Reshuffling political cards
The growth of the MHP at the apparent expense of the AKP, while dismantling its diehard nationalist platform on the one hand and the AKP gradually adopting a consolidated nationalist approach to issues such as the Kurdish problem, Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean, might be considered, among many other reasons, among the fundamental behind the new formations shaping up around the former President Abdullah Gul-Ali Babacan team as well as former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Most prominent members were forced to quit the governing party. Speculations that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might call an early election – which also means an early presidential vote under the latest constitutional arrangements – sometime in the fall of next year is an added source of excitement for those in efforts to set up a political party. The combined vote of the AKP and the MHP does not meet the threefifths qualified vote required for parliament to call an election. Could Erdogan call for election and terminate his presidency? He, of course, might find a formula to bypass that constitutional arrangement but at least there will be some serious controversy and tension. What might happen if there is a surge in terrorism, as it happened in between the June and November elections in 2015? Would the opposition join calls for an early election? On the other hand, the success of two new parties on the same electoral base as the AKP might result in taking a few precious percentage points from the ruling block, landing it below 50 percent and losing everything. In this rather shaky political ground, of course what might come next and how cards will be reshuffled depends largely on the success of both the Babacan-Gul and Davutoglu teams as well as the economic performance of the country. With empty pockets, the electorate might tend to take revolutionary decisions.