Friday, 19 April 2024

Late… for everything

Mayis Alizade

Could the semantics of the VII Congress of a party that has been in power alone for 18.5 years be "We are just beginning, we have completed our preparations in 19 years, we are just beginning"?

If I take into account that not only I closely followed the process of the creation of Islamist politics but also the 8-9 years before its creation, when I learned that the content and meaning of the VII Congress of this political party on March 24 was "Everything is just beginning" (the words belong to the AKP's media and campaign manager), I made an imaginary excursion to exactly 22 years ago: I was among the crowd watching the last press conference of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was removed from the post of mayor of Istanbul 1 month before the election, and I witnessed Mr. Erdoğan went to prison by inspiring not only Islamist society but also various strata of society from the center-right to the center-left with those decisive words - "This song will not end here".

Although he was politically banned for the next 2.5 years, he created the AKP and brought it to power alone in the first election in which he participated; I watched the process closely again, and I continue to watch it today. Therefore, in all modesty, I did not have any difficulty in understanding the meaning and interpretation of Mahir Ünal's words "Everything is just beginning": Yes, 3 months ago, when AKP Chairman and President Erdoğan went to the house of Oğuzhan Asiltürk, a doyen personality of radical Islamist politics, unlike all other elections that the AKP has won (excluding the transition of metropolitan municipalities to opposition parties on March 31, 2019) by participating so far, I wrote that the campaign period of this election, which will be held sooner or later, will be largely based on ideological symbols. The processes that took place before the VII Congress confirmed this: the Hagia Sophia, which was granted the status of a mosque last summer, has become an ideological center of "Islamist regime and caliphate" propaganda since the fall.

As it is impossible to restrain the mullah of the mosque despite warnings from senior officials of the ruling party, a radical religious newspaper, of which affinity to the government is not a secret to anyone, considers it the most common thing to headline "The proclamation of the caliphate is a 15-minute process for parliament", the sects are waiting in line for gratitude when the Istanbul Convention signed by Turkey in the first place was annulled by the decision of the President, etc. Contrary to all the elections so far, the economic situation seems to be of little interest to the ruling party. It is as if no one thinks of to predict the negative impact of the dismissal of the President of the Central Bank, who has been in office for 4.5 months, on the monetary policy of the state…

In an environment where there are too many facts from different areas to be added, although many people find it strange that the ruling party's media and campaign manager described the current situation with the words "We are just beginning", these words do not surprise me at all, and I consider Mr. Ünal's words to be both sincere and right. Because if you do not understand these words as an expression of the preliminary preparations for the goal set by the AKP for 2023, it will be incomprehensible and surprising to everyone.

At this point, the leaders of the ruling party, which has been in power alone for 18.5 years, should speak in this way. There is no alternative, there are two reasons: 1) The ruling party has really set a goal to change the regime in 2023, and this is the first time it has stated such a goal so openly; 2) Recognizing that it is very difficult to save the economy, the government is actively introducing the password "We are just beginning" by seeing nothing wrong in order to consolidate its supporters on an ideological basis.

Even if you look at the list of members of the Central Board elected at the VII Congress of the ruling party, you do not need the help of an astrologer to see this. If this was the situation on the eve of the VII Congress, and the results of the Congress confirmed this thesis, then it is necessary to look at the realism of the goal set by the ruling party and analyze its feasibility. While analyzing the possibility of achieving the goals of the 18.5-year-old ruling party, we see that this attempt is delayed by about 10 years, keeping in mind that the simplest provision of political theory is "taking steps in a timely manner to achieve goals set".

The AKP, which was founded on August 15, 2001, and came to power on November 3, 2002, should not have been late in achieving its goals, as I wrote at the time, after reaching its peak of power in the June 22, 2011, elections. Because after that election, as the AKP began to move away from the philosophy of creation, it took 5 years to settle accounts with FETÖ, which began to put pressure on the division of power, and the settling of accounts is still ongoing.

After the 2011 elections, they were the ones who dictated the "low interest rate" chaos to Mr. Erdoğan at the point reached today through the fact that the government's economic policies were largely determined by construction companies. Today, because the Turkish president is having difficulty resisting those companies (or because he once promoted those companies - it doesn't matter), he has no hesitation in firing the third president of the Central Bank in 20 months and appointing the fourth in the name of the "low interest rate - low inflation" formula, which contradicts universal economic theories. Because, thanks to the support of the government, those companies completely lock the economy and do not accept the option of "low interest rates on loans for the sale of apartments and offices". In the face of this situation, which is clearly pushing the economy into the abyss, the fate of the regime in 2023 and the realization of the goals of the caliphate are deprived of a realistic basis.

Moving towards the goals on a religious-ideological basis will be risky in several respects, which will again be preceded by the issue of "the stomach of society." While accepting Mahir Ünal's postulate "We are just beginning" as irrational, we can say without hesitation that the AKP is late in achieving its ultimate goal, taking into account many factors similar to these two factors. From the most objective to the most subjective - if all public opinion polls show that the party's rating is constantly falling, it would be another right thing to say whether patience will be enough for the 2023 elections.

Just as political parties are the superstructure of democracy formed on the basis of a free-market economy, their rise to the top, their decline, and even their disappearance are the most important factors and indicators of the functioning of democracy. Therefore, the decline in the rating of the ruling party for 18.5 years should be considered as a requirement of democracy and evidence of its dynamic work. It is impossible not to believe that the AKP chairman and President Erdoğan, who is currently the most powerful and experienced politician in Turkey, assessed this in the same way.

His attempt to consolidate his supporters on an ideological basis may be his latest move, and his attempt to bring back the spirit of 1994 is part of that ideological initiative. If it happens, it will be one of the wonders of the history of world democracy. Even if it doesn't happen, he won't have to worry. Because Mr. Erdoğan has long managed to write his name in the political history of the Republic of Turkey more strongly than Adnan Menderes, Süleyman Demirel, and Turgut Özal.

None of them has had a party for a looong time.

The only one that exists is the YAP (New Azerbaijan Party) in Azerbaijan.

I am proud to say, "As long as the world stands still, it should be in charge of Azerbaijan."

“Let the tongues that say “Amin!” not be dumb” - (Jalil Mammadguluzadeh: “The meeting of the lunatics” (orig. “Dəli yığıncağı”))