Ankara- After the first round of the Turkish election race, all eyes were on Sinan Ogan – who ranked third in the race – after he got 5.17% of the vote, and his voting bloc gained importance in deciding the second round between the main competitors, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
Turkey is currently witnessing great interest in the votes won by Ogan (from the National Ancestors Alliance), who has a national orientation, estimated at more than 2,800,000 votes. This prompted Kilicdaroglu to launch a surprisingly nationalistic anti-refugee rhetoric, in an attempt to court this critical mass.
However, Ogan announced Monday evening his support for Erdogan in the second round of the presidential elections that will take place on the 28th of this month.
In a press conference held on Monday afternoon, Ogan said that the Turkish opposition “could not convince us and was unable to obtain a majority in Parliament,” stressing that the new president must be in agreement with Parliament.
Speaking to the Turkish state channel “TRT” this evening, Monday, Erdogan spoke of Ogan’s support, said that he thanked him, and confirmed that “We will not and have not entered into negotiations with Mr. Sinan Ogan.”
Ogan’s influence on the votes of his constituents
Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, political expert Cahit Toz stated that the conservative nationalist orientation of Sinan Ogan made him choose to support Erdogan.
Tuz added that the security factor is very important to the conservative nationalist orientation, and therefore Ogan was criticizing the event of supporting Kilicdaroglu, who enjoys the support of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, which is ideologically linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), classified as a terrorist group by Ankara, which may negatively affect his political future.
In terms of thinking about his political future, Tuz indicated that the odds favor Erdogan’s victory, and therefore it is natural for Ogan to support the winning party.
In turn, the academic, Kerem Yavasca, agreed with saying that the conservative nationalist approach represented by Ogan made him more likely to choose Erdogan’s support.
The academic – who is one of the founding members of the opposition “Democracy and Progress” party – told Al-Jazeera Net that there is a state of disagreement in the ancestral coalition that nominated Ogan, as coalition leader Umit Ozdag, head of the “Al-Zafar” party, declared his disagreement with Ogan’s decision, which raises the question about Possibility of directing Ogan his voting bloc.
Yavascha stated that it would be difficult to direct the entire voting bloc of Ogan in favor of Erdogan, given that the votes that Ogan obtained exceed his original voting base, which itself is questionable about its existence or not, indicating that he obtained the votes of voters who did not vote for the ancestral alliance in the parliamentary elections. .
Regarding this voting bloc, the academic stated that some of these votes reject the choice of Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu, and therefore Ogan’s obtaining of these votes stemmed from his being the third candidate.
He added that some of Ogan’s votes are from the opposition Al-Jayyid Party bloc, and therefore it is illogical for all of this bloc to go to Erdogan.
Erdogan is closer to winning
In turn, researcher Mert Hussein Akgün indicated that Ogan’s position is understood as choosing the party that has the greatest chances of winning, in addition to the national security factor that kept him away from Kilicdaroglu, noting that Ogan originally hails from the Nationalist Movement Party in the ruling coalition.
The researcher added in his interview with Al-Jazeera Net that Ogan does not enjoy a dominant voting base, but among his supporters there are voices with “demonstrating” reactions, and among them are those who tend socially to Erdogan’s voting base.
Akgün added that he considered Erdogan the winner since the first round, although he is facing the most difficult circumstances in his career, whether from the economy or the devastating February earthquake.
Akgün believes that at least half of the bloc that voted for Oğan – at least – may go to Erdogan, and it will have another choice. Not to abstain from voting entirely.
As for the political expert, Cahit Toz, it is likely that Erdogan will win because the second round depends on winning the majority of votes, and that Erdogan actually excelled in the first round by more than 2,300,000 votes.
The political expert believed that the 5% that Ogan obtained may be divided as follows: 2% may vote for Erdogan, 1.5% may refrain from participating, and 1.5%, at most, will vote for Kilicdaroglu, which may increase the difference that already exists in the first round.
In this context, the academic, Yavashcha, stated that after the first round, a state of hopelessness prevailed among the opposition supporters, continuing, “Now support for Ogan is added to it, which reinforces this feeling of losing the elections, and that victory will be Erdogan’s.”
And the spokesman added that the matter may go beyond this limit, and that the psychological state of opposition supporters may prompt some of them not to participate in the second round, as “they may see that their votes have become meaningless”, which may reduce the participation rate and increase Erdogan’s victory rate.
He believed that the greatest benefit from supporting Ogan is not the voting bloc in the first place, which of course will not all go to Erdogan, but the most important benefit is the general perception and the psychological impact that Erdogan is the one who will win in the second round.
The political expert, Cahit Tuz, ruled out Kilicdaroglu’s ability to remedy the matter due to the lack of time, and that he would not be able to take a position against his cooperation with the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, and that his nationalist speech after the first round was not convincing and seemed artificial to the voters.
In turn, researcher Akgün saw that Kılıçdaroğlu’s attempt to sharpen the nationalist discourse might lead to backfire and loss of votes from the Kurdish bloc, adding that the shift in discourse in such a sharp way could undermine the voter’s trust factor.
Yavaşca agreed that Kılıçdaroğlu’s adoption of a nationalist approach might lead to a boycott by some Kurdish voters, which would enhance the difference in the winning percentage in favor of Erdogan.
The speakers expected that the second round would be almost settled in favor of Erdogan, and Tuz confirmed that all data indicates Erdogan’s success, expecting him to win by a difference of more than 2 million votes, and this difference could reach 3 million, with a rate between 51 and 52%.