Since the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) took to the stage of Turkish politics, each newly founded political party has striven to imitate its founding story. Yet, it was unique story which included a strong leadership, an experienced political cadre that was raised by the Welfare Party (RP), a deep political and economic crisis, and a rising popularity among the people.
After the end of the last local elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan underlined the notion of a "Turkey Alliance" by expressing several times that "it is now time to cool down the heated iron." Reminding Turkey's ongoing political and economic struggles in the international arena, such a political attitude nullifies one of the main discourses of opposition political parties that accuses the ruling political party of polarizing the country.
Turkey has recently been through tough times. After the end of the Gezi protests, a judicial-coup d'état was attempted and failed between Dec. 17, 2013 and Dec. 25, 2013. This was followed by a failed but treacherous and bloody coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Meanwhile, people voted in a referendum for Turkey's transition to the presidential system. At such a vulnerable political moment, I wrote in my column on the importance of "social consensus."
From the foundation of the AK Party to 2011, a great majority of the people were either supporting or feeling sympathy for the ruling political party. Even those who did not vote for the AK Party were still expressing their appreciation for its political stance and policies.
The AK Party's magic directly derived from the dialogue and bonds that they had with the people. Except the brief political power of the Democrat Party (DP), no other political party achieved such a social unity and integration as the AK Party did. The spy-ring Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) knew that all too well.
Right before the AK Party's congress in 2011, FETÖ was aspiring to become a direct partner of political power. They were gradually preparing their internal rings for raising adversity against Erdoğan. Secretly taking hold of the army, the police and the judicial system, including the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, FETÖ had emerged as a gangrene that was penetrated into the main pillars of state structure. Only the unyielding democratic defiance of the people could have saved our country from such a comprehensive and sophisticated threat.
To cut off the bonds between the AK Party and the people, FETÖ mobilized its units in the police department and in the departments of intelligence. They organized and propagated social protests, and then suppressed them with brute police force. They had even realized secret operations in football clubs, such as Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş. The Gezi process is the result of their game of escalating the tensions. Although it is known as a leftist uprising, FETÖ was the true architect of the Gezi protests.
By escalating social tension, this project of cutting off the AK Party's bonds with the people, including with those who vote for opposition political parties, has succeeded in one sense. Some of the AK Party's intellectuals, who have nothing to contribute other than feeding from the shadow of the president, have been incapable of analyzing this process.
At this critical moment, President Erdoğan underlines the notion of the "Turkey's Alliance" with an open reference to Turkey before 2011, before FETÖ's treason. This is a higher political vision. It is a sincere pursuit of social consensus and integration. Especially on national issues, we do need national consensus.