The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has gone to great lengths to manage the economy and the fight against the pandemic while responding to harsh criticism from opposition parties. Relying on the support of a large electorate, the party is critically reassessing its policies and rhetoric by reconsidering the new emerging demands of the people for the economy and politics.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties are struggling to break the political deadlock by forming a cohesive front against the government. The main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has fallen victim to its own aggressive stance, whose radical rhetoric drives the electorate away from the opposition.
On the other hand, the organic relations of the Kurdish Nationalist People’s Democratic Party (HDP) with the terrorist group PKK could lead to its closure by the Constitutional Court. Turkish nationalist Good Party (IP) is struggling to find its place on the opposition front because of the secret alliance between the CHP and HDP.
Foreign and domestic dynamics
Two major issues have emerged during such a delicate moment in Turkish politics. First of all, the AKP party government has recently achieved unmistakable success on the international stage. Turkey has become a playmaker in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans. The dramatic advance of Turkey’s defense industry has reconsolidated its role as a regional powerhouse by transforming modern warfare through its innovations in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Second, a large majority of the electorate, while voicing its new demands on the AKP party government, began to question the ability of opposition parties to keep their promises. To begin with, the CHP and the IP cannot make an explicit alliance with the HDP. Their only strategy is to take the voices of the HDP for the opposition front against the presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan without providing a concrete vision of Turkey’s problems.
Nation Alliance situation
However, the opposition Nation Alliance needs to gain the support of the HDP without recognizing it as a legitimate component of the alliance, simply because a large majority of the electorate does not like the organic relationship between the HDP and the PKK. Worse yet, the Alliance Nation as a whole has an unstable internal structure when it comes to major political issues. Regarding the extension of the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq and Syria, the EP supported the AKP party’s motion, which extended the government’s authorization to launch cross-border military operations against terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, while that the CHP and HDP voted against. .
Consequently, the opposition front constitutes an extremely unstable and contradictory political alliance on Turkey’s major issues. In the last local elections, the opposition parties put aside their internal differences by focusing their energy on the electoral victory against the AKP party. Today, this common ground of the opposition to Erdoğan fails to keep the opposition together. A large majority of voters strongly doubt their ability to develop concrete policies to resolve Turkey’s problems.
Due to the current political chaos within the opposition, the electorate, in general, relied on the AKP party to meet their new economic and political demands. If the AK Party leadership manages to take advantage of such an invaluable opportunity to reassess its policies and rhetoric, it will certainly build a lasting bridge with the electorate.