July 9: A historic day in modern Turkish politics

Published 10.07.2018 23:40

In the June 24 elections, the Turkish people conveyed some important messages to the political arena by overwhelmingly exercising their right to vote. The electorate showed they were in favor of stability by electing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the first round. They also made sure their voices, calling for more cooperation between all the parties in Parliament, were heard – as evident in the close vote shares of each party.

Such a meaningful result would not have been inferred even with careful political engineering efforts. The people performed their duty, and now it is time for the politicians to fulfill the demands of the electorate.

After the Parliament deputies took the oath, President Erdoğan also formally took the office. Unfortunately, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) staged a sit-in protest, a politically nonsensical move that clouded that historic moment and showed that they have not understood the people's message.

However, the people through the ballots had displayed their will to see reconciliation among the parties. In fact, this was also projected by the architects of the system. This projection suggests that it is necessary to understand the political tasks stemming from people's diverse choices. If people elect the government and Parliament through different channels, it is required to hold the balance between these channels and infer that people wish to see reasonable cooperation that pays regard to each component of the system.

The dissident groups, led by the CHP and HDP, touch upon the importance of reconciliation and cooperation while complaining about polarization. On the other hand, they also stir up tension in Parliament based on poor excuses, which is not an effective way to perform the duty of opposition.

Turkey does not deserve such an opposition. The opposition actors who could not handle the chaos on election night seemingly have not understood the people's reaction. And they never seem to change since they don't seem to draw lessons from election results.

The following comments by professor Şükrü Hanioğlu are justified in this case, "It is not enough for you to argue for change, but your interlocutor is also required to be ready for the change." Unfortunately, the CHP and HDP showed once again that they are not willing to change.

The media outlets supporting the above-mentioned groups were no different. From the very first day following the elections, they started spreading baseless claims that Parliament was rendered nonfunctional and reforms would not be possible. Each writer of these media outlets presented their anticipation as reality.

However, President Erdoğan has underscored the ideas of reform and change in every speech he gave: "We have governed Turkey for 16 years without any interruption and with continuous reforms. We have to carry on our reforms. This entails changing the prevalent mindset and arranging the body of current law including the Constitution."

Being aware of this consideration, the Turkish people have opted for reforms in every election held so far. We have witnessed this fact again in the Presidential Complex, which was our second stop on Monday following the ceremony in Parliament.

President Erdoğan hosted state presidents and important politicians from more than 50 countries and guests from all over of Turkey at the Presidential Complex. Towards the end of the ceremony, Erdoğan announced the new Cabinet under the new system.

As the names were announced, the audience applauded both in enthusiasm and surprise. Some of the names were expected while some others were a complete surprise. The new Cabinet is a good synthesis of merit and competence. With the list completed, Turkey's new journey has begun.

I congratulate the new government officials and wish them success.

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