Last month the Turkish people took a historic decision voting "yes" to constitutional reform, an act that is the most important in the history of modern Turkey. "Yes" gathered 2.82 points more than "no" - 51.41 percent versus 48.59 percent. Thus, the government is legally able to make changes.
"The transition to the presidential system is very important and necessary," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said. "This change in the system is necessary to enhance security and to effectively address the challenges facing Turkey." The president has called, among other things, for the end of unstable coalition governments.
There have never been significant changes made by coalition governments. Historically, the model turned out to be non-functional, and such partnerships were short-lived. Major changes in most countries have been done with strong governments of self-reliance rather than "pressing on fragile balances." Also, if a governing party resorts to allied governments, then it runs the risk of compromising its achievements. It is believed that allied governments have a much lesser degree of political legitimacy and efficiency than one-party ones, because they have, as a rule, a much lower degree of internal coherence. They manage for transitory periods or periods of crisis for a defined (transitional) period, but almost never - with few historical exceptions - produce politics or proceed with reforms, and it has been observed that the range of state regulatory interventions is diminishing.
Turkey experienced the chaos of coalition governments in the 1990s, when their disputes led to recession and catastrophic inflation. In the recent past almost once every decade the army and the "deep state" interfered with the political life of the country. Both obstacles Erdoğan managed to overcome by forming a strong self-governing government. At the same time, a part of society is afraid that if Turkey enters Europe, the Turkish-Islamic tradition will be "crowded out" due to Hebrew-Christianity. Erdoğan has managed to fight this fear. Some may have wanted him to "shake off" his political career, but he did the opposite.
Today, Turkey is moving from the former Kemalist state to a state where society and its structures, according to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), are democratized by going into the post-Kemalist era. Constituents and analysts point out that change is necessary to move on from an obsolete constitution drawn up under a military regime - which has created a bipartite executive with conflicting values and principles that could paralyze government decision-making.
Turkey has been contending with a large number of Daesh terrorist attacks, the PKK, a wave of violence in the Kurdish regions, and the attempted coup in July 2016 from Gülen's network. There is no time to waste. Those in favor of the changes argue that they will lead to a strong Turkey in which the executive can exercise power to directly promote economic growth and fight terrorism.
The Turks of GermanyMore Turkish voters live in Germany than in any other foreign country. From this community, a total of 63 percent of them voted "yes," which represents 0.2 percent of the overall result. Analysts argue that their massive participation has shown that the German social integration policy was probably not successful. Others argue that the "yes" in the referendum was a "yes" to Erdoğan: a dynamic Western-resistant man who can mobilize all the voters who have experienced rejection from German society and stimulate their national pride and Turkish identity.
The ‘next day' in TurkeyErdoğan also relies on personal resonance for supporters who see him as a leader who raises his voice against the Western imperialism. They also see him as a force to empower the poor and oppressed, and many respect his religious identity and values: he is Muslim and proud of it.
After a 14-year rule as prime minister in Turkey, during which Erdoğan did not lose an election, he has now reached the most crucial moment of his political life: where he is to lead his country into a "new era." In football he was very competitive, his friends say in Istanbul's Kasımpaşa neighborhood, he never accepted defeat, but he was fair and never forgot those who supported him in difficult times. In the "struggle of politics" the important thing is to win, no matter the result, he has said.
* Greek journalist, correspondent for Agora newspaper in Turkey
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Journalist, correspondent for Agora newspaper in Turkey
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