The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) completed its fifth Ordinary General Congress. The Central Decision and Administrative Board (MKYK) was elected; there were debates and criticisms. My friends in Ankara asked whether the need for reform and change I had mentioned in my “AK Party Version 2.0” piece last week was met at this congress.
Although everybody saw that the new MKYK list created no new energy or enthusiasm, I believe the Central Executive Board (MYK) list that was announced later, complemented this.
In a sense, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who changed the party's directing staff with 11 new names, made the change that was both wanted and expected. Perhaps we can call this change “Version 1s” if not “Version 2.0.”
Everything that is said and experienced ahead of the congress, the gossip are sure to affect everybody's energies. AK Party staff in particular, which come from a disciplined tradition, are affected very much by such incidents. However, we need to discuss another matter.
What should the AK Party's goal be?
I know AK Party organizations. Their greatest motivation is to reach the goal set by their leader. When the entire organization, from villages to metropolitan cities, from election observers to the provincial heads, are focused on a goal, the AK Party will finish that election with victory, like in all previous elections.
When the organization's goal is clear and its motivation is high, this is felt in all precincts. The voter senses the energy of the highly motivated organization that is focused on the goal, and is affected by it. They care about the AK Party organization's leader, not the MKYK members. The public pays attention to what the AK Party's leader has to say, what his goals are, not to the other directors of the party.
This is why it all happened; what happened in congress needs to be forgotten to focus on the goal and this will be done by the leader.
The AK Party needs to have two main goals:
1. Coming to power alone in the elections.
2. Ending the terrorism in the country.
Any discussions, incidents, problems and issues other than these are meaningless and irrelevant. The AK Party is going to the most important election of its political life. It is going to this election with the state of mind that it lost points in the last election, unable to come to power alone. Although this may seem like a disadvantage, it can actually turn into an advantage in terms of motivation and focusing on the goal. People miss the good old days; this election is an opportunity to get back to those good old days.
Turkey can't do without the AK Party
Everybody saw how a Turkey, where the AK Party couldn't come to power alone, got stuck and became paralyzed. Terrorism wasn't the only thing that happened during this period; great slips were seen in the economy, bureaucracy, legislation activities, foreign policy and social peace. Hence, Turkey can solve its acute problems not with a coalition, but rather a party that comes to power alone.
An important colleague, who had never voted for the AK Party and was sitting next to me while observing the congress, said, “Some of the problems in Turkey cannot be solved without the AK Party. The AK Party itself needs to understand this the most.”
I believe the AK Party is aware of this. Critical research was carried out and a report was prepared on why votes were lost in the June 7 elections. This was stated personally by the deputies who were part of that research. A couple of the headlines in that report were implemented by Davutoğlu in the MYK list. He changed some of the much criticized vice chairmen who drew reaction and introduced new vice chairmanships. He is aiming to meet the demands of the people regarding ethics and environment with two new vice chairmanships. These are successful moves.
After this development, the election manifesto that Davutoğlu will soon declare has gained great importance. A rhetoric that will meet the expectations of the nation, organizations and the public may change everything.
Focusing on coming to power alone
The first and foremost thing the AK Party needs to do is focus on the goal. Coming to power alone is a strong goal; it is an achievable goal that will influence the party's future. The main dynamo of this election and the party should be the goal of coming to power alone.
Then, the first goal of the AK Party that does come to power alone should be to end terrorism, prevent polarization and provide social peace. An AK Party aiming to come to power alone cannot have the luxury to discuss anything other than this. It has to get over any internal conflict. In fact, the AK Party must not get into an argument or fight with any political party or even any segment of society.
The only topic of discussion should be how the AK Party can come to power alone; everybody should discuss this and struggle to achieve this. Davutoğlu should speak and listen to everybody who has any suggestion on how to come to power alone. Anybody instigating arguments within the party, those badmouthing fellow party members and gossiping should be reprimanded and excluded. Let's not forget; everybody cares about what the leader has to say and what he does.