Costs of Saving the Neck
The governing AKP of Turkey saved his neck at last after the decision of the Constitutional Court. The closure of a political party necessitated 7 in favour votes out of the 12 permanent members. in the process 6 members of the court voted in favour of a ban on the AKP, whereas 1 refused the allegations completely, and the key 5 members indeed agreed that the AKP was to be a cradle of Islamic politics but it should not be banned, and instead be fined bycutting half of the AKP’s treasury funding. The head of the Court Mr. Hasim Kilic whilst announcing his decision commented: “I hope the party in question will evaluate this outcome very well and get the message it should get.”
But What is the message? The previous decision of the Constitutional Court in June of this year to cancel constitutional amendments that would have otherwise opened the way to wear a headscarf in universities clearly illustrates the message. You can govern as long as you can but you cannot continue your hegemonic attempt at hegemony, that of visualising Islam in all segments of the country especially in education. The message is: if you cross this red-lines again, even we cannot save you!.
The message implies a new strategy, this can be taken as the curbing down of the edges. The Islamist politics in Turkey does have a long history of closures and political banishments. This was a teacher-student relationship, in which the old elites, the vanguard of the Republican vision repetitively showed the Islamist movement their limits and the necessity to moderate themselves if they were to govern the country. The crux of the problem is: Will the AKP take the lesson? or will it attempt to overdue it in the long run?
I would suggest that, the AKP leadership would go to its grand strategy of keeping silent until the time is rife. this is a long war of position, a strategy which is not syncronic but diachronic indeed. However, the problem is the organs of the older regime. A careful study will reveal that, the panorama of the Constitutional Court will shift in the next 10 years because many members will have to retire, and these will be shifted with people near to the AKP’s vision, due to the fact that the President plays a key role in the selection of new judges. But we can assume, for the next five years, the AKP had to sideline its plans on ‘headscarf’ the ‘red-apple’. The question is whether a counter-hegemonic movement will emerge in this five years, which would challenge the AKP or not. If the CHP continues like this, with Mr. Baykal this is impossible….