The ruling political party, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which went to the polls in harsh conditions in the June 7 general elections, won a victory of democracy and gave both Turkey's political region of influence, particularly the Middle East, and the world as a whole strong signs of leadership.
The image of a new Turkey that believes in democracy, taking the freedom of faith and thought up to European standards and promising prosperity and development highly influenced the Arab streets. Yet, in the face of the Arab Spring, Western states in general preferred to work with secular dictators rather than the democratic, conservative middle classes.
Such a preference prepared the ground for destructive terrorist organizations, primarily the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), to take root. Still, the only antidote against terrorism is democracy, as the invaluable political experiences in Tunisia and Turkey put forward.
In this respect, Turkey's recent democratic victory presents a new opportunity for Western states to reinterpret the Arab Spring. Many policy makers in the U.S. discussed the direct and instant intervention of Iran and Russia into the Syrian civil war, President Barack Obama's hesitant political attitude over Syrian and the enfeeblement of the Western alliance against Iran and Russia.
In the face Iran's aggressive foreign policy of the Shiite crescent that even surpassed its enmity of Israel, Turkey gives signs about Egypt's involvement into the alliance between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Turkey's expectation from Egypt is the reconsolidation of democracy and holding democratic elections that would also involve the Muslim Brotherhood. Sooner or later, Egypt will turn back to the path of democracy, while the demand for democracy in Syria and Egypt is being argued in the international arena most strongly by Turkey.
The ongoing consequences of the Syrian civil war, i.e., the intensification of the refugee crisis and the rise of terrorism, now press on European borders. As the enfeeblement of Turkey as a country of stability would certainly mean the enfeeblement of Europe itself, the European Union has clearly taken its side with a strong Turkey. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Turkey should be interpreted as such.
Regarding Turkey's domestic politics, the results of the Nov. 1 elections of will force the foreign powers, which used the PKK to subdue Turkey, to reevaluate their plans. The PKK's numerous calls for rebellion and violence remain unanswered in the region while people wholly removed terrorist elements from the cities. It is now seen that the Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) only choice is to work with Turkey, not against it.
Turkey's people's enthusiasm and optimism that emerged after the last elections demonstrated that political polarization, which is constantly reconstructed by politically marginal groups, does not exist among the people.
Meanwhile, both the PKK and ISIS understood that Turkey's people unite for the sake of the country against any intervention coming from abroad.
Finally, Turkey's people, through the last elections, strengthened democracy, prosperity and development. It is the country that seeks the resolution of regional problems in the leadership of the AK Party. In addition, the last elections demonstrated that the people's support is not limitless but strongly related to good governance.
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.