ISTANBUL BLOG: Erdogan returns to emergency rule

ISTANBUL BLOG: Erdogan returns to emergency rule
An Erdogan “Holy cause, strong Turkey” billboard amid quake-hit collapsed buildings and freezing weather. / @DinerGke
By Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 9, 2023

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has confirmed emergency rule now prevails over the southeastern region of the country devastated by February 6’s twin earthquakes.

The state of emergency was outlined in the Official Gazette in a statement published on February 8.

Previously, Erdogan declared a nationwide state of emergency following the failed coup attempt in July 2016. Emergency rule remained in place for two years. It was subject to seven approved three-month renewals.

Story pic: An Erdogan “Holy cause, strong Turkey” billboard still sitting tall in the saddle amid quake-hit collapsed buildings and freezing weather (Photo credit: @DinerGke).

During the two-year emergency rule, Erdogan held a constitutional referendum in 2017 to introduce the “Turkish-type presidential system” that granted him an executive presidency and defanged parliament. In 2018, he held the elections that gave him the five-year term as president due to end in the coming months.

The impending presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey are meant to be held by June at the latest. There are indications that the Erdogan regime might use the earthquake aftermath as an excuse to postpone the polls, but, when the elections go ahead, the emergency rule declared over a limited area—namely, the 10 provinces hit by the earthquakes—could be used by Erdogan as leverage to introduce countrywide tactics to his electoral advantage.

Let’s be clear, Erdogan has already lost the elections. It is, though, not possible to explain this to the media crowd. Things are not as plain as “according to latest opinion polling, Erdogan is attracing 38.098% of votes”. The complexity of Turkey’s situation is not captured by throwaway stories rushed out to fill pages or drive up clicks.

Those conspiring for Erdogan have no chance of changing voting slips that enter ballot boxes, but they do have a chance of changing the slips that come out of the ballot boxes. And that has occurred in the last two polls (the previous polls during Erdogan’s two decades in power were also problematic, but it is the last two that Erdogan watchers are convinced were fake victories. “Erdogan wins all elections” is a fallacy spread by parasites who’ve benefitted from his terms in office).

Erdogan has spent many months adjusting his foreign policy to declare what his staunch critics are sure will be another fake victory as foreign recognition is vital in this business. It would be a good challenge to explain to the enslaved masses, who think that they’re governing their countries with their votes, that sheikhs in the Gulf region do not hold elections and that John F. Kennedy won an election.

You can also try to explain to the media crowd that Turkey’s delaying of approval for Sweden to join Nato (you can expect the approval to come through after the elections) is not an issue. It’s simply more theatre put together to fool the slaves.

The masses may be sure that Erdogan is creating some genuine problems for Nato, but a call from Joe Biden during the early hours following election day, while the votes are still being counted to celebrate Erdogan’s victory, will not catch their attention.

Erdogan in the past two days has been holding some press calls in the earthquake region. It took him nearly three days to make it to the region following the disaster.

He’s called for “patience” and he’s threatened his critics. His limousine gridlocks the traffic. Traffic jams have been one of the main problems in the post-earthquake period.

Tweet translation: "The road to the city of Antakya in Hatay province. Ambulances and aid vehicles wait for Erdogan’s convoy to pass" (@aydinsule1).