The Financial Times and its columnist Tony Barber make an extensive reference to an article by Ambassador (ad. hon) Ioannis Alexios Zepos on the Turkish elections and the possibility of Erdogan’s re-election. Barber writes: “But there are dissenters, such as Ioannis Alexios Zepos, a distinguished Greek former ambassador. In this article for the Athens Voice, Zepos suggests that the terrible earthquake that struck Turkey in February served to ease tensions between Ankara and Athens by reminding each side of their shared humanitarian concerns. He adds: “I dare to say that possibly the re-election of President Erdoğan and a Turkish AKP government friendly to him will create a more favourable climate and relative flexibility on the Turkish side, as opposed to a total change in the neighbour that will bring to power a new and ambitious president and a multi-party leadership that will possibly want [to] prove at every step how decisive it is in managing the various serious issues . . . ” Consequences of an opposition victory Zepos is not alone in questioning whether an opposition victory would really transform Turkish policies. On the plus side, there would surely be a more democratic spirit in domestic politics — but I wonder if, once in office, Kılıçdaroğlu would actually carry out his promise to dismantle the executive presidency set up by Erdoğan and return Turkey to a more parliamentary system. After all, he would need all the power he can muster to overcome resistance from AKP leftovers in the government machinery. A new president might also embrace more rational economic policies, abandoning the idiosyncratic initiatives of Erdoğan that have driven up inflation and squeezed businesses and consumers.”
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