Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 26 June 2019


  • AKP Lose Istanbul
  • Trump Calls off Iran War at the Last Moment
  • Pakistan Gets More Money

AKP Lose Istanbul

The AKP has lost Istanbul after a re-run was ordered. Ekrem Imamoglu, has now defeated his governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) rival Binali Yildirim by 800,000 votes compared with the just 13,000 ballots in the first run. The result is widely seen as the biggest setback faced by the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who pressured electoral authorities to invalidate the March 31 results in Istanbul in the hope of winning this time. AKP strongholds, Fatih and Uskudar, where Erdogan maintains his private residence, fell to the opposition, a resounding change as they have been AKP strongholds for nearly two decades. But a polarizing campaign backfired. Rising inflation and joblessness are among the AKPs biggest woes. Controlling the main urban municipalities has been key to the AKP’s strategy as it allows it to establish patronage networks and give contracts to party supporters. Both Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey’s capital and largest city respectively are out of AKP hands. Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city has been held by the CHP, who now governs 5 of Turkey’s 6 largest population Centres, the only exception being Bursa, where the governing coalition narrowly won. It would seem the beginning of the end has begun for Erdogan.


Trump Calls off Iran War at the Last Moment

Details continue to leak out of the war that was called off at the last moment by Trump against Iran on Thursday, 20th June. The signs were that much of the cabinet was pushing for a US attack, but Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered a more wary assessment of the outcome of such an attack. Trump praised Dunford for calling for caution, calling him a “terrific man and a terrific general.” On Thursday morning, when the attack was planned, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo summoned national security officials for a breakfast, and to talk about the US drone being shot down. Officials claimed that the group was “unanimous” in favour of attacking Iran. Over the weekend Trump told the CNN in an interview, “John Bolton is absolutely a hawk if it was up to him hed take on the whole world at one time, okay?”


Pakistan Gets More Money

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will make $3 billion worth of deposits and direct investments in Pakistan, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh tweeted June 24, The announcement comes after al-Thani’s June 21-22 visit to Pakistan, during which he met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Qatar is the fourth country to offer Pakistan funds to avert a balance of payments crisis after Saudi Arabia ($6.2 billion), China ($4.6 billion) and the United Arab Emirates ($2 billion). Already a key natural gas supplier to Pakistan under a 15-year contract, Qatar is in the running for a multibillion-dollar contract to supply Pakistan an additional 400 million cubic feet per day. While the new funds from Qatar will help Pakistan avoid a default on its payments in the short-term, over the long-term they will add to the debt servicing that is already the largest expense in its budget. Since taking over the government Imran Khan has been executing rather familiar policies as his predecessors.