Erdogan a casualty of improvisation and Muslim Brotherhood delusions

The Turkish president’s defeat in Istanbul was a result of a policy called improvisation that he implemented in every area, including in Syria and with the United States and Russia.
Sunday 30/06/2019
Supporters of Ekrem Imamoglu, the new mayor of Istanbul, demonstrate in Istanbul, June 27. (AP)
Learning no lesson. Supporters of Ekrem Imamoglu, the new mayor of Istanbul, demonstrate in Istanbul, June 27. (AP)

It was from Istanbul that Recep Tayyip Erdogan started his upward journey. It is from there that he started on his downward slope.

The man thought upmanship could be a substitute for achievements after he reached his ambitions by changing the nature of the republic system of rule in Turkey.

For the second time in less than three months, Ekrem Imamoglu has defeated Erdogan’s candidate in Istanbul. It is not important who Imamoglu’s competitor was in those elections. The Istanbul mayoral election was a battle waged by Erdogan, who did not realise that the years that followed his election to the presidency were a defeat, not only for him but for all those who adopt his puritanical Muslim Brotherhood ideology.

Erdogan had bet on the Muslim Brotherhood showing that he was more than a president of Turkey; he wanted to prove that he was capable of ensuring Turkey’s expansion in all directions and of regaining Ottoman glory.

Erdogan should have known that while the Muslim Brotherhood can be used for many purposes, including that of a security apparatus, it is not capable of managing a modern country.

In Istanbul’s first mayoral election on March 31, Imamoglu defeated Binali Yildirim with a margin of 13,500 votes. From that date to the election rerun on June 23, the margin shot up to 800,000 votes as citizens realised Erdogan is now a failed politician and no longer the embodiment of their hopes.

It has simply become clear that Erdogan is nothing but a Muslim Brotherhood member who craves power. His Justice and Development Party (AKP) has become void of true leadership after Abdullah Gul and Ahmet Davutoglu were marginalised. There are rumours about a possible new party to be founded under Davutoglu’s leadership.

When he was the head of Istanbul municipality in the 1990s, Erdogan said on many occasions that “whoever loses Istanbul will lose Turkey.” Now, he is on the path to losing Turkey, whose people have resisted a stark attempt to impose on them a new dictatorship that is similar to the military dictatorship of the 1980s.

Turkey did not get rid of that military dictatorship only to fall under the dictatorship of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the clear message that Istanbul voters conveyed to the Turkish president.

So, what happened? Was it over-confidence that made Erdogan think he was undefeatable? Was it because he has become incapable of listening to his opponents?

It would have been better for Erdogan to look carefully at the results of the March elections and try to understand the reasons he lost Istanbul and Ankara rather than challenge the outcome of the vote.

Power often blinds people. If it were not for the blinding impact of power on people like Erdogan, the Turkish president would not have acted the way he did after the attempted military coup in July 2016. That situation caused Erdogan to lose his mind. He cracked down on officers, judges, lawyers, journalists, writers and school teachers. Erdogan has always believed Fethullah Gulen to be behind any source of disloyalty.

Economic progress achieved at one time made up for Erdogan’s mistakes. But his mistakes were too many. He did not understand in 2010, for example, that his attempt to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip was of more harm than benefit to the Palestinians.

Erdogan wanted to be a hero, but he eventually found himself stuck in a game that Israel managed to win after it forced the flotilla sent by Erdogan to retreat. The outcome was that Erdogan grew to be viewed by Palestinians as a man who sells them illusions.

The president’s defeat in Istanbul was a result of a policy called improvisation that he has implemented in all areas, including in Syria and with the United States and Russia.

The most serious of Erdogan’s failures was in Syria. The Turkish president made many promises to the Syrian people, but his hesitation always made Turkey the last player in the game rather than the top decision-maker. Turkey became a country desperately trying to find its way amid the US, Russian, Iranian and Israeli occupations.

Yes, it is the beginning of the end for Erdogan, who has proven to be no more than a Third World politician. His opportunism and authoritarianism have caused him to hit rock bottom, and his actions over the last ten years have revealed him to be entangled in the backward and miserable political scene of the Muslim Brotherhood. No one knows anymore whether Erdogan is an ally of Iran or Russia or whether he wants to throw himself back into the arms of the United States.

In a nutshell, failure brings more failure, especially when a politician does not understand that it is more important to know how to deal with failure than with success.