It was an election between those who opposed the “one-party regime” and those who supported it, (or perhaps could not comprehend the danger of such a regime for democracy and the future of the country). Thank God, thank all democratic efforts, thank voters, we won! It is something to celebrate! Still, this is not to say that political crises in Turkey have ended; in fact, there is still a long way to go in order to restore democracy.
All political actors - but especially the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which still got 41 percent of the vote - have a lot of responsibility for such a restoration and return to normality. Both the transition to normal democratic politics and peace with the Kurds should include conservatives, as social peace is a precondition of democracy. Unfortunately, some AKP politicians and supporters are still flirting with the idea of fostering enmity and chaos in order to create circumstances to return to the status quo ante. That is why sober-minded conservatives more than anyone else must distance themselves from such dangerous games. The problem with the AKP is its swing away from centrist politics, so now it is time for sensible conservatives to take responsibility for restoring party politics on centrist lines.
I know that this will not be easy, especially since the AKP has long departed from democratic politics in terms of freedoms, transparency, accountability and judicial independence. It will be difficult to adjust. Besides, there are some who will suffer from the possible outcomes of accountability, transparency and judicial independence; so there will be a lot of resistance. Nevertheless, unless a political compromise is reached, political crises will deepen and - more importantly - unless some pay the price of their misdeeds, all of us will pay a heavier price in the long run.
Now, the choice for the AKP is between saving democracy and the future of the country and trying to save the personal interests of some of its politicians. That is why the opposition should not allow the AKP to escape its responsibility by avoiding coalition or even minority government possibilities. They should appeal to the sensible AKP politicians and the “elders” of conservative politics to achieve a restoration period. Needless to say, the most important part of politics of responsibility and restoration is to acknowledge the importance of the Kurdish peace process, which some AKP politicians tried to take hostage.
It is time for all political actors to think (at least) twice if they care for the future of the country. In fact, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) should be given credit for its restraint and avoiding criticism of the Kurdish party in the election process, despite that some of its voters supported the HDP in order to help it overcome the 10 percent threshold. Indeed, the government accuses the CHP of secretly allying with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). But this was the right thing to do in order to block the path of the approaching authoritarian regime, and the CHP should only be thanked for this. In fact, even the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) did not play into the hands of the politics of confrontation, despite the MHP’s rejection of the peace process.
For the time being, we have managed to avoid a big political catastrophe. But it is not over yet. I hope we can cooperate to overcome the dark days of Turkish politics, in the name of democracy and patriotism, and spoil the plans of chaos.