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Türkiye. Analysts on Tayyip Erdogan’s election campaign. “It is based on fighters, tanks and warships”

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched his re-election campaign on Tuesday after pledging to lower inflation and boost economic growth. According to experts, one of the main elements of Erdogan’s electoral bid is the arms industry. Experts noted, however, that this strategy appeals most to nationalists and religious voters who already support Erdogan.

The arms industry is a key element of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s election bid. He promises voters Turkeywhich “will play hard in the new era of great powers,” said Brookings Institute analyst Asli Aydintasbas in an article published on the Breaking Defense portal “President Erdogan’s campaign is based on fighter jets, drones, tanks and warships.”

“Analysts emphasize that President Erdogan’s display of shiny toys – such as an aircraft carrier handed over to the Navy on Monday – may appeal to voters whose support is strongly sought by the president, for whom the May elections will be a test of unprecedented difficulty,” the article noted.

“We will present more and more weapons, especially in view of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic,” a representative of President Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) told the portal.

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Erdogan invests in the arms industry

The politician admitted that the products of the Turkish arms industry are part of the election strategy of the party, which wants to emphasize the merits of the current president.

Over the past month, Erdogan’s government has publicly pushed many projects that once seemed impossible. The fifth-generation TFX multi-role fighter successfully completed its first test, as did the TAI Hurjet light combat trainer. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), a government-owned company, has released the first image of the Anka-3, a stealth drone.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an official candidate in the May presidential electionSEDAT SUNA/PAP/EPA

The Baykar company – run by Erdogan’s son-in-law Selcuk Bayraktar – has announced the completion of mid-altitude flight tests of the Kizilema unmanned fighter. Erdogan will also officially accept Turkey’s first Altay tank at the end of April, the mass production of which is planned for 2025.

By using the arms industry to raise Turkey’s profile in the international arena, Erdogan wants to show voters that “Turkey can be great again,” Aydintasbas said.

Under President Erdogan, the state has significantly reduced its dependence on foreign arms suppliers. Ismail Demir, director of the agency responsible for the purchase of military equipment, estimated that the domestic industry can meet 80 percent of the demand. the country’s needs. He added that last year, arms exports reached the value of four billion dollars.

Experts: Erdogan’s strategy will only go to his supporters

Mehmet Ali Kulat, CEO of MAK Consultancy, a polling company, pointed out that the government has managed to create a vision among voters that Turkey is a regional power with a strong defense industry.

“The weapons and planes that Erdogan is releasing a few days before the elections obviously have a huge impact thanks to the belief that Turkey is under constant attack,” he said. He added that because of the war in Syriain Ukraine and the presence of millions of refugees in Turkey, voters are constantly thinking about their future and security.

Experts noted, however, that this strategy could increase the current president’s electoral base by up to two percent of voters, and the campaign focused on the issue of armaments mostly appeals to nationalists and religious voters who already support Erdogan.

– For many, the situation is that they have great weapons in Turkey, but zero chance of getting a visa to travel to Europe. And the young people know how their peers in the West live – noted Aydintasbas.

Main photo source: SEDAT SUNA/PAP/EPA

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