Erdoğan and his AKP are preparing for a long-term struggle
One of the reasons why Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pushing for all of these recent controversial laws is the fact that he caught President Abdullah Gül in a really difficult position, especially ahead of the March 30 local elections. Gül, who still obviously has the ambition to continue his political career, can hardly stand against Erdoğan, as any of his challenges would be regarded as betrayal to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and would put him on the side of the Fethullah Gülen community.
That’s why he said he will not put himself into the position of the Constitutional Court, meaning that he will approve all sorts of legislation, despite the fact that they risk violating the Constitution.
On the aftermath of Dec. 17, the day when massive corruption and graft operations engulfing Cabinet ministers was launched, the government pressed the button to amend some very controversial laws, such as the Internet and the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and recently the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Law.
All three pieces of legislation should be considered as part of the same objective for the AKP government: Winning the war declared against the “parallel state,” or the Gülen community.
Contrary to expectations, Erdoğan’s struggle will not end on March 30, but will likely enter a new phase, depending on his performance at the polls. The prime minister will likely gear up his anti-Gülen campaign in the aftermath of the elections, as his more important target is to secure presidential elections and the upcoming parliamentary elections.
That’s why it is important to stop through the Internet law the release of voice recordings and other evidence claiming that Erdoğan, his family, and his ministers are in the middle of a corruption network. That’s why it is of vital importance to shape the entire judiciary and establish a strong network of judges and prosecutors loyal to the government. More importantly, strengthening the capacity and power of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) as the most important tool in Erdoğan’s fight, seems to be the core of the contention.
Government circles claim that their vote is above 45 percent, but they are ready to sell a victory even if they only remain slightly above the 40 percent margin. However, the heaviest blow could be dealt to the AKP if they lose Istanbul or Ankara, as that would break the “all-time winner” image of the AKP for the first time since 2002.
Whatever the election results are, the AKP will continue to be the government with a parliamentary majority. And whatever the election results are, corruption and graft claims will be there too, along with the Gülen community, and the opposition parties will continue to press ahead against the government.
It’s quite predictable that this fight between the government and the Gülen community, and the high political tension between parties, will be a permanent feature, at least until next the parliamentary elections.