The Turkish opposition, one step away from winning the elections with the promise of changing the country
Six parties have presented a common candidacy that promises to democratize and return power to the institutions, while the presidential candidate Kemal Kilidaroglu seeks a rapprochement with Brussels
“All against erdoğan“ is the underlying message of the broad opposition coalition that is running to win the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey this Sunday.
For the first time since Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2002, the main opposition party, the social democratic CHP, has managed to reach an agreement with the other parties -liberals, nationalists and even former allies of the current president-. to present a common candidacy with a message of change and hope in the country. They have presented a candidate for the presidency, Kemal Kilidaroglu, which promises to democratize the country’s institutions, restore Turkish diplomacy and move from a more personalist policy to one that works through the relevant ministries. With an open speech to the minorities and youth of the country, Kilidaroglu assures that he will relaunch the economy and has promised the “brain drain” that Turkey is undergoing great changes so that they return. According to data from the Turkish Institute of Statistics, about 300,000 people between the ages of 20 and 29 left the country between 2019 and 2021.
Kilidaroglu’s candidacy also has the support of the pro-Kurdish left, the third force in Parliament with a faithful vote of around 11%. Despite the fact that Kilidaroglu is a member of a traditionally Kemalist Turkish nationalist party, he has convinced a large part of the Kurdish voter, who has suffered for years from government intervention in their town halls, security force operations in their cities and that they are has been greatly affected by the economic crisis. The main opposition alliance has not promised the Kurds anything if they win, but they hope that their situation will improve in a possible change of government. Polls put Kilidaroglu several points ahead of Erdogan and he has a serious chance of winning the presidency even in the first round.
One of the promises of the opposition coalition is to return to a parliamentary system, which strengthens the judicial institutions of the country and strip the president of current executive powers. Kilidaroglu wants to restore the confidence of international investors and take measures to curb the rise in prices.
The opposition leader trusts in being able to unfreeze the accession talks to the European Union. He has also announced that he will implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, which is calling for the release of two opponents imprisoned for years: the former leader of the pro-Kurdish leftist party HDP, Selahattin Demirtas, and the philanthropist Osman Kavala, sentenced to life imprisonment for his participation in anti-government protests.
In its electoral program, the coalition states that maintain relations with Russia without giving more details. However, last Thursday Kilidaroglu marked his red lines in a Tweet. In his message he accused hackers Russians from interfering in the elections with fake videos and warned that if they win, they are “open to maintaining cooperation” with Moscow as long as it does not meddle in the campaign.
On the other hand, the opposition alliance has a very clear policy on the refugee agreement with the EU, in which Turkey welcomes more than 3.6 million Syrians. Kilidaroglu has indicated on several occasions his intention to regain ties with Bashar al-Assad. to send the refugees back within a year. The Social Democratic leader has not given details on how they will carry out this process, but the measure has aroused uncertainty in the European press.
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