Erdoğan is the election’s biggest loser

Erdoğan is the election’s biggest loser

The only place I wanted to be last night when the election results started coming in was the presidential palace in Beştepe. I would like to have seen the expression on Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s face. 
The biggest loser of this election is none other than Erdoğan.

He has lost an election for the first time in his political life. He is the one who made an oath to be unbiased, but forgot this oath and went on rallies to demand votes for the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

It is none other than he who divided the country into two camps and violated the constitution in order to implement the agenda in his head.

As of yesterday, his dream of the presidential system has come to an end.

Will he now opt for another path, understanding that the electorate in Turkey is not fond of the slide toward authoritarianism? I don’t think so. The power poisoning he has been subjected to prevents him from perceiving the truth of the country and the message of the electorate.

No power other than the AKP could wake him from that dream and take the presidency back within constitutional limits. Whether or not the AKP can succeed in this will affect the political future of all of us.

Political engineering does not work

It is not possible to reverse history, but for one moment we need to go back to the night of the presidential election last August. This could be beneficial for AKP members too.

What would have happened if Erdoğan had resigned as prime minister before the campaign, thus avoiding violating the constitution? What would have happened if he did not force the party to hold a congress to elect his own personal preference as party head?

It is a high possibility that Abdullah Gül would have come to lead the party.

AKP members should now think of this: If the party had entered the election with Gül instead of Davutoğlu, would the result have been the same?

Turkey has experienced such kinds of political engineering efforts before, and all those who have attempted it have always been deceived.

Erdoğan attempted a political engineering trial to realize one-man rule and achieve his presidential dreams. He lost.

Now, AKP members need to do some thinking. Will they follow Erdoğan’s one-man rule dreams and become history, or will they understand that the electorate in Turkey does not like conflict and turn into a real party of the center?

Forcing early elections?

Had we lived in a normal country, the could have been accepted as the winner of this election, despite losing votes and deputies.

Although the AKP came first, it could not secure a majority to form a government on its own. In a normal democracy, either a coalition or a minority government would be formed.

It is good to reconcile. The electorate expects something like that.

But as far as the AKP is concerned, there is a figure who is a stumbling block in front of the reconciliation. That figure is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

He knows that he won’t have the ability to say “I am the head of the executive” in a coalition government. He will have to retreat back to within constitutional limits.

In that event, the president can force an early election by not allowing a government to be formed. His character will not let him accept such a defeat. In that event, we will go to elections once again in October.

Winners and losers

Erdoğan lost. It has come clear that the electorate in Turkey does not like his one-man rule ambitions and will not let this happen.

As for Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, while he did not win enough to form the government alone, he was able to get the votes of a majority of the electorate and came out of the election as the top party. Although Erdoğan would like to make Davutoğlu pay for his own loss, the numbers are there: Davutoğlu is the leader who garnered most votes.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was another winner. Actually, a party entering an election as the main opposition and emerging as the main opposition should be considered a defeat. The CHP has lost votes as well as deputies. But no doubt Kılıçdaroğlu will find many statistics to say that he is the real winner of the elections.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli was another winner. He has increased his votes by four points. No, he cannot come to government alone, but the MHP has an opportunity to be a partner in a coalition and no doubt Bahçeli will find some statistics that will let him explain how he won the election.

However, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş is perhaps the only politician who truly won election. He was able to pass the kind of high national threshold the likes of which cannot be found in any democratic country. If he can properly analyze the votes that were lent to him from supporters of other parties, we will be talking of Demirtaş for many years to come.