Erdoğan’s AKP rumored to get competition: Hüseyin Çiçek comments

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Right before the local elections at the end of March “A New Party” is stirring in Turkey. Said to be behind the new center-right-party is former president and ally of Erdoğan Abdullah Gül, who, accoring to EZIRE researcher und expert on Turkish politics Hüseyin Çiçek, could have a real chance within the current political climate in Turkey.

In reports by the Tagesspiegel, Luzerner Zeitung and the online news site Ahval Çiçek emphasises that the challengers could get support and profit in particular from swing voters, who were unsettled and aggravated about the “overturn of democracy” and “nepotism in Ankara” and looking for alternatives.

A return to reform policy and the end of the one-man-system of Erdoğans, those were the party’s promises lead by the former companion of the Turkish president. The AKP could now have a serious competitor and lose many voters to the new center-right party because of the poor economic situation and growing resentments toward the government.

The upcoming elections were already shaped by nervousness for the AKP: “Something’s brewing worse than a witch’s kettle”, Ahmet Takan, Ankara expert and author of the nationalist paper Yeniçağ is quoted by Süddeutsche Zeitung. Several polls confirmed this sentiment and had the opposing CHP’s candidate Mansur Yavaş in the lead for Ankara’s race for mayor.

The new party is said to officially be founded after the local elections to profit from the potentially bad results of Erdoğan and company, so quotes the Luzerner Zeitung the columnist Abdulkadir Selvi of the Hürriyet newspaper.

Whether or not the party could actually herald a new political era in Turkey, was dependent on the credibility and expertise of the challengers. Also of interest was the reaction of the Turkish president to his new rivals, so the articles conclude.