Turkish parliamentary elections will be held on the first of October / November this year in the light of a very sensitive Internal and regional environment in Turkey .Environment of the internal elections of Turkey witness a state of political instability in terms of the inability of any party to resolve things for its advantage or to reach any kind of conformity of parties to form a coalition government based on the result of the previous parliamentary elections . Militarily ,Turkey is engaged in a war with the PKK party since late last July, and economically , as the previous election results had its affect on the performance of the Turkish economy and it appeared clearly on the decline in the exchange rate of the Turkish currency Alerh against the US dollar. And in a security, as a result of the bombings taking place in Turkish cities from time to time, most recently the bombing of Ankara several days ago.
At the level of foreign election environment , upcoming elections will be held while Turkey is taking part in the international coalition against Daash, and at the regional level, elections are to be held at a time a rival Iran achieved a win -situation diplomatically and economically after signing a nuclear deal with “States five plus one”, also to be held with direct Russian military intervention taking place in Syria and a quad intelligence alliance formed includes “Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq”. The number of political parties participating in the upcoming elections, 29 political parties, and perhaps the most important are : Justice and Development Party, the Republican People’s Party, the Nationalist Movement, Democratic Peoples’ Party .
Public opinion polls
In the light of this troubled environment, all polls show, two weeks before the election , a rise in support of the Justice and Development Party, by almost 2% compared to the poll last September, and this result remains insufficient to give the party a parliamentary majority being able to form a government alone, as needed the minimum to 50% +1.
| Enterprise and |
|The expected ratio by institution||Ratio in the last election|
|Andy R |
1 to 7 October
3 to 4 October
October 4 to 7
|Justice and Development||42.6%||42.5%||40.8%||40.7%|
By analyzing the results of the current poll, we find that:
- the Justice and Development Party achieved a progress by almost 2% compared to the polls of September.
- The progress of Justice and Development Party comes at the expense of the Republican People’s Party retreat.
- Democratic people Party, and the Nationalist Movement Party had kept on almost the same percentage.
The last poll in the month of / October indicates that the Justice and Development Party will get more than 42 percent of the vote and this means that it will be unable to form a government alone because it requires the proportion (50% +1) rate of 276 parliamentary seats, and this means that by modifying or writing a new constitution will be elusive at this stage, because the amendment requires the Justice and Development Party to get 330 parliamentary seat to offer the amendments to a referendum taking in to the consideration that the writing of a new constitution should be the party’s acquisition of the 367 parliamentary seat . The same survey also indicates that the Democratic Peoples’ Party will exceed the threshold of 10 percent and that means entering the second time in the Turkish Parliament.
But the polls do not always provide an indication can be reassuring to it related to the trends of public opinion in democratic systems. And it is difficult to rely on these surveys accurately, because of the complexities of the situation, and the small interval numbers that occur fundamental differences in the outcome of the next election, not to mention the possibility of the emergence of the element of surprise in the electoral scene.
As for the participation rates of the voters in the Turkish parliamentary elections, according to historical experience in the electoral process, that the attendance of Turkish voters to the polls rate increases when their country exposed to or facing their own crises. In the 1999 parliamentary elections, Turkey was suffering from a crisis of the same economic and security political nature that did not stop the Turkish voters from going to the polls to vote because they believe that the ballot box is the only way to change keeping in the mind that the percentage of the poll reached in that year to 87.9 percent.
This is what today’s Turkish citizen may be motivated to go to those boxes, for the exit of the country from its current crisis and back again to the stability of the political, economic and security situation, which used to it since the advent of the Justice and Development Party. So we expect the turnout in the next election to exceed more than 70 percent.
1-formation of the government by the Justice and Development party alone : This is based on the probability of large inland achievements of the party , which manifested itself most notably in the economic success which resulted in raising the level of income, as well as the unprecedented political stability achieved in Turkey since coming to power in November 2002. It also is based on military strikes directed to strongholds of the Pkk , Kurdistan workers Party, as well as investment of the Democratic Peoples’ Party positions, which in some cases are hazy , and close to Alkurdistani Workers’ Party in others. These attitudes benefit the Justice and Development Party to make Turkish peoples party to lose the left Turkish voices and the voices of right Kurdish party, the pro- state, and also will increase the wrap of Turkish nationalists around the Justice and Development Party.
This possibility will lead the Justice and Development Party on foreign policy level work to resolve differences and reach understandings to be more profitable to it as much as possible. It has been translated as follows:
A-level of Turkish-Egyptian relations: the tensions may gradually be decreased, at least at the level of mutual statements, and perhaps this is reinforced of mediation by Saudi Arabia, especially the latter need the two countries to be all in the competitive struggle with Iran, particularly after the nuclear deal.
(B) the level of Turkish-Israeli relations: relations could see the return of the ambassadors, but it is not likely that the relations back to normal ones , such as the golden years of the relationship in 1997 and 1998. This convergence was enhanced and mediated or sponsored by the United States that wants to take advantage of the two allies , especially in Syrian affairs.
2-renewal of violence: in the case of the failure of the Kurdish Democratic Peoples Party, to overcome the electoral threshold and grab 10 percent of the vote once again, after the outbreak of the Kurdish issue, and the end of the truce between the PKK and the Turkish state to some extent led to renewed violence in the country on a daily basis, the outbreak of the military and the Turkish military operations against the group’s strongholds in northern Iraq, and the launching of a security prosecutions against his supporters inside Turkey. Accordingly, it is not unlikely that the party slip into the quagmire of violence, especially after the invitation of the boss Salahuddin Damrtash, for the resumption of the peace process, and the restoration of the truce between the state and the kurdistan Workers’ Party was met Deprecatingly by the Justice and development Party and if that happens, the Turkish democracy experience will loss One of the most important of its achievements , which is that of Kurdish nationalism integrate within the democratic political process.
- forming a coalition government: and this means that any party in Turkey could not form a government alone, and as the latest polls suggest the acquisition of the Justice and Development Party to get the most seats in parliament, and is who will undertake the issue of forming a coalition government, and then will be forced to enter into talks with opposition parties, the Republican People’s party and the Party of the Democratic Peoples Party and the Nationalist Movement with regard that the latter party is and remains the closest in forming a government with the Justice and Development Party because of the convergence between the intellectual premises between them.
- The return of the military institution intervention in Turkish political life, and this may happen in the event of default of political parties in forming a coalition government because of a radical intellectual disparity among them, especially between the Justice and Development Party, and the Republican People’s Party and the Party of the Democratic peoples from another side, which will lead the country in a state of political instability and lawlessness and economic decline, which will open the way to military institution to regain its dominance of the Turkish political system.
If the military institution took over the reins of the Turkish state, it means that Turkey’s foreign policy will revert back to the traditional pattern of focusing on Western orientation and the negligence of political reactions in the Arab countries, especially Syria. This would work for the benefit of Iran and the loss of Arab countries, especially the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia, as it will lose the role of the Justice and Development Party on the curb of Iranian influence in the Levant taking into the consideration that it is difficult to establish an Arab alliance with the Turkish military establishment, which is not a popular stock in the Turkish street, as in democratic states governing body need the support of the public opinion of internal and external policies and this is available in a reasonable limit with the Justice Party and completely absent from the military establishment. It remains the third possibility is the closest to the reality of the data of the Turkish electoral scene.
Muammar Faisal Kholi
Rawabet Research and Strategic Studies Center