QUICK THOUGHTS ON THE JUNE, 2011 TURKISH ELECTIONS
The AKP, the ruling political party of Turkey, enhanced it position this June by collecting over 50% of the votes cast in the recent national election. AKP, supported or opposed because of its strong ties to religious doctrine and practices, has been the dominant party since 2002.
It was in that year that they began their current ruling position during a period of discontent, instability and economic crisis. They were in the right place at the right time and later in 2007, AKP was able to exploit the public’s anger at the military’s interference in choosing the country’s president.
Generally speaking, AKP supports strong economic growth that has a broad right wing economic philosophy as its foundation. This is coupled with an open armed response to the prospect of an ever increasing role by religion in the public sphere. It has won a steadily increasing portion of the vote in three successive elections and appears to be strengthening its position across the vast countryside of Turkey.
CHP, the political party which shored up 30% of the vote, appears to be losing ground with their strong secular stand regarding political rule and their left wing economic policies. Indeed, CHP has some serious soul searching if it is to be a more compelling voice in Turkish decision making and policy formulation.