Po­lit­i­cal par­ties in search of up­dated roadmaps


With Par­lia­ment back from sum­mer re­cess, Turkey’s po­lit­i­cal scene is heat­ing up. The Good Party (IP), part of the op­po­si­tion-led Na­tion Al­liance, an­nounced that it will leave the al­liance if the Peo­ples’ Demo­cratic Party (HDP) joins it. Faruk Çe­lik, a for­mer cabi­net min­is­ter, made waves by say­ing that 40 per­cent of the vote, as op­posed to 50 per­cent, should be enough to win a first-round vic­tory in the next pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Mean­while, a num­ber of new po­lit­i­cal move­ments are in the mak­ing. The left­over re­flex from the par­lia­men­tary sys­tem is to as­so­ciate those de­vel­op­ments to the prospect of an early elec­tion. En­cour­aged by the op­po­si­tion vic­tory in the Is­tan­bul re-run, oth­ers re­lease new polling data every week in an at­tempt to fuel the ex­pec­ta­tion of early elec­tions. To be clear, the two move­ments are not brac­ing for an early elec­tion. They just want to get in shape for a highly com­pet­i­tive, volatile en­vi­ron­ment with plenty of curve balls. Led by the AK Party, the Peo­ple’s Al­liance is ex­tremely un­likely to call for early elec­tions – not with another four years left in of­fice. CHP, in turn, won’t seek an early vote be­fore it can ac­com­plish a few things in re­cently-con­quered metropoli­tan dis­tricts. With the Turk­ish econ­omy rapidly re­cov­er­ing from last year’s cur­rency shock, the govern­ment finds it­self in a stronger po­si­tion. Still, what lies ahead is height­ened po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, wars of words and plenty of hearsay. That’s be­cause both the rul­ing party and the main op­po­si­tion need an up­date. Un­der a new sys­tem of govern­ment, de­vel­op­ing a new brand of pol­i­tics is an in­evitabil­ity, not a choice.

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