On August 10, there will be a first in Turkish political scene. Turkey will elect its 12th President through the votes of the public, not by the Grand National Assembly. This unprecedented event has the potential to open new doors for the domestic politics of Turkey.
Even though in practice many Presidents chose to be the honorary leaders of the Republic of Turkey, the constitutional rights of the president allow for more involvement. According to Turkish laws, the president has authority to endorse or veto laws enacted by the parliament, or convey it to the people via a referendum. Therefore, the election of a President who will be in harmony with the government is an important element in terms of country’s stability and internal peace.
On the other hand, it is important to remember that the President is a person who will embrace all 77 million of the public inclusively because rather than being a mere political office, it is a station that should embrace people of all faiths and opinions equally, and protect everyone’s rights and status. Turkey is compelled to take sides and be a part of the sectarian conflict going on in the Middle East. That is why it is very critical that the new elected President must therefore embrace the Alawites, Sunnis, Christians, Jews, atheists and the entirety of the approximately 70 ethnic origins of our citizens in an equal manner with love.
If we review the matter from the perspective of Turkey’s geography, a new era has emerged both in the Middle East and the Caucuses. Taking the present situation and past kinship and relations with these neighboring countries into account, we can safely say the foreign policy choices of Turkey has a potential to have an impact on all the surrounding regions.
Turkey's position as an energy hub is becoming more and more important every day. Turkey is a crucial part of oil and natural gas transition from Russia, the Caspian region, and from the Middle East to energy thirsty Europe. When the conflicts in Ukraine, Russia’s use of natural gas as a trump card against Europe, and ISIS’ seizure of a substantial part of the petroleum production facilities and reserves of Iraq and Syria are thrown into the current circumstances, Turkey’s impact weighs far more. Turkey has become a key player to contribute to Europe’s energy security issues, which in return allowed Turkey an upper hand in her negotiations with the EU countries in terms of trade and relationships. In order to stabilize and secure the energy politics, Turkey will be in need of a peaceful order and a harmonious leadership in both the offices of Prime Minister and President. Neither Turkey, nor any of her allies would desire to go back to the days when Turkey would lose 7.2 Billion Dollars worth foreign investment in a day just because the Prime Minister and the President were in opposition about domestic issues.
On the other hand, the emergence of a new Kurdistan or the foundation of a new state if Iraq and Syria are partitioned will change the map of the Middle East and relations with these new states will be incumbent upon the new President and the government to come up with novel and wise policies. Turkey should therefore move ahead in its role as a mediator and a hub with its newly elected President and government. The world is in genuine need of a stable Turkey in a geography, where there is little to rely on.