(November 4, 2015)
AKP’s political strategy in November polls has paid off. Since June 8, just after the first round, the ruling party defined its new goals that led to such a resounding win:
- To keep the power at any cost. Sharing it and/or accepting another party’s influence on the state apparatus (e.g. justice, media) was seen by AKP leadership as an enormous risk due to the tremendous corruption cases looming ahead, coupled with severe accusations on war crimes in Syria and support of ISIL. Thanks to the nationalists of MHP, this strategy was successful as a possible coalition between AKP and MHP could not be reached. Therefore, AKP kept the power even if it had not outright majority;
- To develop an ultra-nationalist and ultra-Islamist discourse towards binding nationalist voters. The warlike rhetoric largely contributed to that. Many MHP voters turned to AKP this time, thus pushing MHP out of central Anatolia, its traditional fiefdom;
- To nourish a belligerent rhetoric and criminalize HDP as the political branch of PKK. AKP succeeded on that because PKK played very well its role responding to the state violence with violence, creating uncertainty in the West and urging conservative Kurds to come back to AKP.
Surprisingly, AKP achieved to get endorsed by supporters of smaller parties, a fact that unveiled the degree of polarization in the political landscape. Although AKP’s landslide was unexpected for the party itself and its political opponents, this broad support might finally be poisonous for AKP due to the following reasons: