(Hurriyet.com.tr) - There are still 11 months in front of us. But still, Turkey's atmosphere has already become tense over the upcoming presidential elections. Everyone, including noteably the financial market, is curious about who it will be. More to the point, everyone is wondering whether someone who has a wife that wears a "turban" will move into the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Even if no one states it that way, that is the real question.
Yesterday, on the way to an EU meeting in Strasbourg, a few more steps towards filling in the "robot sketched portrait" of the next possible president were taken, reports Trend.
It has been exactly one year.....
One year ago, on the way to a Sun Valley meeting in the US, Erdogan gave off the first signals about the next president of the Turkish Republic, saying:
"Don't worry; we will come up with a candidate who will make the people of Turkey comfortable."
Yesterday on the plane to Austria, I reminded Prime Minister Erdogan of his words from a year ago. I asked him whether or not he would go further in clarifying them. Erdogan, who has often responded to this sort of question with tense statements in the past, this time gave a more relaxed response. He gave some details about his imagined presidential profile:
"First and foremost, he must be a person who can address and embrace everyone."
"The office of president should be one in which whomever is elected 'takes off their uniform.'"
We ask him to explain what he means by "uniform" comment:
He says "When I say 'uniform,' I am not talking about the uniform we wear under our shirts," and then he points at his head, continuing: "The real uniform is the one people have in their heads."
Here is how I interpret these words:
The Prime Minister is indicating that he believes that whoever goes to Cankaya shoudl be detached from his or her personal political beliefs.
Of course, as I said, that is only my interpretation.
Moving on to the subject of how the next presidential candidate will be picked:
The Prime Minister is giving signs that the picking of the next candidate will involve a widespread consulting mechanism. He says "I will speak with civil organizations. I will get their views." But which civil organizations I wonder? The Prime Minister also says that he will be "looking at public polls." Although when he says that, I can't help recalling that the last public poll indicated the public most wanted Ahmet Necdet Sezer as president. And right after him came Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
So, seeing as though Sezer cannot be elected again, I wonder if the number two candidate is the one in his mind?
The comment he makes next is a question which is also an answer, an answer that everyone has been waiting for:
"Why shouldn't the candidate be someone other than myself?"
Of course, this is a question which is open to all sorts of answers.
He is neither excluding himself, nor limiting it soley to himself.