A lot will start to change in two days
Whether by coincidence or not, a lot of things will start to change both in Turkey and in the world in the next two days.
In Turkey we will have the result of the second round of voting in parliament over the constitutional shift to an executive presidential system.
Then on Jan. 20 the U.S. and the world will see the beginning of Donald Trump’s term as president.
In Turkey, if parliament votes in favor of the draft for a second time - and it seems that it will do so unless there is a big surprise - the changes will be submitted to a public vote in a referendum.
The proposed changes give extra executive powers to the presidency, with Tayyip Erdoğan as the incumbent, and increase the president’s influence over parliament and the courts (two main sources of checks and balances).
That would start a new era in Turkey, with a strong leader also running the majority group in parliament.
If there is a road accident and some key parts or the whole draft gets below the minimum 330 parliamentary votes in the second round, then we should expect early elections in a few months. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) and its partner in the presidential shift, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), would then be able to renew their MPs to have another try at the presidential system.
If an early election does happen in Turkey, the country will join to the train of European states holding crucial elections in 2017, including Germany, France and the Netherlands. This is happening at the same time as the coming of Trump is set to reshuffle all cards in international relations.
Whether in a referendum or in a snap election, Erdoğan is likely to endorse his power and try to take a new and upgraded place in these new balances.
In the international platform, it seems that Trump will make a storming entry. He looks set to appreciate see “strong leaders” as counterparts who are able to cut deals on the spot and deliver.
The leaders who fit this profile are Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Germany’s Angela Merkel, India’s Narendra Modi, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, and Turkey’s Erdoğan. Britain has always been a different story for the U.S. and is likely to stay so, like Israel, while Iran’s Hassan Rouhani has his authority problems with Iranian religious leader Ali Khamanei.
It looks like the stars are aligning in a rare order, and we will all see together whether it is for any good.