Quelle sera la suite de l’histoire turque sous Erdogan ? – 12 Juin & Turkey after the elections !

La Turquie dans les mains d’Erdogan

Agenda caché ou non, Erdogan avait d’autres priorités. Asseoir sa légitimité. Celle de son parti. Contenir puis renverser le rapport de force avec l’armée, ce qu’il a fait. Jouer le jeu démocratique sans succomber au pouvoir judiciaire ou médiatique. Au besoin, les museler. Ce qu’il a fait aussi.

Ces dix ans de trajectoires nous ont menés au vote de dimanche. Mais après ? Quelle sera la suite de l’histoire turque sous Erdogan ? La question continue d’inquiéter. La corruption, dont les effets délétères sont pour l’heure en partie masqués par la très forte croissance, prospère à l’ombre de la position hégémonique de l’AKP. En outre, de nombreux signes de crispation autoritaire, sur la liberté de la presse notamment, laissent craindre une évolution autocratique du système Erdogan. Le Premier ministre a annoncé son intention de réformer le système politique vers un régime présidentiel. Une forte majorité ne laisserait sur le champ aucun réel contre pouvoir. Et si c’était cela, l’agenda caché ?

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Turkey after the Elections

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is on course to secure a third consecutive victory in parliamentary elections this weekend. Polls are predicting that the AKP could secure up to 48 percent of the vote. However, a two-thirds majority of the 550-seat assembly is needed for the prime minister to realize his ambition of changing the constitution without referendum and creating a new executive presidency for himself. The collapse in support for the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) following the release of sexually explicit videos involving its senior politicians makes it unclear whether the MHP will clear the 10 percent threshold required to enter parliament, which means the AKP could pick up additional seats.

The outcome of these elections will have implications for more than that country’s political model, however. U.S. foreign policy in the region and Turkey’s future in Europe will also be affected as prominent foreign and domestic policy issues await the next Turkish government, including a democracy deficit; the war in Afghanistan; Ankara’s role in NATO’s future missile defense architecture; Turkey’s stalled EU accession bid; deteriorating Turkish–Israeli relations; Turkey’s support of Hamas; and the worrying Turkish–Iranian rapprochement.

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Turkey’s June 2011 Elections: What’s Next?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM


Steven Cook
Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Burhanettin Duran
Visiting Scholar, George Mason University
Chair, Political Science and International Relations Department, Istanbul Sehir University

Nuh Yilmaz
Director, The SETA Foundation

The June 12, 2011 election results will have implications for the drafting of a new civilian constitution as well as for Turkey’s democratization efforts. The future of political parties will also be shaped by these results. This panel will analyze the election results, the positions and internal dynamics of political parties during the election process, and comment on the election’s broader implications.


Steven A. Cook is Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is an expert on Arab and Turkish politics as well as U.S.-Middle East policy. Dr. Cook is the author of The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square and Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey. He has published widely in a variety of foreign policy journals, opinion magazines, and newspapers including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Democracy, The Weekly Standard, Slate, The New Republic Online, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, and Survival. Dr. Cook is also a frequent commentator on radio and tv. Dr. Cook holds a BA in international studies from Vassar College, an MA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and both an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.


Burhanettin Duran is Associate Professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Istanbul Sehir University. Mr. Duran studied at Bogaziçi University before receiving his M.A. and PhD in Political Science and Public Administration from Bilkent University in Turkey. In addition to working as a Research Assistant at Bilkent University and Sakarya University, Dr. Duran has taught in the Department of International Relations at Sakarya University and Istanbul Sehir University. Dr. Duran’s research interests include Islamism, Turkish political life, history of Turkish-Islamic political thought, and Turkish foreign policy.

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Surveying Turkey’s Electoral Landscape

Predicting the winner of Turkey’s 12 June elections is hardly a difficult enterprise. The Republican People’s Party (CHP), the main opposition, is unlikely to improve on its performance in the 2007 elections, when more than 16 million voters, representing 46 percent of the electorate, opted for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), with the CHP receiving about seven million votes, or 21 percent. A third term for Erdogan, then, seems a certainty.

What is at stake, however, is whether the AKP government will be able to obtain a two-thirds majority in Parliament, and, with it, the opportunity to pass a major constitutional reform that could lead Turkey to adopt a presidential system. A second, critical element is whether the high electoral threshold, fixed at the national level at 10 percent of votes, will prove insurmountable for minor parties, and thus close Parliament’s doors to all but the two or three main parties and a couple dozen independent MPs.

The opposition: A new Republican People’s Party (CHP)

The CHP, the party created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and grounded in his ideology of Kemalism, has undergone substantial changes recently. In May 2010, the economist Kemal Kilicdaroglu became the new head of the party, after its previous leader, Deniz Baykal, had to step down after being implicated in a sex scandal. But the writing had been on the wall. In 1999 the electorate expressed its mixed feelings about Baykal’s old-school nationalist, secularist and anti-Western stance, relegating the CHP to a place outside Parliament, with only nine percent of the vote. Though the party did better in the 2000s, with 21 percent of votes in 2007, it failed to seriously threaten AKP’s hegemony. Since his election last year, Kilicdaroglu’s leadership has brought a breath of fresh air to the party, which now appears more liberal, modern and in touch with the electorate than it did under Baykal. Significantly, Kilicdaroglu has launched his own proposal for constitutional reform, in which he advocates a lower electoral threshold, and, among other democratic reforms, a deeper commitment to freedom of the press – the latter a not-so-subtle attack on Erdogan, who has recently attracted widespread criticism for a speech he gave at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in which he praised the recent arrest of two Turkish journalists (in a country that is already routinely criticized for its lack of press freedom). Despite Kilicdaroglu’s successful efforts at reform within the party, the CHP is still far from challenging the AKP. A credible, growing opposition it may be, and one now transformed by charismatic, modern leadership, but at present it is still no match for Erdogan.

( full analysis )

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