26 April 2011 /GÜLAY GÖKTÜRK
The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) understanding of a political party seems like it will create problems both for itself and for all of us. In this understanding, all parties should strive to be “the party of the nation.”
The nation is a homogenous group that has shared interests and demands, and there is a party which represents and embraces this group in its entirety. This is called the “nation’s party.” While AK Party officials refer to the party as the “party of the nation” on every occasion, they see parties that do not embrace the entire nation as “deficient.” In the speech he delivered at his party’s rally in Beykoz, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defended the 10 percent election threshold in Turkey by relying on this understanding of a political party. The thing that Erdoğan and his party officials should understand is this: Some parties may never receive 10 percent of the vote and may always receive less than 10 percent. Not all of the political parties have to embrace the nation. These parties conduct politics as representatives of a certain group of people and their interests. Not embracing the entire nation does not make a party deficient or problematic and does not render the representation of these parties in the Parliament unimportant.