Bowing to authoritarianism? Never!

The Justice and Development Partyand’s (AK Party) election manifesto allocates 23 pages to foreign policy.
This section is presented in the form of what the state will do rather than what a party will do. The foreign policy section in the AK Partyand’s manifesto for the June 7, 2015 election consisted of a complication of what various public institutions did without an editorial perspective. It contained diverse styles and concepts as well as repetitions. This error wasnand’t repeated for Nov. 1. The foreign policy sections are virtually the same both for the Nov. 1 and June 7 elections. Only figures have been updated. No mention of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was made in the June 7 manifesto, but the manifesto for the Nov. 1 election refers to ISILand’s andquotterrorismandquot (page 255). The normalization of ties with Armenia is targeted. Like the Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the AK Party makes mention of Crimean Tatars. The AK Party discusses the Middle East and Africa in detail, but fails to show sufficient interest in the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia, areas which normally fall within Turkeyand’s area of interest. NATO and the process of accession negotiations with the EU are supported.
The CHPand’s manifesto has 21 pages on foreign policy. It has changes from the June 7 election. The Middle East and the EU are prioritized. Restoring Turkeyand’s relations with neighboring countries that deteriorated during the AK Party government period is stressed. The CHP is the only party that refers to Syrians in Turkey as andquotrefugeesandquot and proposes for their humane integration. The MHPand’s manifesto has nine pages on foreign policy. It has changes from the June 7 election. It focuses on Syria, Iraq, the Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) and the Turkic world. Its policy regarding Syria and Syrian refugees in Turkey is democratic and humanistic. It lends support to Turkeyand’s bid to become a full member of the EU. It argues that Turkeyand’s ties with the US and NATO should promote the mutual interests of both sides.
The HDPand’s election manifestos for the June 7 and Nov. 1 votes have the same foreign policy section. The section for the current election is one page shorter. Its approach to the Middle East is guided by pro-Kurdish concerns. It lends implicit support to the cantons in northern Syria. It openly supports Palestine, describing Israel as occupationist and bloodthirsty. The initiation of economic, political and diplomatic ties with Armenia as well as the opening of the common border between Turkey and Armenia are called for. Rapprochement with Armenia and Armenian people is sought. The foreign policy section in the manifesto by the Fatherland Party (Vatan), formerly the Workerand’s Party (iP), is one-and-a-half pages long. It is completely different from the one for the June 7 election. While it discussed mainly the issues concerning Greece, Armenia, the US, the EU and NATO for the June 7 election, it is now centered on anti-Kurdish, anti-PKK and anti-Israel sentiments. The resumption of the Turkish Armed Forcesand’ (TSK) fight against the PKK on July 24, 2015 is referred to as a andquotNational Movementandquot and it is seen as the continuation of the andquotPeopleand’s Movement which started in Gezi Park in June 2015.andquot The Felicity Partyand’s (SP) manifesto is 7 pages long on foreign policy. It has changes from the June 7 election. It is interesting to note that as was the case in the June 7 manifesto, this manifesto, too, argues that Turkeyand’s andquotpriority policy is to ensure that Syrians in Turkey go back to their country.andquot This position sets it apart from conservative right-wing parties. The Grand Unity Partyand’s (BBP) manifesto is 7 pages long on foreign policy. It has changes from the June 7 election. It centers on threats against Turkey, terrorism, the Turkic and the Muslim world. It argues that Turkey should establish a safe buffer zone 75 kilometers into Iraq based on the Board Treaty of 1946 between Turkey and Iraq.

SOURCE: TODAYS ZAMAN