A dynamic challenge and a few good men in the stuck Turkish political system

According to various election polls, the main political parties in the Turkish political system seem to be stuck in certain vote percent. If the voters donand’t surprise us at the last minute, and if there isnand’t serious fraud during the voting process, most of the poll houses foresee somewhat similar outcomes. The predictions for the share of the vote that the parties will get range for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) between 39-43 percent, for the Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) between 25-29 percent and for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) between 15-19 percent.
I am not saying that a 2-4 percentage difference is unimportant in the elections. Indeed, it is crucially important in Turkeyand’s coming elections. The HDP, which is known to represent the Kurdish political initiative, but which also seemed to have given hope to many other parts of society recently, is predicted to pass the 10 percent national threshold to enter Parliament by a hair. If the party passes the national threshold, it will send more than 60 delegates to Parliament. If not, the AKP will have more seats than the other parties, since in most cases it is the second party in the districts where HDP delegates are predicted to win. So a 2-4 or even 1 percent of the vote is of high significance.
Nevertheless, if the real election results on June 7 are to reflect the poll predictions, then one can say that there is an impasse in the Turkish political system: each party has its own constant range and almost nothing is able to alter this situation. The parties just move two to four points up or down, but are not regarded as an alternative of each other by the voters.
Top figures (among them ex-ministers) within the AKP have been stained by corruption cases. Yet the corruption scandal were unable to mobilize a drastic number of AKP voters to prefer one of the opposition parties. From the very beginning, Dec. 1725, 2013, the AKP managed to construct a perception among its voters that it and”was under attack by illegal organizations within the state,and” and that the entire opposition was also hand in hand with these organizations. Although it sounds paranoid and although some of the grassroots of the party do believe the AKP was involved in corruption, they do not see an alternative for themselves in any other political entity. This is one sticking point for the political system in Turkey.
The two main opposition parties, the CHP and MHP, are trying within their own capacity. Unfortunately, after 13 years of AKP power and corrosion of the government, they are still not able to attract the masses. One can claim that they have their own marginal supporters. The MHP does not give a vision for a centre right alternative, nor does CHP fill the gap Turkey has for a social democrat centre left wing party. They both try and do have valuable names on their staff but they seem unable to convince the society after a point. This is a second sticking point for the Turkish political system.
The only party which is making progress among itself seems to be the HDP, which is known to represent more the Kurdish population. In previous general elections they used to stand as independent candidates and enter Parliament as individual delegates, then become members of their existing party, due to the 10 percent national threshold in Turkey. This time they took the risk of entering the general elections as a party. The HDP is expected to take a percentage of the vote of just below 10 percent or pass the national threshold. In either case it is likely to have a determinant role in the establishment of the new government. Because if the HDP votes fall below 10 percent in the coming elections, then the AKP is more likely to form a one party government and come out the best in the situation, since it is the second party in most of the regions where HDP is expected to win. However, if the HDP manages to enter Parliament through passing the 10 percent national threshold, then Turkey will have a more colourful Parliament, which would push for a coalition government. How much the political parties will be capable of negotiating for a coalition is a question that will be answered in time. Overall, the HDP seems to be a dynamic challenge for the Turkish political system.
The other serious dynamic challenge in the elections is more a civil one, the independent candidates of the three metropolitan cities Istanbul, Ankara and izmir. Two of the candidates, Hakan iandukandur and Ilhan Iibilen, are ex-AKP members who have resigned after the Dec. 1725, 2013 corruption scandals. The other four are ex-chief police officers whose names Turkeyand’s public would not be familiar with if it hadnand’t been for the same corruption investigation operations: Ali Fuat Yilmazer, Yakup Saygili, Yurt Atayandun and Nazmi Ardiandc. Presently, they have all been under arrest almost for a year. But their indictments have not been put forward and they have not been put on trial yet. They are under arrest because these men are, in a way, black boxes in Turkeyand’s last 20 years. They were all on the top of their careers, with information on many types of unlawful acts like graft, smuggling, organized crimes and others. Of course, they also have valuable information about the last 12 years of AKP rule. They are now prevented from sharing this information with the public. But if they can be elected to Parliament on June 7, Turkey will have a chance to hear what has been happening behind the scenes first hand. Yilmazer, Saygili, Atayandun, Ardiandc, together with iandukandur and Iibilen, represent a civil dynamic and hope for the stuck Turkish political system.
They can fairly be named as the and”few good menand” of this Turkey, where almost everything seems to be upside down.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman