Possibility for a new AK Party in Turkish politicsÂ
By Ä°hsan AktaÅŸ
In my previous column, I wrote about the fact that the AK Party were not able to project a forward-looking vision in the general elections of June 7. The main cause of such a failure, I argued, derives from the fact that the AK Party requires “a new discourse for a new vision,” as it had already accomplished the goals that it previously set forth. In order to complete the analysis, we need to tackle the issue through several subtitles:
International Relations: First and foremost, as Turkey is situated in a vital geo-political location, each and every issue in the world has the potential to become a crucial issue for Turkey. Therefore, Turkey needs not only to look over its relations with the world, but also to determine a foreign policy that corresponds to that of an advanced and developed country. In this respect, it is significant to lay bare Turkey’s primary interests, as well as its threats, in the international arena by calculating regional and global dynamics that may either threaten or promote Turkey’s political and economic potential.
Regarding the Ottoman domain, it is also crucial to determine Turkey’s priorities in terms of the country’s capabilities. On the other hand, in order to stand together with the oppressed through a righteous foreign policy, it is necessary to not only improve Turkey’s foreign policy skills, but also establish a wide domestic consensus.
Public Reform: As the Republic of Turkey was established by the bureaucratic elite, Turkish bureaucracy considers itself not as the public servants of the country, but as the superiors of the people. Thus, bureaucratic clumsiness has become one of the main characteristics of the state. Despite the AK Party’s decade-long bureaucratic reformation and the former Prime Minister’s effective use of local state apparatus that originated from his political experience as a mayor, a comprehensive public reform that creates an active and democratic bureaucratic structure could not be realized. Therefore, it is crucial to revitalize Turkey’s bureaucracy especially in the fields of agriculture, technology, security and education in comparison with the advanced institutions of the world. In such a process of reformation, the genetic characteristics of institutions need to be firmly established.
New Technology: When the deceased President Turgut Ã–zal argued in the 1990s that new technologies ended the age of heavy industries, industrialists felt offended. Today, everybody is talking about Turkey falling into the middle-income trap. It is manifest that the AK Party took Turkey from a deep economic crisis to the income level of $10,000. However, an economic policy that solely relies on public investments and well-managed finance does not by itself take Turkey to a whole new level. Thus, the significance of production becomes once again evident, while such production should openly rely on high technology. Just like previous industrial plans; long-term technological plans need to be constituted, as technological adaptation is the key for a state to create national technology.
Educational Mobilization: If being a great state were the primary ideal of a country, each institution would be influenced by it. In the first years of general education, manners should be taught, while in the latter years science, technology and social issues should be set forth. On the other hand, universities need to transform into structures that innovatively produce science and business. It is also crucial that each university should cooperate with other advanced universities in the world.
In a word, a fully-fledged social mobilization is a must for Turkey in the upcoming decade. (To be continued.)