The AK Party’s candidate and model choice
Not only the nomination of a new leader for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), but also the codes of the new era were announced by the party’s spokesperson on May 19.
Party leader nominee Binali Yıldırım is the most rational, wise choice possible after Ahmet Davutoğlu for the AK Party. He was also the only person who could be instantly accepted, as his name had been constantly circulating as the potential nominee to replace Davutoğlu.
The party had been prepared, as much as it could be, for Yıldırım’s nomination. We will see just how much the grassroots of the party has adopted him, but doubtless not taking any risks with a surprise name was a rational choice.
Anyway, who else could it have been? Compared with the other candidates mentioned, the only rational, realistic nominee was Yıldırım. He was the only name who could manage the debates about a “low-profile” and “high-profile” party chair, because he has a mature and flexible personality. He is able to disregard what is being said and not ponder over it too much.
He will have no problem overcoming the debates that erupted on his “profile.” He will be comfortable and won’t feel the pressure. He won’t be damaged by the debate on whether or not he is merely a “caretaker.”
This is because he does not have any complexes. He may have been preparing to be the caretaker of Erdoğan for a long time. He would not be offended to be called Erdoğan’s caretaker; he can carry that burden.
I guess that explains why Yıldırım is the best choice among the options left for the AK Party after it sidelined Davutoğlu.
Regarding the “codes” of the new era, it should be said that after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stepped up to the presidency in August 2014, his relationship with his party was never formally reorganized. The AK Party-Erdoğan relationship was not properly organized and it was not put on the right track.
This was a field that was frequently the subject of President Erdoğan’s complaints on apparent “dual-headedness” in government. This was an issue that generated tension.
But on May 19, everybody speaking on behalf of the AK Party had a new language on this matter. That language was a definite one that removed uncertainty and ended debates.
The relationship between Erdoğan and the AK Party was defined, before May 19, with concepts of the “founding leader” or “natural leader.”
On May 19, these concepts were referred to as “our founder” and “our leader.” For the first time vaguer phrases like “natural leader” were not pronounced. It has become an “open and direct leadership.”
This de facto situation has not been made official, but obviously it has been made public. President Erdoğan is no longer a “spiritual natural leader,” a “wise man of the cause” or the “leader of the movement.” He is referred to directly and openly as the practical leader of the party.
He is mentioned not as an abstract and theoretical leader, but as a concrete and practical leader. In one move, the AK Party has chosen both a new leader and a new relationship model with Erdoğan.