Ankara-Washington relations to remain tense: Turkish expert

EHRAN, Jun. 30 (MNA) – Referring to reasons for reelection of Erdoğan, Turkish political analyst Semih Idiz says Turkey’s domestic, regional policies and tensions with the US will have almost no changes.

On Sunday June 24th, Turkey's long-standing leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a new five-year term as president.

Mr. Erdogan got nearly 53% with almost all votes counted. His closest rival Muharrem Ince was on 31%.

To know more about the reasons for Erdogan’s success and possible changes to his domestic and regional policies we reached out to Turkish Political analyst Semih Idiz.

Here is the full text of Mehr News interview with him:

What are the main reasons for reelection of Erdogan and success of AKP?

The conditions were arranged so that the playing field favored him in these elections. He had more airtime on television, more coverage in the press and could use the advantages of the emergency rule in force since the failed coup attempt in 2016. Despite that though the results still showed that he continues to have the support of the conservative religious as well as the nationalist classes. His hard-line position on the PKK in Iraq and YPG in Syria also worked to his advantage. There were also those who like his strong leadership and fear that if he was to go Turkey would enter into a new period of instability. So you could say his victory was the result of a number of factors.

Will we see any changes in Ankara’s policy in Syria and Iraq?

As far as Ankara's regional policies are concerned I think we will see continuity in this regard. In other words it will be much the same. There is no indication that he is prepared to change his position on the various issues relating to the region that he has maintained for a number of years now. I also think his regional policies will continue to be driven by sectarian considerations although Ankara vehemently denies this. In the meantime his ties with regional powers will not be as good as he would want, mainly because regional Arab powers are and Iran are not too happy about his interference in the Middle East, whatever his popularity may be with the poorer elements of Middle Eastern society.

Will there be any breakthrough in the Kurdish issue in Turkey?

The Kurdish issue will continue to be one of his main headaches, especially now that he has to work together with the ultra-nationalist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). He will continue his onslaught against the PKK and the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), but he will try to present this as a policy which aims to fight terrorism, and which is not against the Kurdish people. The elections showed, however, that this argument is not convincing for the Kurds.

Recently we see improvement of relation between Ankara and Washington especially over Minbij. Will it affect the Ankara and Tehran relation in President Erdogan’s new term?

Relations between Ankara and Washington will remain tense, despite the progress which is reportedly being made over Manbij. There are too many unresolved issues between the countries at the moment for ties to improve rapidly. The two countries will nevertheless continue to cooperate on strategic issues of mutual interest, as has been the case to date.

Interview by Payman Yazdani

News Code 135219

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