Erdoğan-Davutoğlu duo set to unease tension in the society

Erdoğan-Davutoğlu duo set to unease tension in the society

Were we supposed to hear the most correct statement on the presidential debates from a new member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)? 

Tuğrul Türkeş, a former member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said the debate has been initiated in an early and untimely manner. 

It was certain members of the AKP that took this unnecessary step by initiating the debate, as if it were the right moment.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu intervened in the debate before it got bigger. He did not place the reform of the system among the priorities on the to-do list. He has more urgent work to do.

For Davutoğlu, lowering the fever and the tension that has accumulated in society tops the list.

I can’t name the person as I did not receive his permission to name him, but one of his close associates defines what was in the mind of Davutoğlu as “closing the parenthesis of Gezi.”

If that is the case, we are entering a period of reconciliation that will end two years of anxiousness. Isn’t that good? The presidential system does not appear on top of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s urgent needs list. I hear that he is not happy that the issue has been brought to the agenda abruptly. I am convinced that the first thing that came to the mind of Erdoğan when he saw the 49.5 percent in the ballot box was not the presidential system.

He is not behind the start of the debates, and those who initiated the talks did not do so by receiving a signal from him. On the contrary, he has sent signals in the other direction.

For instance: A legal case was opened against two 13-year-old children who tore apart pictures of the president on a billboard in Diyarbakır. The case was opened on the grounds of insulting the president, and the two faced a jail sentence. Erdoğan send a petition to the court through his lawyers informing them that he is not complaining. In addition to the emphasis on their age, the petition argues that the act does not involve any defamation.  Does this paternal, forgiving manner not reflect a wish on the part of Erdoğan to close old accounts and move on to a different climate?

The Erdoğan-Davutoğlu duo are preparing steps that will ease society. Nov. 1 could be a chance to leave a painful period behind. Both the president and the prime minister wish to use this chance to have a smoother climate. But it will not be easy. I see two big dangers in front of them. 

First of all, there are those who are not yet ready for reconciliation that will come from Erdoğan and Davutoğlu’s efforts to shake hands with unhappy segments; there are those who will perceive it as a threat to their own mission. 

Just as the 13 percent success of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) panicked Kandil, they are worried that a change in the climate could end the need for their existence. They escape reconciliation. If the dust settles, they will be unemployed, their raison d’être will disappear. So they will not stand still. We need to be alert to sabotage from these types.

Second, unplanned outbursts, like the ones we have witnessed during the presidential debates, could disrupt the climate. Carried away in a race to be appreciated by Erdoğan and Davutoğlu, they are the ones who might cause unwanted road accidents.  

The electorate has not sentenced the AKP to govern the country with a coalition. But it did not give it an absolute majority though which it can act unilaterally. It obliged the AKP to look for reconciliation on an amendment even for a single sentence in the constitution.

So the destination to ease the tension is right, but those on the ship could still lead it to deviate from its course.