‘Turkey’s election is a source of hope for the region’s oppressed’
The oppressed people of Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Libya, who look to Turkey as a beacon of hope in a region rocked by turmoil and instability
Ersin Çelik24 JUNE 2018, 03:46Yeni Şafak
As Turkey heads to the polls in a decisive election on Sunday, the Middle East holds it breath in anticipation of the results that promise to shape the future of the region.
The oppressed people of Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Libya, who look to Turkey as a beacon of hope in a region rocked by turmoil and instability, hope that the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections will tip the balance in favor of the disenfranchised people of the Middle East.
Billboards went up across Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Algeria, among other countries in the region, showing support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the elections, while millions of social media users in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE prayed for the victory of Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
Ahmad Toma, former president of Syria’s interim government, said, “June 24 is not only Turkey's election but it's the hope of all the oppressed.”
“We’re all Erdoğan”
Placards that read, “We’re all Erdoğan” were raised during the events that followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision.
Abu Ayman, the head of the Syrian Palestinian Delegation, pointed that even “the prospect of the region without Erdoğan would be a very grim landscape.”
For the first time in Turkish history, political parties went to elections by forming alliances.
Turkey’s ruling AK Party and the MHP formed an alliance (People’s Alliance) while the main opposition CHP, the IYI Party, and the Felicity Party constituted another (Nation Alliance).
Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs in Iraq, which recently went to the polls in a disputed election, expressed their support for Erdoğan and the People’s Alliance.
Ömer Aydoğdu, a leader from Iraq’s Turkmen Front, pointed that for the Iraqi people, the elections carry great importance when it comes to influencing the region’s destiny and foiling global ploys.
With the exception of a minority who sympathizes with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terror organization or sectarian fanatics, the majority of Iraqis stand beside the Turkish president, says Aydoğdu, who is also a Turkmen from Kirkuk.
“Erdoğan was the lead actor that foiled the global ploy being staged during the Sept. 25 elections in northern Iraq.”
Six candidates are running for president, while eight political parties are contending in Turkey’s parliamentary elections.
In April, Parliament passed a bill calling for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move from a parliamentary to a presidential system. In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switch.
Under the changes, the number of lawmakers in parliament rises from 550 to 600, presidential and parliamentary elections will be held every five years, and presidents can retain ties to their political party. The prime minister post is also abolished.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has served as president since 2014, and is Turkey's first popularly-elected president. Before that, he served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.
Erdoğan would be Turkey's first leader to rule under the presidential system should he win the election.