In one week, Turkish citizens around the world will once again cast their votes in the presidential run-off round, after the first round did not conclusively bring a decision as to whom is going to rule the Central Asian nation over the next five years. In this article, the elections will be looked at in detail. Beginning with some background information, this article will explore the democratic problems from a technocratic perspective. As the only devletist magazine in the world, the analysis needs to be read from the perspective of genuine knowledge production as the core of societal development.
The Last 20 Years
The political landscape in Türkiye has long been dominated by the Justice and Development Party, short AKP (türk.: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi). Founded in 2001 by the United States of America and developed by its intelligence agency CIA, the AKP quickly moved to power in 2002 and has since then headed the government. While the first couple of years have been characterised by economic growth and stability, due to the lead of economic policy by one of the world’s most renowned economists Kemal Derviş, the latter part of the AKP rule gradually lost economic momentum. While the political orientation of the party is outspokenly pro-religious, its rule was riddled with grave mismanagement of funds, nepotism, development of oligarchic structures, reorganisation of social policies and repression of Turkic principles. It was however paired with ongoing economic expansion, feeding from the previously successful era, and great success in international politics. Especially in the realm of diplomacy, Türkiye has proved to be a leading power in bringing peace to highly complex conflicts, such as in Syria, Somalia and Armenia. Also, the party emphasised the re-integration and development of Islamic ideals into the business world, after decades of secular limitations. In the end, the rule of the AKP led to greater awareness and social power of the religiously conservative parts of society at the expense of economic development and the disintegration of the cultural Turkic core.
No Options in Türkiye
Naturally, this caused rifts in society. Mainly, the opposition, the Republican People’s Party CHP (türk.: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi), tried to contain the detrimental effects of the AKP rule over the last 20 years. However, due to the continued electoral success of the ruling party, the organisational dynamics of the CHP have led to a convenient state of idleness that is solely centred around a critique of the government, causing rifts within the party. In the last decade, many parties emerged and vanished in an attempt to find a route that can function as a compromise between the religiously oriented AKP and the centre-liberal CHP. One major point of critique is that the CHP, too, is a nepotistic entity that has been governed by the same party leadership for the last decades. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has been incapable of posing an electoral to the ruling president Recep Erdoğan. Also, with the heightened influence of Kılıçdaroğlu in the CHP, the party has continuously failed to articulate a clear, distinct, progressive and useful party programme. Today, Kılıçdaroğlu and his party are standing in the run-off election against the reigning president with the sole policymaking premise of doing the opposite of the current regime. Even worse is that the political alliance of the CHP with five other political parties was not able to comfortably win against the ruling party and one allied party.
Democratic Deficits Everywhere
The combination of a technically weak and emotionally strong ruling party and a technically weak and emotionally moderate opposition leaves the nation in a dilemma. Next to the wasted potential, the Turkish society is deeply divided in two camps. One camp is the religious part of the population that supports the government. Though the economic policy outcomes are not favourable, the social policies of the AKP ensure that religious values are further developed and can be used as an asset in the business world. Also, the powerful rhetoric at home and abroad evokes the feeling of international security. On the other side, there is the part of the population that does not deem Islam as the foundation of politics necessary. Their preferences are centred around non-restrictive social policies and material wealth. Both sides have developed increasingly sharp rhetorical means and adopted behavioural patterns that display that the elections are no longer politically oriented but sociologically. The religious majority accuses the centre liberals of being too keen on adopting Western values and principles, undermining the importance of devoutness and social hierarchies. In turn, the centre liberals view themselves as morally superordinate to the religious people. In their rhetoric, they often portray themselves as enlightened because they pursue a non-restrictive societal order. Such rhetoric, naturally, leads the religious fraction to hold on tighter to their core values.
In the current constellation, this also means that the liberal fraction continuously views the electoral outputs of the last 20 years as illegitimate. It is often contested that elections were fraudulent, which is definitely not quite untrue. However, in the same vein, the liberal fraction often labels the voters of the AKP as retarded and undemocratic. Statements range from “old people (usually more attached to religious values) should not be able to vote” to “Turkish citizens abroad (usually more supportive of strong diplomatic presence of the ruling party) should not be able to vote” while reiterating that the CHP rule stands for democratic values. Further, the fact that six political parties needed to form an alliance behind one candidate who lost many electoral campaigns and now merely receives 44% of the votes in the first electoral round this year shows that this fraction solely pursues one goal, namely ousting the current president. There is no distinct political direction that has technocratic footing, but the whole argument is centred around the non-restriction of societal structures.
The ruling party, on the other side, has shown great consistency in undermining the technocratic aim of a productive government. Especially, nepotism has grown rampant in the last decade, producing a political cadre of highly incapable and self-centred people keen on enriching themselves. Worse, however, is the dependence on religious rhetoric to maintain power. This has led to lax immigration policies and reverse assimilation attempts by the government. By specifically enabling easy and advantageous immigration from Muslim countries, the influence of the Islamic lifestyle has been a social concern for Turks, who have been left optionless between an insubstantial opposition and a culturally parasitic ruling party. Between a snooty liberal fraction that defends white values and a culturally incompatible religious fraction that has brought down former Turkic civilisations, this election is a perfect representation of how dysfunctional and vastly subordinate to devletist systems contemporary democratic systems are. Neither party is democratically functioning nor legitimately representing the Turkic people.
The Only Solution: Devletism
Only a minority of political organisation, and also no longer represented in the run-off round of the election, is defending the Turkic identity and its principles. The reason for the loss of the sense of our Turkic identity is that the AKP, backed by foreign powers, is basically interested in a fragmented nation because nepotist structures function best in a constellation of weak oppositional organisation. By infecting Türkiye with foreign ideologies, the nation moves into a mode of survival and can no longer participate in genuine knowledge production to further societal advancement. The opposition, in turn, is cognitively not able to understand that the solution to the religious development is not the exact opposite, exemplified by western nations, but the return to Turkic values.
Devletism is the only viable political system that enables efficient policymaking and societal stability. For one, Devletism preserves the cultural core and, therefore, establishes a normatively stable environment for societal conduct. This naturally triggers the inherent potential of the nation and its citizens by aligning the material structures of the state with the natural tendencies of its people. Second, the policy outcomes are then tailored to the needs, wishes and talents of the citizens. Under such conditions, the nation can flourish and maintain the crucial balance of a healthy equilibrium between international power and domestic development. In the Turkish case, Devletism clearly points to a return to Turkic values and principles. A full rejection of Arab and western values is long overdue. The only way Türkiye will flourish again is to return to our pre-Islamic past. It is also the only way Türkiye will remain stable over extended periods and become an example of glorious societal development through genuine knowledge production.