All scenarios involving coalition governments remind voters of Turkey of old, when instability was prevalent. With a coalition lekily resulting in poor results, the best result in the June 7 elections would be a one-party government
As the June 7 general elections approach, Turkey is witnessing the most exciting and interesting political competition in recent years. This competition does not mean that there is a balance shift between parties, or that there is a significant surge or decline in the votes for a certain party considering that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will come in first in these elections while the Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) will follow the AK Party, respectively. What differs in these elections is the fact that the HDP, unlike previously, decided to run as a party instead of running independent candidates. If the party can pass the 10 percent election threshold and enters Parliament, it will have a considerable impact on the number of seats that the AK Party will have in Parliament. Moreover, the worst-case scenario suggests that the possibility of a coalition government will arise. If so, there will emerge quite an interesting situation. It is interesting because such a scenario would indicate that it is a strong possibility that the AK Party, the architect of the reconciliation process, will form a coalition with the HDP. However, HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş bases his party's election campaign on receiving "anti-Erdoğan" and "anti-AK Party" votes. From the beginning, Demirtaş has done politics taking Kurdish votes for granted and has acted as if he can receive votes from the opposition bloc. Furthermore, he adopted the slogan: "We won't let Erdoğan be president." This was rather strange, because for the first time in the history of the Republic, the AK Party and its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, took the most radical steps and serious political risks to resolve the Kurdish question completely. And, after all, the AK Party held peace negotiations with the HDP in this process.
Those who watch Turkey from outside might have difficulty understanding this picture. Since Erdoğan has indisputably been the most powerful figure in Turkish politics over the past 12 years and he creates a perception of invincibility in some way, Turkish politics has been literally divided into two those for Erdoğan and the "opposite bloc." The aspiration for receiving the vote for Erdoğan, hence for the AK Party, means competing with such a powerful leader and his party. I think this is why Demirtaş chose the other path and aspires for the support of the opposite bloc, which is not already the AK Party's voter base. This situation contains contradictions within itself since a significant majority of the AK Party's base and the HDP's Kurdish voters support the reconciliation process. The MHP's base and a large majority of the CHP's base are completely against the idea of coming to the table with the PKK, believing that this question can be handled with arms. In short, Demirtaş seems to seek the votes both from Kurds and from the base that does not want the resolution of the Kurdish question. Can such a contradiction be concealed only with "anti-Erdoğanism"? I think this is hardly fair for the Kurdish electorate.
Supposing that the HDP passes the election threshold and the AK Party receives around 42 percent of the vote, there will emerge the possibility of a coalition government, which does not seem presumable to me. In this scenario, there will be two possibilities. The reasonable one is an AK Party-HDP coalition, meaning that Demirtaş will go against his election campaign. After such a destructive campaign and recriminations, the AK Party might not lean toward this idea. If so, the alternative of an AK Party-MHP coalition will emerge as another bad scenario. What will happen to the reconciliation process in this case? Will the MHP's old, harsh discourse and attitude not obstruct the progress that has been made so far in the reconciliation process? The third scenario is a coalition of the three opposition parties, leaving the AK Party aside. As politicians are consumed with a pathological hatred for Erdoğan, they could form all kinds of alliance. But, can the MHP and HDP explain this coalition to their respected bases? It is impossible, because in such a scenario the MHP base could initiate a rebellion, the government could fall and the country could hold early elections.
As all coalition scenarios remind us of the contentious and unstable Turkey of old coalition periods, and all versions of a coalition government could lead to various, poor results, I want Turkey to proceed on it way with a one-party government after June 7.
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