PM’s codes in the Central Executive Board
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Erdoğan chose Şahin (R) as the new chairman in charge of political and legal affairs, a position considered the ‘second seat’ in the party. Hürriyet photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan determined the members of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 50-seat Central Decision and Executive Council (MKYK) during the party’s fourth congress, held on Sept. 30. Besides, Erdoğan declared the front line of the party on Oct. 4. The AKP’s Central Executive Board (MYK), consisting of 12 members, was also announced. Erdoğan has made such a change that Ankara corridors excitedly started to make future predictions and write various scenarios.
Mehmet Ali Şahin became the new chairman in charge of political and legal affairs, which is a position considered the “second seat” in the party. By assigning his comrade to such a critical position, Erdoğan gave important clues about his future plans. These two figures have been doing politics together since they were in the Welfare Party. Erdoğan and Şahin kicked off an alternative movement against former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan with Abdullah Gül, Bülent Arınç and Abdüllatif Şener, and founded the AKP together.
Şahin always took on critical responsibilities during the 11 years of AKP rule. Erdoğan assigned Şahin to important positions such as deputy prime minister, justice minister, parliamentary speaker, and Constitution Conciliation Commission member respectively. Erdoğan and Şahin’s joint struggle, which has continued for a long time, and their “devout friendship” naturally brought some scenarios to mind.
Was choosing Şahin as “the second man” a message to Abdullah Gül? It is known that if Erdoğan becomes the president, Gül will want to be the leader of the party again. However, it has already begun to be rumored that if Erdoğan is elected president in 2014, Şahin may become the party’s chairman and carry the party until 2015 as a “trustee prime minister.”
When Turgut Özal was elected as the eighth president, he assigned his comrade Yıldırım Akbulut to the Motherland Party’s (ANAP) chairmanship and prime ministry, but Mesut Yılmaz took over the chairmanship position from Akbulut despite Özal’s support in the 1991 congress. However, Özal was then president and not a member of a political party, in accordance with the 1982 Constitution.
Those interpreting Mehmet Ali Şahin’s new position claim that since Erdoğan wants to be president and a member of a political party, his intention is to sustain his power in the party by making his comrade Şahin the prime minister. They think that preferring Şahin is significant because then Gül will face a figure from among the five core members of the AKP, who founded the party. And the Erdoğan-Şahin alliance could obstruct Gül’s returning to the party. It is claimed that it explains the codes of the MYK’s new structure.
In such a scenario, it is evident that Gül has no place either in the Çankaya presidential mansion or in the AKP. Let’s assume that the scenario is realized. Then what will Gül do? The common view suggests that he will not settle in his homeland Kayseri and go on living as a retired man.
Besides, appointing Numan Kurtulmuş as deputy chairman in charge of economic affairs was found “meaningful.” Kurtulmuş was considered the second man in many circles. This choice by Erdoğan was interpreted in the back rooms of politics as such: “Erdoğan did not choose Kurtulmuş as the second man. This supports the predictions suggesting that Şahin will be the new prime minister. Evidently, Kurtulmuş will not have a leading role in this game until 2015.”
So, will Kurtulmuş have a chance after 2015? In politics, even 24 hours can be considered a long span of time. If not abolished, the three-term ban will prevent Mehmet Ali Şahin from taking part in the 2015 elections. This shows that after 2015, the AKP will have to search for a new figure.
THREE MONTHS FOR 62 COMMITMENTS
“2023 political vision of the AK Party,” which covers the party’s 62 commitments, including significant matters such as the right to make a defense in one’s native language, public service in one’s native language and eliminating legislation that serves as a basis for coups.
When these promises will be realized is a great issue of concern. Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin and Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ have begun to work on forming the legal basis for the 62 commitments; it was assumed the period would last six months, but it is being whispered that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wanted Ergin and Bozdağ to act more quickly, giving them just three months. According to what I have heard, legal regulations will be completed in the first weeks of the new year at the latest, and relevant proposals will be sent to the Parliament by that time.
MHP IN COMPETITION FOR EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will hold a congress in early November. The party’s chairman, Devlet Bahçeli, currently has 10 opponents, but most of them have almost no chance.
The only figure that could challenge Bahçeli is Koray Aydın. But Aydın’s chance of winning also seems very small. In the corridors of the MHP, it is said that “Aydın also saw this fact and he wants to have a say in the formation of 75-seat Central Executive Board (MYK) by getting at least 300 votes, because his true aim is to run in the 2015 elections as the leader of the MHP.” We will see together if these scenarios come true.