The message Turkey will deliver to the world
On June 23, Turkey’s new parliament will convene and lawmakers will take oaths to begin their legislative works officially. A day after on June 24, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to give the mandate to Ahmet Davutoğlu, the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Thus the 45-day countdown will begin next Wednesday and will end in the first week of August. In between, four political parties will engage in a very tough bargaining process over the formation of a coalition government to officially end the AKP’s 13 years of self-rule.
As of June 19, the most probable coalition formations are AKP-CHP (Republican People’s Party) and the AKP-MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). However, going to snap elections should also be counted among the possibilities, as all political parties have not ruled it out. Let’s analyze which of these scenarios could be effectuated.
The AKP-CHP coalition government is being voiced mostly by non-political actors as they suggest such a grand coalition of ideologically opposed camps would offer a better chance for Turkey to return the normalcy in almost every field, economy and foreign policy in particular. Among these non-political actors are business associations, the international community and national and international media.
The fact that both the AKP and the CHP are ready to undertake a fresh campaign to boost European Union harmonization and to continue the Kurdish peace process, is why this coalition would be welcomed by mostly liberals and intellectuals. Obviously these are rational thoughts based on the possibility that such a grand coalition could also amend the constitution, as the total number of the two parties exceeds the two-thirds majority needed to this end.
However, this option seems to have weakened, as the CHP introduced 14 principles, many of which may be hard for the AKP to address. CHP officials have expressed their intention to stay as the main opposition instead of partnering with the AKP. This sentiment has become more concrete after they saw signals of rapprochement between the AKP and the MHP. CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu made a surprising move June 18 and offered the prime ministry to MHP head Devlet Bahçeli, to convince him of a coalition government that excludes the AKP.
MHP officials turned down the proposal, as deputy leader Mevlüt Karakaya openly expressed the next government should be led by the AKP as it has 258 lawmakers and was the winner of the elections.
Although it’s early to suggest this, the chance for an AKP-CHP grand coalition has diminished.
The second and more likely scenario is an AKP-MHP government. It’s known the AKP and MHP grassroots are very similar and this government would function more harmoniously than AKP-CHP or CHP-MHP governments. However, the AKP-MHP government would not bring additional hope for the democratization of the country, for providing impetus to EU talks or for re-calibrating foreign policy in its entirety. A government formed by these two parties could be summarized as the return of security politics to Turkey.
It’s known many MHP lawmakers are suggesting a military intervention into Syria for the protection of Turkmens and to stop the flow of Syrian refugees inside Syria, as well as nixing the Syrian Kurds’ establishment of an independent entity along the Turkish border. That is also in line with the AKP’s proposal to establish security zones inside Syria.
These are only some probable repercussions of an AKP-MHP government. It’s sure that Turkey needs a more progressive government to meet the needs of a country that eyes being one of the top 10 economies in the world. The composition of the next government will constitute a very important message that Turkey will deliver to its people, its region and beyond.