Nergis Demirkaya/ DUVAR

Opposition right-wing Good Party (İP) leader Meral Akşener said that due to the position that he has in resulting from the establishment of his presidential system, for the first time she sees President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as unpredictable, while speaking to journalists on Wednesday. 

“I’ve always considered [Erdoğan] to be a politician with a highly rational side, meaning he’s a realist. At this time he has been put in a position resulting from the establishment of the presidential system. I don’t see the requirement for this position to be predictable. But I do have this prediction: He will try to make it work until 2023. But due to economic reasons will he be able to make it work or not, that I cannot predict,” Akşener said. 

Following a slight victory in 2017, the presidential system that Erdoğan championed went into effect after last year’s general elections. The transformation from a parliamentary to an executive system has continued the centralization of power in Erdoğan’s hands, but has also resulted in an opposition block that has managed to unite against it and him, as witnessed in the local elections earlier this year where opposition candidates reclaimed most of the major cities in Turkey from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). 

According to Akşener, people in Turkey have seen that the presidential system is not working properly and that support for the country’s age-old parliamentary system is increasing. 

Commenting on the recent agreement made between Turkey and Russia regarding Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria, Akşener said despite her support of the operation,many question marks remain: 

“Turkey needed to launch the operation, the citizens, the opposition, everyone supported this. The soldiers did their duty, meetings were conducted but regarding the agreement there so many things that are up in the air. How will those be resolved? Most importantly, who will receive the guns that are in the hands of the [Syrian Kurdish militant] YPG and the banned militant [Kurdistan Workers Party] PKK?” Akşener said. 

“Everything changes so quickly. Together we stood behind our soldiers, and on the same day it turns out that Trump has written this letter containing serious threats! That is to say, in Turkey something changes every minute,” Akşener said. 

Regarding the opposition party soon expected to be formed by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and another opposition party that is believed to helmed by former Economy Minister Ali Babacan and former President Abdullah Gül, Akşener said that both parties will be beneficial to Turkey. All co-founders of the AKP with Erdoğan, Davutoğlu, Gül and Babacan have since fallen out of favor with the party and the president.