It is election time
According to the spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), early elections were out of the question and the local and parliamentary elections will be held as scheduled. Irrespectively, Turkey has entered the election period with the prime minister starting to talk to every “loyal” group he encounters by “pure coincidence” at airports.
An electronic note mistakenly sent to a university professor by the administrative section of the Ankara municipality revealed how those crowds happen to be at airports to greet the prime minister. The note was saying that for yesterday’s Ankara arrival of the prime minister everyone employed by the Ankara Greater Municipality, including those not on duty, were assigned to be at the airport to greet the premier. Those on duty would be given administrative leave while those off duty would be given overtime if they attended the welcoming ceremony. More? The municipality would provide transport means but those traveling to the airport with their own cars would be paid 100 Turkish Liras per car as reimbursement.
The premier himself conceded yesterday during his daily cursing at the members of the “Turkish uprising” that the answer to the unrest must be given at the ballot box in seven months’ time when the nation goes to municipal polls. As adamant as ever so far, the premier has been rejecting calls for early parliamentary elections. Before the scheduled parliamentary elections there are still two more years. Each time Turkey’s ruling parties failed to understand the time had come to renew the national will, this country faced some very adverse developments. Would we, for example, have had the 1960 coup if the late Adnan Menderes, though at his visit to İzmir he decided to call for early elections, but kept that decision for himself? Unfortunately he made it to Ankara arrested. Was it different in 1971 or in 1980?
The Gezi Uprising is not a problem over the planned construction of a replica of historical barracks, a mall and some lush residences. Yes, that project pulled the trigger, but the uprising is one produced by 10 years of accumulation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s vengeful, down-looking and arrogant leadership style and his revanchist agenda.
The AKP came to power as an underdog. Over the past years, particularly since it survived a closure case in 2007, opened a vendetta campaign against the fundamentals of the Turkish Republic.
Ceremonies marking the republic and the Turkish war of liberation were either banned or were confined to sports halls; people were denied permission even to lay wreaths at statues of Atatürk, the founder of the republic. Since 2007 a huge concentration camp was established at Silivri where many prominent Kemalists, top commanders and critics of the AKP rule were banished. The AKP that came to power complaining that a lifestyle the nation did not want was imposed on the nation, became an oppressive government trying to create a society of its liking. Thus, it was not either Erdoğan cursing at Turkey’s founder and his comrade in arms as two drunkards, nor the law enhancing scope of the alcohol ban or the cutting down of few trees in Gezi Park that produced the “Turkish uprising.” Those were just the last drops that made the glass overflow.
This is a sui generis uprising. The most educated, talented and gentle rebellion. Put aside police violence in none of the city centers around the country, protestors are not engaged in violence. What’s seen in Turkey is not a reflection of the Arab Spring, but a genuine Turkish democratic uprising. The “apolitical youth” has decided to be political and to shape the future of the country. An early election has become a must.