Kadri Gürsel on the Diken news site notes that AKP’s vice chairman Mehmet Ali Şahin on October 26 stated that “If the election yields a result similar to that which the June 7 election produced, then I’m afraid that there is going to be talk about a renewed election.” The Erdoğan regime refuses to obey popular will and share power and it is scheming to repeat the election until it gets the result that ensures that it can stay in power forever. The things that the Erdoğan regime has done since June 7 tell us what it is going to do if it decides to hold a third election after November 1. It has threatened society with terror and instability by restarting the fight with PKK – which was nothing but a product of electoral engineering – and by the inclusion of ISIS as the other actor in the equation. What is frightening is an election result along what the surveys suggest, that the AKP gets around 41 to 42, maybe over 42 percent of the votes… In that case, the regime may conclude that the policies it has pursued since June 7 have paid off and decide to pursue these with even more determination. If it chooses that path, it can be expected to silence what is left of independent media and take the country to another ballot under conditions found only in dictatorships.
Etyen Mahçupyan in Akşam writes that as long as AKP behaves correctly, the party is going to increase its support in coming elections and confine the rival parties to their sociological bases. The question is to knowing what “behaving correctly” means, and we can say that this has two foundations. The first of these is to change the regime without damaging the state and society in the process. Everything from the amendments of the constitution and the laws to reforms of the bureaucracy and the judiciary to identity issues falls within this area that concerns democratization. But there is another issue that remains difficult to get a grasp on: That is the issue of living together. It is really about this that there is a need today to hear something from AKP. How ready is the AKP to do the “right” things that embrace the entirety of society? How much has it thought about this matter?
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 4, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
The members of the constitutional reconciliation commission in the Turkish parliament that convened last week have been instructed to draft a constitution that enshrines liberty. It is also officially recognized that the new constitution of Turkey needs to be societal compact that reflects the pluralism of society. However, it is still a political tradition that puts the state above society that is the dominant force. The rulers of Turkey continue to adhere to the age-old Turkish political axiom that the state knows best, circumscribing true participatory democracy.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 4, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
On October 1, 2011, 25 deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and five pro-Kurdish independents were formally sworn in as members of the Turkish parliament, abandoning a three month-old boycott of the assembly in protest at the continued imprisonment of another five BDP candidates who had won seats in the June 12, 2011, general election. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had already announced that its priority over the months ahead will be the drafting of a new constitution. The decision by the thirty pro-Kurdish deputies to take up their seats in parliament has raised hopes of a sustained dialogue with the AKP and the possible inclusion in the new constitution of sufficient concessions to solve Turkey’s Kurdish problem and persuade the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to lay down its arms. However, although the presence of the pro-Kurdish deputies in Ankara does create the opportunity for dialogue and a short-term reduction in tensions, there currently appears little prospect of the AKP agreeing to the Kurdish nationalists’ minimum demands.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 4, no. 10 of the Turkey Analyst)
There is a grim irony to the fact that while the AKP’s 2007 victory represented a defeat for the military, victory four years later requires that the ideology – Turkish nationalism – that upholds militarism not be challenged. The AKP’s appeasement of Turkish nationalism lays bare the limits of how far Turkey’s democratization can be extended. Meanwhile, the army’s unprovoked offensive against Kurdish guerillas in the southeast of the country reveals how the manipulation of the Kurdish issue serves as a lever for perpetuating the power of the military.
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.