With June 7, AKP’s fate hangs in the balance

The upcoming June 7 general election is of exceptional importance for the near future of Turkey. On that date, Turkey will either approve of the and”single-manand” regime envisioned by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan or it will signal that it wants to see a continuation of the democratization processes shelved by the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
In the meantime, weand’ve seen Erdogan carry out an election campaign in favor of the AKP, all while bearing the title of president. The result of this approach has been to eliminate any opportunity that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu and the AKP might have had to renew themselves in the wake of Erdogan. In this sense, one could say that Erdogan has actually been campaigning entirely for himself, rather than for the wider AKP. Whatand’s clear is that Erdogan needs the AKP in order to maintain his personal power. Yes, this is his main mission. The AKP and Davutoilu have basically accepted this approach from Erdogan. What has also become clear is that Erdogan was not brave enough to take aantage of a situation where he could have proven that the AKP was still a party without him. There is little doubt that this lack of bravery on his part will have repercussions.
No matter what the election results, debates surrounding the long shadow cast by Erdogan over the AKP will be inevitable. In fact, these debates began long ago, though theyand’ve been muffled purposefully in the run-up to the election in order to promote the image of unity. It is also quite clear that if the AKP picks up enough votes to come to single-handed power, Erdogan will view this as his own personal success. And if this happens, those within the AKP already voicing the desire for Erdogan to leave them alone more than he has thus far will be at a stark disaantage. Still, the coming storms within this party cannot be quelled any longer. Any political party able to pick up 276 deputy seats also wins the ability to form a single-party government. But we are also full aware that Erdoganand’s real goal is to pick up enough of a majority to be able to push forward a referendum to alter the Constitution. And this means 330 deputies. Erdoganand’s continued power over the AKP is contingent upon him winning these 330 seats. For the AKP not to be able to pick up enough seats to form a single-party government would mean a vote percentage of under 40 percent. And at this point, this appears to be a serious possibility. This time around, it even appears that citizens who have voted for the AKP in the past are leaning towards opposition parties with the simple goal of teaching the AKP and Erdogan a lesson. And it is in recognition of this reality that Erdogan keeps talking, day in and day out, attacking the opposition parties with his words. So while heand’s really trying to rid AKP rank and file voters of such a predilection in these elections, all heand’s really doing is strengthening it. Finally, it is also clear that the critical party in these elections is the Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP). An HDP which surpasses the 10 percent threshold will also define the coming debates within the AKP. Interestingly, those within the AKP who are tired of Erdoganand’s pressure on them actually want to see the HDP hurtle over the threshold almost as much as actual HDP supporters do. And so, from June 7 onwards, we will either regain hope for Turkeyand’s interrupted process of democratization or Erdoganand’s shadow will remain cast over Turkey and its future. This is also why those AKP supporters who are aware of the reality of the situation would really like to see Turkey be able to turn over a fresh leaf at this point. The argument that and”Turkey has suffered so much under coalition governmentsand” is one of Erdoganand’s favorites at this point. But the real truth is, with a coalition that includes the AKP, Turkey might actually gain an historic chance to normalize and repair some of the damage from Erdoganand’s 13 years in power.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman