Tension is no good for politics: Ruling AKP deputy to leaders

Tension is no good for politics: Ruling AKP deputy to leaders

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
A Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy and a former Minister of Culture Ertuğrul Günay has appealed to party leaders, urging them to restore common sense to relieve the tension in society, ahead of the Parliament’s opening. Günay also asserted that he would not be running for local elections.

“Turkey’s internal and external problems cannot be solved in an environment where social divisions are polarized and political parties are antagonistic toward each other,” Günay said, in a press conference he held at the parliament yesterday.

Reminding that senior leaders of political parties used harsh rhetoric against one another which went beyond the limits of democratic criticism, Günay warned against a possible rise of tension likely to mark the election marathon, where the presidential election will be preceded by local elections.

“Healthy and permanent solutions can only be sought, found out, actualized in an environment in which the sides debate and compete in a civilized manner. Internal and external problems cannot be solved through a political language based on the mentality of destroying if one could. Democracy is not a conflict regime, not a state of fighting. Problems can be solved through political understanding that respects each other’s existence,” Günay said.

Günay also voiced his concern that tension escalated by harsh rhetoric might reflect on the elections, as he said “In 2014, we will enter the presidential election. Can the one elected in this tense environment be the public’s president?”

“God forbid, how are we going to enter elections in such tension? The society is complaining about this tension. In the 1999 elections after Feb. 28, while RP [Welfare Party] was losing votes, the CHP [the main opposition Republican People’s Party] remained below the threshold. Tension makes the politics lose,” he reiterated.

The Feb. 28 process refers to the infamous “post-modern coup,” in which a military intervention forced late ex-Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign after a meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) on Feb. 28, 1997.

Also commenting on developments in Syria and Middle East, Günay noted that it was upsetting that these fuelled division and bitter debates in the country, as he maintained that Turkey must avoid taking sides.