Turkey’s referendum

Turkey’s future after Erdogan’s narrow win in referendum

Alwaght– Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the allies including the head of Nationalist Movement Party Devlet Bahceli have announced win in the referendum that will strengthen president’s  powers.

The hard-won 51 percent yes vote will pave the way for replacing the country’s current parliamentary system with a presidential one through amending 18 articles of the constitution.

However, many questions overshadow the victory. One of them is: will the Justice and Development Party (AKP) realize all of its goals on the strength of this narrow victory? In short, the answer is that the referendum has ended and the AKP emerged winner, though with narrow margin, and any contesting of the vote results by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and other opposition sides cannot reverse the outcome.

From now on, Erdogan will seize wider authority, as the parliament will no longer be able to work as a launching pad of the opposition body’s moves against the president, because the opposition lawmakers have almost lost the capability to set up roadblocks ahead of the now-stronger AKP.

This victory means that from now on the ruling AKP party will have much to say in terms of the administration, politics, and economy of the country. However, the analysts argue, this broadened jurisdiction will never mean it has gotten rid of all of its hurdles.

The experts even note that the victory day ushered in emergence of many serious disputes inside the AKP-led alliance. Now Erdogan as a president has ahead the work of investigating why the yes votes did not cross the 51 percent despite backing offered to his party from the two allied parties Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) led by Devlet Bahceli and the Great Unity Party (BBT) led by Mustafa Destici.

Erdogan has to deal with the question as why in the 6 big cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Adana, and Antalya which totally cast 20 million votes half of the votes expressed the no of the opposition to the constitutional reforms.

In fact, Erdogan now has to review and strengthen his party’s structure. In the new situation in the country the CHP led by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, People’s Democratic Party (HDP) led by Selahattin Demirtas who is now in detention, as well as other small movements out of the parliament hold no instruments in hand to curb the ruling party’s measures. Actually, the time is now for the Islamist and conservative camp to push the seculars and Kemalists to the sidelines in various economic, cultural, and social areas, a development that will very likely lead to further polarization of the Turkish society.

The foreign policy is another challenge spot for the AKP, especially when it comes to going the long of concluding the twisted process of Turkey’s gaining membership of the European Union.

But the realistic view is that no power and country will tell Erdogan it refuses to take into account his policies and demands just because he failed to secure higher than 51 percent of vote in his referendum to change the country’s political system.

In the shadow of this win, Turkey will not hold any election at least until 2019. Within this time, the president and Binali Yildirim, the current prime minister and leader of the AKP, will work hard to secure another win for Erdogan in 2019 presidential election.

Actually, the world has to deal with a Turkey whose ruling party and president enjoy wide-ranging leverage and are stable and influential enough to press forward for their goals. Such a Turkey, the analysts suggest, will hold appropriate play cards in its interactions with the US, Russia, Britain, and regional sides, particularly the Persian Gulf Arab states, and therefore Ankara will not retreat from its demands in Syria and Iraq cases.