Erdoğan’s primary goal
What everybody predicted came true and the coalition talks failed. The first leg of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s game has been completed successfully. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said he would contact the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) again, but Erdoğan will surely obstruct this too.
His next goal now, instead of forming an election government according to the constitution, is to form a Justice and Development (AKP) minority government and hold new elections. This is because forming an AKP minority government would give them an unlimited use of state means during the election campaign.
The following scenario is also possible: Erdoğan could appoint a new government formed by Ahmet Davutoğlu and then have parliament decide on elections. For this government to receive a vote of confidence, it is enough for one of the opposition parties to abstain or to not show up during voting. The MHP’s allergy to the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) could be useful in this case. Erdoğan must have been calculating.
In this event, parliament will decide on early elections and there will be no need to form an election government.
A number of polls suggest that the seat distribution in parliament will not change much in a renewed election. Only one result is certain: We are probably entering yet another election period. This era will last until the public gets tired of elections and simply makes the AKP a one-party ruler.
Erdoğan does not have any tolerance for a coalition government. Neither can he tolerate the AKP losing its rule, because he knows that the Dec. 17 and 25 corruption operations hang like a Sword of Damocles; these files can be reopened and in that event there may be very sad consequences. As a result, Erdoğan’s only concern at the moment is to prevent this.
Prepare for a ‘Night of the Long Knives’
President Erdoğan recently said the following: “We can see that this crowd calling themselves intellectuals and journalists are seeking to commit treachery.”
This country already has a rich “traitor” population. We have so many that we could produce “traitor champions.”
After giving his own definition of “traitor,” the president charged local village and neighborhood heads (muhtars) with the following task: “My muhtars know very well which home contains what, and who lives inside. I know my muhtars will if necessary give this information, very calmly, to their local district governor, or to the governor, or to the security department. We will cooperate, we will be in solidarity. You know this very well.”
The “informer citizen” era has been reopened, with the most local of administrators tasked with “information providing.”
Thus, within the rule of law, without any need for a prosecutor or a court, everybody will their own arbitrary “traitor list.” I don’t know whether a Hitler-era “Night of the Long Knives” will follow. Let’s wait and see.
Stability in fluctuation
We already know that Turkey and the U.S. have agreed to work together in the coalition against ISIL. But there is not harmony. The Turkish Foreign Ministry makes a statement, then the U.S. State Department contradicts it.
Turkey is obviously uncomfortable with the U.S. cooperating with the Kurdish YPG forces in northern Syria. It says the U.S. may hit those forces, then the U.S State Department denies that there is such a prospect on the table. The same happened in other issues such as the “safe zones.”
The Foreign Ministry is historically one of Turkey’s most reliable institutions. We can easily say that this situation is not due to ineptitude. The issue seems to stem from the political will.
Because the political will has confused thoughts on Syria, ISIL and the PYD, our foreign minister is swaying, blowing in the wind.
Apparently, our rulers are still stuck in their own Syrian policy and any new step drags them to places they never wanted to go to. This foreign policy, described as “epic” by the prime minster, was not even negotiated in the coalition talks.
The AKP thinks the Turkish public is happy about this “stability” and will vote for them again with renewed enthusiasm…