New prime minister by the grace of Erdoğan?

Following the resignation of Ahmet Davutoğlu, Binali Yıldırım is to become Turkey's new prime minister and leader of the AKP. The governing party nominated the former transport minister, who is considered a loyal Erdoğan supporter, on Thursday. Commentators say the president has further consolidated his autocratic rule.

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Erdoğan already sole ruler

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung outlines how the Turkish president has expanded his power step by step:

“After the Gezi Park protests and the corruption investigations that followed, Erdoğan began to pursue his critics relentlessly. Because the success of the pro-Kurd HDP party in June 2015 prevented the AKP from gaining an absolute majority in the parliament, Erdoğan played the nationalist card and allowed the conflict with the Kurds to escalate into a new war. Former head of government Ahmet Davutoğlu wasn't able to stop Erdoğan, but at least the politics professor tried to slow him down here and there. The naval architect Yildirim, who is now seen as 'Erdoğan's project manager', isn't likely to put any stumbling blocks in the president's way. … It may well be that Erdoğan has to take a detour and hold a referendum to legalise his omnipotence. But to all intents and purposes he is already ruling the country in the way he wants to.”

Yeni Şafak (TR) /

Yıldırım the best choice

The nomination of Binali Yıldırım as Davutoğlu's successor was a logical step, explains the pro-government daily Yeni Şafak:

“The way in which the former party leader and prime minister lost his office and Binali Yıldırım was chosen as his successor demonstrates the undisputed, unrivalled and consolidated power of President Tayyip Erdoğan. It is absolutely clear that all those who oppose Erdoğan or had the potential to do so have now been forced to leave the field and lack the instruments to conduct politics. It is also clear that under Erdoğan's leadership a new political operating system will be created step by step. … This latest decision was the most rational for the AKP in that it preserves the balance within the party. Binali Yıldırım's seniority, his closeness to the president and his compatible, pragmatic and progress-oriented approach made him the first choice.”

Sabah (TR) /

Davutoğlu made too many mistakes

Certain crucial mistakes made Davutoğlu's resignation inevitable, laments columnist Hilâl Kaplan in the pro-government daily Sabah:

“For instance in the run-up to the June elections apart from a few sentences Davutoğlu failed to defend the presidential system, claiming it was Erdoğan's private affair. … In the negotiations with the EU over Schengen visas he pursued the formula 'take the refugees and get visa-free travel', as if Erdoğan hadn't launched this whole process back in 2013. He failed to contradict controversial statements like European Parliament President Martin Schulz's comment that the EU's negotiating partner was not Erdoğan but Davutoğlu. … The international press's conclusion that Davutoğlu has lost the power struggle explains a lot. Since the president and the parliament are elected by the people it was necessary to reform the system, but Davutoğlu tried to fight for power.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Erdoğan just paranoid

Ahmet Davutoğlu swore unbending allegiance to the president, but for Erdoğan there is no room for independently-minded subordinates, Neue Zürcher Zeitung comments:

“In Erdoğan's mind it wouldn't be long before Davutoğlu - like so many of his former companions - turned out to be an enemy. The President is paranoid, observers say. Unable to distinguish between advice and deception. Nothing more than a wrongly stressed word from his subordinates must strike him as a sign of conspiracy. In truth the 'hoca', or teacher, as Davutoğlu's admirers call him, is one of Erdoğan's most loyal followers. ... Future developments in Turkey bode no better: three fervid party hacks and one of Erdoğan's sons-in-law are under discussion as successors. For now the president needn't worry about facing opposition from within his own party ranks.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Next prime minister will be invisible

If Erdoğan gets his way the next Turkish prime minister will remain invisible and simply work for the presidency, Der Standard suspects:

“In the past Turkish heads of government were brought down by generals with coups. Now this man has defeated the army and finally wants to rule alone. The presidential constitution Tayyip Erdoğan is pushing for would seem to be just an unimportant piece of legislation. The Turks - if they are willing to look - have now become witnesses of the power machine that the president can switch on for his own purposes. The cabinet obeys his commands and the party is his instrument of power even though the constitution stipulates that the president must be nonpartisan. … So the next Turkish head of government will be invisible.”

Pravda (SK) /

Uncertainty in Ankara bad news for Europe

The forced resignation of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is bad news for Europe, Pravda comments:

“Under normal circumstances a change in the Turkish governing party would hardly arouse any interest. If Turkey didn't now play such a vital role for the EU's immediate future, that is. The country is increasingly turning into an autocracy under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. What's more, Davutoğlu was decisive in the negotiations with the EU on solving the refugee crisis. The uncertainty over Turkey's future is causing uncertainty over the future of Europe. ... Davutoğlu is certainly no Western-style democrat. But whatever replaces him can only be worse. Erdoğan has already tried twice to achieve an election majority that would allow him to amend the constitution. There can be no doubt that he will try again.”

More opinions

The Guardian (GB) / 05 May 2016
  Erdoğan can now rule alone