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Monday, 26 March 2007

Presidential election: the candidates (part two)

Sometimes, to see if things are really changing, it helps to leave a marker behind you as you walk along. This is what I did last week when I produced a brief guide to the candidates, as speculated by the media at the time. How things can change in a week.

The biggest development is that Bülent Arınç, the parliament speaker, appears to have pulled out. Or so the press seem to think. He was on Italian television over the weekend, and when the interviewer began by asking whether he was addressing Turkey's future president, Mr Arınç said "no".

But it's not entirely a wrap: when the interviewer asked, "Not even theoretically?" Mr Arınç said that any MP could theoretically be a candidate, and "as parliament speaker my potential ratio might be a little higher". Nothing clearer there, then.

Elsewhere, the presidential campaign has its first officially declared candidate. Metin Uca, who until recently spent his days lecturing the ills of contestants on his TRT-1 gameshow, has thrown his hat into an otherwise empty ring. "I have had a positive response from parliament's liberal MPs. I have (the support of) 110 MPs, including some from the governing party," he told reporters last week. "I am serious and confident."

With just over two weeks to go until nominations open, here my revised list of official and potential candidates:

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, prime minister, AKP — was urged by today's Financial Times not to stand.

Bülent Arınç, parliament speaker, AKP — appeared to signal he would not stand, but who knows for certain?

Abdullah Gül, foriegn minister, AKP

Vecdi Gönül, defence minister, AKP

Beşir Atalay, state minister, AKP

Hikmet Çetin, former CHP leader and foreign minister — remains this blog's candidate.

Ertuğrul Yalçınbayır, MP for Bursa, AKP

Metin Uca, journalist and former gameshow host — declared last week, claims to have the support of 110 MPs.


Anonymous said...

I still want a woman (president) !..


Anonymous said...

this guy looks so gay...

Anonymous said...

Woman president? That's like saying "I want a donkey as a president just because it's different". I am sick and tired of fucking Kemalist dogma that once you propel (deservingly or otherwise) women in position of power, flowers will bloom, it will be paradise and it will be all be nice and fun.

Well that's just bunch of balooney. In a meritocracy, this is the absolute worst thing you can do. Noone should come to a position of power just because they are this and that. They have to be there becuase they are the best PERSON FOR THE JOB. All else, is drudgery and cosmetic.

Well, this type of modernism is what Kemalists know best I guess.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 1: Yes, I am quite gay, in the sense of Allegro (ma non troppo). I recommend you to try to educate yourself, in every sense, as your parents and schooling have not succeeded that. Later find the film Amarcord and try to understand...

To Anonymous 2: I want you as president, of course to your own country... (The second sentence for Anon. 1 is also valid for you.)

Best regards James, and sorry for these people...


James said...

Hi Amarcord,

It seems to me that the "gay" comment was referring to Metin Uca, not to yourself, although that doesn't exactly make it any more excuseable.

Regarding Kemalism - I was forwarded another one of those anti-Erdoğan Powerpoint presentations this morning, and for once I decided to open it and have a look.

It was basically a collection of quotations attributed to him - "Down with Atatürk", and the like - but I have to say that there were one or two there that made some sense. "Kemalism has become a religion in itself" was one. An interesting observation, perhaps one worth writing about in the weeks to come.