News reports from a working-class context, opinion polls, the mutually contradictory comments of AKP spokespersons and the disputes among columnists in the pool media give us to understand that AKP voters are very confused!
If we add to this the massive U-turn for which no justification has been advanced involving the abandonment of assertions of “survival” and the “People’s Alliance” and reaching the stage of “we’re all in the same boat” and the deep silence that has engulfed the MHP, questions that are reawakened by issues such as unemployment, poverty, waste, mendaciousness, injustice, religious exploitation and holding the people in contempt abound in the minds of citizens who have voted AKP out of genuine concerns.
BİNALİ YILDIRIM’S CONFESSION THAT COMES CLOSEST TO THE TRUTH
Binali Yıldırım summed up this situation on the “Alarm Clock” programme on Fox by saying, “I cannot express myself. I cannot make my voice heard!”
These words are probably the thing Binali Yıldırım has said before and after the 31 March election that comes closest to the truth.
The lamentation “I cannot make my voice heard” from the spokesman (its candidate for Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor) of a power hub that has corralled 90-95% of the media into the “pool media” and has imposed a siege with prongs ranging from the economy to the judiciary on the “opposition” media is certainly a confession of the truth!
If this “confession” comes across as Yıldırım complaining, it is also in fact the confession of AKP propaganda, not least Erdoğan.
However, to get at the truth in this most correct of confessions, a small correction is called for because the issue here is not the inability of Yıldırım and other AKP spokespersons to make their voices heard.
The ruling party has no issue about being able to make its voice heard in a set-up in which it makes use so brazenly of such hefty media power and state resources. The basic problem here is that the things said inspire no credibility among the people!
LIE-BASED PROPAGANDA HAS LOST ITS CREDIBILITY!
Looking at events, there appear to be two key reasons for this:
1-) AKP propaganda is based on lies and is “provocative.” Since 1 April on which the rerunning of the Istanbul election was mooted, AKP propaganda, with Erdoğan and Yıldırım’s prompting, has been conducted based on bold-as-brass bare-faced lies such as: “We are the victims of the 31 March election. Our votes were stolen” and “Those who don’t vote for the AKP won’t go to heaven.” This propaganda, in turn, is premised on things like “If nothing happened, certainly something went on” (A. İhsan Yavuz), “The Greeks won the Istanbul election” (the AKP mayor of Esenler), “A game is being played with Trabzon people. Trabzon people have excessive numbers, influence and clout in Istanbul and it is because of this they have put up a candidate from Trabzon against us as our rival” (Transport Minister M.C. Turan) “They want to make this place Constantinople” (Erdoğan), and propaganda is being waged of a “highly provocative character” that all citizens, including a section of the citizenry that has until now voted AKP, greet with astonishment, wondering, “What are these people saying, what are they trying to say?”
2-) The AKP has turned into a party that he lost its credibility. At one time, a significant section of the people believed the AKP’s lies. Minister Albayrak characterized this situation by saying, “If we said we had made a four-lane road on Mars, there’s a crowd that would believe us.” However, the number that believe the AKP in this way has today, or in fact for quite some time, rapidly eroded, and it clearly appears to have regressed to a level at which it cannot win the big cities. Hence, despite so much media power and the expert use of Goebbels-like techniques, the people do not believe the AKP. Moreover, this loss of credibility does not extend purely to lies, and even if the AKP says “2x2=4” a larger portion of the people than before now think, “If they say so, there is a trick in this calculation.” Additionally, there are rapidly increasing indications that this trend is gaining increasing traction among working-class AKP voters.
THE AKP HAS NOT JUST LOST ITS CREDIBILITY, IT IS OUTRIGHT HELPLESS!
Thus, Binali Yıldırım making provocative pronouncements to the effect, “I cannot make my voice heard. This is why I have to make provocative claims like ‘our votes were stolen’” is a confession of “helplessness” as much as it is a confession that the AKP retains no credibility.
Indeed, the AKP, even if it brushes to one side a significant portion of the reasons it relied on to justify the existence of the People’s Alliance, cannot part from the MHP which condemns it to the “survival issue.” In fact, when it comes to the Istanbul election, it does not want Bahçeli hanging out permanently in Istanbul, aware of the price to be paid for getting the MHP’s grass-roots involvement. Furthermore, an MHP-less AKP falls into a minority in parliament.
In short, the place the AKP finds itself clinging onto today is in a squeeze that it cannot easily extricate itself from, not just in foreign policy and the economy, but also in politics. And, for the short term, it is “helpless” in the face of these problems!
As has frequently been proclaimed from this column in recent months, there are increasing indications that we are passing through a period in which “lies” are being cornered by “the truth.”
So, not just victory in the 23 June elections, but the struggle against the “single-man, single-party administration” and the struggle for a secular and democratic Turkey that will continue with all its vigour after the election will constitute the most important basis for continuing unabated to speak of the economic and political truths and stifling the lies in the corner they are trapped in.
(Translated by Tim Drayton)