In most any democracy in the world, the electoral results of Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party in the 31 March municipal elections after so many years of political hegemony would be absolutely normal.
Turkey, however, is not a regular democracy. There, a leader who is addicted to power feels and behaves as if he were the absolute and eternal master of the game, as a sultan, cannot but interpret such a result as a crushing defeat for his prestige.
This emotional framework may well determine the future behaviour of the Turkish President. It will quite possibly resemble the behaviour of a wounded beast, which in political terms could result in a new round of provocations, violations, and claims.
It is well known that authoritarian leaders who feel threatened domestically often resort to fueling nationalist sentiments so as to forge a new hegemony.
It was just a few days ago that the Greek Defence Minister called on Turkey to “get serious”. Regardless of the phrasing, it is doubtful that the minister’s plea will be heeded.
Turkey remains bound by an authoritarian and unpredictable leader.
The AKP’s potential loss of the municipality of Istanbul and the almost certain loss of Ankara aggravates the existing uncertainty.
The seriousness that Athens seeks will be hard to come by, and that is why calm and even greater caution is required.