Erdogan's Re-election Improves Image of 'Strong Leader' in West, Says French Academic

Published June 27th, 2018 - 01:38 GMT
President Tayyip Erdogan will wield the greatest powers of any Turkish elected leader in half a century under the new constitition. (AFP Photo/KAYHAN OZER)
President Tayyip Erdogan will wield the greatest powers of any Turkish elected leader in half a century under the new constitition. (AFP Photo/KAYHAN OZER)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's re-election has reinforced his strong leader image for European countries, a French political analyst has told Anadolu Agency.

Jana Jabbour, a professor of political science and researcher at the International Research Center (CERI) of Sciences Po University in Paris, spoke to Anadolu Agency about Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.

"The elections are undoubtedly an overwhelming victory for Erdogan and his party. Erdogan has managed to become a popular leader loved by the [Turkish] people," she said.

Jabbour said June 24 elections in Turkey made Erdogan stronger both in national and international terms.  

"The elections showed that Erdogan was the person who considered the interests of the country in the national sense because Erdogan received 52.5 percent of the votes against the five other candidates in the election. This is very important. In the international sense the elections gave the message to the Western countries that had claimed that the elections would see a second round that Erdogan is a strong leader. "  

Jabbour said Erdogan's objective, as it was, would be Turkey's acceptance by the European countries as an ally on equal terms.

Jabbour said Turkey would give to the Western countries the message that it "has an alternative [with Russia and Iran] and does not need them.

"The Europeans did not want the victory of Recep Tayyip Erdogan because Erdogan is a dominant leader challenging the big powers."

Jabbour said the Western countries had to accept Erdogan's victory and cooperate with him on counterterrorism and refugee issues.

"They are not happy with Erdogan's re-election, but they have to work with him."

Jabbour said the anti-Erdogan campaign in the Western media, especially in the French media created a backlash and caused more Turkish expats to vote for Erdogan.

French President Emmanuel Macron met Erdogan at the Elysee Palace in January, which showed that France accepted Turkey as an equal ally, Jabbour said.

However, she added, even if France was eager to further develop its ties with Turkey, the European policy regarding Turkey, especially Germany, would prevent it.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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