An AKP-neo-nationalist axis?

Emre Uslu
Emre Uslu


Date posted: March 14, 2012

Emre Uslu, 14 March 2012

Turkey’s foremost thinker, Etyen Mahçupyan, in the Zaman daily, underlined an interesting rapprochement between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the neo-nationalist (Ulusalcı) camp in Turkey. Mahçupyan listed a number of indicators to provide evidence for his argument. Indeed, the indicators he gives are worrisome and show possible convergence between the two camps.

Here, I will further explain why such a convergence is possible. First, both the neo-nationalists and the AKP government share a similar fear of outside political actors. For instance, many influential AKP leaders (not the AKP’s voting base) believe the Gülen movement is associated with the US and Israel and functions as a tool to deepen US and Israeli interests inside Turkey. This argument is not a new one to the neo-nationalist camp. They are the ones who have been promoting this idea to use it as a tool against the Gülen movement (aka Hizmet movement), and the AKP government, too, for that matter.

After the Mavi Marmara crisis, when the Gülen movement criticized the way the AKP government handled the process, many AKP leaders took the criticism as a sign of rupture between the two political groups.

Secondly, an influential group within the AKP leadership shares a similar view to the neo-nationalist camp when it comes to foreign policy preferences. They both do not trust the West as much as they trust Iran and the Muslim leaders around Turkey. Thus, both the neo-nationalists and this group within the AKP promote the idea of distancing Turkey from the West and establishing better relations with the Middle and Far East.

Given the fact that the political climate in the European Union is not all that positive toward Turkey, this group within the AKP and the neo-nationalists work toward the same purpose of establishing better relations with the East. Will they be successful in distancing Turkey from the West? No, it is not all that easy. But they may successfully turn the Turkish political climate against the European Union, democratic reforms, etc.

Both the neo-nationalists and the AKP government share a similar fear of outside political actors. For instance, many influential AKP leaders (not the AKP’s voting base) believe the Gülen movement is associated with the US and Israel and functions as a tool to deepen US and Israeli interests inside Turkey. This argument is not a new one to the neo-nationalist camp. They are the ones who have been promoting this idea to use it as a tool against the Gülen movement (aka Hizmet movement), and the AKP government, too, for that matter.

Third, both the AKP and the neo-nationalists share a base of people who disagree with the Armenian genocide claims. As 2015 approaches, the 100th anniversary of the events draws near. The AKP government simply funds anti-Armenian activities around the world, including funding academics to publish books and so-called NGOs to campaign against Armenian genocide claims, etc. One could easily argue that although the AKP government fought against the “establishment” in Ankara, it has maintained strong relations with the “establishment abroad.” The “establishment abroad” means the group, mainly in the US and Europe, that has been receiving funding from the Turkish “deep state” to fight against the Armenian claims. For instance, while the AKP government fought with the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the country, Şükrü Elekdağ, a former diplomat and CHP deputy, was always treated well and promoted traditional Turkish positions abroad.

It seems that the AKP realized that the close partnership with the neo-nationalist power centers abroad could also be established inside Turkey. Since the military is no longer a threat to the AKP government and since the judiciary is no longer an opposition force to the AKP government, it seems that the AKP government has found many things in common with neo-nationalist circles to establish better relations.

Given the fact that leading AKP figures, such as Bülent Arınç and Beşir Atalay, send friendly signals to Ergenekon circles, it is likely we will see much closer relations between the AKP and neo-nationalists. At the very least, it seems that the AKP will refrain from fighting with the neo-nationalist camp, which would bring the two camps much closer in the near future.

Source: Today’s Zaman http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-274319-an-akp-ulusalci-axis.html

 


Related News

PM made the wrong choice

Erdoğan put under the spotlight US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone by stating: “Recently, very strangely, ambassadors have gotten involved in some provocative acts. I am calling on them from here to do your job. If you leave your area of duty, this could extend into our government’s area of jurisdiction. We do not have to keep you in our country.” These caustic sentences prove that the AK Party has decided to declare a war not only against the Hizmet movement but also to provoke tensions with the US. Since they have opted for a defensive attack strategy, this reaction does not surprise anyone.

Hizmet movement rejects claim of forming political party

Hizmet says it is both practically and theoretically impossible to form a political party or to support a specific party, as it has volunteers from many different political ideologies. “This movement, which has no other goals than to serve humanity, would only advise its volunteers to form their political stances according to certain principles, like human rights, democracy, transparency, justice, pluralism, rule of law and freedom of expression and belief,” the statement said.

Abant meeting calls for commitment to EU process, new constitution

SEVGİ AKARÇEŞME, ABANT/BOLU/TURKEY Participants of the three-day-long Abant Platform meeting have emphasized the need to finish drafting a new constitution, stressed the importance of a state that is equidistant to all beliefs and underlined the significance of reviving Turkey’s membership talks with the European Union. Long a byword for describing a gathering that attracts a […]

81-year-old man sentenced to 10 years in jail over Gulen link

Mustafa Türk, an 81-year-old Turkish who has been under arrest over a year, was sentenced to 10 years in jail on charges of membership to a terrorist organization.

CHP leader says Erdoğan’s UN speech only served to promote Gülen movement

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized a speech delivered by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a UN meeting on Tuesday in which he called on world leaders to take measures against the faith-based Gülen movement, saying that Erdoğan’s speech only served to promote the Gülen movement.

Erdoğan admits gov’t capitalized on coup attempt to pursue Gülen movement

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a speech in New York on Thursday that a failed coup attempt on July 15 presented him with opportunities that are not available in normal times.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

A cami and cemevi together

Dismissed policeman detained while applying to post-coup rights commission

Family, friends losing hope as Calgary imam arrested in Turkey remains imprisoned

Third suspicious disappearance in a week: Teacher dismissed in post-coup crackdown not seen for 14 days

The Erdoğan-Gülen encounter and democracy

Albania: Erdoğan given appropriate response to ‘political’ request on Turkish schools

Turkish authorities unlawfully arrest pregnant woman on alleged Gülen links

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News