Kınıklıoğlu on Turkey’s Ruling Party
This op-ed by Suat Kınıklıoğlu – former Member of the Turkish Parliament, spokesman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Chairman of the Turkey-US Interparliamentary Friendship Group – is worth reading for a perspective on the Turkish Model. Kınıklıoğlu, himself a former member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), notes:
[The AK Party] was an important democratizing force from 2002 to 2010. It managed to overcome many difficult hurdles until 2010. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan enjoyed unprecedented power and popularity that he could have employed to truly unite this country. He could have moved the party further to the center and also embraced those who did not vote for him. Instead, he chose to revert back to his roots. Given the fact that Erdoğan does not have an internal balancing factor, something [Turkish President] Abdullah Gül has, he has turned around.