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Why am I delighted upon Erdogan’s victory? A brother that I know, Dr Saleh al-Ayid, wrote the following just a few minutes after Turkey’s electoral authorities announced that Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the general Presidential Turkish Election: Muslims on social media, particularly Arabs, have been busy exchanging greetings and congratulations for the victory of Erdogan. News and comments about him and his victory even overtook the topic of Gaza. The question is, however: why? There are a multitude of reasons for this. Muslims have been wanting to prove to the whole world that if they were to be given the choice, they would choose a Muslim leader who is sincere in working for his Ummah. Turkey is proof that if Muslims enjoy good leadership, they are capable of transforming their countries from so-called ‘developing’ ones to advanced, powerful countries as Erdogan and his party did. It is a matter of a few short years in which Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, elected into power in 2002, transformed Turkey from a debt-ridden, ruined country, shattered by valueless secularism and deep-rooted corruption to one of the strongest countries in the world. In only 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, Turkish exports hit $152 billion, marking a ten-fold increase. Turkey’s overwhelming annual inflation rate of up to 100% was watered down to single figures, whilst its GDP rose by over 45%. Erdogan is now resolute in bringing his economy into the top 10 in the world by 2023, having completely erased its 52-year-old debt to the IMF in 2013. Born in 1954, Erdogan is the son of a coastguard in the city of Rize. During his early life he sold lemonade and buns for some pocket money, being a member of a poor family. Erdogan attended an Islamic school, before studying management at Istanbul’s Marmara University. Here he met Turkey’s first Islamist Prime Minister, Necmettin Erbakan, and began his fascinating political career. In 1994, he became the mayor of Istanbul, converting the city from a slum into one of the world’s key destinations for tourism, and a beauty of a city for local residents. His commitment to Islām and its values were relentless and in 1998 he was detained for four months for reciting a poem on a public stage, containing line: His release and rise in positions of leadership, from Prime Minister in 2003-2014 to now President—the first to be directly elected by the people in Turkey’s history with 52% of the electorate voting for him. This landmark victory suggests that secularism is a foreign phenomenon for our Islamic societies. Despite the fact that Turkey was once the mother and heartland of secularism in the Muslim world, it can so easily turn to Islam once the socio-economic pressure applied by the secularists is lifted. Many Muslims are ecstatic at the victory Erdogan has achieved. It marks a continuation to the unprecedented support Turkey has provided for the Syrian revolution. Many analysts confirm that had the authorities in Turkey acted against the interests of the Syrian people and their revolution, the tyrant regime in Syria would have regained power and wiped out the entire struggle. Turkey’s borders with Syria, particularly its southern border to Aleppo, are the major—if not the only—‘breathing space’ for the Syrian Islamic revolution. Palestinians in general and Gaza specifically are particularly overwhelmed with joy. For too long they have witnessed the entire world turning against them while the very few who may support them do so for no political gain. No one can forget israel’s raid on the Turkish, Gaza-bound flotilla and the political aftermath that ensued. No one can deny that it is Erdogan’s government, more than any other in the world today, that is ardently supporting Gaza and bitterly attacking israel as much as the rules of international politics allow. The victory of Erdogan has moreover come as a slap on the face of the many Arab and Gulf countries that have paid millions and billions of dollars in support of his main, secular competitor. There is no doubt that despite the atrocities the Ummah is going through, Allāh is showing us rays of light, and glimmers of hope, to keep us optimistic and motivated and to give us the ability to bear the responsibilities He commanded us to bear. Source: www.islam21c.com Notes:  Al-Qur’ān 12:21  http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/04/business/analysis-defterios-turkey/  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/09/turkey-instability-threatens-economic-success-erdogan  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13746679  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28735915  Al-Qur’ān 24:55 http://www.islam21c.com/politics/why-are-we-delighted-upon-erdogans-victory/
Erdogan wins Turkey's presidential election Provisional results show PM won country's first directly elected poll with 52 percent as his main rival concedes defeat. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, has won the country's first direct presidential election in the first round after taking more that 50 percent of the vote, according to Turkey's election board. Sunday's victory will extend Erdogan's more than 10-year rule over the country for another five years. "The provisional results show that Erdogan has the majority of the valid votes," High Election Board chairman Sadi Guven told a news conference in the capital Ankara. "We have received more than 99 percent [of the votes]. Tomorrow we will announce the provisional results." Erdogan declared victory by addressing his supporters from his party's headquarters in Ankara. "Today national will and democracy have prevailed again… Today, greater Turkey has prevailed again... With the president being elected by popular vote, obstacles between Cankaya [the presidential palace] and the public have been lifted," he said, striking a conciliatory tone after a tense campaign period. "Our political views, lifestyles, beliefs and ethnicities can be different, but we are all offspring of this country. We are all owners of this state... I will embrace all 70 million [Turks] as president." The vote has been seen as a milestone in Turkish politics as Turks are electing their president by a popular vote for the first time in the country's history, bringing the office a new legitimacy. In a brief statement to reporters in Istanbul, the main opposition candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said: "I congratulate Mr Prime Minister and wish him success." At midnight (9pm GMT) on Sunday, the prime minster had received 52 percent of the votes, Ihsanoglu on 38 percent and the third candidate Selahattin Demirtas taking 10 percent, after 99 percent of the votes had been counted, the semi-official Anatolia news agency said. Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith talks to Utku Cakirozer, Ankara bureau chief of pro-opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper Erdogan’s opponents accuse him of undermining the secular norms of Turkey and pushing it towards autocracy, while his supporters see him as a charismatic leader who changed the crisis-hit Turkey of the early 2000s into a prospering and respected country. "For the first time in Turkish history, a strong political leader elected by the public is taking over the presidential seat," Ali Bayramoglu, a political analyst and columnist for the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper, told Al Jazeera. "These are signals of Turkey moving away from parliamentary system in favour of the presidential system, a change Erdogan seeks." The presidency in Turkey has relatively more powers compared to similar parliamentary governments. The office has the power to promulgate laws or return them to the parliament for reconsideration, to call public referendums, to call new parliamentary elections, to appoint the prime minister, ministers and key bureaucrats. Koray Caliskan, a professor at Istanbul's Bogazici University, believes that Turkey will now slip further away from democracy and the country will be more polarised in the future. "In time, Turkey will look more and more similar to [President Vladimir] Putin's Russia. He will use all his presidential powers to tighten his grip on the country," he told Al Jazeera. Different campaign rhetorics During campaigning, Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics since 2002, has talked about infrastructure projects, foreign policy moves, economic reforms, and a new constitution featuring a presidential system, signaling an unconventional and active presidency. Conversely, Ihsanoglu had stressed "unity" and "neutrality", drawing a more traditional and passive picture for his potential presidency. Ihsanoglu was backed by the left-leaning secularist Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the two largest opposition parties in the country, in addition to various smaller ones. Ihsanoglu has no political identity and his discourse was more about keeping the status quo in Turkey and preventing the other candidate [from being elected] Ali Bayramoglu, Turkish political analyst As a conservative academic and diplomat who used to lead the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, he spent most of his life abroad and therefore was largely unknown by Turkish public. Caliskan told Al Jazeera that the election has taken place in an unfair atmosphere, where Erdogan campaigned as prime minister, using state facilities and media throughout the campaigning process. "I don’t think the two main opposition parties made any mistakes in their alliance in this process, but the dynamics of the election was fundamentally unfair," Caliskan said. "Erdogan campaigned through state visits, used state properties and appeared on state media far more than Ihsanoglu." Bayramgolu said: "Erdogan might have appeared more than his opponents on state television, but there was diverse media coverage by tens of media organisations affiliated with the government and the opposition." "I don’t think him campaigning as prime minister had any effect on the result." Bayramgolu also said the opposition failed to pick a candidate who could represent them and reveal the synergy of their alliance. "Ihsanoglu has no political identity and his discourse was more about keeping the status quo in Turkey and preventing the other candidate [from being elected]," he said. "I think this explains why the sum of two party’s votes is far lower than their aggregate votes in the local elections of March." Alleged use of state resources The alleged use of state resources by Erdogan's presidential campaign was a source of controversy before the election. Last month, Ihsanoglu said Erdogan was using state-owned planes, helicopters, and other facilities, which were not being provided for his presidential campaign. "We know we are competing in unequal circumstances. But there, the will of the people and God is superior to all of this," he said. Listening Post: Turkey's media pressure points The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a Vienna-based international security and rights organisation, also criticised the government for the same reason. "The campaign activities of the prime minister are large-scale events, often combined with official government events," an OSCE report of July 31 said. "While other candidates actively campaign, the public visibility of their campaigns is limited." In another development, Turkey's media watchdog said in July that Turkey's state television covered the upcoming election in a one-sided manner that favoured Erdogan. Follow Umut Uras on Twitter: [at]Thriceee http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/erdogan-wins-turkey-presidential-election-2014810172347586150.html