Monday, June 20, 2011

The Sucess Political Stories of AK Party Turkey

How many elections will the AK Party win?

It is a rare case in the world for a party to win all elections it has run in by increasing its voter support since its foundation. This is what the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has done so far.

Current data show that the case will remain the same for some time to come because the Republican People's Party (CHP), the main opposition in Turkey, represents an approach that is opposed to both the people and popular values. The CHP chairman, its deputies and other officials have changed, but the genetic structure of the party remains the same. This structure has an approach that denounces the values and lifestyles of the people and denigrates the people.

This is an understanding that owes itself to the 1925 Hat Revolution, following the foundation of the Turkish Republic, when the people were suffering from repression and brutality. A privileged group of people longs for the days when they watched a football game with their ties on while the masses were starving in Anatolia.

This is also a mentality that seeks the continuation of revolutions and urges the regular people not to bother the elites and their eye pleasure with their village lifestyles and attires. They are like aristocrats longing for a lost era of kingdom. For this reason, regardless of their economic conditions, voters do not extend any support greater than 30 percent for this party.

In conventional democracies, left-wing parties are the alternative to the right-wing ruling parties or administrations. But in Turkey, there is no real left-wing party. There is a pro-state party formed in the aftermath of 1960 when Kemalism focused on social democracy. In Anatolia, the state is equated with gendarmerie brutality and forced enlistment; the CHP represents this understanding.

This was partly the reason why Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan reminded the people about the CHP's past actions that put the people through difficulties. The CHP is unable to change this understanding. Even after the election defeat, the party is unable to question its own policies; it only focuses on the names of those who were responsible for the CHP's failure in the elections. If it is to have the capability of becoming a modern social democratic party, the CHP should be able to consult with its counterparts in Europe and cooperate with them. However, most of the CHP figures see these parties as enemies seeking to partition Turkey through the Kurdish issue. The current state of Turkey after 80 years is a system of parties with no left-wing party. The right becomes the alternative in the absence of a left-wing opposition. This eliminates the possibility of addressing some fundamental problems like income inequality that regular right-wing parties refrain from paying attention to. The attitude of the opposition regarding lending support for the clandestine structures within the state raises questions of its sincerity.

In conclusion, the CHP is transforming into a structure that conducts politics that undermine the interests of the people. This relieves the ruling party but also weakens the democratic checks to its actions. A soccer division where the leader stays ahead despite the fact that it loses a match just because its opponents lose more points refers to inferior quality in that league; likewise, a political system where the image of the opposition is more negative than the image of the ruling party serves as an obstacle before the consolidation of democracy. Something rare happens in Turkey and the country is subjected to some harm not because of the ruling party's power but because of the weakness of the opposition. Unless a strong social democratic party takes initiative, it seems that this setting will remain the same.

{Written By Ergun Babahan in Todays Zaman , 20th June 2011}

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