New Turkey: old friends become rivals

New Turkey: old friends become rivals

By Rufiz Hafizoglu

 

April 2019 marked two years since since the moment of making the decision for Turkey to move from a parliamentary form to a presidential form of government and the Turkish authorities believe that “New Turkey” was established that month.

Until recently there was such an opinion that in economic terms, “New Turkey” was becoming a more powerful country, however, unfortunately, the economic pressure on Turkey forced Ankara to assess the current situation in a more realistic way.

Moreover, today Turkey’s main problem is connected with the economic sphere and the actual collapse of the national currency. So, in early 2018 the official exchange rate was $1 - 3.7625 Turkish liras, while by early 2019 - 5.3279 Turkish liras. According to the Central Bank of Turkey, presently, the official exchange rate is $1 -5.9709 Turkish liras.

However, the policy of the ruling Justice and Development Party, pursued during the last 16-17 years, allowed achieving significant success in many spheres, which earlier Turkey could only dream of.

At the same time, it turned out that the ruling party has recently lost a number of important politicians such as Abdullah Gul, Ahmet Davutoglu, Ali Babacan, Bulent Arinc. Members of the ruling party unofficially accused these party members of treason.

According to the Turkish media, a new party headed by ex-minister of economic affairs and ex-foreign minister Ali Babacan is being created in Turkey. Reportedly, Ahmet Davutoglu, Abdullah Gul, Bulent Arinc will join this political movement.

Davutoglu denied this information. According to some sources, there are serious disagreements between Davutoglu and Gul.

At the same time, President Erdogan’s appeal to the party members gives the reason to think that the creation of a new political party in Turkey is a matter of time.

In particular, in one of his recent appeals to the party members, Erdogan said that "you may be lured by new tempting offers, do not give in."

The abovementioned people have not been actively involved in politics for many years. But it is not a secret that in the ranks of the ruling party there is still sympathy for these people, including Ali Babacan, who can hardly be called a strong diplomat as a foreign minister, but at the same time he was one of the most powerful figures in the economic sphere.

So what will happen if a new political party headed by Ali Babacan is created in Turkey?

Before answering this question, it should be stressed that so far, there is no leader in Turkey who could compete with Erdogan in terms of charisma and political experience.

But in case of creating a new party, it is not ruled out that this political movement will be able to gain a great percentage of votes and a number of members of the ruling party, as well as other parties, will join the new movement.

Despite the Turkish authorities officially reject the holding of snap parliamentary election, it is not ruled out that snap parliamentary election will be held in Turkey till 2020.

The creation of a new party in Turkey may completely change the political balance in the country. According to some analysts, this may greatly change the current situation, by contributing to the creation of completely new Turkey.

It is still very difficult to predict future changes in Turkey, but today there are signs of the first great changes. One of them was Erdogan’s calls for the creation of "Turkish Alliance" (Türkiye İttifakı). Almost all political parties of the country, and in particular the Republican People’s Party, may join it. The only exception is the Peoples' Democratic Party, which was not invited to participate in the Alliance.

According to a number of political experts, the ruling party needs such an alliance to apply to the International Monetary Fund to obtain a loan to get out of a difficult economic situation.

Taking into account the current economic situation in the country, as well as the US pressure, Turkey’s politics will face four tense years until 2023.

 

10.05.2019

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