Erdoğan’s Istanbul Nightmare by Burak Bekdil (Gatestone Institute)
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Unbelievably, this is the man that Barak Obama said was, “His favorite foreign leader”. On what basis, heaven only knows.
Much like Hitler fought Stalin – not over political philosophy, but rather “who would be in charge”, Erdogan fought ISIS. Not because he disagreed with ISIS’s leader, Al Baghdadi, but rather because Al Baghdadi had the temerity to “believe” HE was the new Caliphe – not Erdogan. Erdogan helped put him in his place, just like he has everyone else in Turkey – until now.
Erdoğan believed — and made the average Turk believe — that Turkey is a major world power. He claimed that his rule made miracles in the economy. Therefore, since his Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, he has not lost a single election. Everything was coming up roses all the time. Not anymore.
“Who wins Istanbul wins Turkey,” has been Erdoğan’s dictum since 1994, when he won mayoral elections in Turkey’s biggest city (home to nearly 15% of Turkey’s 57 million voters and accounting for 31% of its GDP). Twenty-five years later, his candidate for mayor of Istanbul, former prime minister Binali Yıldırım, lost in the local election — the first defeat in Istanbul for Islamists since 1994. Game not yet over, Erdoğan ruled.
Erdogan likely manufactured the failed coup attempt to purge his political enemies and secure his grip on the military using cronies instead of competent officers. (Wentworthmaven’s opinion).
Even if Erdoğan wins Istanbul in the re-run, he will have lost the last few remaining crumbs of his international credibility.
It’s a delicate balance of NATO and the USA playing on one side with Putin constantly trying to woo Erdogan away from the West. Erdogan has been in the catbird seat for the last two decades; perhaps this will finally come to an end? Especially if the EU grows a backbone and holds him to task. Unlikely, but then so was Trump, Brexit and European citizens finally waking up to a new reality.