Gezi Park: A disclosed plot against Erdoğan
Let’s, for a moment, accept that the Gezi Park protests have nothing to do with the democratic demands of environmental activists or with the massive outcry against the government’s growing inclinations to interfere in different lifestyles. And let’s believe all of these are part of a comprehensive plot against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
According to pro-government columnists and some prominent Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials, the target is Erdoğan himself, whose plans to consolidate his power by becoming the next president create concerns among his internal and external adversaries. This group is a sort of a coalition of the willing, consisting of his internal political rivals, interest lobby and their affiliations in the banking and media sector, some regional countries etc.
I am of the opinion that such a plot does also require the engagement of some insiders to collaborate with this coalition of willing. It’s not in my capacity to reveal who these people could be but my humble observation tells me the target of this attempt: to single out Erdoğan among the Turkish political elite as the only politician who rejects the language of compromise, peace or dialogue. In a way to depict that his one-man leadership in the future would cause more trouble to the country and its allies.
From day one, we have been hearing conciliatory remarks from President Abdullah Gül, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, head of the Constitutional Court Haşim Kılıç with the purpose of reducing tension in the country. Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç was the first who apologized to the protestors about the excessive use of force of the police, among many other responsible figures.
Furthermore, except for few, a majority of the cabinet ministers preferred either to keep silent or to speak in a low-profile manner about ongoing massive protests. There are even some ministers who have never said a word about this unrest and the government’s policies in that regard.
As evidence of Erdoğan’s charisma and power are already beyond the AKP, the party roots could only be mobilized after his return to Turkey, although the protests have become intense and worrying. He was obliged to hold six rallies in a single day to re-motivate his party organization and to ask his aides to organize another two over the upcoming weekend for a showdown against protestors.
Oppositional parties have fiercely criticized Erdoğan for further provoking mass groups through these rallies. Devlet Bahçeli called Erdoğan “the wildest provocateur of all times” while Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu described him as the “number one provocateur.” No doubt, such descriptions will only increase the tone of Erdoğan’s language vis-a-vis protestors and oppositional parties, further polishing his conflicting political personality.
The greatest plot against Erdoğan would be advising him to underline that he won the votes of 50 percent of the electorate in the last elections and thus present the majority. This rhetoric would only serve the purpose of those who want blockade Erdoğan’s path to the presidency, as the ongoing plot suggests.