Political Observation - Turkey after the Elections

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Turkey after the Elections

The preliminary results of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey have confirmed that what Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had been seeking from calling early elections has been effectively achieved. Erdoğan has won the presidential elections while the AKP and its ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have achieved a relative majority in parliament. However, despite Erdoğan’s victory giving him the powers of the new presidential system, the AKP may have to seek the help of other parliamentary groups forcing it to make some concessions in parliament to pass a host of draft bills including constitutional amendments as it has failed to achieve the required majority.

It seems the Western attack on the Turkish Lira with the Western media - especially German and British - siding with the Turkish opposition, coupled with the increasing Kurdish resentment towards the Turkish military undertakings in northern Syria and southern Turkey had had a negative impact on the electorate; this was reflected in the parliamentary seats won by the AKP in these general elections. Consequently, the AKP will undoubtedly continue to rely on the cooperation of the MHP to pass some of the laws and amendments without any major problems that opposition parliamentarians may cause in the new parliament. Nevertheless, the parliamentary position of the AKP vis-à-vis the opposition parties, especially the Republican People’s Party (CHP), will not have a major impact on the executive competencies of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, be it in respect of forming the cabinet or enacting presidential decrees or appointing senior officials and judges.

As for Turkey’s turbulent relationship with America and Europe now that Erdoğan has won the presidential elections, it is expected to be slightly mollified in order to hamper Turkey’s move towards achieving independence in political decision-making or consolidating Islamic tendencies of which the West dreads its mere existence, or imposing the concept of reciprocity or consolidation of her relations with Russia and China. One of the indications reflecting this mollification is the Manbij agreement concluded between foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the exit of the Kurdish Units from Manbij and on allowing the local residents to establish their own local council. Moreover, America’s decision to deliver F35 jetfighters to Turkey against Congress' recommendation to Donald Trump could be construed as an American message to Erdoğan expressing Washington’s desire to improve her relations with Turkey.

However, this expected American and European tactical shift in their relationship with Turkey does not necessarily mean that Western conspiracies against Turkey and the attempts to lure her back under NATO custodianship would cease. Plunging Turkey into a domestic and regional quagmire to hamper her endeavour to achieve her aims within the 2023 plan would be part and parcel of the Western agenda. Nevertheless, and despite the AKP failure to achieve an overall majority in parliament, Erdoğan’s success in the elections under a presidential system approved by the masses in the April 2017 referendum will tighten his grip on power and will enable him to speed up enacting presidential decrees backed by the power of the law and to undertake bold decisions in domestic and foreign policies.

One of the most significant issues, as far as the AKP is concerned, is perhaps its relationship with the Central Bank, the policy of increasing interest rates and tackling the situation of the Turkish Lira and the fluctuations it has been incurring due to political speculation that does not reflect the real situation of the Turkish economy. Erdoğan will also focus on pursuing his development plans, fighting the PKK and foreign and domestic relations. Turkey is expected, on the regional plane, to invest in her successful endeavour to rid Manbij of Kurdish units via diplomatic means to exert further pressure on America and twist her arm into expanding this plan over the rest of northern Syria to a specific depth that would secure the Turkish borders with Syria.

As for Iraq, the Turkish army had, before the recent elections, carried out an extensive military operation to purge northern Iraq of the military influence of the PKK; and despite America’s acceptance of the Manbij plan and her desire to deliver the F35 jetfighters, Turkey is not expected to retract from her close ties with Russia, be it in respect of the S400, building the nuclear plant or completing the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project. Turkey’s persistence in maintaining her relationship with Russia is designed to corroborate her proclivity towards achieving independence in her political and military decision-making and to exploit Western anxieties vis-à-vis her move away from NATO.

The victory Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP have achieved in alliance with the MHP was not merely against domestic rivals but rather a victory with domestic, regional and international dimensions. The recent presidential and parliamentary elections have opened a new chapter in Turkey’s future and her struggle with domestic and foreign foes. The victory has alleviated the AKP’s fears of losing its popularity; it anticipated such an eventuality by calling a snap election to cushion the impact of the onslaught on the Turkish economy, the smear campaign of foreign media and the mobilisation of the opposition against it, lest the popularity of Erdoğan and the AKP dwindled or even worse, lest Erdoğan lost the 2019 elections.

It is true Turkey’s path towards achieving total independence in decision-making has become safer but it is still somewhat perilous. The sound path to effectively avert the threats is to settle the situation of the domestic front first by generating ample immunity and rallying the ranks to eradicate its potential exploitation by the Kafir West. Generating immunity among the Ummah and strengthening the domestic front is not achieved through pliancy and compromise with secularist, leftist and nationalist movements, nor through the pursuance of the democratic circus since this could lead to turning the table on the sincere children of the Ummah in Turkey as well as on those who champion generating change through gradual implementation.

Generating a genuine immunity within the Ummah is effectuated by spreading the undiluted Islamic thoughts among her children, devoting the media outlets to calling the Ummah to debate these pure Islamic thoughts and intensify their propagation by debating them with Islamic personalities known for their awareness and ability to tear the secularist thoughts into shreds and challenging its icons. The concepts of Islam ought to be propagated with resoluteness and attraction now that the AKP has succeeded in winning over most of the media outlets to support it in the recent elections. 

Defeating the secularist thoughts and its icons, purging the scene of the remnants of leftist thought, consolidation of the Islamic bond by shunning the nationalist bond, projecting the rules of Islam and the suitability of their implementation and tabling the constitution of Islam instead of the constitutions of Kufr should be the robust and genuine foundation for the domestic front; adopting a timetable for the masses to interact with the undiluted Islamic thought would enable the rulers of Turkey, if they were sincere, to declare an Islamic authority in Turkey around which the Ummah would rally both inside and outside of Turkey. Economic success and emotional rallying around the ruling party is undoubtedly insufficient to generate a base of consistent support; but if the message of Islam is carried with conviction on the basis of its thoughts and rules, then undoubtedly the Ummah will rally around the authority and protect it with full conviction and responsibility. This will surely lead to hoisting the banner of truth and achieving the aspiration of the Ummah who is craving for glory and dignity so that the banner of Islam may fly high even if individuals were to be assassinated; a banner whose hatred by the Kafir West headed by America towards it and its people has been sensed by the Ummah.

“O you who have believed! Respond to the call of Allah and the Messenger whenever he calls you unto that which will give you life; and know that Allah intervenes between man and his heart and that unto Him you shall be gathered.” [8:24] 

“And do not incline towards, nor rely upon, those who are bent on evildoing lest the fire touch you: for you would have none to protect you from Allah, nor would you ever be succoured.” [1:113] 

11 Shawwal 1439h

25 June 2018