Erdogan will Run for Last Time in 2023, a new Era for Turkey could begin

Lorenzo Bagnato

10 December 2022 - 18:31

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In a surprise announcement, Turkish president Recep Tayyp Erdogan said he will run for the last time in 2023. What does this mean for Turkey?

Erdogan will Run for Last Time in 2023, a new Era for Turkey could begin

The Sultan steps down. Turkish president Recep Tayyp Erdogan said that he will run for the last time as leader of Turkey in 2023. If he wins, it would be his third term as President of Turkey, having started in 2014.

Before that, he had been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003, effectively running the country for almost 20 years now. He is one of the most controversial leaders inside NATO, being a borderline dictator and often dancing with enemies of the West.

In 2018, his Constitutional reforms abolished the figure of Prime Minister, changing Turkey from a Parliamentary Republic (like Italy or Germany) to a Presidential one (like the US). His power has been compared many times to that of Mustafa Kemal, the first leader of Turkey that ruled almost a century ago.

Erdogan’s rule has seen important diplomatic successes as well as economical disasters. Currently, Turkey is experiencing one of the worst inflations in the World at almost 80%. For comparison, the inflation in the European Union that is disrupting normal life so much is “just” at 10,6% on average.

The reason for Turkey’s abysmal inflation is the total refusal of Erdogan himself to increase interest rates. Normally, in times of high inflation, a Central Bank would raise interest rates to slow down the economy. Erdogan, however, has constantly been doing the opposite, only worsening the inflation in Turkey.

The awful economical situation could be Erdogan’s demise, though he is trying to underplay it in favor of his diplomatic successes.

Turkey: the world’s diplomat

Erdogan, in his 20 years of rule, has often played both sides in many international dossiers. He applied Turkey in the European Union while threatening several humanitarian crises, he is a part of NATO though supports Russia in Syria and Libya.

Erdogan, however, has always used this position to his advantage. He always acted as a bridge between the West, Russia and the Middle East. In fact, the current negotiations between Russia, the US and Ukraine are happening in Turkey.

The grain deal between Kyiv and Moscow has been signed in Istanbul, and every contact between American and Russian diplomats take place in Turkey. Erdogan has made Turkey an important crossroad for diplomacy, often at the expenses of his own neighborhoods.

Because of Turkey’s crucial position, the international community has often turned a blind eye to Erdogan’s own deeds. His oppression of the Kurdish people, as well as his treatment of Syrian migrants, has largely been ignored by otherwise liberal nations.

In any case, a new era for Turkey could start in 2023, when Erdogan will run for the last time. Will they open to the West? Or will they keep their diplomatic position? It all depends on June’s election outcome.

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