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He quit not for ‘ideological’ but for ‘political’ reasons. Mumcu, who has a ‘hyperactive’ personality, resigned from the government and the party in a very extreme reaction to certain defects that he detected in the AKP (Justice and Development Party) and the government. But Mumcu is not ‘uncalculating’. I believe he thought he had detected certain defects that would cripple the AKP and wanted to produce an ‘outburst’ today that would sow the seeds of a movement that would serve as an alternative to the AKP.
This is a question of life and death for Turkey, for the AKP, for the opposition and for Mumcu!
This question is now being spoken of more than it was three or four months ago. Events that appear ‘isolated’ are being connected in people’s minds.
For months it has proved impossible to appoint a ‘head negotiator’ with the EU … It has proved impossible to pass the three reform laws required under the agreement with the IMF … It has proved impossible to either to reshuffle the cabinet or remove this issue from the agenda … The government sometimes gives the impression of taking ill-prepared measures on matters such as the number of grant-supported provinces and the Higher Education Council law …
More examples can be added.
This performance by a government that up until 17 December has been extremely dynamic begs the question: Has ‘metal fatigue’ set in? Certain problems are also appearing in the AKP concerning the acceptance of party discipline and party policies; negative ‘outbursts’ that compromise government policies are coming from within the party.
Divisions even occurred over time within relatively homogenous and ‘firmly-rooted’ mass parties such as the DP (Democrat Party) and AP (Justice Party). It is clear that the matter of ‘party identity’ is more critical in the AKP, a ‘new’ and mixed party similar to Özal’s ANAP (Motherland Party).
If the AKP fails to do this and gets caught up in a whirlpool of ‘early destruction’, Erkan Mumcu’s words ‘Circumstances not individuals create parties’ will strike a chord with society.
The early destruction of the AKP and a return to disunity on the right are not in Turkey’s favour. Turkey lost out under the coalitions of the seventies and the nineties and has fallen behind many other countries as a result of this twenty-year loss.
The government and the AKP should act speedily at both the administration and party levels to blow out the cobwebs and resolve these image problems. The eventual alternative to the AKP should not be disunity on the right but rather a strengthening of social democracy.