September 25 2020
The state in Turkey treats its people as tenants without rental contracts. The people of the land are vassals who must obey. Minorities are expected to comply and there are dangerous crowds who are never to be trusted.
The new source of debate in Turkey is not whether the government would fall with elections; rather, it is whether the opposition alliance will endure. Instead of merely discussing the possibility of early elections, the opposition should push for the holding of actual elections.
National causes and many of the “existential threats” against Turkey have to do with foreign policy. Public opinion is sharp on “what is wanted from us and what is spared from us” though it cannot exactly pinpoint what it wants itself.
Erdoğan government’s ability to expand its repression and go further with ever more assertiveness without facing any resistance has to do with the haplessness and perhaps deficient aptitudes of those who could check it. Cynical pundits, eager to crush opposition figures, say “you’ll see what comes next,” and they are always proven right.
With regards to all protest movements, from the Gezi movement of 2013 to the “Justice March” of 2017, the government fears the prospect of people taking to the streets.
Today, the ruling AKP government is seeking a new consolidation formula that does not rely on voter support. Instead, it shall rely on a survival rhetoric spearheaded by MHP leader Bahçeli and based on the alleged “local and national” majority.
The resignation story of Interior Minister Süleyman Soyl, confirms that a political and managerial mistake occurred, and that responsibility arose from this error. This responsibility for the mistake is something that won’t be able to be written off by accusing “fools” or “ignorant” group.
Turkish government is frequently referring to the failures of the responses of European countries and the United States in tackling with the coronavirus outbreak. Turkey is truly in a “better position” in the sense that we can predict what our rulers are capable of doing. We can predict that our rulers will say only their views about an issue, without feeling the need to hide their opinions or stay completely objective.
The government has no strategy to deal with the coronavirus crisis. It is also clear that scientific evidence and models are not being followed. Those patterns of behavior already prevailed with regards to Turkey’s economic crises, to the Syrian fiasco, the refugee crisis and to the its failing presidential system.
More than two weeks have passed since the first corona case was publicized in Turkey. As very few tests are being carried out, the number of cases remains artificially low. The government is forcing this unfounded optimism upon the public. As usual, it accuses those who dare raise doubts of ‘national treachery’ and ‘ungratefulness.’
The only conclusion we can draw from the Osman Kavala saga is that there is a consistency in the nonsense of this country's political events.
The MHP is the losing side of the government alliance. When it gets too close to the AKP, the two parties sink together. Recent poll data shows that the decline in the AKP has also started to pull down the MHP.
Amid successive foreign policy and economic fiascos, President Erdoğan needs his sycophants to convince him all is well so his stature remains unchanged. Yet when they cease to convince him, his leadership will crumble.
In 2011, the AKP came up with a new strategy which became official in 2015. The party scraped its connection with the poor, referring to it only in an identity-focused discourse. As it rapidly slid into authoritarianism, the government instrumentalized its relationship with the poor, in line with right-wing populist practices.
While Erdoğan's government emphasizes unchangeability, resilience and sustainability, it is further moving away from its bid to solve problems and prospects for the future. The difficulties of the opposition, which has been engaged in a long-term quest to find ways to change the political landscape, have now been replaced by the government’s crisis.
Lately there has been an intense debate from both within and outside of the AKP in terms of whether or not anything will come out of the party initatives arising from within the AKP. However, what most likely should be argued is whether anything will come out of the AKP at all at this point.