The decision by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to demote the ranks of retired generals to ordinary soldiers was the starting point of our discussion with the analyst and author Savvas Kalenteridis.
Why is Erdoğan losing popularity though?
Erdoğan recently decided to dismantle the ranks of 13 retired generals by rendering them as ordinary soldiers, which is powered by the collapse of his popularity.
This is the explanation given by geopolitical analyst Savvas Kalenteridis.
The popularity of the Turkish President is falling due to many years of wear, claims the reputable analyst, something that is reflected in polls in recent months.
A survey conducted in May by the Metropoll Research company shows that if Erdogan was competing in an election with Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş, the leader of the “Good Party” Meral Akşener and the leader of the Republican People’s Party Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, he would lose to everyone except Kılıçdaroğlu.
At the same time, in a recent poll in Turkey, 56.9% of respondents said they would not vote for Erdoğan.
According to Kalenteridis, Erdoğan is losing popularity because the “Great Idea” he created did not work.
“The ‘Blue Homeland’, oil and gas drilling, Iraq, Syria and Libya were some pillars of an idea that has not worked.
“In essence, he is approaching these countries in a controversial manner.
“For example, regarding the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Turkey is looking for alliances in state leaderships which Erdogan had previously spoken very negatively about.
“This is understood by the Turkish people and the Egyptians are proving to be tough negotiators.
“Turkey is forced to make concessions, but if it agrees with Egypt, the vision of delimitation of the Greece-Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone is lost,” Kalenteridis said.
At the same time, Kalenteridis underlined that the instrumentalisation of immigration has boomeranged on Erdoğan and his popularity as he made Turkey an attractive country for immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Africa who want to reach Europe.
“Precisely, because the situation to now enter Greece has been made difficult, and consequently Europe, thousands of immigrants prefer to stay in Turkey.
“Afghans and Iraqis become permanent residents of Turkey with golden visas.
“In other words, he dug a pit into Greece and fell inside himself,” the analyst explained.
Kalenteridis studies the relevant polls which – in his opinion – show that social problems created by the coexistence of Turks and immigrants are great.
“Voters in the ruling coalition – who remain deeply nationalistic – show that they are opposed to more immigrants coming to Turkey.
“This is confirmed by an incident in mid-August when a large group of Turks attacked houses and shops belonging to Syrian refugees in Ankara overnight, causing havoc.”
At the same time, he estimates that the fires in Turkey shook the faith of the Turkish people in their state. A weak state is the last thing they want, but the summer fires have proven that,” he said.
When asked about possible US-Turkish co-operation in Afghanistan, the analyst said Washington might recognise a role for Turkey in the Taliban-occupied state.
“But I see a reluctance on the part of Turkey on the part of Afghanistan as Erdoğan does not want another military failure.
“He understands that he can not trust the Taliban and that is freezing his moves for the time being,” the expert concluded.