What will ErdoIan do when he loses?

In the analyses and comments on the Sunday elections, the emphasis has gradually shifted to post-election scenarios. What is going to happen on June 8, which different results can be expected and how are these going to influence the future of Turkey. It is fascinating to see that both supporters and opponents of the ruling party perceive the outcome of this election as a historic make-or-break moment for the country.
On one side we find a relatively coherent group of people who are convinced that, when and if the Justice and Development Party (AKP)omes out on top, nothing can stop President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s New Turkey anymore, a development they welcome because it is the expression of the views and emotions of the conservative religious majority in this country.
On the other side of the political spectrum, a colorful but rather loose coalition of seculars, Kurds, Alevis, liberal democrats and disenchanted conservatives fears that in that case their position will be further undermined, and Turkey will enter a dark era of authoritarianism and soft-Islamization.
All these scenarios are based on what the winner of the election will do. As important in a democracy, however, is how the loser is going to react. Is there such a thing as magnanimity in defeat in Turkey? Are Turkish political leaders capable of accepting a loss in this particular electoral contest because they realize the future will bring another opportunity to turn the tables? Or have the stakes simply been raised too high this time and are both sides sure there will not be a next time under the same conditions?
Looking at most opinion polls, letand’s focus on one the two main players in these elections, President Erdogan — the other one is Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) leader Selahattin Demirtai — and speculate on how he will react when his party gets only a small majority in Parliament or might even be forced to form a coalition government? Because the ruling party decided to present Erdoganand’s plans for a Turkish-style presidency as the centerpiece of their future plans, such an outcome can only be interpreted as a personal defeat for the president and his loyal allies in the party.
But will Erdogan indeed conclude that, apparently, most Turks do not want his one-man rule? If the answer is yes, he should take a step back and do his utmost to facilitate the formation of the most stable government possible, especially with an eye on repairing the economic slowdown.
Most observers agree such detachment is not in Erdoganand’s genes and, to the contrary, he will use his current position in power to have a quick revenge and go for new elections. Opinions differ on whether that would be a beneficial scenario for the AKP.
Personally, I believe such an obvious disrespect for the wishes of the majority of the Turkish electorate would harm the AKPand’s electoral chances considerably next time around. But that is not the point here.
Whether or not Erdogan can follow his political instincts and privilege his personal ambitions over the long-term interests of his party, will ultimately depend on the plans and determination of all those (former) AKP politicians who are not happy with Erdoganand’s take-over of the party. We know that hundreds of AKP founders, former AKP ministers and first generation AKP loyalists have been sidelined in the past couple of years. Are they willing and able to use an Erdogan defeat on June 7 to settle accounts inside the party, or, if necessary, by threatening to establish a new one?
Pessimists think Erdogan is desperate and has too much to loose when, for instance, corruption claims would be properly investigated. For that reason, he will use everything in his power to postpone his personal downfall. They also fear his internal opponents simply do not have the stamina or the guts to pick a fight with Erdogan.
Optimists — to which I count myself — hope that an AKP setback this Sunday may set in motion a process of realignment within the ranks of Turkeyand’s political conservatives, led by those who want to build a future for their party and their country outside the stranglehold of the Ak Saray strongman.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman