Turkey and Jerusalem

The real reason for the conflict between the government and President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan is not a difference in views over the solution process. Even if there is such a difference in views, where to place ErdoIan’s representative YalIn AkdoIan in it all? After all, he was front and center in the meeting criticized by ErdoIan.

ErdoIan is trying to play out to his aantage, in the eyes of the public, the very sensitive issue of the Kurdish question. Bu

The real reason for the conflict between the government and President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan is not a difference in views over the solution process.

Even if there is such a difference in views, where to place ErdoIanand#39s representative YalandccedilIn AkdoIan in it all? After all, he was front and center in the meeting criticized by ErdoIan. ErdoIan is trying to play out to his aantage, in the eyes of the public, the very sensitive issue of the Kurdish question.

But as the famous Turkish proverb goes, andldquoItand#39s not eating the grapes, but beating the grower thatand#39s important.andrdquo So the man who has the issue with the owner of the vineyard is taking his anger out on the grapes.

There was a pre-existing difference of opinion between the government and the president on some very basic policies to begin with the Kurdish question was just one of these. But the real reason for ErdoIanand#39s very public criticism of the Dolmabahandccedile meeting is directly linked to growing inner party problems as the Justice and Development Party (AKP) heads towards elections, and the increased questioning of ErdoIanand#39s personal authoritarianism The struggle for power is now being played out over the deputy lists to be presented on April 7 to the Supreme Election Board (YSK).

For this is the most critical topic there is when it comes to clarifying who will have a chance at winning in the general election, now just two months away.

Who is composing the lists of AKP deputy candidates? Is it ErdoIan on his own, or a leadership cadre from the party, including but not limited to Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoIlu? ErdoIan insists on composing these lists on his own.

While this is happening, DavutoIlu and his team try to, without revealing cracks in the party ranks, weigh in with their own desires on this front. While for ErdoIan this presents an issue of his own authority problem, for DavutoIlu, it is a question of life and death.

If the AKP heads into elections with lists turned out by ErdoIan alone, there is little chance that DavutoIlu and his team will be ever seen as anything more than puppets in this case, his resignation would probably be forthcoming shortly after the elections.

In the meantime, critical statements made by Deputy Prime Minister Banduumllent ArInandccedil about ErdoIan also reflect a staunch stance on the part of the government.

In words that ultimately challenge ErdoIan, ArInandccedil made it clear that the government is expecting ErdoIan to take a step back. Who will win though?

As it is, the very personal andldquopresidential systemandrdquo campaign waged by ErdoIan was a reflection of the deep chasms that lie between him and the rest of the government.

DavutoIlu seems insistent on never even talking about the presidential system in AKP election campaigning, talk of proposed changes to the countryand#39s political system does not play a central role. In short, the AKP was already digging in its heels against ErdoIanand#39s desires, even before ArInandccediland#39s surprising outbursts.

Whatand#39s different is that now, the fight is playing out before our very eyes.

Public polls point now to a rapid evaporation of AKP votes.

It is unthinkable that either ErdoIan or DavutoIlu wouldnand#39t know this. And there is little question that this most recent public spat — sparked at least partially by ErdoIanand#39s commanding stance — is playing a role in the slipping votes.

The AKP gained much of its power from its ability to maintain stability now, as we can see with the Turkish lira slipping against foreign currencies, ErdoIanand#39s quest for greater personal power is truly threatening the countryand#39s stability. The perception of this threat among members of the public is now being reflected in fast slipping support for any sort of presidential system

Those who actually profess support for the proposed system are far fewer even than those who say that they will be voting for the AKP.

In terms of the ErdoIan-government clashes, it is ErdoIan whose position is weaker Of course, this does not necessarily mean the government will emerge the victor, either

Candidate lists are always problematic for ruling parties. The fact that too many candidates applied to be deputy candidates, and that when the lists are actually revealed there are going to be even greater problems, gives us some insight into the enormity of the problems.

The polarization we see between ErdoIan and the government is likely to grow. Who will create those lists? ErdoIan or the government? We will learn the answer to this, the most critical question of the coming elections, on April 7 And the results on June 7 will take their shape from what is eventually decided.

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SOURCE: Today’s Zaman