By Micha’el Tanchum (vol. 7, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan secured his margin of victory with a last minute appeal to Turkish nationalist voters, having failed to expand his support among Kurds despite significant overtures on Kurdish issues. President-elect Erdoğan faces an ineluctable choice between expanding his “Kurdish Opening,” moving Turkey closer to becoming a binational state, and assuaging right-wing Turkish nationalism. Neither choice bodes well for a Justice and Development Party (AKP) majority in Turkey’s 2015 parliamentary elections. The AKP will be hard put to manage rising expectations among Turkey's Kurds while retaining Turkish nationalist support.
The reactions to the announcement of the presidential candidacy of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan illustrated that there is some anxiety among pro-AKP commentators regarding the future of the ruling party.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 5, no. 23 of the Turkey Analyst)
In recent months, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made a string of highly controversial public statements which appear indicative of an authoritarian mindset. For some, they are a sign that Erdoğan is discarding the patina of democratic pluralism of the last ten years and reverting to the dogmatic intolerance of his early political career. Others claim that Erdoğan’s provocative statements are merely a tactical maneuver, a ploy to distract public attention from government failures and embarrassments, and that he has no intention of acting upon them.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 5, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
On October 1, 2012, in an address to parliament, President Abdullah Gül criticized the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan for its failure to push ahead with Turkey’s bid for EU membership and protested the continuing imprisonment of seven elected opposition members of the assembly. His speech came a day after Erdoğan had effectively launched his campaign to succeed Gül as president in August 2014. Speaking at the biannual congress of the ruling AKP, Erdoğan implicitly signaled his presidential ambitions by offering to serve the country in a capacity other than prime minister; while delegates were handed leaflets advocating the replacement of the country’s parliamentary system with a presidential one. No one was in any doubt as to who Erdoğan believed should head the new system. As a result, Gül’s speech to parliament was also a public gesture of defiance, a calculated demonstration of his unwillingness to meekly cede the presidency to Erdoğan.
By M. Kemal Kaya (vol. 5, no. 17 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will hold its fourth party congress on September 30, 2012. Although Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will have taken care to design a party organization that he can – presumably – continue to control from the presidential palace, and although the next leader of the AKP is likely to be a person that does not seek to rival the stature of Erdoğan, Turkey’s most successful party nonetheless faces an uncertain future.
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.