Thus, due to the scale of the destruction, the Turkish leader declared a state of emergency in 10 southeastern provinces. In the current situation, the presidential elections scheduled for May are generally likely to be disrupted.
“There are about fifteen million people there. By law, elections cannot be canceled due to such cataclysms. This is only allowed under martial law. By special decrees, Erdogan can afford certain maneuvers, but society will not like them,” he said. son RIA News words of historian and political scientist Iqbal Durre.
In any case, according to experts, two opposing camps will clash in the upcoming elections – President Erdogan’s associates and opposition supporters.
In this context, the opposition forces will certainly try to use the natural disaster to turn against the current Turkish leader the consequences of the natural disaster, which threatens to aggravate the already considerable problems of the Turkish economy, as well as cause a social crisis and humanitarian crisis in the country.
In particular, the leader of the Good Party of Turkey, Meral Aksener, said that due to a natural disaster, the elections should be postponed from May 14 to June 26, as originally planned. In turn, the leader of the Republican People’s Party of Turkey (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, firmly stated that he would not allow Erdogan to cancel the vote and retain power under any circumstances.
Moreover, representatives of the opposition forces visit the affected regions with enviable regularity, as if competing with the president on the matter, and call for political changes, accusing the current authorities of corruption and inability to protect the population. In this regard, the aforementioned Kilichdaroglu wondered where the billions of liras of “seismic taxes” (the funds that the Turkish authorities collected after the 1999 disaster – note RG) had gone.
In reality, the competition is fierce. Thus, at the end of 2022, the mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu, who is one of the main opponents of President Erdogan, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for insulting members of the Central Election Commission (CEC), who overruled her victory in the 2019 elections. elections, then recognized her after the re-vote.
An additional argument for the opposition to gain extra points in the electoral race was the construction amnesties, which the Turkish government has been handing out periodically since the 1960s. Thus, according to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, approximately half of the buildings in Turkey were built with violations. At the same time, serious claims are made on elite buildings. In particular, as a result of the earthquake collapsed the 12-story residential complex “Renaissance” in the province of Hatay, where the cost of apartments ranged from 80 to 160 thousand dollars. In this context, on February 10, at Istanbul airport, the architect of the complex, Mehmet Yasar Coskun, was arrested with a large sum of money and a ticket to Montenegro.
In general, the death toll from earthquakes in Turkey and Syria is currently over 40,000 people, despite the fact that these are probably not the definitive figures. According to experts, the number of victims could reach 100,000.
The material damage of the earthquake, according to historian and political scientist Iqbal Durre, will be at least 50-60 billion US dollars. For their part, Bloomberg analysts estimate that the recovery will require 84 billion, or about 10% of Turkey’s GDP.
One way or another, it can be said that in addition to the severe destruction caused by a natural disaster, its political consequences are increasingly manifesting themselves. The pre-election struggle continues to escalate, and to win the next presidential race, it is fundamentally important for Erdogan to demonstrate his effectiveness and indispensability.
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