Erdogan Report: Not only ‘loss of votes’, but also ‘loss of blood and soul’

The causes of her heavy defeat in the municipalities of last Sunday (31.03.2024), met yesterday Tuesday (02.04.2024) Tuesday the central executive committee of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) under the Address to its members Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan listed the causes of defeat in the elections, according to him. In aversion to his word he admitted that “there was not only a loss of votes, but also a loss of blood and soul.” He spoke about “sickness of arrogance” to party officials, admitted that rising life costs and inflation cause discontent, that the government failed to ease pensioners’ protests over their weak incomes and that even on the Gaza Strip issue he did not convince and was attacked. “We cannot and will not allow anyone, whoever they are, to waste and waste 22 years of experience, 22 years of tough struggle,” was President Erdogan’s conclusion to the meeting in a heavy climate. After his speech, the Turkish president visited Ankara’s cafeteria, where he spoke with civilians. In his speech to the AKP’s central executive committee, the president referred to the post-election image: he reminded that the AKP percentage was reduced from 44.3% to 35.5% and the Popular Alliance percentage from 51.6% to 40.5%. He attributed the loss of votes mainly to the fact that you electing the AKP in the presidential and parliamentary elections 10 months ago did not attend the polls this time. As he pointed out, the turnout in the 2024 election declined by 6 percentage points compared to the 2019 election and argued that the large majority of the reduction corresponds to AKP voters. Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed both local organisations and the party’s central leadership, as well as candidates, stressing that these issues, including the selection process, need to be discussed thoroughly and that the necessary measures will be taken. Counting factors that caused the voters’ dissatisfaction, President Erdogan reported as the first cause the increase in living costs and inflation pressure, which began with the pandemic and escalated further with the Russia-Ukraine war. He said that pensioners were the social layer that suffered the greatest loss of welfare due to high inflation. “We were already seeing the complaints of our pensioners during our visits to the district. We tried to mitigate this pressure with a one-off payment of £5,000, pensions increases of up to 50% and other measures, without disrupting the implementation of the budget, but we did not succeed,” he admitted. Referring to the government’s stance in the Israeli war/ Hamas in the Gaza Strip and complaints heard by the opposition, but also Islamist circles that are an AKP voter tank, that despite Erdogan’s harsh rhetoric, Turkey continues to increase trade with Israel, the Turkish president said: “Unfortunately, even on an issue like the Gaza crisis, where we did everything we could and paid a price for it, we failed to ward off political attacks and convince certain circles. We will certainly be doing our assessment on these pros and cons issues too.” The president warned AKP officials against “the disease of arrogance”, as he characteristically said. “Beginning from here, we have a problem extending to provincial, regional and municipal organisations, mayors, MPs, and even public administration,” he said to add: “The greatest enemy of a party born from the bowels of the people is to build walls between itself and citizens. We will show our nation that no one in this party deserves to be ignored, regardless of its position.” He also stressed the need to investigate why the people who gave power in 2002 to the AKP, just 15 months after the establishment of the party, showed it a clear winner of the election just 10 months ago and always stood by him in all the elections in which he participated to date –17 contests in 22 years – the “threw” it on 31 March behind the Republican People’s Party (CHP).