The presidential election on Aug. 10, as a political process, did not merely lead the prime minister into the presidency, but also carried Turkish democracy a significant step forward. For the first time in Turkish political history, pro-status quo forces could not dare to lay down anti-democratic prerequisites for the presidential election. The institution of the presidency had always been under the dominion of pro-status quo forces in the preceding history of the Republic of Turkey. During the turbulent times of coup, the highest military bureaucrats of the army monopolized the presidency themselves in the name of their self-imposed "national interests," while the traditional upside-down mentality of the founding military and civil bureaucratic elite of the Turkish Republic hung above the elected leaders like the sword of Damocles, threatening both the people and their representatives to obey their anti-democratic impositions.
The presidential election, for the first time held by popular vote, is an evident sign for the ongoing consolidation of the Turkish democracy by which the people demonstrated once again their determination to defy any anti-democratic demand as illegitimate in terms of basic and universal democratic principles. Erdoğan openly explained his political promises during his electoral campaign, but he had already secured such a vast political support base thanks to his comprehensive political vision. Indeed, regarding the recent local elections in March 2014, while the political campaign of the AK Party relied on the expansion of public services in addition to the production of various policies on the longstanding problems of Turkey, the opposition parties merely confined themselves to "tape politics," one of the many illegal and illegitimate means of anti-democratic politics.
Since its first day in power, the AK Party has always promoted the concept a "new Turkey" for denoting the emergence of a powerful country with an established democracy. Now, what does the concept of a "new Turkey" refer to? First and foremost the concept refers to the fact that Turkish democracy should be operated without any reservations whatsoever so that it can become a role model not only for Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa, but also for the whole world, including the so-called "advanced" democracies of the West. Secondly, the issuing of a new constitution to replace the present antidemocratic constitution founded out of the coup of Sept. 12 should turn out to be a social task. Thirdly, a strong economy together with a strong army and a strong cultural policy should become the main bases of the Turkish state. Fourth of all, the process of institutionalization should be advanced through a prudent and patient political attitude by relying on the strong state tradition inherited from Ottoman times. Fifth, the judicial system, which raises doubts about the distribution of justice, should be re-arranged according to the people's needs and desires.
Moreover, while the state is being consolidated, the structure of civil society should be strengthened. NGOs do not only support governmental institutions in terms of democracy, but also assist in easing the resolution of social problems. In addition, universities should be rendered as the engine of development by encouraging the share of knowledge between them and the companies of industry and technology. Last but not least, our cities, which have been growing rapidly, should be re-examined in a civilizational perspective by producing sound applications of planning, design and architecture that accords with Turkish urban planning. Finally, regarding Turkey's foreign relations, it is indispensable to establish foreign policies that best suit a strong state, institutionalize the alreadyestablished relations of the previous decade, and appreciate and promote our country's cultural and historical lands.
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