Last week's local elections were the first stage of a three-phrase process which will shape the next 10 years in Turkey. The two other stages will be the presidential elections in August and the general elections in 2015, respectively. Considering the significant influence that local election results have on upcoming national polls, the legitimate, illegitimate, political and non-political actors were given particular attention.
Turkey was witness to blackmail attempts, illegal wiretaps, a judiciary operation and witch-hunt. The right of privacy and the presumption of innocence were breached.
In Turkey's recent history, the March 30 local race was the most interfered with elections through illegal mean. The principal objective was to withdraw the ruling party below 40 percent and leave Turkey without Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The people who said, "When the AK Party will fall below 40 percent, Erdoğan will flee away" were mistaken. While the AK Party received 45.5 percent, the Republican People's Party (CHP) garnered 27.7 percent of the vote. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) came in third with 15.5 followed by the Peace and Democracy Party with 4.1 percent.
The public gave four messages about their expectations on Turkey. The first message is addressed to the government. PM Erdoğan became stronger to fight against the powers trying to determine Turkey's future through non-political ways. The trust in Erdoğan's leadership was confirmed. The AK Party's increasing influence in the east and southeastern Anatolia means that "the resolution process is still under progress." The second message refers to the opposition.
The CHP is now regarded as the coastal party for its failure to reach the rest of Turkey. The main opposition's influence on the Aegean and Mediterranean regions was wounded. The CHP lost in the Mediterranean cities and was pushed the western parts of the Aegean and Marmara regions.
Additionally, they were unable to win any of the 17 cities in the east and the southeastern regions. The same results also apply to the MHP. Turkish people rejected the current strategies of the opposition. In other words, the CHP which once unseated its previous leader Deniz Baykal through wiretaps was not given credit for its support and focus on illegal wiretapping against Erdoğan during the election rallies. The public's message was a clear call for the CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to engage in politics with a legal base.
The third message was targeted at the all political and non-political actors. Turkish people denounced the scandal of wiretapping recorded and released by unknown hidden powers. They said, "The ruling party will change when I want, not when the hidden powers request." The Gülen Movement, which is fighting against the government with its affiliated media channels, the judiciary and police and violates the presumption of innocence in addition to all universal and religious values, should be snubbed.
Hüseyin Gülerce, one of the leading people among the Gülen Movement said, "It was wrong to fight against the government."
However, his words were misunderstood and Gülerce was blasted by the Gülenists.
The last message is directly addressed to Erdoğan. The AK Party base back Erdoğan, who was faced with a comprehensive policejudiciary- media operation on Dec. 17. The results could be considered a blank check for Erdoğan heading into upcoming presidential elections. The AK Party believes that Erdoğan will become the president in the first round of the election. Here is the question:
Will Erdoğan run for president?
He is holding the key in his hand. Erdoğan's inner circle thinks that he wants to become the next president. Presumably, Erdoğan will negotiate with the AK Party, his colleagues and President Abdullah Gül to make a decision. I believe, he will not experience much difficulty since there is strong public support behind him. There is only one problem, though. Erdoğan is aware of the fact that the fight against the parallel state is long-running and requires political will. If he becomes the next president, will his successors show the same will? I think, Erdoğan will announce his candidacy as soon as he is convinced about this issue.