Erdogan Will Have to Dispel These Notions
International reviews of President Recep Tayyip’s new cabinet are not positive.
Heading the list of accusations are nepotism and cronyism. Other’s talk about a dynasty in the making.
Looking at the general picture, and weighing it against the recent past, many argue that there will be little change in Erdogan’s policies that the world has come to know well.
The general assumption is that the rule by decree under emergency rule, in force since the failed coup attempt in July 2016, will become the norm under Erdogan’s all-powerful executive presidency.
Moves like lifting emergency rule, and releasing some of the tens of thousands of people incarcerated in relation to the attempt to overthrow Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), will be considered ingenuous.
These will be viewed as steps that make little difference in terms of democracy and the rule of law in Turkey as these concepts are understood universally.
Put in a nutshell, the general verdict appears to be that it will be much the same for Turkey, and that means “not good.”
We already see the first results of this perception with regard to the economy. One is hard pressed to find a singly foreign analysis that views the appointment of Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak as Turkey’s “economic supremo” as a step in the right direction.
Bloomberg’s harsh verdict is that “Erdogan’s New Dynasty Makes Turkey Uninvestable.” It adds that “The president has given investors every reason to turn away.”
Reviews in the Financial Times, and other foreign media outlets of note, are not much different. The outcome is that the Turkish lira is on a downward spiral again, while interests continue to rise.
This is the opposite of what Erdogan is vowing with his unique understanding of economic administration, which seasoned economists consider “highly original but equally delusional.”
There is little expectation that things on the foreign policy front will be any different. This view is compounded by the fact that the incumbent foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will keep his job in Erdogan’s new cabinet.
The verdict is that the abrasive and anti-western tone in Turkey’s dealings with the outside world will continue.
All of this contrasts sharply with Erdogan’s promise to usher in a new and much more positive era for Turkey under his rule. His main task, therefore, will be to dispel the negative international notions regarding his election as Turkey’s first executive president.
He could choose to take the easy way out and continue to accuse “nefarious external forces which are out to undermine Turkey’s march to greater progress.” This will go down well with his supporters.
Erdogan’s dilemma, however, is that unless he can dispel the negative international notions regarding his presidency, his promises will face major obstacles. He is the person who is in charge of the country in earnest now, and all eyes will be on his performance, not anyone else’s.