“Turkey immortalized” Recep Tayyip Erdogan, title El Mundo. “Once again Erdogan”seems to be sorry The Standard. “The Unbeatable” (Die Welt) actually won the second round of the presidential election on Sunday. “Invincible” (The weather), “eternal” (The evening), he’s staying “the boss” (Berlingske) but the victory of “oldest leader in Turkish political history” (La Repubblica), in power even longer than Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of Turkey, is “certainly not a plebiscite”insists Il Sole 24 ora. Elected in the second round with 52.1% of the vote against his rival Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, he is at the head of a “deeply divided and polarized country”summarizes the BBC.
“Neither the economic crisis, nor a catastrophic earthquake, nor the opposition’s ultranationalist electoral campaign could change the attitude of the majority”observe in any case Berlingske. Perhaps because, as the BBCthere is a strong bond between the president and his supporters, who see him as “a member of the family, almost a father figure”.
This link, “and the support he still enjoys among the population”polls, “like many Western observers”, underestimated him, analysis Die Welt. The Greek daily Your Nea stresses indeed that Mr Erdogan “victorious fate alone against all”, demonstrating “to the West that what he got by asking the Turkish people to dethrone him was to strengthen him”. In rural and poorer parts of the country, he is still seen, twenty years after coming to power, “like some sort of hero”estimated Journal de Noticias in Portugal.
The Turkish president also remains the preferred candidate of his fellow citizens abroad. There Suddeutsche Zeitung notes that he collected 67% of the votes of the electorate in Germany, specifying that his supporters celebrated the result of the elections “with motorcades, for example in Duisburg and Munich”. Picture notes that Mezut Özil, world champion with Germany in 2014 and “avowed supporter”, publicly congratulated him. The tabloid, however, points “authoritarian politics, restriction of press freedom, persecution of political opponents, hate speech against Western values, Islamo-nationalist propaganda” in Türkiye now.
Among the first remarks made by the re-elected president in front of thousands of supporters gathered in front of the presidential palace in Ankara, the Corriere della Sera held back a new attack on the LGBTQ community.
His popularity is not enough to explain his narrow victory. He has “surfed the nationalist wave”estimated The weather. Whether “the Raïs has confirmed its hold on its people: the Islamo-conservative masses of central Anatolia”, can we read in La Repubblica, “in 20 years, Erdogan has taken over the media and institutions, the religious and cultural industry, from mosques to soap operas, and silenced uncomfortable opponents. But beyond his immense power, there is his political flair. The Raïs offered the Turks the promise of a return to a great Muslim nation”. We also saw him distribute money to children near polling stations on Sunday, but above all various subsidies in the months preceding the election.
“Since his political rise, Erdogan has lived off his image as a representative of the poor, and nothing has changed to date. Its decisive advantage: the AKP (the party of justice and development) has penetrated so far into the state structures that in many places there is no longer any difference between the party and the administration”explain Die Press.
At 69, what may be his last term will also be “the one that will allow him to consolidate the presidential system, to maintain the almost absolute control that his close entourage maintains over the country’s society and economy”announcement Espresso. For the Portuguese daily, like other major titles in the European press, the Head of State reigns over“a completely ideologically fractured Turkey, divided in two, with tensions between Kurds and Turks, Muslims and secularists, Sunnis and Alevi, liberals and conservatives”.
Municipal elections in sight
SO The Standard to complain : “it is to be hoped – because it would be reasonable – that Erdogan will take into account the weakness that has manifested itself in his future policy […] But his campaign, with its loathsome rhetoric, outrageous use of fake news and unbridled misuse of state resources for one party and one person, gives little cause for optimism.”
Finally, “confidence and fear prevailed at the photo finish in the face of the desire for change assumed by the challenger”developed La Stampa. “Because the perception that no one better than him can solve problems has remained strong in the majority of the population”.
This is what suggests Die Welt by writing that “Erdogan’s strength also comes from the weakness of the opposition”. Besides, the BBC consider that“in reality, even Kemal Kiliçdaroglu’s allies didn’t think he would make it”. At the head of a coalition of six parties, the veteran of Turkish politics “tried the impossible”finds The weather : “seduce” the nationalists without angering his supporters on the left.
“The challenger played with their hands tied, with few resources and poor visibility. He had bet on inclusiveness and the defense of democracy, then he tried the nationalist card to win votes on the right – even if it meant alienating Kurdish votes”adds La Repubblica. He attacked the Syrian refugees in between the two towers but “there was no miracle”signals The weather.
“The defeat has already caused cracks in this party alliance. Its six leaders had planned to appear together, but ultimately preferred to do so separately”reports El País. The career of Mr. Kiliçdaroglu “will definitely stop here”, predicted Espresso while wondering “if the opposition can maintain” without him its unity and “win the municipal elections early next year”.
Mr. Erdogan is thinking precisely of these elections, says Die Weltquoting a passage from his speech on Sunday evening. “Are we ready to win Istanbul? ”, he asked the crowd. The big Turkish city, where he made a name for himself as mayor, went into opposition in 2019.
But above all, “when the cheers of victory die down, Erdogan will have to try to unite a divided people”recalls the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, particularly attentive to the actions of the Turkish leader since he can decide on Sweden’s entry into NATO. THE Guardian notes that the Kurdish community is larger there than in neighboring Finland, a country already accepted by the organization.
There are also questions about Syrian refugees and Turkey’s role in the conflict in Ukraine, the country having mediated last year to guarantee the transport of wheat to the region. “Berlin and Brussels have to adjust to another five years with a difficult partner”warns Die Welteven if the Telegram ensures for its part that “Europe breathed a sigh of relief” learning of Erdogan’s re-election. According to the British pro-Brexit daily, “they won’t admit it but the continent’s leaders prefer Turkey to keep its distance from the European Union”. THE Guardianmore measured, evokes a “West stuck between fear and hope”.