In the days leading up to the May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections, there are already preparations in London and Washington, as well as in European capitals and Moscow, to get the election results right. As far as I can tell, I have a subjective opinion that the election results have already been predicted, more or less, in these places. It is noteworthy that the political credit limits for the opposition presidential candidate are high in the Russian media.
It is more or less clear what the West and NATO member states expect from the results of the May 14 elections. Therefore, what I am more curious about is what kind of predictions or forecasts the Russians have developed for the election results in Turkey due to the close relationship between Erdogan and Putin.
Russian media cares about the opposition’s approach to Turkish-Russian relations!…
When we look at the Russian media, it is seen that the importance of the May 14th election results for Russia mainly emphasizes the energy agreements between the two countries and the security of the Black Sea. The construction and inauguration of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant and the implementation of joint projects such as Turkey becoming a transportation hub for Russian natural gas to Europe are mentioned.
In addition, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkey is an important trade partner of the Russian Federation. In January and February 2023, Russia was the leading exporter of goods to Turkey, while Turkey imported $9.2 billion worth of goods from the Russian Federation in two months, with the Russian Federation’s share in the country’s total imports reaching 13.7 percent.
Experts and speakers at the Russian-Turkish business forum held on March 29-30 concluded that the trade volume between the countries could reach $100 billion in the near future. The article also quotes Western media as saying that Erdogan’s popularity has fallen due to the earthquake and economic crisis in Turkey.
Russians do not consider the opposition’s presidential candidate ‘unelectable’!…
A Roskomnadzor-registered political analysis published on the Moscow-based baltnews.com says that based on data from opinion polls conducted in Turkey, Turkey’s main opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has a good chance of winning and could win more than 49 percent of the vote, while only 42 percent of those surveyed would vote for Erdoğan and that Erdoğan has enough power to stay in power even if he actually loses the election.
This also applies to the manipulation of the results, it said, adding that the Turkish authorities’ declaration of a state of emergency in the earthquake zones would allow the government to intervene in the electoral process and manipulate the public.
For some reason, it is taken for granted in the Russian press that in the event of Kılıçdaroğlu’s victory, Russian-Turkish relations would develop much more productively than under Erdoğan. They point out the paradox of the Erdogan government providing arms to Ukraine on the one hand, while at the same time seeking to mediate by inviting the parties to the Ukrainian conflict to meet in Turkey for negotiations.
A Kılıçdaroğlu victory would reduce the risks to Turkish-Russian relations, while an opposition victory would make it more likely that Turkey would begin the dialogue with Syria that Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought for years.
The Russians want a ruler in Ankara who does not sell arms to Ukraine!
According to Russian commentators, this is the best scenario for Russia in the region. They even say that you often hear that Kılıçdaroğlu is a pro-Western candidate. But in modern Turkey there is no other way. Yes, he cooperates with Western partners, but that doesn’t mean he should cut ties with Russia. He will have to work both with Western partners and with other countries.
On the Ukraine issue, Kılıçdaroğlu is not likely to support Kiev with such fervor and will not supply arms to the Ukrainian army. Russian analysts argue that the companies producing arms in Turkey are close to Erdogan’s relatives and that Erdogan’s family makes money from it, but Kılıçdaroğlu has no such connections. According to Russian analysts, if Kılıçdaroğlu wins, military support for Ukraine will decrease. Russia will not lose here, so the opposition candidate does not pose a threat to Moscow.
In an analysis published on the website of Radio Liberty’s Tatar-Bashkir service ‘Idel.Realii’ in the Volga region, which broadcasts to the post-Soviet space, it is stated that if Erdoğan wins the election, relations between Russia and Turkey will improve positively and Turkey will continue to balance between the West and Russia.
The same analysis argues that if Kılıçdaroğlu wins, Turkey will turn its face towards the West and try to improve its relations with the EU, in which case relations with Russia may cease to be one of the priorities of Turkish foreign policy.
However, it is unlikely that the Turkish opposition would want to reduce Russian-Turkish relations to zero. After all, balancing between the West and Russia is a traditional practice for Ankara’s foreign policy, which has attached great importance to relations with Russia even during the Cold War. After all, Russia is in a sense a counterweight in Ankara’s relations with the West.
Relations between Turkey and Russia are highly asymmetric, as Turkey is very dependent on energy imports from Russia. “We will only emphasize the fact that Turkey is a NATO member and we will definitely seek a relationship between equals in our talks with Russia, but we will also remind Russia that Turkey is a NATO member,” ‘Idel.Realii’ quotes Kılıçdaroğlu as saying at the end of the analysis.
Czech media: CHP is anti-European and anti-Western!…
Lidové noviny, a daily newspaper in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, warns that the West should not have any illusions that it will be easier to deal with Turkey after Kılıçdaroğlu’s victory: “Kemal Kilicdaroglu is not as pro-Western as he seems at first glance. In these elections he is not only representing the Republican People’s Party, the party founded by Ataturk, but he also wants to attract other voters. That is why, among other things, he is using anti-Western and anti-European rhetoric – after all, the CHP is a very nationalist party. Kılıçdaroğlu is also taking a religious approach to politics. … On foreign policy issues, Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu have surprisingly similar views.
Newspaper of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation: HDP voters play key role…
“This is not only the end of his political life, but will have more serious consequences for him,” the Parliamentary Gazette, the official weekly of the Russian Federation’s Federal Assembly, writes, noting that for the first time Erdogan is on the brink of possible defeat.
It goes on to say that incumbent President Erdoğan’s confidence in the second round, where everything will be decided, depends on who the People’s Democratic Party voters will vote for. The HDP constitutes 10 to 12 percent of the electorate.
The Russians admit that they have never worked with the main opposition and that, unlike them, the Americans have a better dialog with the opposition. Notably, Kılıçdaroğlu has repeatedly said that he intends to establish normal relations with Russia and that no sanctions will be imposed.
However, they remind that Kılıçdaroğlu has also repeatedly stated that Turkey is and will remain a member of NATO, but he has also repeatedly called for the withdrawal of American bases, and that the Republican People’s Party, of which he is the leader, is a moderate nationalist party that defends the secular nature of the state.
this article has been translated from the Turkish original