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AKP on course to dry up.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- I have argued that, let alone the people of Turkey at its level of socio-economic and political maturity, even the Justice and Development Party (AKP) itself will not put up with such debility in government for long.

If the country is descending into a bloodbath, it is due to the increasingly arbitrary, authoritarian and corrupt government by the AKP, unofficially led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an. In any sort of democracy a government that does not respect the basic rights and freedoms of citizens, and calls its opponents "traitors, spies, rascals, terrorists," etc. is bound to become unable to govern.

That this was the direction the AKP government was going was stated bluntly on Feb. 2, 2015 by, none other than BE-lent Arync, one of the founding fathers of the party itself when he was still deputy prime minister: "We are receiving 50 percent of the vote. But the rest of the voters are increasingly hating us. This would not hinder us from getting 50 percent of the vote. But the country may become ungovernable." Ever since that statement was made, the AKP has increasingly proved to be unable to govern and its share of the vote is fast facing meltdown.

When I say, "Even the AKP cannot put up with this government for long," I do not, of course, mean the politicians who owe their careers entirely to Erdoy-an. I mean those AKP members outside of those who are blinded by their political and financial interests, and mainly citizens who have voted for that party. In a document leaked to the Nokta weekly magazine last week, which summarizes the discussions held by top party executives in a meeting to assess the results of June 7 elections, public opinion pollsters who work for the party bluntly make the following warnings.

The AKP used to hold a big advantage over other parties in terms of female voters. This is no longer the case, and the main reason is that more and more women are worried about by the government's interventions in their lifestyles. Kurdish voters had already begun to show signs of alienation, but the party leadership did not take heed. The AKP share of the vote among the youth and higher educated is falling. Its share among first-time voters is lower than other parties. The shrinking share of the AKP vote is due primarily to the widespread public perception that the party is involved in corruption, AKP politicians are related with "hubris, waste and vanity," the AKP government is failing, President Erdoy-an is polarizing society, and has a negative approach to the Kurdish question. All of this amounts to the "drying up of the AKP's base." If these trends continue, the AKP is likely to find itself as a marginal party cramped into the regions of Central Anatolia and the Black Sea.

This is the comment of one of the top AKP executives attending the election review meeting: "Although we have garnered 41 percent of the national vote, we are actually a 25 percent party. We received 41 percent of the vote because we represent stability and have no center-right, conservative alternative. We are living in a dream world and missing what is taking place in society."

What an irony we are living through in Turkey. The AKP government in its first two terms of power rendered the country richer and more free, transformed it into an land of stability, lauded as a democracy to be emulated in the Muslim world. It took important steps towards the resolution of the Kurdish question and lasting domestic peace. If these policies were continued Erdoy-an, first prime minister and later president, could have been nominated for the Nobel peace prize. Ahmet Davutoy-lu, first foreign minister and later prime minister, could have shared that prize as the architect of the "zero problems with neighbours" policy that contributed so much to peace and stability in the region.

Since 2011, however, the Turkey governed by the AKP has once more confirmed that power corrupts, and unchecked power corrupts absolutely. Politicians who could have well deserved the Nobel peace prize are unfortunately leading the country into sheer chaos. Instead of shouldering the responsibility of what has gone wrong, they are deceiving themselves by blaming this chaos on the conspiracies of domestic and foreign enemies who they accuse of aiming to destabilize the country. The general election to be held on Nov. 1 should put a definitive end to the single-handed power of the AKP and give the party a chance to come to its senses.

E[currency]ahin Alpay (Cihan/Today's Zaman)


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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Oct 20, 2015
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