The future of Turkish democracy

Published 12.06.2015 20:27
Updated 12.06.2015 23:40

If Turkey were an island country, its citizens would most probably be much happier. Turkic raids, which began in the ancient times of the colossal migration of tribes, brought forth the establishment of a bunch of states until the settlement of migration waves in the western frontiers of Anatolia.

Since Anatolia is a peninsula within the boundaries of the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean, it constitutes one of the most strategically significant pieces of land and its residents, especially from the Oghuz and Turkmen tribes, decided to settle there forever. Indeed, former U.S. President Bill Clinton underlined the same point of view during his visit to Turkey: "Whenever I look over the world map, Turkey's strategic location catches my eyes." As a country interconnected with more than half the world, even the move of a leaf in Turkey deeply interests the world as a whole.

In this respect, the general elections that took place last weekend, along with the subsequent political framework, are significant for many intellectuals, political scientists and statesmen worldwide.

First and foremost, although the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had the highest number of votes in the elections, it lost its chance to come to power alone after its 13 years of one-party governments. In this context, the following vital question has come to the fore for the West: Will the AK Party, which came to power through elections, be ousted by elections again? In this respect, the old Jacobins and the members of the new "parallel state" in Turkey try to defame the image of the AK Party and its leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, by daring to assert that the Turkish state supports fundamentalist organizations in Iraq and Syria. Yet the AK Party's prudential attitude in the face of the election results enables the West to appreciate its devotion to and faith in democracy. Indeed, the AK Party is linked with democracy and attached to its democratic usages with enduring bonds.

However, in order to make democratic principles work, elections quintessentially decide the formation of the government. Regarding the social analysis of the elections, along with electoral behavior and discourses, the following points come forward:

l Although it received a small but significant warning from the electorate, the AK Party still constitutes the backbone of Turkish democracy.

For the realization of a prospective coalition government with three formerly opposition parties, difficult problems still stand.

As the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) are, respectively, Turkish and Kurdish nationalist political parties, their reasons for existence are therefore diametrically opposed and it is very difficult, if not impossible, for them to be coalition partners.

The change of political power after the general elections did not create social synergy. On the contrary, people as a whole seem anxious about the end of the AK Party's one-party government.

The AK Party leadership responded to the election results in a dynamic manner by turning electoral criticism into self-criticism.

The only party that can successfully struggle against the regional and ethnic polarization in the country is still the AK Party. In fact, the AK Party is either the first or the second party in all of the constituencies of Turkey.

We will continue to analyze the last general elections in our future columns.

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