Turkey was in the local and international media spotlight once again as the famous early elections concluded on Sunday November 1st. This marked a first in Turkish political history where the people headed to the ballot boxes for the second time in such a very short time interval. The results surprised everyone, even the political leaders themselves. The AK Party became the first party in Turkish political history that has come to power alone for the fourth time.
Many polls were conducted, various TV and radio discussion programs were held, most of whom were wishing for a coalition government that would keep the country from being polarized. No one in the media mentioned a single party to hold power given the results of the June elections and the recent instability in Turkey, except for AK Party members who worked hard during the election campaigns to be back in the power again. Polls were wrong and the electors said, “yes” to the one-party government. Turkish citizens chose stability, they did not prefer to be run by a coalition government, to which they witnessed the parties couldn’t manage to form a government following the June elections. People also feel that having one party in power would make it easier to manage and respond to the terror attacks taking place in Turkey.
Why the votes for AK Party increased
The AK party managed to get 49.34 % of the votes making them the sole party to form a government with 316 members in parliament. The primary reason for the vote increase in favor of the AK Party votes was the public endorsing the idea to have a decisive and constructive role against eliminating the terror in Turkey. Even though this won’t be sufficient for completely eliminating terror, an apparent endeavor and a good, solid start would give hope for the Turkish people who have suffered from terrorism for decades.
The Turkish Armed Forces’ recent counter-terror operations partially decreased the pressure and threat of the terrorist organizations and thus the votes previously given to HDP in the in the last elections were given back in favor of the AK Party to a certain extent.
Another factor affecting the rise in votes is the AK Party abandoning its previously held plans to make the switch to the presidential system in the June elections. The majority of the Turks are against this new model as this would bring about a federalist system and thus it did not gain acceptance in the country. The presidential system is a common governmental system for many countries however for Turkey it constitutes a great threat. The federal system formed by the presidential system would damage Turkey’s unitary structure and would cause different federal regions’ to call for independence. It is crucial for AK Party not to return to the discourse of the presidential system, as this will cause a grave damage to the party.
The Prime Minister Davutoglu’s character and lofty spiritual values was very important in rallying support and winning over the votes from the public. He is known to be honest, religious, full of love, modest, sincere and these character traits won over the Turkish people who are 99% Muslim and give such spiritual values the utmost importance.
AK Party worked very hard during the election campaigns, especially compared to the CHP and the MHP. Prime Minister Davutoglu himself campaigned city-by-city, county-by-county and gave public speeches and listened to the problems and requests of his people. The AK Party members evaluated the last elections thoroughly and tried to recover from their past mistakes. Additionally, they took into consideration the warnings in the media and the tendencies of the people.
The economy in Turkey has been under recession woes lately even though it hasn’t become a full depression. AK Party made new promises vis-a-vis the economy during the last election period.
The radical vote decrease for the opposition parties
The HDP and the MHP experienced a radical drop in the votes in comparison to the previous election. The HDP lost votes for being hesitant to deny unequivocally their involvement with the terrorist organizations and by not condemning the terrorist attacks which cost the lives of many soldiers, police officers and civilians in the previous several months.
It is important to mention and crucial to have the HDP representation in parliament. This allows proper representation and gives a voice to Turkish citizens.
The MHP, who lost 39 seats compared to the June elections, is not a ruling party but a party of ideology and action and therefore has a very strong ground. However, according to the condition of the country, some of their votes switch to other right-wing parties as deposit votes now and then. We witnessed the same situation in the time of the ANAP government.
The major opposition party CHP was negatively affected to a certain extent as well. They won 134 seats in the 26th term Parliament. Although the number of the deputies increased, party leader Kilicdaroglu did not consider the results as a success for them. The primary reason for this negativity is that they didn’t put forth a solid plan and did not focus on the crucial issues of Turkey like terrorism, the threat of the unitary structure, rather they talked about matters of secondary importance.
What to do to have a better Turkey
The victorious party should embrace the other half who did not vote for them, as the supporters of the opposition parties are uneasy. The prime minister should keep giving his messages of love to the entire population. He should emphasize consistently that every citizen has equal rights and will live in equal conditions. To give value to the peace and security of the opposition is important. With a sincere love, compassion and expansion, the artificial tension will be appeased and the hearts of the other half would be won over. It is easy to give the impression that everybody is a first class citizen in Turkey. It is easy for people to come to terms with love, which is the most wonderful and satisfying blessing of the world. In addition to this, the government should be inclusive and maintain the view that citizens from different faiths and ethnicities such as Christians, Jews, Alawites, Greeks, Armenians, Suryanis are the beauties of this country and they should feel the comfort of living in a country that holds them in high esteem.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Tehran Times: