Ak Party, victors of 3 general elections, 3 local elections, 2 referendums and 1 presidential election, with an ever-rising profile for its 13 year race, once again came out as the number one party in the June 7 elections, albeit losing the majority to form a government. Another significant outcome was that the HDP which is backed behind the scenes by the separatist terror organization PKK that caused the martyrdom of more than 40.000 people in Turkey in the last thirty years overcame the election threshold of 10% and entered the national council with 80 parliamentarians.
This situation has lots of implications for the future of Turkey., AK Party voters gave the AK Party an important message by taking away 9% of its votes. At this point, it is important to read this message prudently and introduce comprehensive changes to build new policies.
‘No’ to the Presidential System
The Ak Party government has brought Turkey to a place that many would ever dare to imagine 13 years ago. From infrastructure to health-care, from urbanization to social rights, the party took an amazing development leap. The country was normalized through the efforts of the AK Party.
For Turks, matters like economy, road building, development had always come the second, after the security, safety, peace and integrity of the country. The debates regarding the presidential system in the past year were assessed by the people as a part of this approach. In this election the Turkish voters gave a clear message that they would never accept presidential system which would eventually lead to federalism and separation. Turks who were alarmed and horrified at the prospect of separation that would emerge as a result of the presidential system displayed their apprehensiveness at the ballot box.
Security problems in East and Southeast Anatolia
One of the most important factors making an impact on the election results is the security flaw in the East and Southeast Anatolia. Very regrettably, it seems that these parts of the country are handed to a group of bloodthirsty terrorists. The separatist terror organization PKK and its various extensions almost became a state in the region, and even set up their kangaroo courts, appointed their so-called prosecutors, judges and built security forces. Contrary to widely voiced claims, the terrorist organization did not lose power during the negotiation process and did not abandon its weapons. What happened in truth is that they got almost entire control of the region. The number of their recruits increased significantly, they shifted from light weight weapons to heavy weaponry like anti-missile, anti-aircrafts. It is now almost impossible to do anything in the region unless approved by the PKK, and no political party including AK Party can move freely in the region.
Southeast Turkey’s unarmed, innocent and impoverished people who have no means of protecting themselves are left in dire straits against the danger of PKK’s murderers. This new order of the PKK, which executes any opponents and which are freely able to get away with their actions, is now dominant in the region. The PKK gave the message that the government cannot protect the public, but they will, and that the people have to support them., and the state kept silent in the face of this message. The people were forced to surrender to PKK-KCK instead of the state’s security forces. The idea in people’s minds that they need to vote for the HDP against any possible upheaval in the region in case the HDP cannot pass the election threshold, resulting in the state’s not being able to protect them again, spread in the region. People were thus led to a general consensus that the East and Southeast Anatolia were given in to the PKK.
The priority of the government yet to be formed is definitely securing stability in these regions, regaining regional dominance now held by the PKK, providing an ambiance of safe and democratic environment where the public can move safely, speak freely and vote freely.
Time for contemplation and renewal
In the wake of the elections, what AK Party and all other parties have to do is contemplate the past and take lessons from the mistakes and start over with a brand new outlook.
At the same time love policies spreading throughout the entire society is almost as important as ending the terrorist organization and abandoning the idea of a presidential system. Libertarian policies on the media, the justice system, and also towards people who have different thoughts, unifying speeches as well as an all-encompassing and an open-minded approach will surely make a positive impact. The fact that political parties which possess the skill to talk the same language as youth, and which are loving, friendly, smiling are widely embraced and welcomed, is an important evidence of this situation.
Day by day women’s being more active in the society and politics plays a crucial role in the development of a country. It is of course commendable that AK Party had 42 female MPs in this elections, 16 of them wearing headscarves, but still this is far from being enough. Parties that pay great attention to women will always be rewarded by people and it is clear that all political parties in Turkey have lots to do in this area by giving more place to women in their list of candidates.
AK Party can build that enlightened, loving, friendly, modern, smiling, religious, free model that champions women’s rights and freedoms, deeply sought by the Turks. AK Party administrators should be open to well-intentioned criticism. Any structure that are close to criticism, consultation and contemplation will eventually stumble. Closed-up structures are bound to fail. It is of paramount importance for the good of the country that AK Party acknowledges this message, and that they cease to pursue presidential system and prove once again that they are a reforming, democratizing, embracing, innovative party with a modern viewpoint of religion that works for the entire population. This will make it play the pioneer role in the achievement of country’s stabilization.
People chose social peace
Turkish people refrained from giving majority to a single party, showed their desire for a coalition government and chose peace and welfare for the society. There is nothing lost. AK Party is still the number one party and has 16 percent difference with its closest rival. There is always good in all outcomes. It is highly feasible to attain the anticipated level again by assessing this message well and responding to it in the best way to meet the demands of our people.