On the perplexing and bursty date of Saturday May 20, 2023, a shocking and unexpected meeting took place between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and ATA Alliance leader Sinan Oğan at Dolmabahçe Office in Istanbul. A photograph captured the moment as the two leaders shook hands, their faces betraying inscrutable emotions that baffled onlookers.
Sources revealed that the meeting was held in secret and lasted a mysterious hour, with no official statement yet released about its purpose or outcome. However, some speculate that it is related to the upcoming runoff elections on May 28, which have sparked intense controversy and intrigue.
Adding to the confusion is the recent comment made by ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chair Binali Yıldırım, who stated that there is little ideological difference between President Erdoğan and third candidate Sinan Oğan. This has left many wondering what the meeting could have entailed and what kind of machinations might be at play.
To further complicate matters, hardline nationalist Oğan shocked observers by snagging 5.2% of the vote in the initial round of elections held last Sunday, and is now a significant contender for the presidency. Erdoğan himself narrowly missed out on a majority with 49.5% of the vote, while main rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu trailed behind at 44.9%.
Oğan, running as an independent, has emerged as a kingmaker and caused confusion among voters by drawing support from both Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu. His newfound fame has only added to the sense of turbulence and unpredictability surrounding the upcoming elections and the fate of Turkey’s leadership.