CAFER – No surprises, only lessons

No surprises, only lessonsThere were some who expected a “surprise” result from the Aug. 10 election.

There are no surprises, but there are lessons for all. The outcome of the election allows everyone the opportunity to sit down and think.

It remains of significant importance to offer an objective analysis of the current state of affairs and to analyze the characteristics of the situation correctly while doing this thinking.What should be emphasized first is the following: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan winning the election with about 51 percent of the vote is not a clear case of success.

The fact that ErdoIan ran while prime minister, using all of the opportunities provided by the state, prevented the race from being conducted on a level playing field. These results are the results of an election that was not held under fair and equal conditions.

However, ErdoIan won in the end.The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), who came up with the idea of nominating a joint candidate, should evaluate the outcome more seriously than anyone else.

I thought all along that this formula would not be successful. The fact that the person they nominated was unknown to the public decreased the chances of success.

Ekmeleddin IhsanoIlu made a well-intentioned effort, but it was unlikely for two parties and their two sets of supporters with different sensitivities and priorities to unite voters within only a month and a half, and it didn’t happen. About 15 million registered voters abstained from voting.

Voter turnout was about 74 percent. This is the lowest turnout since the referendum on a constitutional change package in 2007 when voter turnout was 67 percent.

In the 2011 elections, voter turnout was 87 percent and it was 89 percent in the March 30 local elections, which were, in a sense, a vote on ErdoIan himself. In those elections, ErdoIan received about 20 million votes.

In the presidential election, he seems to have received about 20 million votes again. The CHP and the MHP, which in combination earned about 20 million votes in the March 30 elections unlike ErdoIan, they failed to preserve this ratio and instead, lost 5 million votes.

ErdoIan was able to mobilize all of his supporters, while the MHP and the CHP failed to do so. The CHP and MHP voters who chose not to vote actually helped ErdoIan secure his win.

Had the CHP and the MHP nominated their own candidates as the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) did and preserved their vote percentage from March 30, none of the candidates on Aug. 10 would have received more than 50 percent of the vote.

ErdoIan’s next target is to make the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) the government and have no coalition partners once again in the 2015 June elections. This is why his first ambition as president will be to shape and manage the party and the government according to his wishes.

He knows that if the AK Party falls from power the presidential palace will turn into a bed of nails.In his post-election win “balcony speech” ErdoIan said that he will be the president of everyone.

ErdoIan doesn’t really have to do anything special to achieve this, fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of the president as stated in the Constitution would be more than enough. However, he does not inspire much trust on this point.

This election will have a consequence that will clarify the meaning of Turkey’s fight for democratization, which, I believe, is its most important outcome.Turkey will either succumb to ErdoIan’s arbitrary and authoritarian mentality of governance, or it will go back to the track of democracy along which it had been stumbling.

I think the lesson of Aug. 10 has sharpened this dilemma and it will force everyone to assume the right stance and make where they stand very clear.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman