Presidential election in Turkey: “These results show that illiberal democracies have the means to stay in power”, according to an international relations specialist

These results show that illiberal democracies have the means to stay in power“, reacts Monday, May 29 on BlazeTrends Dominique Moïsi, geopolitical scientist, special adviser to the Institut Montaigne and specialist in international relations, the day after the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the outgoing president who obtained 52.2% of the votes according to an almost definitive count.

But for the first time, the re-election of the Head of State took place in the second round, the opposition having managed to force him to a ballot, which illustrates a “deeply divided society“, according to the specialist. For Dominique Moïsi, “there is in Erdogan a desire to place himself in the heritage of the Ottoman Empire“.

BlazeTrends: What is your first reaction after this re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

Dominique Moisi: In Türkiye, we have a deeply divided society. These results show that illiberal democracies have the means to stay in power. The propaganda capacity of the regime in place was infinitely superior to that of this opponent. We have already seen this in Viktor Orban’s Hungary. He also succeeds himself by monopolizing the press and more generally the media in his favor.

Does it also reflect a president who has been able to put Turkey at the center of the game?

In fact, Erdogan’s strength, especially in relation to his opponent, has been to say, internationally: “Turkey is me“. His position is to say: I am independent of practically everyone, I do not say whether I am a member of NATO, I do not depend on the American Alliance, I choose which weapons I buy. There are always in Erdogan a kind of neo-Ottoman dream, that is to say that he considers himself to be the descendant of the great sultans of the Ottoman Empire.When you watch the television series, they emphasize for example the greatness of Mehmed II, the man who succeeded in taking Constantinople in 1453. There is really this desire to place oneself in the heritage of the Ottoman Empire.

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At the international level, is this form of stability in Turkey good news?

Yes, especially since the opposition candidate was not charismatic and had no knowledge of international issues. But for Western democracies, Erdogan’s victory was not the expected outcome. They hoped that a man more open to Europe, more faithful in his alliances, would succeed Erdogan. It was not the case. You have to live with what you have.

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