A restoration government needed

In my most recent column, written as Turkish citizens were casting votes in the June 7 general election, I wrote about the importance of the regulating role of ballot boxes in a functioning democracy.
I also noted that ultimately it is ballot boxes and voters themselves who straighten out those who abuse their powers in democracies.
The extraordinary sensitivity and impressive mobilization shown by Turkish voters in this past election meant that despite the unfair and imbalanced conditions created through the use of state-owned powers and tools by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the voters actually wound up playing the role of regulators in this vital election.
With the loud cry of and”STOPand” from Turkish voters to all the arrogant, churlish, spoiled and extravagant behavior displayed by the government — behavior that has gotten more and more despotic as time passes — Turkish politics itself received a vital, if nuanced, re-balancing. Those who had overstepped their positions and who appeared drunk with power were pushed back into line. And it is important to note that Erdogan, who has shown utter disregard for oaths he took to protect the objectivity of the position he occupies and whose partisan politicking descended all the way down to rallies held in city squares, emerged as the biggest loser in this election. And so it is that a strange, deluded era under Erdogan, an era during which he appeared poised to grab a single-man rule clothed in the garb of a and”Turkish-styleand” executive office of his imagination, has finally come to an end. The nightmare is over.
Yes, the nightmare is over and Turkey has awoken to a new era, one in which perhaps democracy and justice may start functioning anew. Erdogan and the AKP leave behind them an enormous pile of rubble. Our elected politicians now face the task of using democratic tools to clear this rubble from center stage. Those politicians who shirk this duty will be committing political suicide. Since we can hardly expect the same politicians who helped create this pile of rubble — through their peculiar political styles and endless cravings — to help clear the rubble, it is a task that falls to the Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Had Erdogan, with his dreams of dictatorship — and the AKP under his leadership — achieved the results they were hoping for in these elections, we would have been faced with only one option: a single man, single-party despotism. Thank goodness that is not what happened! Instead, despite all the many anti-democratic efforts of both Erdogan and the AKP, new vistas have opened up before all of Turkey. And thus it appears Turkey has emerged freed from the possibility of only one option being imposed upon it from on high and is instead now within reach of a variety of options. As former President Sanduleyman Demirel was fond of noting, and”In real democracies, solutions never get used up.and”
Now, we see it is neither Erdogan nor the AKP under his control who will offer Turkey the solutions it needs. Instead, these solutions will be provided by the HDP, which surpassed the anti-democratic 10 percent electoral threshold with three points to spare, picking up support from a wide variety of societal factions along the way. They will also be provided by the MHP, which increased its votes by promising to call corrupt AKP cadres to account for their actions. And, of course, it will also be provided by the CHP, which has finally abandoned the role of being guardian of the regime and has turned instead to constructive politics. Yes, it falls to these parties to clear away the rubble and draw the country out of the chasm of injustice and corruption into which it has fallen.
But first and foremost, in light of the election results, what falls to these three parties is to stand up to support strongly the move of the center of politics in Turkey away from the president — who is beholden to remain outside of politicking, and to be objective — and back to Parliament, which is the manifestation of the national will. These three parties must stand up to support the new opportunities that such a transition will offer the country. This business can begin with a confirmed end being put to Erdoganand’s ability to dictate the political agenda and political direction the country is taking. But confining Erdogan to the constitutional borders within which he must remain is something possible if — and only if — these three parties can meet and move according to the most basic guidelines of justice and democracy. This requisite level of unity and compromise is urgently needed for the election of a parliament speaker and for the coalition government that will be elected.
Until now, the CHP, MHP and HDP have done the political and ethical thing in closing their doors firmly in the face of the possibility of any kind of coalition with the ruling AKP, which is itself so clearly drowning in a swamp of corruption. If, however, these parties do not follow up on this very correct step by taking more correct steps, the door might actually swing open again to Erdogan and allow his entrance back onto the stage of political design.
It lies in the hands of these three parties now to either break down Erdoganand’s power over the Turkish political scene or to force him to relinquish the respected but non-political office of the president if what he really wants to do is return to the political arena. What is clear now is that Erdogan, despite the clear message from the ballot boxes, wants either to re-form AKP rule or to push the country towards early elections. If Erdogan is given the chance to maintain his dominance over Turkish politics in this way, it would signal a betrayal on the part of the CHP, MHP and HDP to their own voters, not to mention a clear lack of ability on the part of these parties.
Any analysis of what should or should not be on the horizon for Turkey can start thus with a firm underlining of how important it is that we do not see either the birth of a new AKP leadership under Erdoganand’s direction or of early elections. With this out of the way, we can start thinking about what should lie on the horizon. As I see it, there is no other real option than seeing the formation of a CHP, MHP and HDP and”restoration coalition.and” A three-party restoration government, based on wide compromises and with a tight agenda focused on technical restoration is not only necessary, it is also ideal and also possible for Turkey.
What I am referring to here is not a three-way CHP-MHP-HDP coalition. I am quite aware that due to the stark ideological differences separating the MHP and the HDP, this would be neither possible nor realistic. At the same time, expecting support from the overwhelmingly nationalistic MHP for a CHP-HDP coalition would also not be very realistic. What remains then is a possible coalition between the CHP and the MHP, with support proffered up by the HDP for this temporary situation.
Yes, a restoration government formed by the CHP and the MHP, with outside support from the HDP, and shaped by a protocol that these parties could compromise upon, would allow the democratic system, the justice system and the general institutional framework of the country to settle back into place after being knocked off the tracks by the prospect of single-man rule. It would fall to this restoration government to turn Turkey back into a functioning state of law. And after this task is completed, there will be rapid early elections, under the guidance of the government. By my estimate, this would all be possible within a framework of one to one-and-a-half years. Whether or not during this period there would be some incredible harmony between two of the coalition partners that would push them on into wanting to continue governing together is another question entirely.
The main expectation from such a restoration government would be for it to undo the legacy left behind by arbitrary and anti-democratic AKP rule. It could start with bringing the suspects involved in the Dec. 17-25 corruption investigations before the high courts for trial. It could also take action to relieve the injustices that befell all the thousands of bureaucrats, public officials and private citizens in the wake of this scandal. In the meantime, the restoration government would also clearly have its work cut out for it in reversing the many crimes committed by state hand under AKP rule. One important starting point could also be the immediate nulling and voiding of the many dictatorship-type laws that passed through the desks of the Constitutional Court, which appeared during this past era to have forgotten its promises to back freedom and democracy.
The MiT law, the Domestic Security Law, the illegal criminal courts created by Erdogan, the 4+4+4 system pushed into our educational arena — all of these need immediate review. The dirty economic order revolving around only pro-government businessmen winning public bidding tenders can be pursued and investigated. At the same time, the same things within the media can be examined. And regulating institutions can be prevented from acting as punishing tools for partisan desires and actions, as seen in the case of the takeover of Bank Asya.
I am not sure whether or not it would be technically possible, but a shortcut law passed through Parliament could be used to null and void all the anti-democratic laws passed through our Parliament in the wake of the Dec. 17-25 period.
Does this all sound very difficult? I donand’t think so. All we need is three parties in full awareness of their duties and their responsibilities!

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman