Some called it the coalition of interests others called it the consensus for reform.
Call it what you like but despite bold and strong appearances the bond that kept AK Party together for almost fifteen years, is weakening. The fracture within has deep-rooted reasons, which is causing the leading party of Turkey to take drastic measures to tidy up at home.
Time will tell whether or not the rejuvenation of ranks, reinventing the doctrine while going back to origins and “reaching out and touching everyone and not hurting a soul”, as President Erdogan has instructed in his speech at his re-inauguration on last Sunday May 19 becoming the Chairman of AK Party once again after almost three years, will suffice and secure major cities in March 2018 local elections and majority win in November 2019 general elections.
As any M.D. in orthopaedics can tell you it is the hairline fractures that are the most dangerous. Because you never know when it will split. It only requires a sufficient force to break.
The liberals have left, the social democrats who had hopes of reform, albeit some have been put in place at outset, are gone and several religious leaders, not only Muslims, have lost hope. Other unlucky ones from all walks of the political and social spectrum who had supported and rooted for AK Party in the early days have been persecuted, banished and jailed and even branded as enemies of the state. There is merit to accUSAtions when it comes to the FETO (Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization), though.
In Ankara, the capital of Turkey, not only the balance of power has migrated from the parliament to the Presidency but also the location of governance. Whereas the Presidential Palace was located in Çankaya, meaning Bell-Rock, incidentally çan that means bell having a Christian connotation, now is located in Besevler area of town. It used to be part of the Ataturk Orman Ciftligi, The Ataturk Forest Farm, which Ataturk had dedicated to the research and development of modern farming back in 1925. Cukurambar, Sogutozu, Besevler, the surrounding parts of town adjacent to the new Presidential Palace, which since its foundations were laid has been subject to many conspiracy theories and questionable intentions of eradicating Ataturk’s legacy, have prospered immensely, with luxury apartments in high rise residence blocks, cafés, restaurants, exclusive office blocks and more of the grandeur that comes being close to the government.
Basically, the geographical gravity of power has shifted from Cankaya to these parts of town for almost ten years. Now that the Presidential system has been passed with a still challenged Referendum, the Prime Ministry located in the Cankaya Palace, since President Erdogan has re-located to the Kulliye, the Presidential Complex has no longer much of a function. Essentially all traces of Ataturk’s heritage is being erased.
The disillusioned, disenfranchised, disgruntled are not only “lurking in the shadows but seeing opportunities to poison the minds of loyalist” as one AK Party official has put it in one of the many “delicate” conversations overheard.
Prosperity was promised to all by “chopping the hoses” in the earlier days but as is evident today business interests are exclusive to a handful of close allies with a larger “pipeline”, which has created discontent among the earlier supporters.
Much more can be said and speculated about Ak Party’s current state but nome is it important than the two following questions: Can Erdogan keep the house tidy and troops in line? Circumstances have changed since the April 16 Referendum.
Now the questions are: Does Meral Aksener pose a threat? Does Kilicdaroglu’s walk suffice to consolidate the social democrats and/or the CHP votes? Is this “enough force” to Ak Party until 2019 new Presidential system election?
Time will tell.
Be aware! Be prepared!