What is the worst Turkish election scenario?

What is the worst Turkish election scenario?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

If you ask to an average supporter of the Justice and Development Party (AK Parti), who is probably more loyal to President Tayyip Erdoğan than the party itself, the answer would be “not re-gaining a parliamentary majority” in the Nov. 1 re-election, having to share power with strangers, and losing what they have got accustomed to over the last 13 years under single-party governments. That is partly why the AK Parti grassroots has largely postponed questioning a number of things that many find hard to digest - from corruption allegations to fluctuations in the party’s Kurdish policy. They think they will be able to settle accounts within the party once they have regained power. They wouldn’t much care if Erdoğan forced the party to take its chairmanship from Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and give it to another name indicated by Erdoğan. 

If you ask the same question to an average supporter of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who (according to recent polls) think CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is doing a better job than the party itself, would probably say that the worst-case scenario would be the AK Parti regaining a majority to form a single-party government. They would likely think such a scenario would lead to Erdoğan using extensive executive powers without even bothering to change the constitution, as there would be no objection from the AK Parti government and the parliament dominated by them.

If you ask an average supporter of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), who tend to care for the ideological principles of the party more than MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, the worst-case scenario would be something to do with making “more concessions to Kurdish separatists” through a government that would not stop them.

If you ask an average supporter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the nightmare scenario would be dropping below the 10 percent threshold and thus failing to get into parliament. If it does again manage to get into parliament, the worst-case scenario would be a coalition between the AK Parti and the MHP, if AK Parti cannot regain its majority.

A few voters may also think a worst-case scenario would be Erdoğan using his authority to take Turkey to yet another re-election - like the one on Nov. 1 - if the AK Parti cannot regain power, in order to try his chances once again at securing de facto presidential powers.

It is another question entirely whether Turkey, which has lost 2015 in economic terms as well as political terms, could afford a further period of uncertainty. But Erdoğan is surely ready to use all his ammunition - without leaving much for the campaign for the second term of his presidency in 2019 - in order not to lose his current power, to which he has become very much accustomed. That really would be the worst-case scenario to emerge from Turkey’s Nov. 1 re-election.