Despite wanting to play a more active role in the Hamas-Israel war, it was known that the direction of Turkey, which could not achieve that role in any way, would become a market for domestic politics.
In the international section of the market, Ankara was waiting for Sweden's approval of NATO membership in the parliament, and in the domestic section, municipal elections.
The parliament's foreign relations commission approved the issue of Sweden's membership in NATO without any problems. According to the information provided by Mr. Erdoğan, in exchange for the green light for Sweden's NATO membership, Turkey will be able to buy F-16 aircraft from the United States, which has been vetoed so far. President Biden made the promise.
On December 29, the football scandal in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, popped the bubble of the government, which is preparing to press the button for the start of municipal elections. The agreement to hold the final match of the Turkish Super Cup in Riyadh was signed 6 months ago.
It was known from the beginning that the opening of the posters with Atatürk’s words "Peace at Home, Peace in the World" would not be allowed in the stadium in the capital of Saudi Arabia, one of the Sharia countries, which does not accept the secular system of Turkey and refuses to go to the mausoleum of the founder of the Republic of Turkey on official visits.
Although the Turkish Football Federation did not expect this, the reaction of the big football clubs, which the AKP government has been trying to take full control of for years, was well known. There was no surprise, and the presidents of Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray clubs, who never thought of leaving the Atatürk line, took their teams and returned to Istanbul.
From the first week of the year, in spite of everything, the municipal election will become the first item on Turkey's agenda - no one should doubt that.
As we wrote earlier, the reason why AKP leader and President Erdoğan was forced to take such cautious steps is that he is not completely sure about the candidates who will be nominated to the metropolitan municipalities of Istanbul and Ankara.
The main reason for the hesitation of Erdoğan, who did not hesitate to become a candidate on the eve of the municipal election held on March 27, 1994, to nominate a candidate for Istanbul at the height of his political career is the complete disappearance of independent initiatives in all organizations of the party he is the leader of, from the bottom to the top, and without exception, everyone waits for Mr. Erdoğan's words.
That is why, from the Minister of Health to the Minister of Internal Affairs, from the chairmen of some district municipalities of Istanbul to the former members of parliament, the names of about 10 people are circulating as candidates for the mayorship of Istanbul, but none of them are not discussed and cannot be discussed.
In order to win again in the Istanbul municipality after 30 years, the possibility of Erdoğan, who has been pouring instructions upon instructions to his party's organizations, cannot be disregarded. Erdoğan, who grew up in the youth organization of political Islam, became a candidate on the eve of the municipal election on March 27, 1994, pushing aside several powerful politicians (despite the fact that public opinion polls showed him in the 5th place) was remembered as one of the phenomenal events of Turkish politics.
In other words, the stubbornness shown by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who ran for the mayor of Beyoğlu district in 1989 and failed to be elected and for the deputy of parliament from Istanbul in 1991 and failed to be elected again, in late 1993 not only led to his election as the mayor of Istanbul but also paved the way for political Islam to come to central power. A few months after Recep Tayyip Erdogan took the mayor's seat in Istanbul and Melih Gökçek in Ankara, The founder of Turkish political Islam, the leader of the Welfare Party, Necmettin Erbakan, was able to bring his party to the first place in the parliamentary elections of December 24, 1995, saying that "our municipalities write epics." In other words, while the political Islam of Turkey came to central power in the 1970s (in the coalitions) was the service of Necmettin Erbakan, after 1994, the chairman of the Istanbul municipality, Erdoğan, made the greatest effort in these matters.
Therefore, Mr. Erdoğan knows the importance of Istanbul better than anyone else. It was for this reason that Ekrem İmamoğlu, who was elected mayor of Istanbul on March 31, 2019, was under constant pressure, and since Erdoğan was able to tie Imamoğlu's hands in many places, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu could not be elected president despite the historic consolidation in the opposition bloc.
Mr. Erdoğan knows very well that if he cannot win back the Istanbul municipality from the main opposition party, it will not be possible to turn back the train that has passed by. Commenting on the election that brought the Justice and Development Party to power on November 3, 2002, Hüsamettin Cindoruk, an experienced name in Turkish politics, said, "This is the rebellion and seizure of power by the municipalities against the central government."
On the way to March 31, political Islam and its current leader Erdoğan may face the hardest test of his life.
Because he does not and will not want to end his political career by losing for the second time in Istanbul...