No surprise in initial reactions
The first reactions upon the nomination of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu by opposition parties Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) did not surprise me.
The ultranationalist wing of the CHP is reacting naturally. If you were to ask me if they would prefer a candidate who is bound to lose the election in advance, I guess they would.
Because the MHP is a more disciplined party, no disapproval has been raised there yet. If there are objections there, it would show as working unwillingly during the campaign, just like it happened in the constitutional referendum.
No doubt, the most interesting reaction is the reaction of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP).
Since there is not much they can say about İhsanoğlu, the frequently visited opinion has become “He has not criticized the coup in Egypt.”
But this would not work much today because President Abdullah Gül has personally congratulated General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
During that period, İhsanoğlu was the general secretary of the ICO and members of that organization, except for Turkey, were not condemning the coup.
If you are heading an international organization, it is not possible to act contrary to what member countries are doing.
I have reviewed the comments in pro-government media; they somehow have an attitude that they were sorry for the CHP. If the CHP and MHP’s joint candidate is disadvantaged before the AKP candidate, then why do they feel sorry? It is not easy to understand, of course.
Could it be that they are afraid of the name İhsanoğlu?
Indeed, the reason why they do not exactly know what to say for the moment is they have not yet received a signal from the prime minister.
If the PM opens a road for them on this matter, we will see all of them take that road at full speed.
Election estimates from me
The presidential elections may have two rounds. If one of the candidates does not receive more than half of the valid votes in the first round, then a second round will be held between the two candidates who received the most votes.
It is not difficult to guess who will be one of the candidates that will pass the first round. If the CHP and MHP party organizations show performance enough to maintain their votes in the last elections, then İhsanoğlu will receive around 42-43 percent of the votes.
Likewise, if the AKP and its candidate (most probably Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) also preserves their votes in the last elections, they would receive 45 percent of votes.
We know the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)-People’s Democratic Party (HDP) will also nominate a candidate. Their votes also look as if the ratio will be solidified at around 6 percent.
We do not know yet whether the Felicity Party (SP) and Great Union Party (BBP) will nominate candidates. Their votes are among 3 percent. Both İhsanoğlu and (if Erdoğan ruıns for office) Erdoğan have the potential to receive votes from this 3 percent.
Erdoğan with his polarizing policies has solidified his own grassroots; no votes would go to the opponent from there.
However, the opposite is also true. Those who feel alienated will never vote for Erdoğan.
Everything will be determined in the second round and the determining factor in that second round will be the BDP-HDP voter.
However, in any case, it is a fact that in the second round, Erdoğan is the candidate who has better chances.