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Post-electoral Iran and the AKP government

Iran has not found peace since the presidential elections. Over time, the opposition movement will calm down and the Iranian Revolution will continue its path. However, nothing will ever be the same. What is happening in Iran reflects discontent within the regime rather than a counter-revolution.

Turkey’s government was quick to congratulate incumbent Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following the elections. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davudoğlu said that the Iranian elections were held at the end of an environment of open discussion.

He said that in this multi-candidate election the post-electoral developments, he hopes, won't cast a shadow over political participation. Davudoğlu underlined that high voter turnout in the elections was a positive development.

Regarding the riots, "We see this as a domestic issue of Iran and hope that the Iranian people and authorities will reach the most accurate decision," he said.

A political vocabulary excluding pluralism

There cannot be any better expression of the idea that democracy means only elections and politics consists of only the winner’s performances.

We already knew that the AKP government’s political vocabulary doesn’t include pluralism and participatory democracy, but we are confirmed once again. Besides, it is extremely doubtful that the election was fair, even by Davudoğlu’s standards.

In fact, among over 300 candidates, the Revolutionary Guards only approved four. This is just like the permission that today’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was not given in the 2002 general elections in Turkey! According to journalist Ayşe Önal, who closely follows Iran, Ahmadinejad tried to prevent a "map" from emerging in Iran by rigging the elections. That was just like the three-colored map drawn following the March 29 local polls in Turkey to depict a Turkey divided into: coastal cities-Central Anatolia-the Kurdish region.

Not a single observer expected the Iranian opposition leader Mir Hussein Mousavi to win.

But the regime was trying to block elections results that would reveal the 30-year-old Iranian Revolution is not in a rose garden and that the discontent is felt mostly in cities. Despite every effort the revelation is there.

Turkish foreign policy: independent yet realpolitik

As for the international dimensions of the elections, the government's position, as well as Foreign Minister’s statements supporting Ahmadinejad, are in harmony with the previous foreign policy line. Starting with the cartoon crisis, continuing with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal’s and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s Ankara visits, the unconditional pro-Hamas attitude, the Davos incident and the Rasmussen row Ñ these are challenges to Turkey's otherwise western allies positions'. This time again,

Turkey was at odds with its allies in the Iranian post-election developments.

What is going on in Iran is not something that can be overlooked by a dull "realpolitik" approach, or in other words, by "good neighborhood relations and no interference in domestic issues."

Discontent in our neighbor will, sooner or later, influence the region and have side effects. We should expect a tougher regime in Iran and a helix of disasters due to Israel’s involvement as a result of atomic bomb production in Iran.

The only course of action that may prevent the inferno is to develop new partnerships with the West, a course advocated by Mousavi. It is self-evident that the Turkish government, making pretentious claims and trying to bring Turkey to central stage, cannot generate any proactive policies when it comes to democratic evolution in neighboring countries. This goes for Azerbaijan and Armenia too.

Don’t democratic weaknesses lay behind the problems of all these countries, the problems that affect us at times? Does the Turkish government pronounce the word "democracy" in dialogues with these countries? Unfortunately not.