The elections are over and the nation has given its verdict in favor of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The opposition parties not only lost, but suffered political fatalities. They are now on the post mortem table and it is clear from the reactions of the past two days that they are unaware they are deceased.
The main opposition, the Republican People's Party (CHP), managed to preserve its dormant position, but even this situation is regarded as a failure by its supporters, while party chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is facing deep problems. There are pressures to change the party leadership because everyone has resigned to the fact that with the current trend the party will be a perennial opposition movement with no hope if ever coming to power.
The ultraconservative Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which lost badly in Sunday's elections, is in shambles. The party has not only lost major votes especially in central Anatolia, but has shed more seats than any other party and thus has fallen to fourth place in the parliamentary rankings. However its chairman Devlet Bahçeli is pretending that the party is still alive and well and that it has been a victim of a major plot. Bahçeli says all the odds were used against his party and does not acknowledge that his extremely negative attitude since the June 7 elections has not only frustrated his own grassroots, but has also driven away chunks of voters all over Anatolia. In Istanbul, which is the city that reflects all the shades of ideologies and where Turkish nationalist feelings run high, we see greater support for the Kurds than for the MHP. This is not because Turks in Istanbul are less nationalistic, but because the MHP has lost its ability to win nationalist votes.
All this shows that the more Bahçeli sticks to his seat, the more blood the MHP will lose. Thus in the end no one will be able to resurrect the nationalist movement.
The third victim of the June 7 polls was the Kurdish-nationalist Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). For the first time in Turkish history they were given immense support by the powerful Doğan Media Group and Gülen Movement media. Despite this, they lost massive votes and barely passed the 10 percent threshold. The HDP followed the PKK line and toyed with secessionist ideas instead of acting as if it was a part of the political apparatus. They encouraged street violence and anarchy. They helped the militant Kurds take to the streets. They encouraged pro-HDP municipalities to create autonomous zones as a first step for secession. Thus, they alienated ordinary Kurds and lost votes.
Now the HDP has to act as a part of Turkey's political structure, shed its secessionist image and end its bonds with the PKK. Only then it will be taken seriously and be resurrected as a meaningful political movement.
All these point to one thing: Turkish democracy lacks a viable and strong opposition party that will be the voice of the dissatisfied, the voice of those who are unhappy with the actions and policies of the government. Then democracy becomes a football game with a single goal and that only means we have a serious flaw in our system.
The leaders of these parties still do not see their massive contribution to the failures of their parties in the polls and are still hiding behind "if's" and "buts."
The opposition parties have to put their houses in order, their leaders have to come to their senses and democracy has to be bolstered.