Nothing can stand against change
Nothing is permanent or everlasting. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) governance will of course come to an end as well and a far better realistic assessment of the AKP period will then be possible. In 10 years time, what will people examining the AKP governance period in Turkey say?
Even if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan manages to impose himself and get elected to the presidency, in 2022 not only the country will be only one year away from its centennial, Erdoğan will be spending, at the maximum, his last three years in office. If no lifetime presidency clause is added to the constitution, the autocratic governance of the tall, bald and bold man will come to an end when his second five-year tenure in the presidency expires… By then, the country will have gotten tired of macho-style leadership and probably opt for more democratic freedoms and rights.
The “zero problem” foreign policy rhetoric that landed Turkey in a sad “zero friends among neighbors” reality and its disastrous architect will perhaps be long forgotten, and Turkey may have started patching up whatever is left of its ties with the tormented neighborhood. At the threshold of its centennial, Turkey might be either still crying under or busy trying to clean the debris of the AKP period.
Or, perhaps the opponents were all wrong; the world just could not grasp the strategic depth of the foreign policy perspectives of the AKP and the centennial of the republic be celebrated with neo-Ottomanist glamour.
Over the next decade or so will we be able to finish off at least the fight between the conservatives, republicans, conservative-Islamists, die-hard secularists, atheists or whatever?
Will Turkey indeed celebrate the republic’s centennial with portraits of Sayyid Jamaladdin al-Afghani Asadabadi, the father of the utopia of Ittihat-i Islam (Alliance of Islam); Mohammed Abduh, Mohammed Rashid Rida, Hasan al-Benna and Sayyid Qutb, the forefathers of the Muslim Brotherhood philosophy, or Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the secularist founder of the republic?
Whatever, probably by then Turks will perhaps manage to settle their endless squabble regarding their identity and decide where they belong; the emotional East or the materialist West… Or, perhaps they still will stick to the horrendous bridge metaphor and continue describing themselves as a crossing in between the East and the West, Asia and Europe, Christianity and Islam and such and such…
Given the incredible dynamism of this country, put aside 10 years, estimating what might be brought by the next hours or days requires skills far deeper than those of a professional fortune teller.
Would anyone think, for example, a general proudly declaring 15 years ago that the post-modern coup he staged would last 1,000 years would be detained the other day, interrogated and ordered arrested by a court and likely would be placed in a military prison in an Ankara neighborhood where under his orders tanks had paraded once upon a time to force an Islamist government step down?
Change… Nothing can stand against it.