My congratulations to the AK Party
In the Aegean city of İzmir, after a civilized election competition, candidates Binali Yıldırım and Aziz Kocaoğlu congratulated each other. All the candidates in that region, who have won and who have lost, got together and held hands together demonstrating a very beautiful attitude.
Who would not want this to be the same in entire Turkey?
First and foremost, members of the government should think about this. All right, the opposition has done its share, but aren’t there any mistakes you should also correct without any more tension?
I also congratulate the election victory of the government, but there are important issues I want to draw attention to. Cabinet Minister Ali Babacan said, “Since 2009, our economy has constantly grown.”
In 2009, because of the global crisis economy had hit bottom, unemployment raised and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) votes fell to 38 percent. In 2013 though, the economy grew 4 percent, income per capita increased by $324. Well, the March 30 elections should be reviewed from this perspective also. A significant portion of the votes cast for the AK Party were given so that services would continue and that stability would not be interrupted.
However, the government has lost 2 million votes, in other words, 5 to 6 points of a percent of its vote, compared to the 2011 elections. If it were general elections, it would have lost about 35 seats in Parliament; it would have gone down to 290 seats.
Even though we went through a growing economy in 2013, why did the government lose these votes? Aren’t they a reaction to corruption and authoritarianism?
Besides, we will start feeling the tightening of the economy in the coming months. We are entering an economically difficult period. The government should take extra care with that; it should temper the environment. It should avoid shaking confidence in justice.
More importantly, Bekir Ağırdır from the KONDA research company, which had successful election estimates, said the AK Party was everywhere in the country geographically but “it was squeezed in somewhere sociologically or as a cultural identity.”
One can be the political party of only the conservatives, but can one act as if it is only their government?
Cultural disintegration is very dangerous. Young people in the AK Party should research, older ones should remember: There has been much tension and polarization in our history of democracy, but has there been anything like this before?
They should ask the sociologists they trust, so that they would tell them when cultural polarization and political polarization overlap, then there will be fractures in society that would be very difficult to mend; there could be disastrous social and political crises.
There has to be a way back from this course; and fast.
Why do Babacan and Mehmet Şimşek feel the need to repeat again and again how important a peaceful environment is for the country and rule of law and European Union principles are for economy?
The reason is that there is no other way.
I am sure many AK Party members, some of them I know well, also want rule of law and that the government should embrace everybody so tension is eliminated.
Interestingly, the EU wants the same as well. EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, in a statement, urged Turkey to respect rule of law and “reach out to all citizens.”
Well, how then was the whole world was against us? In the era we are living in, one nation’s falling into a crisis is never good for any other nation.
For this reason, it is the duty of the government, more than anybody else, to drop the “foreign powers, the interest rate lobby and traitors” narrative and bring the country into a normal environment.
One of the key names in conservative-liberal thinking, late Professor Ali Fuat Başgil said to the late Adnan Menderes: “Immediately decrease the tension. Go back to being moderate. Reconcile with the opposition.” Unfortunately Celal Bayar blocked the restraint process, arguing it would be “weakness.”
Today, I am indeed congratulating the electoral success of the government, but I also find it necessary to point out that the government does not need applause, but it needs restraint.