2013 will certainly be a year of major developments, overshadowed by the coming year of 2014. It is no secret that in 2014, the presidential election will be held and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan intends to run for president. He wants to be a president who can rule the country. Therefore, a proposal to turn the country's regime into a presidential one has become part of the work on the new constitution. The intention is to introduce a semi-presidential system or, if that is not possible, a system with the president maintaining his party affiliation before the 2014 presidential system and which will allow Erdoğan to become president for two successive terms. This means that he will be in office until 2024, and this fits like a glove the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) targets for 2023, i.e., the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
Of course, it is quite natural for a political leader to harbor such goals. Erdoğan has been one of the most popular leaders in recent years. The public loves him. He has implemented noteworthy reforms. The economic situation of the poor has improved considerably. Erdoğan has managed to save the country from an economic crisis and made the country's economy a stable one. The fight against the deep state network found political backing during the AK Party's terms in government. Although it has been in office for the last three terms, the AK Party does not have any challenging rival. But this does not mean that the risk of anti-democratic methods being employed against democratically elected governments has been completely deflected.
The coup plan found in hard drives that were sent by the General Staff to the court hearing the criminal case against Ergenekon -- a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government -- acknowledges that the ruling AK Party cannot be overthrown via a conventional coup and argues that the army should change its strategies of fighting against the government. These hard drives contain about 3 million documents prepared between 2005 and 2009 and reveal updated psychological warfare plans. Given the fact that these documents were prepared in the very recent past, it is clear that those who argue that Turkey has fought off the deep state and coups are utterly wrong.
For instance, in a memo prepared for the Operations Department on Aug. 30, 2007, it was noted that the conditions for meddling with the government are not ripe. For this reason, the memo asserts, political instability and economic regression are needed for a potential coup and in the current setting, an intervention with violent or non-violent methods is not possible. “For a potential coup, we need to wait for the country's economy to worsen and instability to rule over the country,” it says. The memo was prepared just one-and-a-half months after the AK Party was re-elected to office for the third time by securing 47 percent of the general vote on July 22, 2007, and it advises that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) should, for the time being, refrain from direct confrontation with the government. It indicates that the TSK should wait for the AK Party to lose its social support. “Any intervention that would be conducted without coordination with the central powers will obviously create a heavy price for the TSK,” it cautions. In sum, the document says:
“The AK Party acts in harmony with the central powers which are influential over Turkey [global capitalists, the US state and government, the EU and Germany and France as the EU's driving forces] and each central power lends support voluntarily or involuntarily according to their global interests. […] Under these conditions, the best psychological warfare strategy for the coming period is to wait for the disruption of the AK Party's harmony with the central powers and the weakening of global capital in parallel with the worldwide regression. (When this happens, the AK Party's social support will automatically diminish.) The strategy for this transition period is to maintain the existing power and structure of the TSK.”
In a nutshell, given the fact that the deep state has been active for so many years in Turkey and its intention to overthrow the government is evident as seen in the abovementioned documents, the ruling AK Party will sign its own death warrant if it fails to maintain its resolve to fight the deep state. This applies to the government's increased unwillingness to promote the country's EU bid.
It would be best for the government to take into consideration such big risks in making plans for 2023.