Dark clouds blown away

The parliamentary election held on June 7 marked a victory for liberal democracy in Turkey.
It proved that Turkeyand’s society is not as primitive as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes. By denying the Justice and Development Party (AKP) the majority, the electorate indicated that it will not tolerate a corrupt, arbitrary and authoritarian government and that it will not accept being ruled by a man who claims to be the embodiment of the and”national will.and”
In an election where the president under oath to remain impartial among parties frantically campaigned in favor of the governing party, 60 percent of the electorate cast its votes to give opposition parties the majority in Parliament and effectively put an end to Erdoganand’s ambitions of introducing a and”Turkish-styleand” — meaning a Vladimir Putin-style — presidential system.
The people of Turkey, with at least 65 years of experience with multi-party politics, have once again come to the defense of basic rights and freedoms and put to shame those who have no trust in its collective wisdom and common sense, those who claim that democracy cannot work in a Muslim-majority country. This election also demonstrated that Abraham Lincolnand’s dictum and”You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the timeand” is valid for Turkey as well. The increasingly corrupt, arbitrary and autocratic AKP government managed to receive majority support in the local election held last March and the presidential election held last August, claiming that the gravest corruption allegations in the history of the republic made public at the end of 2013 were fabrications by the faith-based Hizmet movement, inspired by religious scholar Fethullah Gandulen, in an attempt to overthrow the elected government. These lies no longer convince the people who are demanding that the corruption allegations be brought before justice.
If Erdogan, whose legitimacy as president is increasingly under question, wants to complete his term, he must from now on refrain from polarizing society and spreading hate speech against all who disapprove of his politics, and learn to behave within the limits of the power assigned to him by the Constitution. And the AKP, if it wants to avoid continued loss of support, will have to find a way to avoid Erdoganand’s tutelage and get rid of leaders, including Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu, who owe their political careers to Erdogan.
It is true that with the AKP garnering close to 41 percent of the vote, early elections may be necessary. The opposition parties should, however, keep their campaign promises and avoid forming a coalition with the AKP, and not forget that whoever cooperates with it is likely to lose big in the next election. The three opposition parties who together have the majority in Parliament should be able to work together to form a government to restore the lost rule of law under the AKP before the next election.
In this context it is mainly necessary that the new government puts on trial those who are involved in the gravest corruption probe in the history of the republic made public at the end of 2013, rewrite laws with the aim of strengthening the independence of the judiciary and the media and lower the highly undemocratic election threshold to at most 5 percent. Turkey cannot carry on without restoring the rule of law so seriously undermined by the AKP.
One of the most significant results of the June 7 election is of course the success of the Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) in crushing the 10 percent threshold by receiving over 13 percent of the national vote. The HDPand’s victory under Selahattin Demirtaiand’s leadership has paved the way for a peaceful and democratic resolution of the Kurdish problem and the consolidation of Turkeyand’s territorial integrity. International experience indicates that prospects for peace are strengthened when the political wings of dissident movements prevail over the armed ones. Peace negotiations should from now on be conducted with the HDP holding 80 seats in Parliament.
The election held on June 7 has blown away the dark clouds over Turkey.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman