Ariel Cohen: Without young, charismatic leaders, Turkey’s secular parties are doomed
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 6
By Jamila Aliyeva - Trend:
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party is likely to win the parliamentary election in Turkey, because President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is more charismatic and more popular than the opposition leaders, Ariel Cohen, the leading expert of the US Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, principal of International Market Analysis, Ltd. said.
"AKP is likely to win the election, because the president is more charismatic and more popular than the old and tired leaders of CHP Mr. Kilicdaroglu and MHP, Mr. Bahceli, who are in their positions for many years, especially Mr. Bahceli," Cohen told Trend.
He said that without young and charismatic leaders, the secular parties of Turkey are doomed.
The growth of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party represents a challenge to AKP, said Cohen. It is projected to gain 10 percent of the vote, he added.
Provided AKP wins, President Erdogan will continue his policy of gradual Islamization, renouncing the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, squeezing secularism out of the Public Square, and futile attempts to gain leadership in the Middle East, according to Cohen.
"The Arabs who view Turkey and especially the Ottoman Empire, its colonial predecessor, as an undesirable hegemon, will never acquiesce to Ankara's leadership," said the expert.
Cohen believes that Turkey is also likely to develop friction with Iran because they support opposite sides in Syria and Iraq.
"Under Erdogan on presidency, Turkey will continue to be a difficult but vital part of the Middle Eastern and Eurasian balance of power," the expert added.
Turkey will hold parliamentary election June 7 with participation of 20 political parties. As many as 53,765,231 voters will participate in the voting.
The main competition in the parliamentary election is expected to be between the ruling Justice and Development Party and the Republican People's Party.
If the Peoples' Democratic Party overcomes the 10-percent threshold and goes into the parliament, the ruling party will have to form a coalition government.