The rise of the Welfare Party: This is what the schizophrenia did to Erdogan

Muslims Today Political science Politics

by Abdel Moneim Ali Issa

In a meeting held last Wednesday with leaders of the Justice and Development Party, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan summarized the reasons that led to the party’s defeat in last week’s municipal elections, saying that what happened “was not only a loss of votes, but also a loss of blood.” And the spirit,” considering that “the greatest enemy of a political party born from the bosom of the nation is building walls between it and the citizens.” Among those reasons, the president identified two in particular: the first is the problems of the economy and inflation, and the second is the war on Gaza.

The above-mentioned diagnosis is realistic, given that the first two reasons for the “defeat of March 31” were of the “old and continuing” type, but took on severe aspects in the period following the victory in the elections last year, while the second of the two reasons was of the type dominated by the characteristic The “newcomer,” who placed heavy loads on a fabric that established its ties with the surroundings on the basis of giving precedence to the facts of “ideology” over other facts imposed by the facts of political geography and economics. Evidence of the second reason is that there was an impact that seemed to be highly effective for the campaigns run by the leader of the “New Welfare” Party, Fatih Erbakan, through which he sought to establish an image among the voter that whoever votes for the “Justice and Development” Party is like one who votes to support Israel with weapons, before anything else.

In reference to the commercial relationship with the occupying entity, which was not affected by the “Al-Aqsa Flood.” The discourse here has a very sensitive character, given that it comes out of the fabric that essentially formed the womb from which the “Justice and Development Party” emerged 23 years ago.

It is difficult to say that Erdogan was not well aware of the influence of the two advanced factors, and what they could lead to, especially since his political record indicates Clearly, he belongs to the category of politicians who can determine the direction of the coming winds before they blow, which is confirmed by the momentary positions that he took from time to time, moving, successfully, from one “bosom” to another over the course of more than two decades. But what is most likely is that a defect occurred in the mechanism that provides a possible measure of the intensity of the coming winds for him, and this was evident through the “shock” generated in him when he observed the political map produced by the recent elections, which may pave the way for a revolution in the political scene within two or three years, if not. The wounds are getting deeper, imposing a reality that requires calling for new elections before their scheduled date in 2028.

The shifts of the type that occurred in Turkey are often the result of a stark difference between discourse and practice. It is true that there is an ancient discrepancy between these two facts, which can be sensed at several points in the past years without leading to the same result in last year’s elections, but it is also true that what was thrown at us last fall had a cumulative dimension, of a kind that does not… It takes a long time for quality translations to occur.

The evidence is that the legitimacy of the “Justice and Development” rule was based on two basic pillars, the first of which is the attempt to revive the Islamic legacy, which is deeply rooted in the Turkish collective self to a degree that “Ataturkism” could not uproot, and the second is the economic “deprivation” that the country experienced in conjunction with the party’s arrival to power. Authority in 2002, even though it was the result of a structure that was prepared in a phase that began in the early nineties of the last century.

The continuation of “legitimacy” here was dependent on the establishment of a balance between the two sides of the equation, of which “legacy – ideology” and “economy” are the two fixed sides, even if that balance was disturbed as a result of an action that was contrary to the claimed slogan, disintegrations occurred in the fabric of the “incubator.” This matter can be clearly seen through the rise of the “New Welfare” Party, which was revived by the son of its former leader in 2018, and now constitutes the third political force in the country with a representation rate of 6.1%. This rise acquires exceptional importance because it coincides with the almost complete absence of the “Future” and “Progress and Democracy” parties, emerging from the mantle of “Justice and Development,” which were originally established as a result of differences that concerned foreign policy for the former, and the economy for the latter.

But the “punishment” was not in the interest of the last two parties, but rather in the interest of the “New Welfare,” especially since Erbakan refused to enter, this time, into the “Public Alliance,” which he included with the “Justice and Development” and the “Nationalist Movement” during the May elections. And June of last year, as if this rejection wanted to confirm the necessity of returning to the three pillars that the founder and father, Necmettin Erbakan, said, which are the necessity of working to revive Islamic civilization, striving to find a kind of unity among its countries, and then achieving political, economic, and intellectual independence for Turkey. This assumes keeping it away from the orbits of American hegemony. In short, the “punishment” came in the interest of the “roots” and not in the interest of the “branches,” which is of great legal importance. It is now likely that Erdogan believes that the next “danger” is Fatih Erbakan, and not Akram Imamoglu, whose popularity has recently risen significantly.

The weight indicated by the scale when putting “welfare” on the scale may not be dangerous, but the danger is that that weight has increased by 100% compared to when it was put on the scale about ten months ago. Such a speed of rise was well experienced by Erdogan, when his weight quickly grew to gain the title of the first political force in the country a year after he founded his party.

Articles with byline express the opinion of its author(s) exclusively; such content does not necessarily reflect the opinion or the position of Islamic Societies Review or its editors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *