I believe AKP’s victory in Turkey’s local elections was nothing but a Pyrrhic win. But there was actually one clear, albeit invisible, winner of this election: The Freedom Party. We all know that there is no such party on Turkey’s political map, yet… But election results imply things must soon change:
1) Even though AKP’s votes were on the decline, the outcome was less than expected. Opposition parties could not capitalize on AKP’s authoritarian regime infested with corruption allegations. These parties simply lack the trust of Turkish voters. Since the leaders of the opposition will not resign or change their realpolitik, a need for an alternative is around the corner.
Roughly two thirds of the Turkish voters are located on the right side2) Roughly two thirds of the Turkish voters are located on the right side of the political spectrum, which was occupied by four major parties in the 1990s. Currently, two parties (AKP and MHP) collect all these votes. However, AKP has become very authoritarian and anti-EU particularly after the Gezi protests, also demonstrated by recent Twitter and YouTube censorship. MHP, on the other hand, has always adopted an ultra-nationalist agenda and never exceeded 20%. So, there is a huge need for a third party on the right side of the spectrum.
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3) AKP almost completely stopped the negotiations with the European Union, leaving no pro-EU party on the map. Erdogan’s administration promised to comply with the Copenhagen Criteria, but fails to do so. Turkey cannot fulfill the requirements of these criteria at the moment, because she does not have a stable democracy, lacks rule of law after Erdogan consolidated his powers, and fails to protect the rights of minorities. Turkey’s EU efforts are important, because it is the only way to protect rights and freedoms of all ethnic, religious and political minorities in a cosmopolite country as well as strengthening democracy and the rule of law.
So, in the light of these arguments, Turkey needs an alternative opposition party that defends all fundamental freedoms; strives to join the EU; has a broad vision; adopts moderate and liberal values in order to be an umbrella party for moderate and liberal leftist and rightist voters; advocates for 100% clean politics with no corruption, graft and embezzlement; and stays away from hate speech and discrimination.
Since Tayyip Erdogan does the opposite of these values and practices, a new political party, whatever you name it, has become a must for the future of Turkey. And this new party is the invisible winner of this election and will be the manifest winner of upcoming election(s).