Turkey: opposition unites against Erdoğan

In Turkey, six opposition parties formed an alliance aimed at removing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from power on Saturday. The goal is to end the presidential system he introduced and strengthen the role of the parliament, the party leaders declared, blaming Erdoğan's "one-man rule" for the severe crisis in Turkey. European media discuss the alliance's prospects.

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Yetkin Report (TR) /

A key move

The path these six parties have taken is a rocky one, but commendable, comments Yetkin Report:

“Will they succeed? Even if they win the elections and beat Erdoğan, can they get at least 360 seats in parliament to try to change the constitution? Will possible conflicts between them cause strife? These are all legitimate questions. ... All in all, the 12 Feb 2022 meeting has become an key example for how the opposition in Turkey can come together to stand up for pluralist democracy and the rule of law, regardless of the outcome.”

Falter (AT) /

A battle cry with weaknesses

The six-party alliance could be successful but it also has obvious weaknesses, Falter writes:

“Never before has the opposition been so confident that it could defeat [Erdoğan] and steer Turkey back onto the path of parliamentary democracy. This represents a profound mood swing against Erdoğan. ... The weakness of the opposition - an alliance of six parties - is that ideologically it spans the left to right-wing nationalism. The only thing that keeps it together is the goal of ending Erdoğan's autocratic presidency and making Turkey a parliamentary democracy once more. Its first test will be to agree on a joint top candidate.”

Karar (TR) /

The government stands to benefit

This meeting has finally woken up the AKP, Karar comments:

“This may seem strange, but for now this is good for the government. No, it is not a threat. Yes, it is an alternative. Yes, there is the will to replace the government, but the knowledge that this will exists will make the government pull itself together. It will rouse a government that for lack of alternatives has grown used to running the country for 20 years and has already gotten carried away by the notion that it can do as it pleases, and force it to look for solutions. ... The signs of this are already visible.”

Sabah (TR) /

Democracy not possible with a six-party coalition

What the opposition really wants is to reinstall a puppet government, the pro-government daily Sabah comments:

“The alliance between these parties has nothing to do with concern about democracy. Their only concern is to change and destroy the existing presidential system, which itself destroyed the former system of tutelage [the former parliamentary system], and establish in its place a government which the ostensible guardians in Turkey and abroad can easily manipulate. ... Is it possible to lead Turkey with a coalition of six plus one or perhaps even more parties at a time when everything is upside down at the global level? Even these parties know that is impossible.”