Businesspeople who harshly criticize the AK Party government and then without hesitation underscore Turkey's economic stability in the last 12 years despite the ongoing recession worldwide as well as the positive statistics showing the country's economic growth
We are in constant contact with almost all segments of society as the consequence of directing a research institute, GENAR. In the face of an upcoming election, a research institute has to predict the voting rates of each political party in the contest. Electoral behavior, the country's demographic structure, urbanization, changes in electors' priorities, the Kurdish electorate's tendencies and the influence of economic promises of political parties over retirees' electoral behaviors constitute the basic dynamics of the upcoming election.
On the one hand, business people from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) emphasize in their speeches that the government leans toward dictatorship, instead of democracy, its overall foreign policy is unsuccessful and it is unresponsive to political corruption.
On the other hand, the questions of who will form the government and how the economy will be managed constitute the main priority of all businesspeople. Regarding the first question, there are two concrete options that silence those businesspeople critical of the AK Party. First is the continuation of the AK Party government and second, the formation of a coalition government by all the opposition political parties. In the case of the second option, businesspeople seem discontented, wondering how opposition parties will come together and how such loose political power could govern the economy, which requires stability in the first place.
Thus, businesspeople who harshly criticize the AK Party government then underline Turkey's economic stability in the last 12 years despite the ongoing recession worldwide; Ali Babacan's success as economy minister, foreign minister and now as deputy prime minister; and the positive statistics of Turkey's economic growth. By emphasizing that the controversy between the president and the economic bureaucracy led to the rise of foreign currencies, those businesspeople then argue about the necessary economic measures that should be taken by the government for the continuation of economic growth.
At this point, I pointed something out to these businesspeople: Although you criticize it in political and social respects, you seem to wish for the continuation of the AK Party government. The most self-explanatory reply came from a businessman from the Black Sea region: "We cannot waste our money for a coalition government."
After I listened to the comments made by those businesspeople critical of the AK Party government, I talked to one of my friends who is a consultant for Arab businesspeople regarding Gulf capital and to an expert on cash funds in the United Kingdom. Both of them emphasize that its economic success ensures the AK Party government.
In each and every election, the influence of opinion leaders is vital. In this respect, society attaches particular importance to the opinions of businesspeople about the government, economy and politics.
After the AK Party's long experience running the government, it is true that a mark of tiredness can partially be detected. After all the years of service, the government seems like a workaholic Japanese prime minister.
Yet the AK Party appears as the only option that can address the two main needs of the people:
- The prudent management of the economy through maintaining and improving the country's opulence without putting the economy at risk
- Meeting and securing freedom of thought and faith of Muslims in Turkey and the world
The opposition, on the contrary, holds no satisfactory policy in either respect.
About the author
İhsan Aktaş is Chairman of the Board of GENAR Research Company. He is an academic at the Department of Communication at Istanbul Medipol University.