Tolerance at Home, Tolerance in the World
by Dr Sylvia Tiryaki (June 12, 2015)
Given the fact that none of the parties was able to gain the 276 seats in Parliament — necessary for creating a majority government — there are four possible coalition scenarios. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) can try to create a government with any of the parliamentary parties, as each of these combinations would result in the number of seats needed. Even if the Republican People’s Party (CHP) joins the forces with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and HDP, they would be able to gain enough seats. However, it must be admitted that none of the parties is too enthusiastic about working with the other.
The reality is that they will have to. If no government is created within 45 days or a new government does not gain the vote of confidence from the parliament and people would have to return to the polls once again, results might not differ much from today’s scenario. Therefore, early elections do not look like a feasible option, at least for now.
This is a New Turkey. Not exactly new in the sense President Recep Tayip Erdogan and AKP have propagated recently. But a Turkey, in which only compromises based on tolerance and respect for democratic rights can assure the stability of the country in general, and solidity and viability of its government in particular.
It is not a bad prospect for anyone. Upon the demands of Turkish voters, inclusive pluralism has finally entered Turkish politics after 13 years of single-party rule. According to the Transatlantic Trends Survey 2014, conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Turkey, 53 percent of respondents believe that the accession of Turkey to the European Union would be beneficial for the country. There is no doubt that keeping the accession process alive would also help consolidate the democratic processes. Perhaps it is the right time for opponents of the opening Chapters 23 and 24 to reconsider their stance.
Chapter 23 is on Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and Chapter 24 is on Justice, Freedom and Security, and opening both of them is blocked by Republic of Cyprus.
Hopefully now, when atmosphere is more conducive to the settlement of the Cyprus problem, Mustafa Akinci and Nicos Anastasiades will be able to demonstrate the tolerance needed for a mutual compromise solution.
In the end, whether it is about the future Turkish government or about the future joint governance of Greek and Turkish Cypriots, only compromise based on mutual respect and tolerance can bring about a prosperous future.
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