What a relief that the authoritarian forces in this country, who favor the status quo, got insufficient support from Turkey’s constitutional court. The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party of prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, that did more since 2002 to modernize Turkey and to give its citizens more freedom that any other party in the last 15 years, will not be closed.
The top court decided on a political verdict in this highly political case: yes, the majority of the eleven judges said, the AK party is guilty of anti-secular activity to undermine Atatürk’s secular republic, but not serious enough to close down the party as the prosecutor had wanted.
The judges didn’t want to go all the way because the evidence of the prosecution wasn’t convincing at all. And the main ‘sin’ according to the state ideology – freedom for Islamic headscarves at universities – was declared as an eternal taboo by the same judges earlier this year.
Erdogan won this battle but not the war to transform turkey into an open, tolerant society in which the state adheres to a democratic secularism and its citizens will have freedom of religion. The main opposition party, CHP, which is only in name social democratic and modern, will continue to block and sabotage the modernization policy of Erdogan by taking every government initiative to the constitutional court.
The CHP has already threatened with new ‘political chaos’ if Erdogan refuses to obey to their never ending demands and dares to change the authoritarian constitution that was written during the military junta of 1980-83. Hoping for a reconciliation or consensus with these anti-democrats is naïve.
You don’t have to be a Turkish fortune teller to predict that the next political crisis is just around the corner.