How will AKP be able to go ask for votes?
President Tayyip Erdoğan addressed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members on November 23, as the currency crisis hit Turkey like a storm. The more Erdogan spoke, the more the Turkish Lira depreciated against the US dollar, Euro, British Pound and Gold. At the minute I wrote this line, 1 US Dollar worth 13 Turkish Liras. At the end of this speech, Erdogan instructed his party members to go to the field, ring every doorbell and ask for votes from people for the 2023 elections.
Speaking as the AKP leader, the President uttered the following sentence:
“In the process leading up to 2023, we will go to the door of each of our 84 million citizens, hold their hands and win their hearts.”
How easy it is to say, isn’t it?
So, how will AKP ministers, deputy ministers, deputies, Presidency cadres, party members, mayors, provincial and district presidents face the public? With their expensive and blacked-out office cars, armies of bodyguards and consultants in branded suits, or with their pompous attitude?
It won’t be easy. Well, what will they say to the citizens they go to, and what will they promise?
How long since have they not knocked on those doors?
Meanwhile, I would like to quote the statement of my baker friend, who said with embarrassment that the price of sourdough bread increased due to the cost of flour and gas.
“I voted for the AKP for years. But when our economic problems increased, I did not vote (AKP) in the municipal elections (2019). I could not vote for the CHP, either. I gave it to the Democrat Party, which I saw closer. But recently, one of our deputies came to the party’s district building (pointing to the building across the street). Official cars blocked the road. We hadn’t seen his face for years. We are the ones who voted him. I wanted to say hello and tell him about our problems. The guards did not let us approach. I called out; he did not look back. He will come to ask for votes again,” he said.
I was curious and asked. The deputy did not visit the shopkeepers as he had done before when asking for votes. He left the neighborhood after the meeting with the chairman of the district was over.
According to MetroPoll surveys, 12 percent of AKP voters find the cost of living “unbearable”, 34 percent say “it’s very difficult”, and 39 percent say “it’s hard but endurable”. Only 14 percent of party members say “it is not expensive”. 61 percent say “the economy is mismanaged.” This rate is 80 percent for MHP voters.
Now what are they going to tell them when they knock on those doors?
The threat of “if we go” is a dangerous trump card
Don’t you think the voters who complain about the high cost of living and the economic management see the joy of the AKP elite, the new happy minority and their children on social media? Don’t you think they see their situation and compare it with the discourse of people who said, “we eat onions and bread, we will not give up on Erdoğan”? Don’t they see that the newly happy minority holding foreign currency in their hands is getting richer and that the rhetoric of the Economic Liberation War does not stop the money in their own pockets from melting? Will religion, faith and social aid packages alone be enough for those who work and cannot work due to the economic crisis to ignore their deteriorating livelihoods, close their eyes and vote for the AKP?
2019’a dek hep iktidar seçim kozunu, referandum kozunu kullanıp muhalefet boyun eğmek zorunda kalırken, şimdi muhalefetin kovaladığı, iktidarın erken seçimden kaçtığı siyasi ortam ekonomik durumla doğrudan bağlantılı değil mi?
Isn’t the political environment where the opposition parties chase for early elections and the government hides away as opposed to their previous years where the ruling party had been using the election or a referendum as a trump card and opposition had to submit, related to the economic situation?
Even if they knock on those doors again and are welcomed, what do AKP deputies, ministers, deputy ministers, mayors and provincial presidents have to say to the electorate, apart from the threat “It will be bad for you if we leave”?
Moreover, the threat of “If we go” is a political trump card that is as dangerous as it is effective at all times, in every period, in every country.
You see, the day will come when voters can say, “Well then, bye-bye”.