The presidential elections were conducted o 10th August 2014. The elections were held to elect the 12th Turkish president (News, 2014). Whereby Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the incumbent prime minister emerged the winner with an absolute majority votes within the first round vote. Hence making unnecessary for the runoff scheduled on the 34th August. Categorically, the election took place under the reforms done on the 2007 constitutional referendum. The constitution had introduced a direct national vote instead of the prior used vote by the members of the parliament. Whereby approx. 55 million voted both in in turkey and diaspora (Online, 2018).
To be precise, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan campaign involved a lot pledge to the voters whereby he made grand promises unto them. He pledged to offer a new constitution presumably that would give executive powers to presidency hence to himself. Although, this had to wait since he never had the majority in parliament as needed to enforce the so considered charter. Whoever as a former prime minister relied over a decade on and after that wished to be the president over another decade would not enforce on a new constitution to rule uncontested.
Henceforth the constitution indicated that some legal experts had awarded given some adequate powers to do as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wished. He arguably said that the constitution does not limit the president’s actions. Indeed he wanted to be the main controller of everything, as he stated to the voters that the main difference is that the will acts accordingly hence remaining a partisan leader. He actually pledged to forge prior a number of some interesting developments such as destroying he Turkey’s state and the building of the third Istanbul airport.
As the Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey is entitled to do, this institutional declared that for the first round the election campaign was to be conducted from 11th July to 9th August. It’s during his campaign period that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan campaigned against other two candidates which were all centered on 2014 in, 2013 December government corruption scandal Gezi Park Protest, the PKK rebels peace protest and Israel Gaza conflict.
Additionally, it’s on 1 July 2014 that the incumbent prime minister announced his presidential candidacy in his speech that was 1 hour long. Although there was a lot of speculations that he could be the chosen candidate for APP, this was confirmed on that day as the log was also unveiled. The log brought about criticism in remembrance of the campaign logo used by Obama on 2008 elections and even the Holiday place logo. The logo was also claimed to have some features related to Arabic as the print was said to be Prophet Muhammad’s name, therefore, enlarged accusations over political and religious conflicts over the campaign. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slogan stated that Milli İrade, Milli Güç, Hedef 2023 (National determination, National Power, Objective 2023). Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (campaign had a slogan Yeni Türkiye Yolunda Demokrasi, Refah, İtibar) “Equality, Fortune and Reputation on the Path to a New-fangled Turkey.”
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan campaign was dominated of electoral rallies, whereby during the start of Samsun around 5 July and the heading to Mimicking Mustafa Kemal, Ezrum Ataturk way which was the first route during the Turkish independence war. Ideally, his speeches in all the rallies were subjected to the achievements he had made as the prime minister (Akkuş, 2018). He also attacked both the opposition and the Fethullah Gülen the Hizmet movement leader who lived in Pennsylvania. In a rally he held at Hatary, on 21 July, Erdoğan speech blamed Israel on following Hitler footsteps ad blamed Gulen because did not speak out on presentably if Gaza’s Palestinians. On another rally at Kahramanmaraş on 1st August, he argued that in the opposition had full support to the CHP on the experienced Gaza crisis.
In one of his rallies, in a car, Recep Erdoğan, his rival attacked him because he was purportedly mistaken the Independence March a national anthem of Turkey, for the composed poem regarding the Çanakkale fallen soldiers at the Gallipoli Campaign. During the rally he led on 1st August at Kahramanmaraş he showed Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu video clip misleading the March independence.
However, in addition to the rallies he held, the AKP activist also engaged in a door to door campaign operation in look for support as he distributed clothing, food and other necessities for the families. His campaigns had planned iftar tents during the Ramdhan period and delivered women’s scarves and toys during the campaign rallies. His initiatives also made the government to starts massive distributing of free coal from 15 July 2015 to families living in Izmir. During the end of campaign period (9th August) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared that he had received donations approx. 1,350,796 which added up to ₺55,260,798 i.e. approx. US$25,560,037. However, this was seen to be a huge margin of donation in comparison to other two candidates hence resulted in the fraud allegations on malpractices as the opposition stated (Akkuş, 2018).
Generally, Political wise, Recep Erdoğan was an ideal man who utilized opportunistic tactical claim to his opponents hence winning the voters. As incumbent the used the mobilizations by using the powers and resources he had to win the voters. From his methodologies, one can be able to recognize the technical support that he took advantage of the citizens at Izmir. He gave out help in food and other necessities in expectation in return regarding votes. Also as a sitting prime minster, he had access to donations contributed by both national and international organization and individuals with an expecting of interconnecting them with governmental affairs. Therefore Recep Erdoğan campaign shows an energetic move that was strategized to outdo the other two with massive differences over the type of offers he gave on the rallies plus the incitements he made. His motives engaged on the basic level that the common man would understand hence creating a sympathetic platform of votes as the voters widely relied on what Recep Erdoğan as the fact thus considering him as their only rescuer. More so he said to make differences as newly elected president hence the citizens could see a closer president unto them.
Akkuş, A. (2018). Erdogan’s Presidential Campaign Bears a Logo. [online] HuffPost. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/alparslan-akku/erdogans-presidential-cam_b_5567633.html [Accessed 22 Mar. 2018].
News, W. (2014). Turkey sets Aug 10 for presidential election: source. [online] U.S. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-election/turkey-sets-aug-10-for-presidential-election-source-idUSBREA2610R20140307 [Accessed 22 Mar. 2018].
Online, M. (2018). Turkish presidential election, 2014 ▪ The complete information and online sale with free shipping. [online] Maria-Online.com. Available at: http://www.maria-online.com/books/article.php?lg=en&q=Turkish_presidential_election,_2014 [Accessed 22 Mar. 2018].