What's on Erdoğan and AK Party's road map? - MEHMET ACET

What's on Erdoğan and AK Party's road map?

Turkey is a country that does not have the luxury of withdrawing into its shell.

In the north, south and beyond the Atlantic there are actors with strategic minds who seek moments of weakness, chase open wounds and take action the moment they find a chance.

The moment Turkey withdraws into its shell, there are powers that turn this into an opportunity.

Let me give two examples.

The first happened the day after theJune 7 elections.

The day the nightmare scenarios emerged with the election results, the town of Tal Abyad, located across the border from Şanlıurfa was surrendered to the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD).

With the fall of this predominantly Arab and Turkmen city – from which Daesh withdrew without firing a single bullet – the PYD's Jazira and Kobani cantons were united.

While the people of Tal Abyad were fleeing toward Şanlıurfa, in the country that was busy with the agenda of the June 7 elections, these developments were not even in the news.

Our second example is from May 4, 2016. Namely from last week.

While everyone was focused on Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's farewell speech in Ankara, the Assad regime in Damascus began preparations to celebrate this using its own methods.

A regime plane that took off to commit another war crime bombed the refugee camp located in the Sarmada town in Idlib, on the border with Turkey. More than 60 innocent people lost their lives.

Now everyone is capable of understanding what this means.

The fate of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is the fate of Turkey.

The AK Party having a crisis means Turkey is losing its claims, withdrawing into its shell and within that shell, becoming busy with deeper issues than it experienced today.

This should not happen.

That is why it is crucially important to watch the AK Party's future from now on.

Looking for a president from the party

On May 22, the AK Party will elect its new chairman.

A new government will be formed and then a new era will begin.

When we look at today, we see that the topic of priority in the new period is going to be the attempt to make a constitutional change to ensure transition to the party-member presidential model.

Yesterday afternoon two important announcements came.

AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Nurettin Canikli announced that four to five articles in the Constitution would be changed for the presidential system.

Canikli said: “Work on the new constitution will be put on hold. As a priority, in the narrow context we are thinking of bringing a proposal to change four to five articles. The existing system has been carrying 70-80 percent of the properties of a semi-presidency. The system we will bring is a party-member presidential system.”

At the same time an anonymous executive from the party, speaking to Reuters, gave the timeframe of this change.


Will the opposition support the constitutional change?

At this point, the basic point to focus on is the question of whether the opposition will support the constitutional change proposal of the AK Party or not.

For the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which base their policy on hostility toward President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it seems difficult to say yes to this change.

As for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which is nowadays busy with the general assembly uncertainty, it seems to be the only party that will probably support this proposal.

MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli's recent statement, “We can carry our physical support for the government to the legal ground if needed,” was received with excitement.

Though he explained this yesterday.

He tried to explain that his intention was limited merely in relation to the fight against terror.

Bahçeli's close staff: We have no decision on this issue

When these statements came from the AK Party, I called one of Bahçeli's staff members.

What will you do when you receive the regulation for a party-member president? He said that this topic had not yet been discussed within the party organs, therefore there is no decision yet.

Does Bahçeli's statement, “This country cannot stand a low-profile prime minister,” give a hint of the position the MHP will take in mid-June?

When you bring the pieces together, it seems to give clues.

But we will be able to see what the decision of the MHP will be on this issue after the authorized bodies of the party come together and determine.

Of course, all these are directly related with whether Bahçeli's administration will remain in the party administration in case of a general assembly.

An early election if not the constitution?

Yes, there is such a possibility.

If the partial constitutional change that will come to the agenda in mid-June is successfully concluded, early election is not considered until 2019.

But in the voting that will be taken in the Parliament for the referendum, if the required 330 votes cannot be collected, a decision may be made to achieve this majority in autumn.


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