A former professor of mine asked me my opinion about an opinion piece at Washington Post. This helped to think about the Imamoğlu case. The trial is a political one and in the long run, those who are responsible will be ashamed of this sentencing. However, I do not share the logic that this will help Imamoğlu like it helped Erdoğan before.
Throughout my dissertation writing and afterward, I followed the author of that opinion piece and I find her one of the worst analysts in politics (!) She has good connections and she is beloved in international circles but she continuously makes wrong guesses. Apart from bashing the author,
the author represents a common point among the opposition circles in Turkey and (to some extent others in the West who has sympathy for İmamoğlu). That this will help İmamoğlu’s rise as this situation is similar to what happened to Erdoğan before. However, times changed and Erdoğan has very strong bureaucratic control. In the short run, İmamoğlu may be out of the race for sure.
If there is no other candidate I would definitely support İmamoğlu as the candidate of the opposition. However, the personal similarities between these two politicians are just too much. For legal reasons, I will now state any humourous comparisons here. There are in fact other opposition candidates but the Imamoğlu lobby is just too vocal. Understandably, as the most powerful candidate, his elimination would help Erdoğan. But who knows exactly if he is the most powerful candidate? There are not many reliable opinion polls or sociological surveys. What we know some in the opposition and in the West support Imamoğlu more than others.
In fact, Imamoğlu case may backfire in another way: Since imamoğlu is gone there will be no opposition to Kılıcdaroglu candidacy- Kilicdaroglu is the head of CHP-. Many in the opposition find Kilicdaroglu not a shiny candidate but I find this important. He is a low-profile figure who promises to switch back to a parliamentary system. He has proven to be a more tolerant and wise administrator who expelled many ultranationalists from the party. The real hesitation against him might be the fact that he has Alevite and Kurdish origins. Few explicitly state this but I believe that’s why they oppose him. If Imamoglu is gone, Kılıçdaroğlu will get the full support of – out of necessity- his own party and the opposition in general, and this may trigger a new period. Well, we will see, I don’t claim to be a better analyst but I have my own observations (!)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony to mark an increase in capacity at a natural gas storage facility in Silivri near Istanbul .
Annual inflation is around its highest level in decades, devaluing salaries and devouring savings less than a year before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan runs for re-election.