WHAT THE JULY 22 ELECTIONS WILL CHANGE

Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

 
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 9 Temmuz 2007 Saat : 5:53


 

For most of the people, the July 22 elections in Turkey will forcibly divert the political life of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) onto a new path. It’s a correct judgment based on simple assumptions, like the saying, “If Turkey sneezes, the KKTC catches cold.”

 

The internal perception of estimating the results of the elections in Turkey differs when looking at them from outside. When you look at them from inside or experience them, you get focused on a specific point and what you get is the results of this region, which gradually get enlarged and cover the whole country.

 

When looking at them from outside, the picture is totally different. The view is clearer when not attached to a political party and not affected by sentimentality. You smell the results very close to the reality.

 

To me, Turkey looks like a new and strong bus of a recent design, confidently running on tough roads.

 

The management of the bus is handled by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the driver is the leader of this party. His seconds are his teammates.

 

The passengers sitting in the bus are the people of Turkey, and they are represented by the other political parties. Naturally their speakers are the leaders of these political parties.

 

While some of the passengers are quarreling, shouting, objecting, protesting the management and trying to pull the driver out of his seat, others are cheering the driver and giving him support. This is what the picture is when looking at the elections from inside, or while sitting in the bus.

 

The situation looks totally different from outside or standing on the pavement.

 

The situation and the disputes taking place within the bus do not reflect fully to the observers standing outside, and what they see or perceive is a shining bus of a latest model, running smoothly and safely on a rough road. The performance of the bus hits you rather than what the passengers are doing inside.

 

So as the elections approach, outsider observations are different than insider ones.

 

It seems that the AK Party is leading and again will be the winner of this election.

 

For ages the people who formed the silent majority of Turkey, living a life without compromising their tradition and culture, will again support the AK Party as they did in the last elections.

 

The Democrat Party (DP), born out of the joint venture of the True Path Party (DYP) and Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) as the new hope, suddenly fell into an awkward position with the backtracking of Erkan Mumcu, the leader of ANAVATAN. Although the DP was once considered the strongest opponent of the AK Party and the inevitable coalition partner of the new government, it is now struggling to get enough votes to cross the election threshold.

 

Although the Republican People’s Party (CHP) claims to be the biggest, it is true that they are the largest of the opponents only and not overall. It seems quite impossible that they will top the votes of the AK Party.

 

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is trying very hard to pass the threshold and it is very likely that they will manage so.

 

This is the overall picture a fortnight before the elections.

 

According to the act regulating the elections, the seats in Parliament are distributed to political parties according to the votes they garner, as per the famous D’Hondt method widely used in Western countries.  The votes of the small parties underneath the threshold are also conveyed and redistributed to the political parties which topped the necessary number of votes to get seats in Parliament.  The system seems unfair but is the best among all.

 

The performance of the ruling party during the final days of the election will have a permanent effect on the destiny of elections. A cross-border operation over the Iraqi border to take control of the area widely used by the terror Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) will have a positive effect on the votes of the silent majority and the others. This fact need not to be a soothsayer. It will have the same effect on people as the 1974 intervention on Cyprus.

 

In the Turkish part of Cyprus, the Republican Turks’ Party-Freedom and Reform Party (CTP-ORP) coalition government is now like a lame duck. They are trying very hard to survive until the elections in Turkey. There will be a change in the KKTC government as well after the elections. No wonder there came about the famous phrase I mentioned in the beginning.

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