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Turkish Presidential Politics
Two-Faced Press Demeanor
Obsequious Erdoğan
for the foreign press corps,
fearsome Erdoğan
for the Turkish Press... as shown
in this Turkish political cartoon
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan -- his different media faces, for foreign and domestic press corps
Famous Türk Picture Series
In Turkey - Türkiye'de
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The next Turkish President... An Islamic fundamentalist? An anti-secularist? Or, both?
Caught Between Two Bad Choices --
The Turkish Presidential Selection
#1 of 2

Which is the lesser of two evils?
Which is the lesser of two evils?
In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Tüm politika kitabı fırsatları için tıklayın !

Which is the lesser of two evils?

In the Turkish Daily News the other day, we came across secular-writer Oktay Eksi's opinion column, entitled 'One of two choices' -- and as we read it through we were struck by his pessimistic resignation concerning the religious-right Başbakan (Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in this important Turkish election year.

Eksi's article explored the idea that, "It's easy to choose between right and wrong. But what about choosing between bad and worse, the lesser of two evils?"

A new Turkish Cumhurbaşkanı (President) will be selected (for a single 7 year term) by the Turkish TBMM (Parliament) in May 2007 [Ed. Note: The selection didn't take place. Events forced the AKP to early national elections.] -- and, because the Erdoğan-led AKP Party controls the majority vote in Parliament, Erdoğan is a shoo-in, according Eksi. To become Turkey's new President, then, Erdoğan needs only to publicly announce his candidacy for the post (something he has coquettishly resisted, so far).

This grieves Eksi who reckons that, no matter how much Erdoğan may try to camouflage the truth, he (Erdoğan) opposes the secular and democratic principles of the Turkish Republic -- favoring instead a philosophy (and a form of government) closer to Islamic Shariah.

Eksi yearns for a Turkish President, like the current Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who believes in Ataturk's democratic vision of the Republic. But Sezer is not eligible for a second term.

And, in Eksi's opinion, that leaves Turkey with only two 'choices'...

1. Erdoğan becomes President -- a lesser evil?

In this scenario, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would be selected by the AKP-controlled Parliament to take up residence in the Turkish White House (the Kösk in Çankaya). His First-Lady, Emine Erdoğan, would thus become the first woman in history to publicly wear the religiously-symbolic Türban on the grounds of the Turkish Republic's state residence -- long believed to be a secular safe-house. And she would no doubt be followed by thousands of invited türbanlı friends and supporters. Note: This first scenario assumes that no extraordinary circumstances arise, such as a Turkish military intervention -- for the purpose of protecting the secular Turkish State.

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Tüm kitap fırsatları için tıklayın !

2. Erdoğan continues as PM for 5 more years -- a greater evil?

According to Eksi, the only remaining (feasible) scenario sees Erdoğan eschewing the Presidency in favor of 5 more years as Prime Minister (assuming his ability to lead the AKP to another plurality-victory in the upcoming November 2007 National Elections -- which poll-takers say is assured).

In Part 2: Would 5 more years of Erdoğan as Prime Minister be better/worse for Turkey, than 7 years of Erdoğan as President?

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