ORHAN – Notes on election results

Notes on election resultsTurkey will soon have the three most important elections in its political history. Who will govern the country and how up until 2019 will be determined by the general elections in 2015.

In 2019, both presidential and parliamentary elections will be held. Then, Turkey will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its republican regime in 2023.

It is possible to make the following points on the fate and future of the political parties after the recent presidential election.The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) made the right choice by nominating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan as its presidential candidate.

If the prime minister had considered some suggestions made by his party members and non-partisans, remaining head of the party and nominating current President Abdullah Gul or another figure, he would not have had this election result.The rise in popular support for the AK Party in the Black Sea and Central Anatolia regions shows that the settlement process with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has not caused any worries among the people.

The settlement process was also a major factor in the People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) ability to campaign without any restrictions. The AK Party and the HDP received the largest portions of the vote in the cities of Eastern and Southeast AnatoliaIt has been observed that the HDP stole some votes from the AK Party in these regions, for two reasons: The Kurds nominated a Kurd as a presidential candidate for the second time, but this time under different political conditions.

It is obvious that Kurdish AK Party supporters endorsed this nomination, as evidenced by the slight shift from the AK Party to the HDP.It also became apparent that the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) support bases did not endorse the idea of nominating a joint candidate.

Around 15 percent of MHP voters this time preferred the AK Party candidate this amounts to nearly 15 million voters. This is an interesting result for the settlement process, because the MHP, in general, views the settlement process as a treasonous project.

It is also interesting to see that 8 percent of CHP voters preferred the HDP in the presidential elections. The 600,000 additional votes the HDP received in this election were from CHP supporters.

Of course, there are different reasons for these shifts. A substantial portion of the votes that HDP candidate Selahattin DemirtaI stole can be attributed to the fact that CHP voters were unable to find a proper alternative because of their resentment towards their party’s candidate.

The votes the HDP stole from the CHP in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Marmara regions’ coastal cities can be viewed as temporary support. The HDP doubled its votes in Izmir, where neo-nationalist tendencies are visible and influential.

The neo-nationalists in the CHP seem to have picked the HDP, one of the two parties they are strongly against.These results suggest that there has been a serious rapprochement between secular Turkish voters and secular Kurdish politics.

The transformation of this rapprochement into a new form of political relationship depends on the CHP’s and HDP’s future policies and preferences.The low level of support for the HDP in the Black Sea and Central Anatolia regions shows that it failed to achieve its goal of becoming a political party that represents all of Turkey.

It also shows that the election threshold still remains a major obstacle for this party.There is one fact that the previous nine elections showed and this recent presidential election confirmed.

Not just the HDP, but also the CHP and the MHP, should seek to become a party that can represent all of Turkey, because the CHP is even losing support in the coastal cities. The AK Party stole a huge number of votes from the MHP in these elections.

If this persists in the Black Sea, Central Anatolia and the East, Turkey may move toward a single-party system.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman