Turkey's Elections: Four Weddings and a Funeral
by Samim Akgönül (June 12, 2015)
The first winner is the ruling party AKP (Party of Justice and Development). After 13 years in power, there is certainly an “erosion of power”. In addition, the last two years have been very harsh for the government. Since Gezi resistance in 2013 the scandals of corruption, the dramatic mistakes in foreign policy (i.e. supporting the ISIS for example) or the weakening of balance of power could give much more dramatic results to AKP. Once again, the statement of Dalberg-Acton has been confirmed: yes, Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Thanks to an unfair campaign where AKP itself, the state services, but also the President of the Republic himself have called to vote for AKP, the ruling party continues to be the first political movement of the country with 40% of votes. But there is another victory for AKP. Within its members, there are real democrats missing the first years of the movement and they were without any doubt very disturbed by the personification of the party around Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This is an opportunity for the AKP to become a regular right wing conservative party, to declare in a sense its independence towards its founder.
The second winner, surprisingly, is the main opposition, the secular kemalist party CHP (Republican People’s Party). The CHP lost 3 seats in the National Assembly. This is a fact. But it is much stronger than the previous Assembly because of the distributed ratio. During the previous Assembly AKP had 327 and CHP 135 seats. Today, this ratio is 254 to 132. Indubitably, kemalists are stronger, especially after having excluded ultranationalist elements from the party. The CHP is capable now to form a new government or at least to present an alternative to the AKP.
The third winner is the Nationalist party MHP (Party of Nationalist Movement). In the previous parliament the movement had 53 seats, today it has 80. And this victory is without any tangible campaign. Nationalists waited a reaction to the peace process with Kurds and voices came “naturally”. Today they are at the top-spot to become member of a coalition. This coalition can be with AKP or with CHP as the main common ground of all Turkish political parties is nationalism.
And finally, the Oscar Goes to HDP (Democratic Party People). This coalition lead by the Kurdish political movement is not anymore a “Kurdish Party”. It succeeded to federate all progressive movements including civil society, from LGBT movement to feminists, from socialist to liberals and pro-Europeans. With 13% and 80 seats in the National Assembly, the HDP will be the main opposition, qualitatively speaking. But there is another victory for HDP. It is on the PKK, the Kurdish militants based in Northern Iraq and their leader Abdullah Öcalan imprisoned in Imrali Island. With this result, Kurdish movement became once and for all a civil, regular political movement.
The loser is known; it is the personification and the ultra-centralisation of the regime. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the main and may be the single loser of these elections. But as a “bête politique” as French say (a political beast) Erdogan will certainly find ways to keep its power, even if the context is much more complicated now for him.
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