By Walid Shoebat
For the first time in 13 years, the Turkish AKP, led by President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu, has lost its majority hold on the parliament which held 312 of the 550 seats in parliament and now only holds 258 seats while the other three (CHP, MHP and HDP) now has 292 seats.
So does this set back mean the end for Erdogan and the AKP Party and are we to now eliminate the man of Turkey as the wrong candidate from being the Antichrist?
In fact, such a loss bolsters the biblical argument since unlike what most imagine, that the Antichrist storms in because through his charisma he gains a popular vote. On the contrary, Antichrist, as we are told by Daniel, does not gain prominence by majority support:
“With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.” (Daniel 11:23)
The Antichrist, when he emerges, he forms a league and advances with a small number of supporters. Historically, the AKP began from a small number of people, the Refah Welfare Party which participated in the 1991 elections in a triple alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Reformist Democracy Party (IDP) to gain 16.9% of the vote. It was truly the incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a former member of the party, but later founded Justice and Development Party (AKP) who catapulted the AKP to what it is today which still holds over 40 percent of the seats defeating all the other three. This is truly a victory for the Erdogan who started with “a few number of people”.
So now, when it comes to the elections in Turkey, the main question is who will lead the government: the anti-Christ Islamist AKP or the pro-western leftist CHP?
This is truly the crucial question.
Unless the three other parties (CHP, MHP, HDP) unite to overthrow the AKP, a development that would in itself be unstable, Turkey could face another parliamentary election within two months since the rule is that the four largest parties have 45-days to form a coalition government before Erdogan can call for re-election. Erdogan may seek this option believing that the prospect of a weak government would scare voters back into the AKP fold.
The victor in the end is likely for the AKP for two reasons. Firstly, with AKP’s 41 percent, the Islamist ultra-nationalist MHP could be the swing party in determining whether the AKP Islamists or the CHP leftists will lead the next government. Since the AKP did not drop below 40 percent of the vote, in that case the CHP and MHP’s gains would not be enough to outnumber the AKP.
Secondly, only had the AKP got below 40 percent it would be considered a failure for the AK Party, which now may be forced to form this coalition government with the partly Islamist ultra-nationalists MHP and even including the Kurdish HDP’s tiny swing (12.9%) which could result in a massive change in parliament, one that could either hand the AKP the majority it needs to initiate constitutional changes.
The MHP is Turkey’s far-right party and has a traditional Islamist and nationalist constituency similar to that of the AKP, although it generally abstains from religion-based politics and rhetoric, with its 16.4 percent of the vote and possibly entering a coalition government with the AKP will continue Turkey into its political instability and its ambivalent line toward Israel, the United States and Europe even further advancing Erdogan’s ‘New Turkey’ and his revived Ottoman dream.
This is the likely scenario that will take place.
As for the opposing parties, especially the leftist CHP and HDP which are resolutely secular. In order to create a minority coalition government with either the Kurdish HDP or the nationalist MHP; for the CHP, 25 percent it would likely provide the party with paths to a coalition government, but achieving this goal will be very unlikely. While MHP, CHP and HDP share a dislike for Erdoğan and have a chance to collectively constitute a majority of parliament, such a coalition remains very unlikely since the HDP’s desire for “autonomy” or “federalism” is considered an anathema to the CHP’s old guard, which has been weakened but remains strong enough to make a coalition very difficult.
The nationalist MHP’s base is far to the right of the CHP, and its foreign policy contrasts starkly with that of the CHP which is committed to membership in the European Union and a close relationship with the United States. The MHP opposes EU accession and is ambivalent toward the United States.
Unlike the CHP, the MHP emphasizes on national sovereignty and foreign policy and wants two separate governments in Cyprus—the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the Turkish Republic in the north—a long-term point of tension with Europe and an intentional roadblock to EU membership.
This will continue to cause Turkey’s drift from Europe and to expand further into its Ottoman sphere of influence.
However, having said that, it should be noted that the MHP did join a coalition with another center-left party, the late Bülent Ecevit’s Democratic Left Party, in 1999, so there is historical precedent for such a partnership.
THE MAIN QUESTION — WILL ERDOGAN BECOME THE NEXT SULTAN
In order that Erdogan becomes an elected ‘Sultan’, the AKP would need 330 parliament seats to put proposed constitutional changes to a national referendum and 367 seats to change the constitution unilaterally. The problem for Erdogan is that all of the major opposition parties oppose the proposal for a strong presidency since they fear that President Erdoğan wants to use a presidential system to consolidate his hold on power and is primarily concerned with eliminating legitimate checks on his authority. Today over 70% of Turks oppose the proposed presidential change including even 64% of the AKP voters.
But despite the unpopularity of the presidential proposal, Erdoğan might and is likely able to carry a national referendum by making it a personal vote of confidence by appealing to his popularity with half the country, much as he did in the August 2014 presidential election, when he won nearly 52 percent of the national vote. In addition, the 1.4 million Turkish expatriates in Europe who were allowed to vote for the first time in a general election have 60.8 percent support the AKP.
Also, the Kurdish HDP would set aside its differences of the Islamist AKP and form a coalition in which it provides support for AKP-led constitutional reform with the understanding that the new constitution would remove anti-terror provisions since the Kurdish movement is considered terrorist and tone down the aggressive ethnic nationalism of the current constitution to a more Islamist stance.
When we think Turkey, think anti-Christ, especially when Turkey’s three largest parties—which can agree on little else—issued a joint declaration condemning the European Parliament’s resolution to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide.
This alone speaks volumes.