It has been 16 years since the foundation of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which came to power in 2002 and has been at the helm ever since. This is an unprecedented situation in a democracy.
The AK Party came to power through a silent revolution as the people turned their backs on all mainstream parties and threw them out of Parliament in the 2002 elections. The people put an end to the "old Turkish system of rule" that allowed a handful of elites to run the country and plunder its resources.
With the AK Party, the conservative masses of Turkey saw they could defeat the elite ruling class and run the country.
The AK Party under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pushed Turkey among the top 20 economies of the world and transformed the country into a political star in its region but more important than anything else, created a just and fair social system where all citizens benefit from state services free of charge.
The AK Party created a social state in Turkey which is now the envy of many other democracies. It worked hard and achieved a social security system where all citizens are covered and insured, and all citizens receive good quality health services free of charge.
The AK Party revamped our health system and provided good quality medical services to all citizens – which even the United States and many other developed countries have failed to achieve. Free medication, free treatment and good quality attention.
The AK Party tended to the poor, the needy and the underdogs of society and provided them with monthly allowances to overcome their difficulties. No citizen was left empty handed; no citizen was left unattended.
But that is not all. The AK Party governments past and present all became the hope of the underprivileged and oppressed of the world. Turkey has become a leading donor to the poor and the needy in the world and is currently hosting 3.5 million Syrian migrants who fled the civil war and have been with us for seven years. U.N. figures show Turkey has spent $32 billion for these people during this period and has provided them with excellent living conditions.
The AK Party has transformed our cities into modern settlements. Giant construction projects have transformed our cities and our transportation routes into modern marvels.
Turkey has created a massive communications network and built airports and ports that have increased its transportation capacity. People are now traveling on domestic routes by air cheaper than by bus.
In foreign policy, Turkey has started to follow a policy of forging friendships and alliances with many different states as the globe transforms into a multipolar world. Some of our major allies who saw Turkey follow a more independent line and who realized they can no longer "control" Ankara are now trying to tame us through sanctions and acts of enmity.
Facing the problems created by some of Turkey's traditional allies, restructuring the Turkish economy and getting rid of structural deficiencies are the major challenges that await the AK Party in the years to come.