[CAFE CAPITAL] Are developments in Turkish politics a coincidence or by design?

The five-and-a-half years that have elapsed since then have made the allegations of design more meaningful.

A significant number of people who voted for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the June 7 and Nov. 1 general elections explained their choice by “the lack of an alternative to the AKP.” Despite the AKP’s exhaustion and dozens of issues it has found itself in, it still gives the impression of retaining its power, and one of the reasons is the lack of an opposition. This means there is no other party for which the AKP’s disgruntled and offended voters can vote.

When former AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan ran for the presidency, one of the issues that kept his mind busy the most was whether the AKP would experience the fate of the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP). When former ANAP leader Turgut Ozal and former DYP leader Suleyman Demirel were elected to the presidency, their parties began to lose power. Erdogan took dozens of measures to prevent the AKP from doing the same. He did many things from acting like an AKP president to determining the AKP’s new chairman, party administration and cabinet, contrary to what Ozal and Demirel did.

Despite this, if there had been an alternative party, it would not have been possible for it to receive halfhearted support from millions of AKP voters.

Is this a coincidence, then? Is there being no alternative to the AKP a normal situation?

Around 20 percent of the voters that make up the backbone of the AKP come from the Welfare Party (RP), which carried the National View (Milli Gorus) movement to power. The return of 5 percent of these voters to the Felicity Party (SP) in 2009 was an important message to the AKP. The SP, which represented the National View under the leadership of Numan Kurtulmus, was expected to pass the 10 percent parliamentary threshold.

Then, could the developments that the SP and Kurtulmus underwent in 2010-2012 be a coincidence?

Most of the voters that gave halfhearted support to the AKP are center-right voters. Those voters, who come from Adnan Menderes’ Democrat Party (DP) and brought the Justice Party (AP), ANAP and the DYP to power, voluntarily supported the AKP between 2007 and 2011. They shifted their support to the AKP in reaction to the republican rallies and e-memorandum in 2007, which targeted the AKP. The 2010 referendum and the EU process kept center-right voters in the AKP ranks. However, those voters, who became unhappy with the fact the AKP was turning into a one-man party after 2012, were left without an alternative.

Seemingly, the DP, under which ANAP and the DYP merged in 2007 to represent the center right, had the support that would enable it to easily pass the 10 percent threshold.

Then, was the chain of mistakes that made the DP vote fall as low as 5 percent a coincidence?

The 367 quorum nonsense that was made up to prevent AKP candidate Abdullah Gul’s election to the presidency in 2007 was about to be spoiled at the hands of ANAP and DYP deputies. When the leaders of these parties, Erkan Mumcu and Mehmet Agar, announced they would attend the presidential vote in Parliament to foil 367 quorum claims, was it a coincidence that they decided not to attend the vote?

Despite 2007 being an election year, was it a coincidence that the ANAP and DYP leaders did not attend the presidential vote in Parliament following the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) path when the disturbance of the center-right voters was very obvious with the republican rallies and the 367 quorum nonsense.

In countries where democracy operates with its institutions and rules, designing politics is unacceptable. In other words, the path of political parties and party leaders and members cannot be obstructed with interventions outside politics. They cannot be forced to resign.

Parties cannot be forced to dissolve; nobody thinks of assassinating party leaders.

However, the leader of the main opposition party in Turkey, the CHP, was forced to resign when a sex video was made public. Then, the administration of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), to which center-right voters would shift, was cracked down on with sex videos of 10 senior party officials. An extraordinary process took place at the DP, the Grand Unity Party (BBP), the SP, the Young Party (GP) and the Voice of the People Party (HAS Party).

If politics has not been designed, dozens of coincidences must have taken place in order to leave voters without an alternative to the AKP.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN