The road up to the 2019 elections will witness many change movements aiming to fulfill the expectations of the public, experts said in a conference in Istanbul yesterday.
Organized by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) and named "The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) toward 2019," the conference aimed to clarify the road of the AK Party as it approaches the 2019 elections.
Referring to the changes that have already started to take place within the AK Party as a part of the preparations, AK Party Vice Chairman Hamza Dağ stated in the conference that they are trying not to hurt anyone's feelings since the changes are not a result of any negative situations but basically out of a necessity for rejuvenation.
Dağ also said due to the new process that began with the April 16 referendum, the preparations for 2019 have started quite early when compared to previous election processes.
"Up to this point, tutelage always found a way to show itself in different forms in Turkey. Yet, with the April 16 referendum, we're aiming to have a system that will eradicate any possible tutelage that might emerge," said Dağ, while adding that one of the main purposes of these elections is to protect and continue to provide the gains seen in the past 15 years.
The ruling party entered a new era following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's return to the party in late May.
After the constitutional changes were approved in the April 16 referendum, which allowed President Erdoğan to re-establish his ties with the AK Party, the party held an emergency convention on May 21.
Since then, the Cabinet has been reshuffled, and Erdoğan has repeatedly spoken of the "mental fatigue" in the party.
"Our fellow friends in successful branches will, of course, continue their duties, but I guess you can also agree that comprehensive change is necessary in our local administrations," Erdoğan had said earlier in July.
"This change process doesn't stop with just replacing people. It is a process being conducted in accordance with the expectations of the public," Dağ added.
Similar to Dağ, Ekrem Kızıltaş, the head of the nonprofit Media Association of journalists, also mentioned the importance of the change movement, saying that there is both a metal fatigue and a blindness of service within the AK Party's structures.
"In order for Turkey's development to continue, these changes are vital," Kızıltaş said.
Meanwhile, Fahrettin Altun, the head of SETA Istanbul, said, "Since its foundation, the AK Party has faced two major obstacles: The struggle to survive and the struggle to keep its position as the main political party in Turkey," while adding that these obstacles have always been faced through national, regional and global attacks.
"The AK Party has had to deal with all of these challenges and successfully managed to do so thanks to its unique talent of always being able to rejuvenate itself," Altun added.
"Today, we discuss the change, but this is not a matter that is only relevant today. The AK Party has enough vision to continuously adjust its approaches," Altun indicated, while emphasizing that the party owes this advantage to its constant interaction with the public and by heeding their expectations.
Altun further highlighted that the circumstances that made the AK Party the ruling party of Turkey in the past are quite different today.
"Up until recently, Turkey had been trying to be a part of the western paradigm, along with the rest of the world. Yet, the western paradigm has started to be criticized globally, including by Turkey. After July 15, Turkey realized that it needs to isolate itself from this paradigm. In addition, society now demands more state-run security policies due to the terror threats," Altun stated.
He further added that the political demands of Turkish citizens have also changed since the politics in Turkey are no longer an ideological field that only deals with macro problems but now also possess the technical importance that can solve the micro problems, as well.