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The way to overcome the crisis.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an has turned the hosting of "muhtars," or village leaders, at his palace into a routine event. But Erdoy-an is not actually engaging in an exchange of ideas with the muhtars when they gather in Ankara. After all, if this were his real purpose, he would have already passed on their ideas, complaints and demands to the appropriate departments in the government and then he wouldn't need to call these meetings so often. No; Erdoy-an's real aim with these "muhtar" meetings is to engage in his own politicking.

At the end of the most recent Erdoy-an-muhtar meeting, he heaped praise, as he always does, on the achievements of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). This praise was followed by strong criticism for the opposition parties. According to Erdoy-an's version of events, the period of AKP single-party rule in Turkey was one of intense stability. Which is why, he insists, the way to get back that stability is to bring the AKP back to single-handed power and make him the de jure "Turkish-type president" he has been talking about so much.

In this recent speech to the muhtars, Erdoy-an more than hinted at what the slogan of the AKP's election campaign for the coming Nov. 1 general election is to be: Voters will be choosing between stability and instability. And thus, being on the side of stability means voting for the AKP.

I don't know whether Erdoy-an is going to treat us to a repeat of his behavior in the run-up to the June 7 election, when we saw campaign rallies throughout the country disguised variously as "opening ceremonies" and/or "thank-you visits." I wonder, however, who the real culprit is in the case of all this instability in Turkey is. Does Erdoy-an really think people don't know the answer to that question? Were the results of the June 7 election not a clear response to this question? The vital aspect of this all, though, is that with this stance, Erdoy-an is clearly trying to blackmail voters because the accurate translation of his message is this: "No more AKP means economic crises and more terror."

However, the truth is that the reality of things is exactly opposite of what he is saying. If the AKP does not return to single-handed power, then the main reasons for all the crisis and instability will have been removed and Turkey will finally be able to breathe comfortably. The AKP would also be able to breathe more comfortably because it would have been rescued from the tight squeeze of the new palace in Ankara and it would finally be able to straighten out and reorder its ranks in ways it has been postponing. It might even reject the role of being the representative of Erdoy-an's personal ambitions and become a normal political party with normal goals and ideas. The biggest problem Turkey actually needs to solve right now is Erdoy-an and with this, his style of politics and his desire to decide everything on his own and his powerful ambitions.

So why does the president of a country faced by an economic crisis and so many problems behave like this?

A president who has a sense of responsibility knows how to lead in constructive, compromise-friendly ways, especially during times of crisis. He or she knows how to lead the way towards solutions. But what we see instead with Erdoy-an are attempts to deepen crises, tension and polarization, all in an effort to bring back his party -- at whose helm he no longer is -- to power.

So if the AKP were to return to single-handed power, would our problems really be solved? This is the message being given to the public. But what they seem to forget is this: The AKP has led this country alone for 13 years now. Memories of this long stretch of time, and in particular the last two to three years, are fresh in all of our minds.

For Turkey, the path towards stability lies in preventing Erdoy-an's dictatorial ambitions.

CAFER SOLGUN (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Aug 28, 2015
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