Will Gül want to be PM after 2014?

Will Gül want to be PM after 2014?

As we are proceeding toward the 2014 presidential elections, what is waiting for us ahead is slowly becoming clearer.

Up until now, there was this perception: In the event that the prime minister moves into the Çankaya Presidential Mansion with the current powers, Abdullah Gül would take the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (Ak Party) and prime ministry positions because it is only he who will be able to manage the ruling party.

Even though he does not seem to desire this much, because he would not be able to refuse a major request from the party and from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Gül would descend from Çankaya and take the bridge of the ship of Turkey. Thus, a new process would begin.

Recent developments show that this perception or assumption may not be the reality.

It may or may not be true, but it looks as if the prime minister does not have a presidency without powers in his mind. With the new constitution – we do not know how much of it he will be able to force through – he will either try the presidential system or semi-presidential system, or become a president affiliated to a political party.

Let me repeat; this is Turkey and everything may change in 24 hours. However, when we look at the signs today, it is quite apparent that Erdoğan does not want to be a president with symbolic powers.
His personality and his stance up until today have not been compatible with this anyway.

Erdoğan wants to be a president who can control his party, who will appoint the prime minister and the Cabinet members or change them. I suppose everybody agrees on these matters. The signals he gave up until this point have been along these lines.

If this is the case – in other words – if we are going to see Erdoğan in Çankaya as a very effective president, then we can easily guess that Abdullah Gül, as far as I know him, would not want to wear a suit that was tailored beforehand.

No matter how much they love and respect each other and continue their brotherly relationship, I have serious doubts whether Gül would accept a prime ministry position where he is expected to follow the directives coming from the mansion. To be on the safe side, let’s say, “I do not assume that he would want to play such a role.”

This is not only my opinion. There are signals in this direction coming from those close to Çankaya as well as many people I have spoken to within the Ak Party and those close to the top.

I don’t know, am I wrong?

What do you think?

Neighborhood pressure works both ways

I read an extremely correct finding of one of the prime minister’s chief advisers, Yalçın Akdoğan, following his interview with Cansu Çamlıbel the other day. Akdoğan drew attention to reverse “neighborhood pressure.” Because religious matters have become more distinct now, he stated that there was a reverse neighborhood-pressure mechanism.

What was our neighborhood pressure description? The religious segment, with changing conditions and with their increased self-esteem, will start exerting pressure on the secular segment and, in the future, will force them to be more religious.

Akdoğan, this time, has turned the paradigm on its head. Every step taken, every decision made to work out the issues of the religious segment, he points out, meets a reverse neighborhood pressure from the secular segment.

So right.

We are so immersed in our own selves that we do not see the others, whereas, we are also openly exerting neighborhood pressure on them. Maybe our numbers are few and our sphere of influence is minimal, but our voice is heard more maybe because we are louder.