muslims who fled from Myanmar's persecution, among many other international humanitarian issues.
Erdoğan has often criticized Israeli aggression over Palestinian lands and brought the issue on the international arena numerous times to take joint diplomatic action against Israel. Turkey also helped both the Rohingya and the Bangladesh government in dealing with the refugee crisis that was triggered by the Myanmar government's persecution through several of its nongovernmental organizations.