(Photo Credit: EPA)
Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed on 2 May that six opposition parties to his Justice and Development Party (AK), which are also participating in the upcoming elections, have drawn support from “terror” organizations and “imperialists that seek to “divide the country.”
Erdogan made the allegations during an election rally in Turkiye’s Antalya province, which had thousands of supporters in attendance.
Erdogan further remarked: “They just want to push Turkiye into a pit from which it will not be able to recover for at least half a century, with its politics, economy, defense, diplomacy, and plunge it into a swamp.”
Some have inferred that Erdogan was implying that the foreign powers are complicit in enabling the opposition bloc and seek to promote sectarianism to pass the country “over to terrorist groups.”
The Turkish president is under the suspicion that the Kurdish-backed parties are in collaboration with western powers as well as sympathizing with Kurdish militants such as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Ankara holds responsible for the November 2022 Istanbul bombing.
The six-party bloc, led by the main opposition presidential candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, known as the Republican People’s Party (CHP), is currently aiming to reverse several of Erdogan’s prominent policies in relation to the economy, foreign affairs, and civil rights. Polls currently illustrate that Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu are in a virtual tie.
According to analysts, the Turkish president and his political bloc face their biggest challenge in the past 20 years, with soaring inflation, a cost-of-living crisis, and the effects of last month’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake coinciding to weaken Turkiye’s already fragile economy.
Last week, Kilicdaroglu pledged to repatriate Syrian refugees in the event that he and his party win the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in May.
In June last year, opinion polls carried out by Europe Elects showed that if elections were to be held in Turkiye at that time, at least 55 percent of voters would choose in favor of the CHP.
Turkiye’s currency woes come primarily as a result of Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policy. Erdogan has implemented a series of interest rate cuts in recent years, aiming to stimulate domestic investment and support export-oriented sectors.