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Elections in Turkey: Enemies become friends

07 June 2011 [08:45] - TODAY.AZ
Trend Middle East Desk Head, Rufiz Hafizoglu

An intense struggle is still observed among parties on the eve of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Turkey. Results of these elections, like the results of the previous elections, are likely to impact Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will struggle in the parliamentary elections scheduled for June 12. Unlike the previous elections, the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) shows an activity in the current elections.

Events occurring in Turkey give grounds to say that the ruling party has more chances to win in the upcoming parliamentary elections. AKP is expected to receive over 40 percent of the total votes.

After AKP, CHP led by Kemal Kilicdarogly is expected to receive the bulk of votes and MHP is most likely not to be able to receive enough votes in the elections.

Despite this, it will not be so much easier for AKP, which made dramatic changes in the Turkish politics since coming to power in 2002, to win these elections.

Many political analysts explain AKP’s supposed victory with political and economic reforms carried out in the country. Certainly, AKP has implemented many reforms, but this is not enough for the party’s victory.

Particularly, although the democratic reforms aimed at solving the Kurdish problem gave the expected result at the initial stage, then, one can say, this policy has failed.

As for AKP’s policy towards the most scrupulous region - Iraq, though the government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan opposes to the U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Iraq and even states that no military missions carried out from U.S. bases in Turkey, the facts say the opposite.

The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported with a reference to the U.S. Air Force that the use of the Incirlik military base in Adana simplified the conduct of the military operations in Iraq.

The paper reported that 60 percent of the U.S. Air Force flights to Iraq were performed from the Incirlik military base.

The Turkish public is sufficiently informed about these facts, but the Turkish people, adhering to the slogan "Let the stability to continue, Turkey to develop", a blind eye to these and other such facts that can change election results.

CHP’s activity also could be one of the factors that could have a serious impact on the election results. However, Kilicdaroglu’s election as the party leader following Deniz Baykal’s resignation affected CHP’s previous credibility, since Baykal is considered in Turkey as more influential politician rather than Kilicdaroglu.

As for MHP, which occupies a prominent place in Turkey’s political arena, the spread of pornographic material involving the party members at the pre-election period has paralyzed MHP’s activities. As a result, MHP Leader Devlet Bahcelis’ Assistant Osman Cakir has resigned.

Bahcelis’ other assistants Mehmet Ekici, Chian Pacaci, Umit Safak, Mehmet Taytak and Deniz Bolukbasi also resigned after Cakir’s resignation.

Although the majority accused the government of MPH’s political paralysis, it was found that "other nationalists" stand behind the scandal.

One more important event occurred on the eve of the elections in Turkey, but this was not so much publicized. Another high-ranking military, Military Academy Chief, Gen. Bilgin Balanli was arrested under the investigation conducted in conjunction with the Balyoz military plan.

Recognizing that it will fail to receive sufficient votes in the elections, the ruling party planned to show the army’s intervention in the events with Balanli’s arrest and to delay the election, Turkish political analysts believe.

Even Kilicdaroglu expressed his attitude toward Balanli’s arrest. "These events prepared by the government. The government incited the army to intervene in these events to postpone the elections. The Army should not go to the provocation," he said.

Another important development was the convergence of CHP, established by Founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, with the pro-Kurdish party BDP. Naturally, CHP took the first step and it is interesting that at Kilicdaroglu’s rally in Hakkari densely populated by Kurds, no Turkish flag has been seen.

One of the former co-chairs of BDP, which is considered a political trend of the PKK, Selahattin Demirtas, has sent an appeal to political rival in response to this move. "Up to date, we did not have relations with CHP. But there are positive changes in his activities. It did not escape our attention. Prior to today, we have reached agreement with 22 parties on certain issues. We can reach an agreement with CHP ".

This shows that the political parties that were formerly enemies can come together for common goals against the government.



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