There's one year left until the election. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has done revolutionary work in many fields in the history of Turkey and ruled the country uninterruptedly. However, instead of shaping the vision for the future, it is currently trying to cope with the economic problems mainly caused by the pandemic and ongoing regional conflicts.
Opposition parties in Turkey have made severe accusations and criticized the government for the last four years. However, they could not put forward a vision that would transcend the political culture created by the AK Party. Opposition parties, due to their multipolar structures and diametrically opposite views, could not reveal a remarkable joint opinion, nor did they have a political discourse that would give hope to the public.
The apolitical stance of the opposition leaves the Turkish voters in a tense state. When the government weakens in a country, the nation seeks help from the opposition and directs its expectations toward it. In a poll we conducted, the number of those who answered "yes" to the question "can the government solve the problems of the country" remains slightly below 50%. But, those who say "yes" to the same question for the opposition barely total 35%. In any case, the AK Party seems more advantageous in running future-oriented politics.
In the early years of the AK Party government, health policies and investments were revolutionary steps of government activities. One could compare the health infrastructure of Turkey in the past to some of today's African countries. However, the infrastructure established during the ruling period of the AK Party is in a position to compete with the most developed countries in the world today. The country's current requirements regarding health services focus more on issues such as preventive health measures, the wellness industry and health tourism.
The transportation infrastructure has been one of the strongest pillars of the AK Party period. The AK Party governments did not only build roads, bridges and tunnels but also established an ecosystem from A to Z. They have created a complete ecosystem infrastructure from airlines, maritime, railway and logistics areas to region-based development models.
The states and governments that are not in line with the wishes and interests of the Western countries are often accused of being "anti-democratic" and their leaders as "oppressive." However, Turkey should confidently reveal its progress in democracy in a world where the West has been praising the democracy of Egypt. The AK Party made its most important revolution in the field of democracy. And today, considering the individual rights and attitudes of the state toward the citizens, it is in a position to make a benchmark with every European state. Due to the storm caused by the opposition over a few high society cases, the government is embarrassed to express its revolutions. Regarding the Kurdish question, there is no problem that the AK Party could not have solved. That's why the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), known for its ties to the PKK terrorist group, can not set a political agenda other than some goofy issues.
Everyone knows that the military tutelage had been suppressing civilian politics since the 1960 military coup. There has never been a government that has not been pressured by the shadow of the army. While the people also felt the pressure in their daily lives, military coups continuously reminded the country of it. The AK Party ended this nightmare. For the first time since the 1960 military coup, civilian politics dominates military and civilian bureaucracies.
In the first decade of AK Party governments, investing in infrastructure, health and education was at the forefront. Its geopolitical risks and the confusion of alliance relations in the global system revealed the necessity for Turkey to build a foreign policy and security paradigm outside of the post-Cold War conjuncture as being a regional power. Turkey, which has a deep state experience, has taken extraordinarily successful steps in this regard. An Italian political scientist describes such development with an interesting sentence: "Whoever comes face to face with Turkey becomes the natural loser."
The foreign political vision and security paradigm established by the AK Party has found a response in the common conscience. The continuation of this lofty vision has become the highest expectation of the public. Every citizen has been proud of the surprising developments and achievements in the defense industry.
The government must declare that it is going through a fundamental paradigm shift. In 2002, there were vast infrastructure problems and a lack of services in major cities of the country, and the AK Party solved these problems rationally. The party was a development party. Today, most of the infrastructure problems have been solved to a large extent, and there is no more social demand for a future policy over infrastructure problems.
The AK Party should soon voice its revolutionary discourse for the next 20 years. The titles of this discourse, therefore of the AK Party 2.0, should include: the wealth of the individual, the digital revolution economy, the vision of democracy for the second 20 years, the creative presentation of the foreign policy, the perspective of a great Turkey, the production and R&D investments, the new foreign trade vision, the cooperation of production and education, and more. The AK Party should take the lead because its potential to talk about the future still seems higher than the opposition.