Polarization is not something new in Turkey, its roots were established during the early dissolution of the Ottoman Empire when few elites established a status-quo and tried to design Turkish Society according to Western values
The polarization of Turkish society is not a creation of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), but rather arose over a long period of time. It could be said that this polarization surfaced in a peaceful way during the AK Party period. To be more precise, it would be more accurate to define this issue, which has a 200-year history, as a paradox rather than a polarization. During the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, some reformist bureaucrats who had no clear understanding of the roots of the reforms being carried out in the West, initiated a superficial process of Westernization. This movement gradually dominated the official bodies, high-ranking authorities and state elites. Due to various reasons, including the West's dominance over the Ottomans, the increasing explicitness of this dominance and extreme time limitations, the process of Westernization was adopted as a rescue mission in order to save the empire, but without sufficient thought being given to the issue.
The political parties founded in the last quarter of the 19th century, particularly the Committee of Union and Progress, represented an unconditionally pro-Western school, such as Ziya Pasha. The rush to stop the dissolution gave rise to the practice of controlling the state instead of relying on a people's movement. It was believed that the empire could have been saved if the state had been controlled and the rulers such as Sultan Abdülhamid II had been overthrown. According to this view, lost territories could also be reclaimed and the empire could be rejuvenated in this way. With the second constitutional era recognized by the sultan in 1908 and the Raid on the Sublime Porte staged by the Turkist wing of the Committee of Union and Progress, the state administration started to be controlled by a young, romantic clique. This clique was the three pashas Talaat, Enver and Cemal, who were essentially influenced by the Germans. They labored under a delusion of reviving the Ottoman Empire by entering World War I allied with Germany. Meanwhile, the whole empire was put in great danger and great costs were paid. It was generally accepted that the Ottoman Empire could have gotten through the process with much less damage and even the 1915 Armenian deportation might not have taken place had Abdülhamid II not been overthrown.
But the paradox introduced to the country with high-ranking offices continued throughout the Republican period. Certain regimes that were not based on popular will were implemented as part of social engineering projects that maintained the polarization between this small segment supporting and benefiting from this project and the majority of the public with conservative tendencies. This system had two main problems. Firstly, the public was regarded as inferior and a threat at the same time and secondly, this rescue project was quite groundless and weak. The process of Westernization, which was never more than a poor copy that oscillated on a pendulum of admiration and hatred, was always met with antipathy and alienation by the public. Besides, this type of modernization was forcefully imposed on 99 percent of the country during the Republican period, and violent reforms were implemented in this regard. People's beliefs were intervened in, ethnicities were oppressed and languages were banned. A segment adopted a Jacobin attitude and made use of it, and the masses were positioned at two opposite poles. However, the administration and the country's resources were controlled by this pro-Western minority group until the 2000s.
And since this bi-polar balance was subverted during the AK Party period, elite segments of the country interpreted this equalization as a loss of their rights. As an anti-democratic state system that was normalized within the years has been democratized, conservatives, non-Muslims and Kurds became visible in the public sphere and exercised their rights. This transformation was accomplished thanks to the AK Party. It was actually a process of normalization without any violence, but was seen as a loss of privilege by the nationalist and secularist elites. Also, the parties including the Republican People's Party (CHP) deepened this class controversy rather than normalizing their own bases, and they even saw this reaction as an easy way to gather votes. They are still the same. But this process of transformation has already started and 75 percent of the public supports it. The AK Party will preserve its power as long as it takes over the process. The country can be normalized as White Turks are able to absorb this equality and as they begin to adjust to positive politics.