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HomeHeadlineConflicting dynamics in Turkish politics!

Conflicting dynamics in Turkish politics!

Ali Bayramaoglu*

Yesterday, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court unanimously rejected the request for a retrial of the Kavala-Gezi Case. Moreover, sources from the AK Party claimed that Erdoğan told Özel regarding Kavala, “You don’t know what he has done.” Today, the final hearing of the Kobani case is scheduled. The verdict for 108 defendants, including Demirtaş, will be announced. I don’t expect the outcome to be different from the Kavala case. Frankly, the chances of softening or relaxation in terms of authoritarian practices and perspective seem slim… There is almost no possibility of weakening or separation in AKP-MHP relations…

“Local elections have left the AK Party in a secondary position, and its leader Tayyip Erdoğan’s reactions and measures to this situation have been a frequent topic of discussion since March 31.”

“The question of whether AK Party-MHP relations will break or if the AK Party will throw the MHP off its back has been frequently asked, and it is still being asked. Expectations for a softening of authoritarian, security-focused, and arbitrary policies remain. The meeting between Özel and Erdoğan and subsequent statements have fueled these expectations. Özel reported that he reminded Erdoğan about the Kavala case during their meeting. Erdoğan, just yesterday, expressed satisfaction with the softening and stated it should continue.”

This is only the hopeful side of the coin…

The first clear responses to these expectations have begun to emerge.

Yesterday, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court unanimously rejected the request for a retrial of the Kavala-Gezi Case. Moreover, sources from the AK Party claimed that Erdoğan told Özel regarding Kavala, “You don’t know what he has done.” Today, the final hearing of the Kobani case is scheduled. The verdict for 108 defendants, including Demirtaş, will be announced. I don’t expect the outcome to be different from the Kavala case.

Frankly, the chances of softening or relaxation in terms of authoritarian practices and perspective seem slim…

There is almost no possibility of weakening or separation in AKP-MHP relations…

Indeed, Erdoğan and Bahçeli had made similar election analyses and outlined their paths in group meetings some time ago.

Erdoğan analyzed the election results around his electorate’s disaffection, attributing the failure to a “lack of energy” within his organization and the high cost of living. Bahçeli emphasized low participation, stating, “the national will did not reflect in the ballot box,” citing the high cost of living as the reason. Both leaders also shared the commonality of dismissing the success of the CHP and ignoring the HDP-DEM or Kurdish representation with a destructive language.

When making predictions and analyses, two aspects of Turkish politics should not be overlooked.

The first aspect is that there is a sharp July 15th mentality in the country, and its influence continues. Turkey is governed by a historical bloc consisting of conservatives and nationalists, which was antagonistic in a previous era but now allies around a certain political project. This political project is based on an authoritarian-majoritarian politics embedded in the state, and a monocultural strategy reliant on nationalism and security.

The second aspect is the fluctuation in political-society relations that occurred on March 31st, the rise in opposition leading to a shift in political balances and a re-entry of “society” into the equation. This aspect indicates that the perception and support of the July 15th regime and balance are beginning to be surpassed. And it holds the potential to surround not only the opposition but also the political power, pushing it to devise new strategies.

It is clear that these two aspects are predominant and conflicting.

In the upcoming period, we will all observe the contents and limits of new strategies suitable for the new situation, and the friction between these two fundamental aspects.

Political balances are established as much as they are observed…

This article is originally published in Serbestiyet.com and translated into English by Politurco.

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