What will ex-Turkish PM Davutoğlu’s party look like?

Kemal Okuyan, soL columnist and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), writes on the former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s attempts to establish a new party against President Erdoğan’s ruling AKP
Wednesday, 11 December 2019 14:50

“It’s too late,” Ahmet Davutoğlu is reported to have told the influential personalities who were sent by Erdoğan to deter him from establishing a party. Apparently, a party will be established. It is doubtlessly a mystery what “new” things he will present to the people as one of those who are responsible for the AKP-led destruction on the country’s economy, foreign policy, education, and health. For those, who already know that the politics in Turkey has been completely decontextualized, Davutoğlu’s insolence is not surprising though.

Let’s see what will happen…

To show how inclusive he is, Davutoğlu will add a pinch of elements with secularist sensitivities, a batch of Kurdish identity, a few Alevi colors, and a certain extent of women that will raise awareness into his AKP-rooted conservative group. Some liberals who were “otherized” by Erdoğan will undertake the coordination of this array of colors. Some media outlets will report that Davutoğlu’s party “echoes ANAP” and reunites four tendencies. [Okuyan refers to Turkey’s former President Turgut Özal’s post-coup ruling “Motherland Party” (ANAP), mainly active in the 1980s until the 2000s, that claimed to include four political tendencies: liberalism, nationalism, conservatism, and social-democracy.]

After some time, Davutoğlu will stick to his own way; the elements competing with each other on the basis of identities will get into friction, the ethnic sentiments will come face to face, every day some will “respectfully announce their resignations to the public”, and a smooth ground will emerge for the breaks in his party because of the limited profit since it is not in power.

In the meantime, if Davutoğlu can cause the votes of AKP to fall by a few points, he will suppose that he is successful as the political balances will be further complicated.

And, [former Deputy PM] Babacan has yet to come…

It is apparent that he is taking the road with a similar approach. Inclusive, conciliatory!

That’s the fashion of Turkey. The political parties have become amorphous structures including mix elements. Some try to disseminate an argument that the parties taking such ambiguities to the extremes are the most innovative, the most advanced, and the most successful project.

That’s also popular in the left-wing. A fair amount of HDP on some CHP, sharpness on reconciliatory politics, an ode to street activism on the love of parliament, environmental awareness on the issues of labor, Alevi identity on Kurdish identity, respect for popular religious beliefs on secularism… And so on. The better the more elements you have in the bag!

However, no party can come out of this mess, let alone leftism.

To return to the subject, Davutoğlu’s concern is actually not to establish a party. His goal is to represent a diversity that would harm the AKP in order to obstruct Erdoğan’s way. Because Erdoğan still gets his strength from the diversity that he attracts or can attract to himself. Therefore, vitiating his influence is strategically important. Thus we can describe Davutoğlu’s personal motivation and the mission ascribed to him.

We are entering into a period of time in which the experts of politics from various identities face a broad range of job opportunities, for those who are looking for a party that will put them on the showcase like the spice jars in the kitchen. If Davutoğlu and Babacan are unsuitable, what about the AKP that will refresh its image after convening its congress? Moreover, there is the CHP of Kılıçdaroğlu who is skilled in assembling a diversifying figure into his party at every congress. A few disciples of some religious orders, a number of “socialists” who will equalize them, a bunch of religious scholars, as well as a few popular scientists…

Since Davutoğlu feels that the competition will escalate, he apparently wants to collect the elements soon. There are also local organizations; it is very important to include and diversify at that point, too. It is necessary to catch the surprise figures before everyone else!

What about the party program?

Except for one party in Turkey, and this party has nothing to do with the opposite side, there is no one else interested in the program. According to what has been revealed, everyone tried to include whatever they wanted in the program at a camp where the founders of Davutoğlu’s party met. Such a party that everyone can be a member of it, a party that everything can be written or uttered on it!

There are various rumors regarding the name of Davutoğlu’s party yet the biggest gossip is “Our Party”. Such a perfect choice. If you call it the “conservative party” then the liberals would be angry if you call it “liberal” many people would be allergic to this name if you call it “religious” then the secular models would run away. “Our Party” includes all these tendencies no matter where you look, no matter what you think…

Ethnicists, religious sects, capitalists, bosses, and “celebrities” will be put on the showcase…

Workers, peasants, retirees, the unemployed, and the poor are just doomed to watch them.

Until they smash things up…