Ertuğrul Özkök - English
Ertuğrul Özkök - English
Ertuğrul Özkök - EnglishYazarın Tüm Yazıları

The catostrophy of possible rising support for Turkey's ruling AKP

Do you agree with the hypothesis that suggests “if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) continues to govern in the same manner in the lead up to the March 29 local elections, and manages to increase its support by even one extra vote, then all their wrong-doing will be legitimized by the media that supports them.”

Haberin Devamı

This is just a fixation. What is more important is the following remark:

"God forbid, the end could be a catastrophe for us all."

These remarks belong to the leader of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli.

After reading this remark, I automatically reacted by asking, "Why this would be a catastrophe..."

Ultimately, this is a democracy and everything rests on the ballot box...

* * *

The question of "What would happen if the AKP loses votes in the local election?" was the main issue in Turkey's capital Ankara until recently.

Evaluations for this possibility have already started.

However, in my view, Bahceli's remarks kick off another debate.

What will happen if the AKP's votes increase?

This means, the possibility of the AKP increasing its votes exists.

How should Bahceli's remarks be politically evaluated in this case?

Is he trying to give a "kiss of life" to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan by bringing a contrary possibility to the agenda at a time when all talk focuses on the possibility that he would lose votes?

In other words, is he making a strategic mistake, or on the contrary, is he upping the success bar for him by "raising the level to 47 percent"?

Because circles close to the AKP had determined the "failure indicator" as 40 percent, which also means one vote less than 40 percent.

Bahceli is now saying the level should be "47 percent plus one vote".

If we read it this way, then we need to admit that "Bahceli made a strategic step with these remarks".

I don't agree with either assessment that the AKP increasing its support by even one vote would be a catastrophe for the country or that its support falling by one vote could be evaluated as their "defeat".

At the end of the day the country will elect its local administrators.

In other words, this is not a referendum.

The AKP will not be "a lame duck" if its votes fall below 40 percent.

* * *

These remarks reminded me the popular "21 percent" debate following the local elections in 1989.

The opposition evaluated a fall in support for Turkey's Motherland Party's (ANAP) in this election to 21 percent as a referendum and began to assert intense pressure on the party.

They also began a campaign declaring, "We will not let you take the post", in opposition to Turgut Ozal, ANAP lead and the then prime minister, as he was taking the presidential chair.

But, what happened then?

Ozal became president and he did not become the example of "a lame duck".

On the contrary, he governed the policy of the first Gulf War and was the architect of Turkey’s Poised Hammer policies.

* * *

Of course, Bahceli's warning could be right on one point:

How will Erdogan assess support of 47 percent plus one vote?

His assessment of 47 percent support following the general elections in 2007 was truly disastrous.

This is, because he evaluated the level of votes as "a license to do whatever he wants".

It will not be good for democracy if he assesses an election result of 47 percent plus one vote as a referendum outcome, which as he assessed in the past, gives him an unlimited "national will".

In that case, Bahceli is proved right.

I want to believe that,Erdogan has learnt the necessary lessons during the deep politic crisis which he faced after the 2007 general election. 

A pluralistic democracy is not a system consisting only of winners.


Those who lose are also the owners of the same system as the winners...



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