Does Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suffer from health problems that may prevent him from continuing his political career? A question recently raised by a report in an American newspaper that talked about indications of his deteriorating health, at a time when the challenges facing him, his party, and Turkey under his leadership are increasing.
The magazine adds that the questions increased after the decline in the popularity of the Justice and Development Party, and its defeat in the municipal elections in several important cities and regions in the country, especially Istanbul, in conjunction with indications that Erdogan, 67, may not be able to run, if the decline in his health continues, It also appeared in many videos that recently spread on social networking sites.
The importance of the report is that it highlights some worrying indications that Erdogan appeared during public occasions, when he appeared to be in a health condition that affected his movement, speech and concentration. The report, published by “Foreign Policy” magazine, pointed out that the eyes of observers are already focused on the upcoming Turkish presidential elections in 2023, in light of the developments in Turkey over the past few years.
In recent months, local news websites have circulated videos on the Internet in which Erdogan appeared to be in trouble, raising questions about his health. Erdogan appeared in one of the clips as if he needed his wife’s help while trying to go down a flight of stairs, and appeared in a position unable to move his steps, and was not sufficiently balanced, forcing him to lean on one of his aides, while his wife held his other hand to help him on go down. Erdogan also drew attention in another clip, in which he appeared as if he was having difficulty walking in the Anit Kabir area, while participating in a celebration in front of the mausoleum of the founder of the modern Turkish state, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in which his steps seemed very heavy. Erdogan also drew attention during his participation in a video dialogue, last July, in which he appeared to be out of focus, having difficulty remembering, and in his ability to pronounce correctly, and he was speaking in an unfamiliar way, and he is famous for his speech.
The magazine report cited what it described as “rumors” about Erdogan’s health, including that he was suffering from increasing forgetfulness, breathing problems, vomiting and confusion, while other speculation that doctors had implanted a device to regulate his irregular heartbeat. Although the report stressed that “releasing medical judgments from afar is not a good idea,” it raised a question about who would succeed Erdogan, if he was unable to run in the 2023 elections, either because of illness or even death if it occurred.
Foreign Policy pointed to Article (106) of the Turkish Constitution, which says that in the event of the president’s death, power will pass to his deputy, who is currently Fuad Aktay, provided that elections will take place within 45 days to elect a new president. The magazine adds that some analysts believe that, in the post-Erdogan era, Turkey may face a split in the ruling Justice and Development Party, especially in light of the differences that led earlier to the exit of a significant number of its leaders, due to their differences with Erdogan, which may increase dramatically. It may lead to “opening the way for competitive elections” that could lead to the victory of “any of the main Turkish opposition politicians,” led by Mansur Yavas, or Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayor of Istanbul, who defeated former AKP Prime Minister Binali Yildirim twice. .
She added that these circumstances may enhance the possibility that a strongman will rule Turkey in a post-Erdogan era, such as intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, or Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.
Last July, Foreign Policy published a report, in which it indicated that Turkey began to lose stability, in conjunction with related events, starting with the Gezi Park protests that took place in 2013, passing through a corruption scandal that was ignited at the end of the same year by supporters of the opposition Fatah. Gülen, who was one of Erdogan’s most prominent allies, led to the launch of a campaign to exclude his followers from the government, media, and higher education institutions.
The magazine also referred to the conflict that Erdogan fought with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in 2015, and the authorities’ overturning the results of the elections that took place that year, as factors that destabilized Turkey’s stability. The magazine report promised that Erdogan’s policies have recently led to the emergence of controversial personalities, who used social media to talk about the ruling regime, and the widespread corruption that cannot rule Turkey.
The report touched on the failed coup attempt that Turkey witnessed in 2016, and the massive arrest campaign that targeted the Gulen group in the judiciary, the army and other government institutions, the country’s slide into the worst economic crisis and the decline of its wealth since 2018 and 2019, and then the Corona pandemic, which worsened the economic situation in 2020. .
And the videos published by one of the most famous mafia leaders in Turkey, Sadat Bakr, in which he talks about allegations of corruption, murder, rape and drug trafficking, against some of the most powerful government figures close to Erdogan, have turned into an interesting material that the audience watches, and competes with Turkish series that are widely popular in the world. Region. The report concludes by saying that these events constitute a straight line, and reveal a major rift in the perception of the Justice and Development Party and its future in governing the country.