President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s emphasis on “a fresh mobilization for the economy, the law and democracy” energized the country. The scope, nature and sustainability of “the new chapter” and “reform” remain unclear. For now, there are a number of reform packages on the table that are intended to restore faith in Turkey’s justice system and to attract foreign investors.
Turkey’s party politics cannot seem to lose momentum. Two new political movements have recently emerged out of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Now, the Republican People's Party (CHP), which just held its 37th Congress, faces the same possibility.
Turkey’s pro-opposition circles take great pride in circulating rumors about the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) supposed declining popular support. Notwithstanding recent approval ratings reported by pollsters of questionable credibility, some online media executives have insisted since 2013 on claiming, and making their guests agree, that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will lose his next election. Although the people of Turkey have repeatedly proved them wrong, they continue to find new arguments to support their views.
Turkey’s political parties are currently preoccupied with the proposed regulation of social media platforms, the legal status of Hagia Sophia, the parliamentary bill on multiple bar associations, the Istanbul Convention, the LGBT and Generation Z debates and the declining performance of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. In addition to those hot topics, there are also two permanent features: early elections and potential shifts between electoral alliances.
Coming to terms with the past is necessary for newly formed political parties in order to create an authentic platform. That settlement must be multidimensional and serve as a source of hope for voters. The particular challenge that the Future Party (GP) and the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) face isn’t to criticize the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), from which they broke off, or President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – or to show the courage to launch new movements. They have already crossed those bridges.