Turkey Should Be Ready For Surprises

BY IBRAHIM KARAGUL

YENI SAFAK- While I am asking myself who is going to be the president in Turkey, I have noticed that I have clearer thoughts about France's presidential election and that it is much more difficult to foresee the results in Turkey's case, because everybody in Turkey has focused on the possible candidates. No one discusses what will happen then. France will elect its president on Sunday. This closely concerns the relations not only between Turkey and France but also between Turkey and the EU. Turkish-French relations may become much rougher if Sarkozy is elected.

He has been the favorite so far. But everything may change in the second round. Socialist candidate Royal's chances seem to be low. It is difficult for her, the architect of the Armenian genocide draft law, to pass on to the second round. Both Royal and Sarkozy seem to recede two points in a poll held on April 17. Le Pen's votes, on the other hand, seem to be on the rise. In the same poll, Le Pen had 14 % of the votes whereas Bayrou had 20 % and surprised everyone. After such an increase, Michel Rocard, the former prime minister from the Socialist Party, called on to Royal to unite with Bayrou but she declined.

Polls indicate that two candidates may pass on to the second round: Sarkozy and Bayrou. In fact, Bayrou is the only one who may leave Sarkozy out of the race. Sarkozy's policies are known in Turkey. How does Bayrou view Turkey, then? He recommends that a transparent policy should be implemented towards the foreigners. He wants Turkey to be a privileged partner and says that the EU should be realistic towards Turkey, not two-faced. He is not one of those political elites. He is against the invasions of the US and supported by Jacques Chirac.

Here is the possible atmosphere after the election: Should Bayrou be elected, Dominique de Villepin will stay prime minister and Sarkozy will probably lose his party. Thus, Turkey should be ready for the Bayrou surprise."

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