Let’s see what the new victory of Erdogan’s means, a victory that renders him omnipotent.
The first conclusion is that the majority of Turkish citizens – inside and outside Turkey, because they also voted – decided to ignore the authoritarianism demonstrated by Erdogan – imprisonment of opponents, dismissals of tens of thousands of people from state jobs, control of the media – and to trust him for a five-year period of near absolute control of the country.
The world hoped the Turkish people would have seen that and would have taken advantage of perhaps this last opportunity to stop him. But they did not.
The second conclusion is that the Turkish people are divided among those who adore Erdogan and those who hate him. But that will probably push him more into totalitarianism and more restriction of the rights of his opponents .
The third conclusion is that his cooperation with the Nationalist Party will at least lead him to verbal attacks on his neighbors, while the influence of the West on him will diminish even more, and his relations with Russia and Iran will improve even further.
As the Wall Street Journal commented, Erdogan “is likely to become an even more difficult partner.”
His decisions will be very much affected by the course of the Turkish economy, which is in crisis, under the weight of his mismanagement, his very large amount of borrowing, his interventions in the decisions of the Central Bank, and the construction of huge projects.
The question now is what does all this mean for Greece and Cyprus?
It is easy to demonize Erdogan – as we do – and thus to underestimate his dynamic personality and the implications of his victory. But the point is that Turkey will have a very powerful leader for the next five years, who envisions the revival of the Ottoman Empire and his replacing of Atatürk in the history books as the greatest Turkish leader.
How will he achieve that? Erdogan has directly challenged the Treaty of Lausanne, the foundations of its relations with Greece. He considers that Turkey was wronged there because of Atatürk’s mistakes.
However Greece has a weak government, with the support of just 152 MP’S – a weak prime minister and an unfit minister of defense.
Yes, time can calmly flow or Erdogan can succumb to the temptation of external adventures as a counterbalance to his internal weaknesses and especially on the economy which is likely to worsen rather than improve.
Let’s keep all of that in mind. Time waits for no man.