Turkey continues to surpass everyone under the political leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. After withstanding a decade of crises, Turkey has emerged as a regional power with a population of 85 million, a strong army and a growing economy.
In an article recently published by an Israeli think tank, Erdoğan is described not only as a Muslim political leader who defends the rights of the oppressed in the Islamic community but also as an international playmaker who prioritizes Turkey’s national interests.
Just as the leaders of international powers, Turkey’s opposition parties were mistaken about Turkey’s regional power. Due to their old-fashioned Jacobin political mentality, the opposition can grasp neither Turkey’s regional issues nor Erdoğan’s effective leadership.
It was announced that Turkey’s next presidential and general elections will take place in 2023. Turkish electoral politics are now based on the competition between the People’s Alliance, which is comprised of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Nation Alliance, which is made up of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Good Party (IP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Within the People's Alliance, there is a general consensus between the AK Party and MHP, especially in terms of their views on foreign policy.
However, the Nation Alliance is composed of different, sometimes mutually exclusive political attitudes. The CHP as the founding party of the Turkish republic is supported by different segments of society, while the IP is a Turkish nationalist political party.
Even though it presents itself as having a socialist ideology, the HDP is a Kurdish nationalist political party, which cooperates with the Stalinist and separatist PKK.
The Nation Alliance was not founded in order to achieve an idealistic version of Turkey or to resolve its problems; it is rather an alliance of pragmatism designed to overthrow Erdoğan’s government.
The three political parties strive to stay united within themselves despite their internal differences, subscribing to the theory that "my enemy’s enemy is my friend."
Meanwhile, two new political parties have begun to emerge by breaking away from the CHP: the Country Movement of Muharrem Ince, a CHP lawmaker and former presidential candidate, and the Movement for Change in Turkey of Mustafa Sarıgül, the CHP's former mayor of Istanbul's Şişli district and 2014 metropolitan mayor candidate.
There are claims in Ankara that a third political party under the title of the People’s Party will be founded by another group from the CHP.
Cadres and electors of the IP do not feel at ease making an electoral alliance with the HDP – their ideological adversary. The IP's intraparty problems have the potential to threaten its internal unity, only recently Ümit Özdağ, one of the IP founders, accused Buğra Kavuncu, the party’s provincial chairman of Istanbul, of being a member of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
Kavuncu’s family members are close relatives of now-imprisoned Enver Altaylı, who was raised by Ruzi Nazar, an Uzbek CIA agent. In the recent past, members of Kavuncu’s family, who were known pro-Iranians, held a radical stance against the Welfare Party’s (SP) political power.
A politician with the surname Kavuncu worked with the AK Party for a short while before being removed from the party for being a member of the FETÖ organization. As it is said, "a fool can throw a stone in a pond that 100 wise men cannot get out."
The HDP is stuck between the PKK and democratic politics. During the PKK’s bloody trench warfare, people of the region distanced themselves from both the PKK and HDP, and although they still secure 10% of the votes, conservative Kurds have criticized the HDP's inability to disassociate themselves from the PKK's leadership in Qandil.
All these problems raise doubts about the prospective success of the Nation Alliance in the 2023 elections.