Turkey went to the ballot boxes again on Nov. 1 following to the government’s failure to form a coalition following the June elections. Even though a very short amount of time had passed since the last elections, the results showed quite a huge difference and surprised everyone.
Prime Minister Davutoglu made his first statement after the victory by saying “Alhamdulillah [Thank God]” on Twitter. As of Wednesday, this had been re-tweeted more than 56,000 times and favorited by over 70,000 people.
Contrary to expectations, the AK Party managed to win nearly 50 percent and that means being able to form a single party government for the fourth time. The November general election was a victory for democracy; the turnout at the election was 86.1 percent.
It is essential to analyze the role of a stable Turkey in terms of the Middle East, which is now a hot bed for many conflicts. First, let us take a look at Syria. The more than four-year-old civil war has turned the beautiful country into a disaster.
Twenty-three million people, almost half of the population, have been displaced and nearly 5 million are currently living as refugees in foreign countries.
As a neighboring country, seeing the plight of those in need, Turkey took up the duty of welcoming 2.5 million Syrians. The AK Party never considered this an issue and, just like Ansars hosting the Muhajiroon during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), they welcomed refugees from Syria and also Iraq with open arms.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarded this gesture as both a humanitarian responsibility and a religious obligation. Thus, the victory of the AK Party is good news for those refugees running away from their homes in hopes of survival.
President Erdogan and the AK Party have been strongly opposing Assad and showing their support for Assad’s opponents since the very beginning of the Syrian civil war. Yet, following his recent visit to Moscow, President Erdogan made statements implying that he was leaning toward a transition period with Bashar al- Assad. This is a sign that Turkey is likely to embrace this particular solution formula, alongside the US and Russia, because they recognize the urgency to end the Syrian bloodshed as soon as possible.
Even though Turkey has joined with the coalition forces to fight against Islamic State (IS), the AK Party regards the PKK as the primary threat to the unitary structure of the state and believes that precautions should be taken as a matter of urgency in order to safeguard Turkey’s security.
Turkey has never approved the existence of the PYD (a branch of the PKK) in Syria, whose base lies along Turkey’s southeast border.
Turkey’s good relations with Iraqi Kurdistan run by Barzani will proceed in the next term.
Turkey’s new government will most likely be on alert regarding the plots of some western circles who are attempting to form a communist Kurdish state along the Turkish border. They will not hesitate to execute operations intended to stop their insidious plans and to protect Turkish integrity. It is a fact that, the president’s severe stand against the PKK and its branches is what attracted Nationalist movement party (MHP) supporters to switch their votes to the AK Party.
It is important to note that we are against any kind of operation that involves killing people; the most effective way to fight against them is to eliminate their ideological background.
With the AK Party coming to power, it is expected that the Turkish Armed Forces will continue their cross-border operations in the Qandil Mountains inside Iraq as this area is strategic in the fight to eradicate the PKK. On the other hand, we can say Ankara-Baghdad liaisons will continue to keep positive position as they entered into a recovery phase during their Haider at Abadi’s, tenure after Maliki failed at developing relations.
Our wish was emphasized by Abadi’s spokesperson Hadithi when he stated the following vis a vis elections: “Turkey will have a positive impact in the region and Baghdad will attempt to strengthen its relations with Ankara […] the success of Turkey’s election will strengthen democratic spirit in the region.”
Turkey’s good relations with Iraqi Kurdistan run by Barzani, who is a devout Muslim, will proceed in the next term. It is anticipated that Turkey’s support will expand if attacks against Barzani, by our common enemy the PKK, escalate.
Furthermore, Turkey is decisive in its desire to improve trade connections with Iraqi Kurdistan, especially in terms of energy. Throughout the Arbil finance minister’s recent visit to Ankara, both countries agreed to increase the target import of oil to Turkey to 1 million barrel per month.
Arbil is known to have 45 billion cubic meters in natural gas reserves and will provide gas flow through the pipeline, which is still under construction. Also, Turkey along with the US is backing the idea of expanding Barzani’s tenure. Besides, Turkish Foreign Minister Sinirlioglu’s visit to Arbil on Tuesday indicates the AK Party’s eagerness to further strengthen our links.
A strong and stable Turkey is of crucial importance to establish peace in the region because Turkey acts as the region’s spiritual guardian. Being a guardian involves applying the duty of judge as well.
Considering that the Middle East is suffering due to sectarian conflicts, a stronger Turkey would make peace come one step closer, as opposing parties need a just leader whom they both trust.
Turkey would be an ideal negotiator in solving the variety of issues, as it is the only state in the region with no sectarian-based policies. It stands at equal distance from each sect and favors an Islamic unity that embraces Shiites, Sunnis, Alawites and Wahabbis alike. And yet, while Turkey possesses a powerful administration and provides a stable and secure environment, it would be more effective to suspend the hostilities and thus put an end to the conflicts and bloodshed.
Adnan Oktar's piece on The Jakarta Post: