‘New Turkey’, ‘founding leader’ and the tripartite tactic!
Erdoğan, 'the One man,' is the 'eternal,' 'founding,' 'everlasting' leader of 'new Turkey' has been poked into everyone’s face for years.
Ever since Ayhan Oğan, a former member of the Executive of the AKP and currently the president of the Civil Arena Platform stated in a CNN current affairs debate on 3 August that “We are now founding a new state, whether you like it or not, the founding leader of this new state is Tayyip Erdoğan,” the debate “whether the AKP is founding a new state or restoring the former” has shot up high in the political agenda.
Since these statements by Oğan, despite the relative differences of opinion while the MHP and CHP spokespeople have been criticising these statements as admission of “AKP’s destruction of the state,” “its desire to destroy it,” the official and unofficial AKP representatives have been claiming that Oğan’s statements only reflect his personal opinions and that these statements cannot be ascribed to the party.
As a result of the reactions, Oğan made a statement over social media. Stating that “as of 16 April, a new process has begun. This is the state’s restructuring and reorganising process, the process of its reestablishment,” he defended his original statement; and demonstrated his insistence by attempting to broaden his ranks, proceeding to remark that “just as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the founding leader of Republic of Turkey and the CHP, its founding party,”, this time “the leader of the process of its second founding is Tayyip Erdoğan and the political leaders who have sided with him.”
ERDOĞAN DOESN’T HAVE ANY OBJECTIONS TO OĞAN IN SUBSTANCE
President Erdoğan intervened in this debate with a statement made during a speech in Rize, the previous day. “We do not have any other state but the State of the Republic of Turkey. No matter who says what, they are all stories. As the leader of my party and the President, I declare our manifesto. One nation, one flag, one motherland, one state. End of!”
A seemingly “harsh” yet “average” statement!
Considering this statement, Oğan could well say “The President does not object what I said,” while the apologists could also assert “See the President disavowed Oğan’s statements.” Hence Erdoğan did not really end the debate as his supporters claim. On the contrary, it can be seen that the President has preferred to leave the debate open with loose ends.
For nor does the President’s statements say “No, I am not founding a new state and I am not such a founding leader.” Besides the AKP propaganda pitched across “new Turkey-old Turkey” up to now is along the lines of Oğan’s statements.
Yes, what is debated is indeed Oğan’s statements, yet, the coming to the fore of the statements of a person such as Oğan who has no “specific clout” within AKP, to be sure, is to do with the “political climate” which renders these words no longer as mere words.
ERDOĞAN IS BESTOWED WITH THE MISSION OF BEING THE ‘ETERNAL,’ ‘FOUNDING,’ AND ‘EVERLASTING’ LEADER
This political climate has come about through the following developments:
1- As known by all those following recent political developments, AKP has now taken over the goal of building a “conservative” society based on Islamic references in place of the current republic and structuring the republic according to the references of this society espoused as the “hidden agenda” of its precursors the Milli Nizam Partisi [National Order Party] and Refah Partisi [The Welfare Party] traditions. Hence, Oğan’s statements are being construed as the admissions of the strategic goal of AKP.
2-The discourse reiterated ever since AKP’s rise to power; “Fostering pious generations”, “plan and propaganda concerning the goal of building a conservative society”, “the transformation of the State Directorate of Religious Affairs [Diyanet] into an institution able to intervene all walks of life”, “imam preacher schools”, “enterprises to facilitate spread of Qur’an courses”, “granting muftis the right to officiate marriages”, “the religious skewing of the National Curriculum as well as the transformation of sects and congregations into the “civil” basis of National Education are all practices which demonstrate that Oğan’s statements do indeed correspond to something.
3-When the rituals surrounding attempts of “One party, one man regime” and the mission bestowed on Erdoğan is considered in tandem with attempts to render whatever comes out of his mouth into an edict by starting from the Prime Minister, ministers, governors to local administrators without any concern for law and rights and turning this into a mode of governance and structuring of the Parliament, of local administrations and of the state according to this, it can be seen that what Oğan states are not merely just words.
These attempts have been expedited with the 15 July coup attempt and 16 April referendum. And further, as can be seen from the line of propaganda pursued until now, that Erdoğan, “the One man,” is the “eternal,” “founding,” “everlasting” leader of “new Turkey” has been poked into everyone’s face on a daily basis for years now.
OĞAN’S DIFFERENCE WITH THE TRIPARTITE TACTIC OF ‘IMPLYING’, ‘ERODING’ AND ‘ACCUSTOMING’
It is incontestable that Oğan’s words are an expression of the strategy behind the attempts summarised above.
And that these statements have met objections is because the stage of openly declaring that “hidden agenda” has not been reached yet. For they view a direct confrontation with the traditional norms and modern life of the republic and with Mustafa Kemal as a possibility of alienating themselves from those sections who have voted for them in the 2019 elections (regarded as a matter of life and death for AKP), because of which they are seen to be opposing what Oğan says.
It is for this reason that official AKP spokespeople are opposing what Oğan has stated and claim to have no qualms with the Republic and Atatürk. But in actuality, they are involved with quite different matters. They espouse a tactic of “eroding” the gains of modern life and the struggle for democracy taking an indirect windy route, of “accustoming” and of gradually “overcoming it.” What the difference between Oğan and the officially AKP spokes people amounts to is at most this!
Yet it is also the case that the AKP spokespeople objecting Oğan, with Erdoğan first and foremost, at the same, are utilising the debate Oğan instigated as a means for their tactic of “implying,” “eroding” and “accustoming” (known also as “tactic of hypocrisy”).
The most realistic explanation of this very current debate so far is this. And, to be sure, it will be one to be continued in the days and weeks to come.