Turkey can govern itself. Unnecessary patronage
The Republic of Turkey is at this moment in a tragic situation, but it hasn’t started recently. The constitutional reforms from 2007 and 2010 were more dangerous than the one proposed now. However, the opposition was weaker, at least its voice in the international arena. We are talking, referring to that moments, to the reforms that allowed some abuses and that let unfinished the process of “presidentialization” of the regime. Now, it is the time to complete that process and Turkey can follow its way towards the well-being of its citizens.
The 16th of April referendum proved that the Turkish democracy works, that the opposition is a powerful force, not a confused one, and that President Erdogan and AKP will have tremendous difficulties to govern in a polarized atmosphere. Opposition party MHP role as king-maker requires an adequate discussion. The authoritarian episodes in such an atmosphere, even with the complicity of all opposition parties, cannot come with positive results, but if they govern intelligently, with calm and support for stability and predictability, the results will continue to appear. The mandate of the current government is legitimated through results, even if we are talking about economic, social or security outcomes, and through popular support.
At the moment of writing this article, it seems that the “yes’ camp has had a narrow victory with around 51%, but the opposition announced that it will contest 37% to 60% of votes. We are seeing these dynamics after a campaign on all fonts with huge involvement from all parties of the Turkish society and more.
Nevertheless, we are witnessing some critical issues towards a developed democracy, as the independence and development level of some political institutions, generalized corruption, human rights abuses, societal polarization among other, but let’s consider other problems:
- the political crises that emerged before the direct election of the president and the decision-making deadlocks caused by a hybrid system that, depending on the influence of the president or of the prime-minister, made one of them useless;
- the future succession crisis at the high level of Turkish political leadership<
- the development challenges that could have been caused by an uncontrolled regime change in the recent years;
- the constitutional, parliamentarian, executive and judiciary structural complications in promoting the necessary reforms for development and modernization;
- the insecurities at its borders and the crisis in its proximity that expose the state and the society;
- the trade-offs made by Turkey thus risking its citizens’ security to protect the order of other states, “other states” that made some promises, especially in financial packages, but failed to provide them at the right time;
- the pro-European orientation of the political establishment, even though they (both parties) know how difficult is the process of European integration.
The result is not so important, but democracy won the Turkish referendum held on 16th of April 2017. A powerful opposition means a cautious government, while strengthening the executive and presidential powers means a growth in the social and economic development and a government oriented towards results. The government will have sooner the necessary levers to deliver societal improvements. A victory for the pro-Erdogan camp means more pressure for government, more pressure to deliver the expected results.
Turkey is member state of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a status to which many states around the world aspire. Its economic indicators are expected to have a continuing growth, while social improvements targeting the labour force are considered. The aims of being the 15th economy of the world by 2023 and the 12th by 2050 place Turkey among the countries whose own model of development and modernization should be followed.