Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who won a third term in office pledging to rewrite Turkey’s constitution and continue its economic growth, is gaining “more leverage” over his secular opponents, Kaan Nazli, director of emerging markets at Medley Global Advisors, said today in a telephone interview.
The governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has about 51 percent of the votes with 80 percent of ballots counted, preliminary results published by Cihan News Agency showed.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, is projected to get 25 percent of the vote, early results showed.
On constitutional change:
“The constitutional process will depend on whether the AKP manages to get some reconciliation with the opposition. The indications we’re getting show that the CHP, under new leadership, is more willing to have a discussion.”
On the economy:
“From the financial investors’ perspective, there’s a risk of the economy overheating and the most important thing for them is what the government will do to secure a soft landing to cool down the economy.”
The current account deficit is the main problem, it’s not really coming down mainly because of the oil prices, and everything happening in the region is going to drive up that trajectory.”
You still see demand pressure on the current account deficit, the only way to address that is to slow down the economic growth from 8 percent to a range of 4-5 percent.”
On Erdogan’s proposal to shift to a presidential system:
“Erdogan is so far a very effective and successful prime minister, but the whole idea of the presidential system is raising questions on whether he overstays his welcome, whether he wants to stay for too long.”
If there’s a referendum and the presidential system is being voted on, the opposition would make it all about Erdogan and he will look like he’s trying to get something done for himself, it’s a bit more personal, which will make it harder to pass.”
On AKP versus the secularists:
“It’s been a progressive process with the AKP getting more leverage against what’s considered the secularist establishment. One can say that both the high level of the judiciary and the military are under the influence and control of the government.”
You can say Erdogan has won the battle so far but long-term, sustainable reforms that make sure politicians are running the country and not the establishment are not there yet.”
Right now it looks like the military and the judiciary are quiet because they’re traumatized by the fact that they spoke out in 2007 and the public voted against them. There still aren’t enough institutional checks and balances to make sure that the military doesn’t take advantage of political instability to retain its past influence.”
-- Editors: Mark Bentley