Turkey needs a 'Third Alliance'

Azmi Karaveli writes: Recent developments have made it clear that the ruling AKP-MHP alliance will not be able to maintain the existing chaotic order much longer. Polls show that President Erdoğan's government has lost votes, but the opposition is not improving either. Thus, a ‘Third Alliance’ should be formed while the undecided votes are high.

Azmi Karaveli 

Recent developments have made it clear to us that the ruling partnership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalistic Movement Party (MHP), as well as the Ağar-Çakıcı-Perinçek bloc and those who support them will not be able to maintain the existing chaotic order much longer, at least as is. Even if things continue this way, it can’t last long. The content of the constitutional amendment being drafted will give us an idea about how they are planning to stay in government. However, today we are experiencing a first, because the main pillars of our government are on the defense. For the first time, they are struggling to explain themselves and are trying to prove their ‘innocence. Upon Sedat Peker’s revelation videos, several people, from the president himself to Binali Yıldırım, Soylu, and Ağar have made defensive statements. This has exposed the extent of the destruction caused by the government, which is unfortunately what the opposition has not been able to achieve in 19 years.

The government has caught a disease where the body attacks itself. There are too many components that make up the state apparatus. The government cliques that have always existed in Turkey, now want to intervene in a way that exceeds the political ritual. This and the weakening of judicial mechanisms are some of the main reasons for the current crisis. Just as the body perceives its own tissue as foreign when the immune system becomes overworked, it begins to attack and chip away at itself, so are the government cliques are struggling with domestic conflicts.

Erdoğan triumphantly ended the battle which involved receiving a bigger share of the pie the government and state opportunities offered. We saw this battle during and after Dec. 17 and Dec. 25, 2013. As many commentators pointed out, it is possible that President Erdoğan will also come out of this new development by cleansing, turning the crisis into an opportunity, eliminating the problematic factors within the government, and replacing them with others. However, another feature of this undiagnosed disease is that when it attacks its organ, it redirects towards other targets. Thus, Erdoğan’s job may not be so easy this time.
Sedat Peker has decoded several conflicts within the government regarding the ‘Pelican’ media group, the Ağar family versus Soylu-Çakıcı-Bahçeli, and the Eurasians versus NATO conflict which has organic ties with them. Standard propaganda practices have been used so that the public is prevented from discussing them any further. From the day Peker started posting videos, we have seen ‘model plane’ attacks in Diyarbakır, drug operations, road/mosque openings, breaking news stories that “we are going to space,” and that “we have found oil.” The stories keep coming, but it looks as if they are not as effective as before.

While Turkey is certainly singing propaganda songs, those stories saying, “we have found oil, we have signed deals to buy more vaccines” do not make up for Peker videos that have been viewed by tens of millions. Everyone is waiting for the political fix video Sedat Peker will post the next day.

In such an atmosphere, where does the parliamentary opposition stand? The attack on opposition party leader Meral Akşener in the Black Sea town is a setup we have seen before. People had warned main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu when he consented to the lifting of certain parliamentary immunities saying, “this fire will burn you also, as well as others.”

Ms. Akşener is threatened and indictments are prepared against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu. While the government opts for escalating tension, the practice it knows best, the opposition keeps insisting on its “we will not confront them; we will be positive” stance. The stage we have reached is not even near the state of damage a mafia leader has inflicted. As a matter of fact, polls show that the government has lost votes, but the opposition is not improving either; it is staying where it was while the undecided group is gaining votes. People who have left the AKP are looking for a new direction.

In this case, a new bloc must be created. First, the “democracy alliance” suggested by former co-chair of HDP, Selahattin Demirtaş, is now a necessity. However, this alliance cannot be formed within the Nation Alliance. This alliance already exists. It has almost completed its institutionalization.

Last week, a joint statement by EMEP, HDP, Halkevleri, SOL Party, TIP, TKP, TÖP stated that the state-mafia-politics partnership was revealed by Peker’s confessions. It called for joining together “for a livable country for all by getting rid of this dirty alliance,” but this statement did not receive the attention it deserved in the midst of the busy agenda.
This call is important. A third alliance modeled after the Gezi Park incidents, where more than 100 components came together, should be formed. This alliance could be open to all NGOs and unorganized individuals, which was the strongest group during Gezi. This formation, which will expand the arena of politics, should not shy away from expressing the class dimension of deep poverty. This Third Alliance will relieve the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the İYİ Party (Good Party), and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). It is possible to see the signs of this in Mithat Sancar’s interview with Ali Duran Topuz in Gazete Duvar. Via a joint candidate to be announced soon, this alliance can be an alternative by taking the lead. Instead of announcing candidates a couple of months before the elections, spreading it over a long time will be the most concrete indicator of demanding early elections.

Contributing in this sense to the government, which is in the process of destroying itself should be the new alliance’s duty. “They will be falling at any moment anyway” is a kind of pacifism that counts on the “short time left” factor. We know the disease can be treated. Especially if there is a leader who has a powerful position in his party, and knows how to manage crises. Therefore, my suggestion is that a Third Alliance be formed urgently while the undecided votes are high. It should be an alliance where people would be able to meet at a common ground, generate active politics, make concrete promises, prepare us for the election atmosphere, expand politics to wider segments, be an alternative to Islamism and nationalism and regard life from a ‘leftist’ point of view. This should be done despite the argument that claims this has no social base in Turkey.