Erdoğan back in AKP

Erdoğan back in AKP

Was he back? Did he ever go? Indeed the parliamentary group meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on May 2 at the party headquarters will remove a source of deception and put an end to the era of the “impartial president” system after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan formally becomes an AKP member.

Although the move is not one that can be neglected, it is still a deficient move. If it was possible to convene a party convention within a few days, Erdoğan would probably want to officially rejoin the AKP from the point he had to “formally” abandon it because of the old rules of the game. Now, the rules of the game are changed to his preference and super presidential aspirations, but time is needed to domesticate the entire state apparatus to operate according to the wishes, thoughts and designs of the supreme leader. He will probably have to wait either for an extraordinary convention of the AKP within the next months, if not weeks, or wait until next year when the scheduled convention of the party gets underway. In any case, since he is “formally” back as a member, he can start redesigning the AKP according to the new reality.

From May 2016 to May 2017 it was a hectic year for Turkey. Not only the architect of the failed foreign policy, but particularly the country’s Syria policy, former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was removed from office and the AKP leadership and replaced by Binali Yıldırım. The country suffered a coup attempt. What was it? Who staged it? Was it a failed one or just one triggered by a bigger transformation of the country from a pluralistic parliamentary democracy toward a one-man rule? Particularly after the failed coup attempt, since the declaration of the state of emergency on July 20, 2016, Turkey has indeed become a sui generis country.

Well, many other countries have also declared emergency rules. Now, France as well is under an emergency rule.

Why has there been so much annoyance at the state of emergency in Turkey, while the world is almost mute regarding France? A look at the number and scope of decrees issued under the state of emergency in Turkey might give an idea to why Erdoğan and Turkish ministers claim Turkey was subjected to prejudice.

France did not undergo a coup attempt. It did not have a terrorist organization, as Turkish officials claim, orchestrate a coup. Thus, Turkish officials claim that in France there was no need for rounds of sweeping security operations to capture “terrorists” and “collaborators” in the military, bureaucracy, academia, business community and media. French, European and other allies of Turkey, however, hardly buy the idea that the coup was done by a religious society, even though since the failed coup removed over 100,000 civil servants, over 40,000 police - nine of them last week - from their posts. Some 140,000 public employees were put on judicial trials. Some 5,000 judges and prosecutors were claimed to be members of the gang that masterminded the coup attempt. Some 33,000 teachers were kicked out from profession; some of them accused of membership to the putschist gang, some to a separatist terrorist gang. Only in the last emergency decree 484 academics were expelled from universities. The Turkish military has suffered very seriously because of coup-related arrests and sackings, producing a serious deficiency in pilots to fly fighter jets. The situation is not much different in the Naval Forces, from where many officers and admirals were either sent to behind the bars or just expelled from the military. But, there was no contamination in the political cadres of any party from the Islamist gang that tried to take over the country.

Under state of emergency regulations if someone is expelled from duty with a statutory decree, he cannot assume from then on to any public duty. This makes expulsions even more painful. 

Some say that if Turkey had waited for a few more years the Islamist gang would have taken over. Perhaps all Turks should be thankful to Erdoğan and the AKP government of pulling Turkey out of an imminent civil war, or a regime change. Yet, being a devil’s advocate I just cannot stop but ask: what has happened now? Turkey has changed its regime. A one-man rule has started shaping up. All upper courts will be reshaped by the president. Lower courts will be reshaped by the Judges and Prosecutors Board, which will be shaped by the president. The legislative will be under his firm control. He will be the sole and absolute executive.