Davutoğlu Era In AKP: The Upcoming Regime (Derya Koca)
AKP (Justice and Development Party), which has established 13 years ago, has won 7 elections and a referendum since the day it came to power with %34 of votes in 2002 elections. Finally, it won the presidential elections. Tayyip Erdoğan delegated the party to Ahmet Davutoğlu, who has become the new prime minister, while he was moving up to presidency. While Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, who couldn’t even challenge to Tayyip Erdoğan, was proving the failure of the rightest policies of CHP; Selahattin Demirtaş, who was running his campaign close to leftist policy, revealed the potentials of millions who were seeking a leftist leadership. According to AKP,the winner of the elections, presidential election is beyond its meaning in the political tradition in Turkey; it means starting a new presidential regime. The aim of this article is to understand the new era forming around the new prime minister of Erdoğan: Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Being the most powerful and repressive government of Turkey, AKP has a strong political motivation with social support. On the other hand, it is the Turkey section of the projects of liberal movements within Islam (Moderate Islam), which means coming to power for Islamic conservatism, cooperated with imperialism. The leading politicians like Abdullah Gül, Tayyip Erdoğan, Bülent Arınç are ideologically determined and fighting against the Kemalist regime. Coming from National Vision (Millî Görüş) and carrying liberal movements within Islam to power with international support, AKP has come to power with the mission of breaking the barriers (organized working class, Kemalist bureaucracy etc.) against neo-liberalism and it succeeded in. The factor behind this success was a government that could remain the pressure while raising the social support needed. As can be seen in Gezi; having victory of elections while killing people, dramatically shows the power of this “success”.
AKP followed a very active and aggressive foreign policy unlike the Kemalist bureaucracy. The first reason of this is the pressure from opposition inside, and the second one is serving as an imperialist subcontractor. Visiting USA before electing, being co-present of Greater Middle East (Büyük Ortadoğu Projesi), having great support of Gülen Community (Gülen Cemaati) which administrated in Pennsylvania are the major factors of the rapid rise of AKP in both domestic and foreign policy. However; although AKP is volunteer for this subcontracting, Erdogan has demonstrated that he would cross his lines. He wants to consider himself as the great leader of Sunni Muslims in Middle east; correspondingly, Davutoğlu trying to start a war in country with unprecedented conspiracies. In Syria war, AKP was more willing to occupation than USA; however, Obama prevented it from acting, but it couldn’t retain AKP from supporting ISIS, which would strength the sectarian politics of it in Middle East.
Erdoğan and Davutoğlu are pushing their limits especially after 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey (Operation of December the 17th) while they are remaining their social support.
Considering this situation, it is not expected that neither AKP nor Erdoğan would stand aside when their time is over. As required by 3 term law; in the elections of June 2015, a great part of old cadre will be eliminated. Of course Erdoğan won’t let himself to be a victim of this law. It was obvious years ago that he would be the president in order to continue his dictatorship legally. It is also obvious that he won’t be an “ordinary” president. Before Gezi protests, AKP was trying to accustom the country to new presidential regime and achieve it with constitutional changes. However both losing the support of Gülen community and Gezi protests prevented AKP which doesn’t have the majority to change the constitution. Now, Erdogan is able to have more authorized position with effective operations and legal changes. It was not expected from Erdoğan to retain the Kemalist bureaucracy anyway. Before being president, as indicated himself, he will go into an active political process which he will hold great demonstrations. In brief, Turkey will undergo great changes in Erdoğan’s hands. It is obvious that he will be more repressive in order to eliminate the opposition and Gülen community.
Another polemical name of presidential elections was the former president Abdullah Gül, who has stayed in charge two terms and worked as a figurehead of Erdoğan. He actually has a prestige in AKP thanks to his long period in party. Gül’s political attitude is not strict as Erdoğan’s and for that reason, he is considered more harmonious to imperialism. Even Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who let USA to control CHP, has proposed to AKP an agreement on Gül, before choosing Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu. However, it came out that Erdoğan was trying to eliminate Gül, who has decided to play an active role in politics again.Holding the party congress in 27 August in order to eliminate Gül legally, whose presidential term was over in 28 August; demonstrated Erdoğan’s strong wishes for being the only man controlling the party. At the same time, the name which he would offer to his former position, must be as aggressive as Erdoğan, and ensure his control over the party and government. It is obvious that in the hands of Davutoğlu, AKP will still be administrated by Erdoğan. That means by electing Davutoğlu as prime minister, Erdoğan guaranteed his important position in the party.
If we come to Davutoğlu, he has come to power by Erdoğan even before the party congress. The new dogmatic prime minister of Turkey must be known better.
He started to counsel AKP before he came to position of minister for foreign affairs in 2009 May. For example it is known that Abdullah Gül called him personally and wanted him to lead the issue of Iraq Resolution while he was teaching in university. What about Gül; why he has chosen him? Davutoğlu was teaching inarmed forces and military academy in 1997 Military Memorandum (28th February period), when all Islamists were aggrieved. He was also an academician in Marmara University and has written the Islamic Yeni Şafak journal in the same period. In January 2003, he had “honored” by the president Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the Prime Minister Abdullah Gül as ambassador.
It is the vision of Neo-Ottomanism that made him rise in the government. Being an Islamic academician specialized in international politics; was what AKP needed in international arena whose majority is formed by local administrators. Furthermore; his Islamic expansionist attitude which he demonstrated in his book; Strategical Depth (Stratejik Derinlik), was perfectly matching Erdoğan’s willing to be a strong Islamic leader and subcontracting mission of Turkey in the region. That is the main factor that made him the leader of AKP.
In Stratejik Derinlik, Davutoğlu covers up his imperialist desires and puts his country in the center just like all other countries do. According to him, the power from Turkey-Asia-Europe-Middle East will make him the leader of the world. In other words, Davutoğlu wants to make Turkey a great imperialist country. His justification for this desire is the mission coming from “glorious history” of Ottoman Empire. What a cliché! All of the imperialist statesmen have the same justification for that matter.
“No One Should Attempt To Test Turkey’s Power”
Davutoğlu’s behavior in foreign politics is very disingenuous. First he has increased his hegemony with Turkey’s “Policy of Zero Problems with our Neighbors” but then he turned his face to those neighbors in any case of instability. The most obvious example for this is Syria. Erdoğan was addressing Bashar al-Assad as “my brother” according to that policy; however, after Arab Spring, in civil war which started by Free Syrian Army he addressed Assad as dictator. Meanwhile; ISIS which has visible support of Turkey became the leading actor of the most horrible humanitarian plight after the World War II. Syria is facing with new massacres everyday with considerable efforts of Davutoğlu. According to United Nation’s report; more than 3 million Syrian had to take refuge. More than 10.000 people just killed by ISIS. These examples demonstrated the very dark side of Davutoğlu’s foreign policies.
During all these periods, Davutoğlu tried to raise Erdoğan as the leader of Middle East and it went well for a while. However, Arab Spring destroyed this reputation and both Erdoğan and Davutoğlu are considered as war criminal by Middle East public as they deserved.
Especially in Shia regions, Erdoğan and AKP with Qatar are considered as responsible for Salafi massacres.
It is not forgotten that he blamed Assad for his own helps of jihadist groups that eventually killed his people in Reyhanlı. He failed in every media he interfered and with these failures; he would be very aggressive while implementing the new regime program in other words “New Turkey”.
The vision of “New Turkey” means nothing but a new republic for AKP: Elimination of Kemalist bureaucracy, sectarianism, authoritarianism, purifying the party from all oppositions and making Tayyip Erdoğan the only man. This agenda in AKP’s new regime means poverty, hunger and unemployment for laborers. Otherwise he wouldn’t be able to sustain his economic and political position. AKP must be decisive in its neo-liberal policies in order to be a leader of imperialist capitalist order in both national and international areas. Davutoğlu is elected for the persistence of this agenda. On the other hand, they are expecting from laborers to sit back and watch the new situation. Laborers must raise their voices to this despotism. It is a must to side against AKP to restrain it from changing constitution in order to implement the presidential regime. This regime will eliminate all the barriers in front of AKP and it will be more repressive. However; in any case, AKP has to win June 2015 elections. That’s why first thing Davutoğlu did was trying to have the majority of parliament which will allow them to change the constitution. It is the mission of socialists that defeat AKP completely for having new and important opportunities.
Çeviri: Merve Hatiçoğlu