Understanding people’s anger at Tayyip Erdoğan
Emre Uslu, Columnist, Today’s Zamman, 2 June 2013
“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a legendary leader who has managed to win elections in the last 10 years. However, in the last 10 days, the protests in Taksim Square in İstanbul revealed public anger toward him too. One needs to examine why people rebelled against Erdoğan? And more importantly, how do Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters see what Erdoğan is doing?
When I ask people on the street these questions, there are various explanations. In a way, everyone has his or her own reason for being against Erdoğan. However almost all of them, including AKP supporters, agree on one thing: People no longer respect Erdoğan as they used to. For instance, a local AKP official told me that, “There are people in my district, a district where the AKP received 80 percent of the votes, who used to say “I love Erdoğan so much that I cannot sleep before I listen to what he said that day,” but now, the official says, “people no longer have such affection for Erdoğan.”
When I asked what made people change their opinion, he said, “The main reason that people stop admiring Erdoğan is because he acts as if he is the only one who knows anything and as if he does everything better than anyone else.”
However, he adds, this does not mean people stop voting for the AKP. The AKP still has the same voting base because there is no alternative. People are even ready to accept one who is not as good as Erdoğan in terms of leadership, or delivering speeches, etc. but there is no such alternative. Thus, people continue to support Erdoğan."