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August 05, 2012, Sunday

Is AK Party creditor and Gül debtor?

The speakers and decision makers of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) no longer take public opinion and the sensitivities of the people into consideration; this is best indicated by their indifference and persistence in their discourse and statements.

Of course they obviously see themselves as the elites of this country. The strategy held by the AK Party administration suggesting that they do whatever they want and that the people have to take it stems from the view that the people and Turkey owe everything to this party. The AK Party administration now produces policies through the “debtor/creditor” equation.

For the AK Party, what matters is the people’s endorsement of what the AK Party offers and their strong loyalty to the hero who saved them rather than their demands from the administration. What should be done to ensure the continuation of the loyalty? Keeping society away from the models and democratic values that are seen as ideals is the best and most reasonable option.

It appears that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also agrees with Ergenekon suspect and former National Security Council (MGK) Secretary-General Tuncer Kılıç who said Turkey should cooperate with Iran, China and Russia and change its axis.

It appears that the prime minister is looking for more radical solutions to get rid of democratization demands and public pressure. He makes jokes to Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to join the Shanghai group. Eagerness to join a group of countries with poor human rights records and performance seems to be the perfect opportunity to get away from European Union membership, a longstanding goal in Turkish foreign policy that the AK Party government now ignores. I will not be surprised if they change their title from the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) to the Eurasianist Development Party. The nationalist discourse raised by the military regime in the aftermath of the Sept. 12, 1980 coup was referred to by some nationalists by the statement, “We are in jail, but our ideas are in power.” Maybe the Ergenekon suspects who are proponents of Eurasianism in Silivri are happy that despite their being in jail their ideas are in power.

I have already noted that the AK Party’s strategy of having the final word in every field and opposing all alternatives stems from the argument that everybody owes this party. Whether Abdullah Gül will run for the presidency is discussed from this perspective. The argument “If Erdoğan runs for the presidency, Gül will not run” is frequently repeated by the AK Party as an imposition and threat. A statement by Ahmet Sever, advisor to the president, in which he said: “An imposition by the government on his candidacy has upset the president. The constitutional court has made a decision; he could be re-elected as president,” raises discussions.

AK Party figures are waging a war of psychological propaganda to prevent Gül’s candidacy and his return to politics as prime minister. Is the discourse that the prime minister and the president are bound by a code of brotherhood convincing? If there is, then why has the AK Party government made a law that prevents Gül’s candidacy? It is obvious that if he becomes president Erdoğan will “appoint” a person of his choice as prime minister. Statements and remarks by AK Party figures that Turkey needs to move to a presidential system seek to indicate that the people and the voters are indebted to them.

I wonder whether they are aware that they behave in an imperious manner and that they are moving away from people with the imposition that they will switch to a presidential system and other people have to accept this. No gesture was made to Gül in the past. The AK Party would not have a better candidate than Gül thanks to his career, success and personality. Gül has every right to pursue his career in a way that he wants.

Those who say, “The AK Party is a creditor; all of Turkey -- including Abdullah Gül -- are indebted to us,” are simply wrong.

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