9 Kasım 2012 Cuma

Obama For RPP, Erdoğan For Republicans

Our new contributor in UPA, Brett Marler, on 6 November 2012 wrote an excellent humorous piece[1] about how American President Barack Obama would have won a landslide victory against Mitt Romney if we had had the chance to select the US President with the votes of Turkish people. Let us consider the other side: Would American Republicans, who lost the last two elections against “socialist” (!) Barack Obama, have higher chances if they choose Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as their presidential candidate or would President Obama have a chance against Turkey’s undefeated Islamist-originated conservative politician Erdoğan as the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, Republican People’s Party (RPP)?

Turkey’s premier Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been showing a great performance of bringing conservative moral and political issues into his political agenda even at the expense of creating a huge polarization of the country. Erdoğan yesterday talking to the press stated that the abolishment of the death penalty was a controversial issue and we might think of the re-adoption of capital punishment, since European criminal codes allow even psychopaths like Anders Behring Breivik just to have 21 years of imprisonment as punishment.[2] Capital punishment is point of classic division between Republicans and Democrats in the US and Erdoğan seems to perform and use these issues much better than Republican presidential candidates.

Erdoğan, probably thanks to his advisors, is one of the most Americanized leaders in Turkish political history in terms of choosing topics. Erdoğan -even during the highest tensions of PKK terrorism- was successful in making the issue of abortion the primary political discussion in the country in the recent past. Addressing a conference in Istanbul in November, Erdoğan stated that no one should have the right to approve abortions and added, “Whether you kill a baby in its mother’s stomach or you kill a baby after birth, there is no difference”.[3] Erdoğan also noted that “every abortion is like an Uludere”, an interesting reference to the incident in December of last year in which 34 civilians were killed by the Turkish military in an air strike near the Iraqi border in the Kurdish-dominated southeast. Erdoğan’s insistence on morality and his plan (fantasy) of raising “pious generations”[4] in addition to his close relationship between Islamic communities and orders, similar to Mitt Romney, who was looked upon suspiciously for being a Mormon, seem to me to be indicators that he would have been an excellent choice for the Republican Party candidate for the American presidency.

Erdoğan would be an excellent candidate for the Republican Party if he converts to Christianity, but the problem is that the US, despite of all its economic, political and social problems has a stable democracy, whereas in Turkey the situation of the lack of an alternative to Erdoğan makes the system more authoritarian day by day. So, Republicans can transfer Erdoğan from us to their own party, but we want to have Obama for the Republican People’s Party’s leadership position in exchange. It’s a good trade: Obama for RPP, Erdoğan for the Republicans.


[1] Marler, Brett, “2014: Obama vs. Erdogan”, Uluslararası Politika Akademisi, http://politikaakademisi.org/?p=3198.
[2] “Erdoğan’dan İdam Sopası”, Gerçek Gündem, http://www.gercekgundem.com/?p=502192.
[3] “Debates intensify over Erdoğan’s controversial remarks”, Today’s Zaman, http://www.todayszaman.com/news-281864-debates-intensify-over-erdogans-controversial-abortion-remarks.html.
[4] “Not state’s job to raise people according to religion”, Today’s Zaman, http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=271162

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