Turkey Enters a New Age of Political Life


After the referendum results ended with a knife-edged lead for AKP government and President Erdoğan, Turkey enters into a new age of political life. President Erdoğan has to wait 2 years in order to get the constitutional changes as new state system. Turkey makes a new experience or better to say a reversed experience.

When in 1946 and 1950 Turkey changed one party system to multiparty system, the country became full-fledged parliamentary democracy after the opposition party (Democratic Party) won the elections. The President İsmet İnönü, who was the first ‘’President of one party system’’ in the modern history of Turkey, handed the power to the opposition party.  Now, with this regime change, Turkey ‘’returns back’’ to the old system and prime minister Binali Yıldırım will ‘’cease’’ to be as Prime minister. This is a ‘’unique experience’’ for Turkey. Time will show whether this regime change is to be successful or not.

As to the legitimization of the results, there is no problem. But AKP disappointed its supporters, losing in all major cities of Turkey like Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Antalya, Adana, Mersin. As the result of the referendum, there will be no early elections. But, this is not a landslide victory, but it is enough to get the regime change.

The improvement of the Turkish-Russian relations will continue. After the 2015 jetfighter incident two countries ‘’regained the trust’’. President Putin and President Erdoğan have different view on certain bilateral and international issues but the tendency in bilateral relations will be positive. Therefore, both presidents will have closer relations in future. Erdoğan has to win the 2019 presidential elections, and it will not be an easy election for him, if the country is further polarized as it happens now.

The Turkish-EU relations will be more difficult and high tension and polarization will dominate the two sides’ attitudes. President Erdoğan suggested a summit between Turkey and the EU as soon as possible. It can happen after French and German general elections. Probably the Turkey-EU summit will take place in November.

Turkey’s strategic goal remains to become a member of the EU but it will be difficult under president Erdogan. So, the Turkish-Russian relations will become closer and better, while with the EU the relations will be very difficult for a time being. Turkey’s political future with EU is not bright, and both sides will suffer. Who will be the main loser, it is an open question.


Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

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