Maybe this is the last chance for the old Turkey

Published 05.06.2015 00:18

Many people rightfully say that the election to be held on Sunday is the most critical election in our political history because this is the end of a three-election marathon, and if this election ends up establishing a stable government, there will be no more elections for four years. The meaning of such a period in the recent history of Turkey is the expectation that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will terminate the old and initiate activities to establish the new.

For the last 13 years, the AK Party governments have been preoccupied with dissolving the institutional structure of the Kemalist tutelary regime. In the meantime, because of a late reaction to the Gülen Movement's policy of infiltrating the bureaucracy, the AK Party had to lead two struggles at the same time. After all, the AK Party's success was directly dependent on the economy, urbanization, the creation of a healthier world and the capacity of serving this new world with a healthy society. However, the enhancement of the field of fundamental liberties, the acknowledgement of identity rights and the siege of Armenian, Kurdish and Alevi perspectives by freedom of expression provided the government with an important legitimacy. When you look back, you can see that the first 13 years meant demolishing "what is wrong" or correcting it as much as possible.

Looking forward, one can see that the issue for Turkey is, however, different. The construction of truth and its application to life as a coherent system is on the AK Party's plate. Four years without an election is a crucial opportunity to form the social, political, legal and ideological ground for the said change. If the momentum of this transformation is sustained, it is realistic to expect that the AK Party will win at least the next two future elections, because politics in Turkey will have become the "tail" of society, and the dexterity of governments will directly depend on their ability to adapt to this change. The Islamic sociology has become more urban and more educated as well as richer, and it shows a tendency to mingle with other sections of society. Accordingly, the base of the AK Party is in the process of a natural expansion. On the contrary, the feeling of defeat for the secular section has resulted in a reflex to withdraw into itself. The democratic wing of the secular section goes out of its own community to the extent that it is not able to seize the opportunity of transforming this world from within. Therefore, we encounter the reality of a gradually contracting secular section, namely a shrinking Republican People's Party (CHP) base.

In a nutshell, if the AK Party can come to power alone, this could be the harbinger of a long period of new government. To put it in other terms, Turkey can irrevocably re-build its political structure and its ground for ideological legitimacy, which could be the end of the old "centric" parties, namely the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). In the short term, we can talk about whether the People's Democratic Party (HDP) will enter Parliament and whether the AK Party will be able to found the government alone. However, whatever the result will be, it is obvious that these parties will constitute the fundamental particles of political life. Yet, a wider perspective implies that the CHP and the MHP are under a quite radical and imminent threat.

The life of these two parties and their ability to find a social ground depends on the AK Party's inability to form a one-party government. The obligatory but insufficient condition for this is the HDP passing the election threshold. There is no meaningful work on this scenario regarding what comes after. The rise of the military as a political actor in a chaotic environment and increasing legal pressures on the AK Party can be imagined. We are currently far away from the New Turkey the AK Party talks about. But "the old Turkey" stands right next to us and maybe it is putting up the last fight to stand up. While the HDP tries to open a room for itself in the New Turkey, it supports "the old Turkey" in order to not to fall weak against the AK Party.

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