An election with no results?
I had to write this piece before I knew the election results, but it may not matter much, unless the results turn out to be a total surprise. Otherwise, it will not mat-ter much, since it is not going to be easy for Turkey to sort out this political crisis even if the Justice and Development Party (AKP) manages to get enough votes to form a majority government. I think a coalition among the four parties in parlia-ment is not an option.
Though an AKP-Republican People’s Party (CHP) coalition could bring some stability, it is unlikely to happen for a number of reasons. First of all, the AKP does not want to share power, or the president does not want the AKP to share power. The corruption issue is only one of the reasons. More importantly, the AKP has turned into a state party and Turkey has turned into a party state, and a coalition is an oxymoron for state parties.
A coalition government is not an option for the same reason. State parties can-not share power since they need to have an absolute grip on power to control all segments of society, the economy and politics, by definition. Besides, they mostly need ideological legitimacy and this is the case of the AKP. That is why the AKP be-came more ideological after becoming “the state party.” That is why AKP support-ers and politicians started to use terms like the “2002 revolution,” “the last strug-gle of independence,” “the war of Muslims and infidels” and “the nation and its enemies.” Indeed, the chief editor of a semi-official government daily recently stated the “Nov. 1 election is no ordinary election!” (İbrahim Karagül, Oct. 28, 2015, Yeni Şafak). He claimed “it is not an issue of choosing among the parties… not an issue of how many MPs will be elected by which party… not an issue of how the cabinet will be formed… it is an issue of the defense of our country.”
I totally agree with him in the sense that elections are no longer ordinary demo-cratic elections in Turkey.
They are expected to legitimize and institutionalize the so-called “2002 Revolution.” If not, the election needs to be repeated, as hap-pened after the June election! This is no longer a democratic system but an elected dictatorship. Moreover, it is not a personal dictatorship; it is an ideological state in the making. The “2002 Revolution” needs to be completed by electoral legitimacy; if not, I do not know what is coming. If the AKP manages to form a majority gov-ernment by getting enough votes or by getting the support of the needed num-bers of MPs from other parties, the process of party state building will be pursued by all means.
Nevertheless, it is an impossible mission and will only increase the social tension and political crises of governability.
The Kurdish issue and the Kurdish party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), is going to be another aspect of the coming crises with no connection to the election results. The issue will become even more complicated not only because a demo-cratic peace process first needs democratic politics, but also because the Kurdish political body is becoming more divided, even if the fissures have not yet become public. Otherwise, if there is no democratic solution, Kurdish politics will become further militarized and that kind of sway can only promise more chaos.
Sorry for the inconvenience! I needed to recall the inconvenient truths. In short, Turkey is in a political mess and it is not going to be sorted out anytime soon. Still, those who believe in democracy, elections and elections results are important in the democratic struggle.