The question of whether there is any other party that has completed its transformation process in as short a time as the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), is worthy of debate.
The AK Party passed the threshold of victory in the first round of the Aug. 10 presidential election. A day after the election, the party's Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) convened and on Aug. 27 the first extraordinary congress was held in order to elect the new chairman of the party and the new prime minister of the country. A road map as to how the transition period would be managed was also determined during the congress. The general tendency of the party members was taken into consideration and in line with this Ahmet Davutoğlu was elected the new chairman of the party and new prime minister of Turkey.
During the extraordinary congress, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan handed over his position to Davutoğlu. Then, Erdoğan was sworn in at Parliament and became president. The same evening, President Erdoğan instructed Davutoğlu to form a new cabinet. On Aug. 29, the new government was formed under the leadership of Davutoğlu. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Volkan Bozkır, who come from diplomatic backgrounds, were appointed as foreign minister and EU minister respectively.
Over the AK Party's past 12 years in power, it has paved the way for intra-party discipline and coordination. The AK Party has survived several attempted coups, street protests as well as threats from organizations that settled down in the state. The confidence in Erdoğan, who maintained the salvation of the party, prevented disintegration within the party. Erdoğan was superseded by Davutoğlu, and this, beyond any doubt, is one of the most important components of this transformation process. While heading toward this process, Erdoğan systematized the general tendency of the party and put forward some criteria. The three-term rule and the principle that the chairman and the prime minister should be the same person reflected the political wisdom of the party and answered the political necessities of Turkey rather than being short-term solutions. Therefore, it was not surprising that Davutoğlu was elected prime minister.
Turkey has made considerable progress both in domestic and foreign politics and has started to pursue a proactive policy toward the outside world. This is a vital necessity as Turkey has become a country whose domestic and foreign agenda have become intermingled. Any development that takes place outside Turkey has implications in the country, while any internal decision will be meaningful in its foreign policy with some European countries and the U.S. The international concerns of Turkish politics have inevitably been consolidated and this inevitability has taken Davutoğlu to the foreground both within the party and among the public.
For the first time in the history of the Republic, a political party has determined its institutional structure and chairman in a rational way and in line with socio-cultural, historic, economic and global developments.
This is also seen in the formation of the new cabinet. When Davutoğlu was presented as the candidate for prime minister, the questions of who would replace him and which changes would be made in the cabinet sparked a lot of discussion. It is not surprising that the political wisdom of the AK Party assigned Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to the Foreign Ministry. Çavuşoğlu is a successful and experienced politician who chaired the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Davutoğlu is often mentioned with the historic and cultural heritage on which this country is based. That is why Davutoğlu places a strong emphasis on such regions as the Middle East, Muslim regions and Africa, all of which were ignored by traditional Turkish foreign policy in the past. The same political wisdom also acknowledges that the West and the EU should not be ignored and a sound, balanced policy should be pursued on these matters. The importance of the collaboration with the West's democratic institutions on constitutional and institutional transformation cannot be denied. These two newly-appointed ministers indicate a well-calculated political wisdom and decisiveness for democratic and constitutional transformation.
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