Parameters of Erdoğan’s road map

Parameters of Erdoğan’s road map

Important developments are happening in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to make changes, including a cabinet shuffle as soon as possible, and move on.

 The formula is likely to be the Central Executive Board (MYK) change first, then the cabinet shuffle next. 

For the cabinet shuffle, the equation is told to be this: If there will be early elections after November, then not so substantial changes are considered. But if the scheduled elections in 2019 will be held, then there will be comprehensive changes and no less than seven or eight ministers will be changed. 

At the same time, eyes are turned to the new road map. Erdoğan wants to write a new story by 2019. Certain parameters of the road map are becoming clear. A production and growth-oriented model in the economy is going to be adopted. Second is a domestic arrangement in democratization. The third is reducing problems in foreign policy. 

The most difficult aspect of democratization will be the state of emergency and the cooperation with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). A balance will be sought between politics and requirements in the field to achieve democratization. 

In the party convention, President Erdoğan said: “The bar is now 50 percent plus 1. We have seen how difficult this is on the April 16 referendum.” This reality obligates them to search for new compromises in politics. Improving relations with three segments, namely the Islamic segment, the liberals and Kurdish politics, will be in their focus. 

Turkey launched a Kurdish initiative, but because the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) sabotaged the process, it failed. But despite the ill-management of the process it was seen how beneficial the process was when local people turned their backs at the PKK- Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) during the “battle of the ditches.”

We will see where the Democratic Union Party – People’s Protection Units (PYD-YPG) operation, supported by the U.S. and Russia, in Syria will go in fall. After that date, an initiative including the Kurds across the border is being talked about. 

Turkey has been ruled by security-based policies for some time, but this situation is not sustainable, and it does not suit AK Party’s story. The chapters topping the list of democratization in the road map are amendments in the Law on Political Parties, the lowering of the 10 percent election threshold to 7 percent. A single member constituency election system is also considered. By changing the internal regulations of the parliament, a system where parliamentary commissions are strengthened is aimed. 

Economic development will depend on growth and employment. Supports for projects will be strengthened through development agencies; centers of attractions in 23 provinces will be enhanced, mega projects like the third airport in Istanbul, the Çanakkale Bridge and the Silk Road will be boosted, the production reform package will be enacted. Also, it is aimed that growth does not drop below 5 percent. The real aim will be 6 percent. An employment boosting campaign, which has started giving positive results, will become permanent. 

The target in foreign policy is to reduce the tension. Opening of the Russian market, a slight relaxation in Syria and the moderation of relation with the EU are priorities.

Economic development calls for improvement in democratization and international relations. Without changing Turkey’s outlook, the economic outlook does not change.