Ani Avetyan: Turkey’s local election was important to understand who Erdogan sees as his successor

April 02 2024, 11:30

Opinion | Politics

Turkey’s local election was important to understand who Erdogan sees as his successor, turkologist Ani Avetyan told Alpha News.

“With voting, it is possible to make political decisions and change the government. The local election determines the results of the next presidential and parliamentary elections. In this regard, this is important because Erdogan will most likely not run for the next election, and he himself announced that this is his last election. Therefore, this election would be important to understand who Erdogan sees as his successor. Here we were waiting for the candidate for the mayor of Istanbul, who will be nominated by Erdogan. It will be decisive,” Ani Avetyan said.

She noted that the candidate for mayor of Istanbul nominated by Erdogan was defeated, even though he was not involved in bribery like many others.

“There is a saying in Turkey: whoever wins Istanbul wins Turkey. Erdogan nominated a candidate in Istanbul, who obviously lost. It is true that he was one of the members of Erdogan’s team who was not involved in bribes, corruption, or any dirty deals, while the opposition force was able to win. Yesterday evening, as soon as the results of these elections became clearer, especially the loss of Istanbul, everyone expected that Erdogan would make his first speech there. He even sings after the elections; it was like that after the presidential elections as well,” Avetyan said.

“As soon as the results of local elections and the fact that Istanbul is losing once again became clearer, this was a heavy blow for Erdogan. Immediately, it was reported that he left Istanbul for Ankara and was going to give a speech there, although Ankara lost as well. The Kemalist mayor was re-elected there. Why did Erdogan say that this is not the end for them? It is difficult to understand whether he was referring to himself only or, in general, to his party,” she said.

Ani Avetyan added that Armenians also participated in Turkey’s local election and mostly elected Kemalists.

“The Armenians of Istanbul also voted and mostly chose the Kemalists. I want us to pay attention and reflect on how they voted, what happened in the polling stations of the Armenian territories of modern Turkey bordering Armenia, and who won. In general, the victory here belonged to the Kurds, from Ardahan to Kars. But Erdogan’s party and nationalists have also gained an advantage in some regions,” Ani Avetyan concluded.