President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was re-elected as chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), in the party's third extraordinary congress on Sunday. This was not only a change in party chairmanship, it was also the first step in the transformation of the system. Tens of thousands of people gathered in the congress hall at a sports center in capital Ankara, while millions watched the historic moment on television.
As we entered the center, passing through a crowd of almost tens of thousands, we witnessed unprecedented excitement and an inexplicable expectation for change. The reason of enthusiasm was obviously President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's return to his party and the AK Party's preparation for a renaissance.
We will see the first clues for this rebirth in the new lists of the AK Party's Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) and the following Council of Ministers. Everyone in the hall was waiting in anticipation to learn what the AK Party intends to mean by "change" and what the public hopes from this change. While walking around the crowd, the words we heard uttered by an AK Party supporter summed up the mood of the people gathered there: "Today, what brought the tens of thousands here is our president, who loves the nation, and the change expected from him. I don't know what must be specifically changed, but really, something must change." Tens of thousands in the congress hall were saying, "Something must change," as they waited enthusiastically for President Erdoğan's arrival.
The first signal of change was given with the list of the AK Party's MKYK members. Some 19 members were changed in the 50-person list containing important names as newcomers and leavers. It was clear with the new list that a new political spirit with a younger age range was rising in the party.
Sunday's congress was indeed the first congress of the transition to a new political system, which had always been at the top of the agenda in Turkish politics since the start of Republican history. For the first time, thanks to this congress, the separation between the state and politics, which was for years imposed on the public by the tutelage system, was ended. The president's "artificial objectivity" position was eliminated and politics entered a normalization process.
The message of the congress was clear, saying that the Turkish government, state and political system will be revolutionary and the democratic structure of the country will be stronger than before.
It was undoubtedly a historic date and President Erdoğan opened a fresh new page for a new era with his return to the AK Party and thus, another taboo was broken.
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