The balance of power between the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) People’s Alliance and the opposition Nation Alliance will have a defining impact on Turkish politics and Turkey’s 2023 elections. Since all parties are aware of that fact, both sides began to take certain steps shortly after the 2018 election. For the record, they follow similar game plans: They want to consolidate their respective alliances and chip away at the opposing bloc.
Leaders of Turkey’s major political parties are meeting more frequently, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's "alliance" talks with the Felicity Party (SP) reinvigorated the opposition. There is an effort underway to keep relations warm between the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Good Party (IP), the SP, the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and the Future Party (GP) over proposals of an “augmented parliamentary system.”
2020 was a difficult year for everyone. The two avalanches in the eastern province of Van and a major earthquake in the western province of Izmir aside, the COVID-19 pandemic altered our lives so remarkably that we could not adapt to the “new normal” – embodied by face masks and social distancing. We could not even mourn those who lost their lives. As the vaccine against the coronavirus becomes more widely available, we dream of reuniting with our friends and loved ones.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality hosted a controversial ceremony to commemorate the death of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, known as Şeb-i Arus, last week. Addressing the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary meeting on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the recitation of the Quran and the call to prayer in Turkish at that event as "a return to the fascist practices of the 1940s." That practice, which violates the rules of the Mevlevi Order, serves as a reminder of the Turkification of religious rituals under the single-party regime.