Wednesday, 17 June 2015

What the Columnists Say

Published in Roundup of Columnists

Etyen Mahçupyan in Akşam writes that the common sense of Erdogan demonstrates that Turkey is moving toward democracy thanks to the AKP, in spite of its deficient democratic tradition. Güray Öz writes in Cumhuriyet that weakening and neutralizing the AKP power is not going to be an easy task, and that those who have conquered the state are not going to relinquish power just because they lost their majority in the election. Aydın Engin in Cumhuriyet argues that the AKP simply cannot abandon power, first because the party has committed war crimes in Syria and would face the consequences if it were to surrender government power, and second because the moneyed interests that have prospered during its reign and who depend on its power would not allow it to step down. İbrahim Karagül in Yeni Şafak writes that the same international will that ended democracy in Egypt is now scheming to oust AKP from government, but that AKP is Turkey's backbone and that the forty one percent are never going to surrender.




Etyen Mahçupyan in Akşam writes that the base of the AKP sent a warning at the June 7 general election: This electorate wants normalization to continue and has displayed that it leans toward the punishment of what is abnormal. What this means is that the AKP can be disappointed if it opts for an early election. There is a reality that Erdoğan and the party leadership need to see: AKP supporters are increasingly less enamored with politics steeped in threats, with a too pronounced Islamic rhetoric and with historical chauvinism. They want the AKP to be able to govern Turkey by embracing all its multitude and they want to hear such a discourse. Consequently, the natural expectation of the AKP base is that their party forms a coalition and that it proves to the whole world that it’s up to the task of accomplishing normalization. Erdoğan’s stance demonstrates that he has internalized the requirement of normalization. The commonsense of the president does not only show that Turkey is not a country that urgently needs to be put under tutelage; it’s the proof that we are moving toward democracy thanks to AKPö in spite of its deficient democratic tradition.


Güray Öz in Cumhuriyet writes that AKP’s loss of its majority in parliament has strengthened the probability that the AKP’s, or more correctly Erdogan’s tutelage in the executive may come to an end. However, power in the judiciary and in the executive is still in the hands of the AKP. If we are not to forget the real meaning of the word power, we also need to recognize that weakening and neutralizing the AKP power from the bottom up is not going to be an easy task. A president who is insistent on using his “prerogatives,” a judiciary and a bureaucracy that constitutes the capillary vessels of power and over which control has been asserted at almost every level are still in place; unless a radical stance is taken, they are all going to remain in place and continue to function. Those who have conquered the state are not going to hand power over to you just because of an election…


Aydın Engin in Cumhuriyet writes that AKP is not going to abandon power. It cannot abandon it. There are many reasons for this, but it’s enough to note the two main ones. The first is fear!.. Sending arms to a foreign country (Syria) without the approval of the parliament, to side with one of the warring sides in a foreign country and ensuring that the warriors of this side can transit through the territory of Turkey is without any question a war crime and a crime against humanity. The second reason has to do with the real basis of power: Money!.. In order to truly wield power, this needs to have a class basis and this basis needs to be strong enough. AKP has during its thirteen years in power step by step constructed this basis. It chose not to seek accommodation with existing big capital; indeed, it often chose to confront it. AKP preferred to create its own class of capitalists. Especially in the construction sector, the companies are divided between those who are of the AKP team and those who are not, with the latter getting cut out of the business. Does anyone envision that the capitalists on whom AKP relies are going to give up on this lucrative position just because the AKP cannot form government of its own after June 7? If by chance Tayyip Erdoğan were to say “The people didn’t elect me. Now I’m going to leave power, and they can have it,” and in anger take AKP with him, those capitalists would enjoin him to calm down and make sure that AKP remains the main leg of the government. So with this in mind, let’s not lose sight of the fact that our future does not look particularly bright…


İbrahim Karagül in Yeni Şafak writes that those who we thought had lost some of their power, the capitalist circles and their international partners, who used to determine who held power in Turkey before, have once again taken the stage. What they’ve tried to do with different scenarios during thirteen years, they’ve now succeeded with on June 7. Before the election, they used Kurdish nationalism; for the project after the election it’s going to use the MHP. Turkey is going to be designed using two different nationalisms. Can Devlet Bahçeli resist this? I hope he will. My personal opinion is that those who put together a front before the election are aiming to form a CHP-MHP coalition that is supported from the outside by the HDP.  I would call this a “Sisi coalition.” What they could not achieve with street terror at Gezi, with the parallel coup on December 17, 2013, they will maybe succeed with after the June 7 ballot. Partly, they’ve come close to that goal. Don’t forget, this is an international intervention to overthrow the AK Party government, to stop Turkey’s march toward greatness, to thwart its first challenge after a hundred years, to make it compliant once again. There is nothing a will like this will not do in order to put together a coalition. It is the same will that ended democracy in Egypt and that’s managing these projects in Turkey. But a party that gets forty one percent of the votes is the backbone of this country. This forty one percent is never going to surrender.


Ahmet Hakan in Hürriyet writes that there are certain truths that need to be put to Abdullah Gül: When you said “Turkey’s course is not good,” you occupied the number one position in this country. If you earnestly did try your best to avert this course, then I’m sorry but then I must say that you are very incompetent. Because that means that everything happened in spite of you. What right does such a failed politician have to write a letter today and use the vacuum that we presently have to promote himself as the “savior of Turkey”? What guarantee is there that a person, who failed to use a position as the presidency effectively during the days when Turkey’s future was destroyed, is going to use any future positions of power in an effective manner? Is there any guarantee that you’re going to do as prime minister what you didn’t do as president?

Read 30177 times Last modified on Thursday, 18 June 2015

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The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.


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