For many years the saying "yesterday is yesterday, today is today" (Dün Dündür, Bugün Bugün) was repeated in the Turkish political scene as the golden motto of Turkey's senior statesman Süleyman Demirel. Years of tough political struggle, two military coups, and a series of massive political setbacks, political intrigue and backstabbing taught Demirel the intricacies of Turkey's complex political life and gave him a pragmatic disposition that saved Turkey from many crises. Many people in later years saw this motto as an easy way out of tough corners and shunned the saying. They felt saying such a thing was an easy way out that saved the day but did not provide lasting solutions.
Yet today we see that the political parties and their leaders as well as the president are all using this motto in the current political climate where no party has enough seats to form the government on their own and are either dismissing a coalition government or opting for early elections. So everyone has to forget the insults, the massive accusations, and the slander that flew in the air during the campaign period and say "yesterday is yesterday, today is today" and try to forget all they said and did against each other and look each other in the eye and try to forge a coalition government.
So it was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who started the process of "yesterday is yesterday, today is today" when he met with Deniz Baykal, who can be regarded as the senior statesman of the left-wing. It was a move to start a reconciliation process in Turkish politics that surprised many people and was welcomed by the whole nation. Deniz Baykal is the former chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and will soon chair the opening session of Parliament as the eldest member of the house where deputies will be sworn in. The office of the president said Baykal was invited to the palace by the president as he will soon chair the Parliament as a temporary speaker until the new speaker is elected. However, this too was a first because until now no acting speaker has ever been invited by the president to the palace because this parliamentary post is ceremonial and has no political significance. But the real message given by Erdoğan was that he is seeking reconciliation in Turkey and is prepared to start it himself.
Baykal has no political clout in the CHP but he is revered as the grand statesman of the left, which was all Erdoğan needed. They discussed the political situation in earnest and after the meeting Baykal told the nation Erdoğan was in a reconciliatory mood. Thus his mission was completed.
No one should look deeper into this meeting. Baykal is not in a position to commit the CHP to a coalition with any party and Erdoğan knows this. Politicians have now started to seek ways to forge a coalition. They are aware that they too have to act like Erdoğan and be pragmatic. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has signaled he will be pragmatic and forthcoming. He has said the message of the people was loud and clear and that the nation has closed the door on a presidential system. Erdoğan has also heard this message and thus started the reconciliation process with Baykal.
It now seems the nation and the new generation of politicians will appreciate the political genius of Süleyman Demirel a lot more.