The statement has come from top of the government concerning Turkey’s military intervention in east of the Euphrates in Syria: “I have given the necessary instructions” said President Tayyip Erdoğan, adding that the operation could start “tonight perhaps, or tomorrow, or earlier than tomorrow.” According to what he said, Turkey would carry out air strikes against its targets in addition to ground action.
Not surprising, giving the fact that there were reports in media recently about Turkey’s increasing military deployment along the Syrian border.
President Tayyip Erdoğan has announced earlier in several occasions that Turkey would unilaterally initiate a military operation beyond the border against the threatening forces if Washington did not act together with Turkey on the basis of the Turkish terms of creation of a safe zone.
He now sets time for the operation: “Today… Tomorrow… Perhaps earlier than tomorrow...”
Not even a modest sign of sensation
Some individuals that I contacted to ask their opinions on the matter find such an operation unlikely, and I wonder why.
Some of these people are of the opinion that such a military intervention cannot be carried out unilaterally -e.g. without the USA participation. Some others believe that such statements, including this latest one, aim to put pressure on the US for a joint operation. Others simply say “Not possible” without giving any particular reason.
All of these individuals, however, when pressured, pointed out the restrained language in the statement of the National Security Council that was released after its last meeting a couple of days ago.
I must admit that I’m completely lost as to how to interpret these all.
While the media are expected to be filled with sensational commentaries since the announcement of the ‘imminence of the operation’ that came from Erdoğan himself, the highest representative of the state who also presides over the National Security Council, the topic of the intervention in east of the Euphrates hardly has any media coverage. Up to this point of time (05:00 AM), there aren’t any comprehensive writings on the matter on pages of newspapers on Internet. Most of the newspapers seem to be content with reporting the statement of “Today… Tomorrow… Perhaps earlier than tomorrow…”
Even the media seem to be looking on the words of the President with disbelief: very surprising indeed.
The topic found worth to discuss: alliances. . .
I have decided to fall in step with others, thus, I will write on a different topic.
Politicians don’t reveal it, but the topic of ‘election’ preoccupies minds of many of these people. The leader of MHP [the Nationalist Movement Party, the political ally of Erdoğan’s AK Parti -TN] and his party’s chairmanship council blames Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of CHP, the main opposition party, for having formed an alliance with HDP, [the Peoples Democratic Party is a left-wing, pro-minority party enjoying popular support from Kurds -TN]. They claim that Kılıçdaroğlu must be put on trial and his parliamentary immunity must be lifted to make this happen.
Are CHP and HDP in an alliance indeed?
Alliances among the political parties have been formed twice up until today: First, prior to the general and presidential elections on June 24 in 2017, then prior to the municipal elections on March 31 this year.
AK Party saw forming alliances as an effective way for maintaining its power, and formed ‘Cumhur İttifakı’ (People’s Alliance) with MHP considering this party as the closest to itself. MHP, expecting that such an alliance would bring new voters to the party, entered in the alliance with AK Party. Not only has MHP fulfilled its expectation for attracting new voters, it has also had a say in policies of Erdoğan’s government.
Because of the similar reasons, CHP and İyi Party [a nationalist, liberal-conservative party, established in October 2017 mostly by former prominent members of MHP -TN] formed ‘Millet İttifakı’ (Nation’s Alliance). Saadet Partisi [a religious-conservative party with strong roots in Turkish politics for long decades which AK Party originated from -TN] didn’t join this alliance, and HDP was kept out. İyi Party obtained the chance of participating the general elections by means of the alliance, and now enjoys a considerable representation in the Parliament. CHP too had the opportunity of winning metropolitan municipalities in elections in many cities through the alliance, notably in Istanbul and Ankara, the capital.
After the elections, alliances for election came to an end.
Of course, convergence and cooperation during the election alliances have led to close relations among the parties in each camp. Even, it may be argued that close ties between AK Party and MHP in ‘Cumhur İttifakı’ have taken the form of ‘collective power’ after the elections.
AK Party and MHP constitute ‘government front’ together.
Do CHP and İyi Party in opposition need to act in the same way only because of this close collaboration of the two parties of ‘Cumhur İttifakı’?
I do not think is necessary or inevitable.
If the country won’t go to a snap election and the next election will take place in 2023 as planned, of course.
Is there any intention for holding a snap election?
Because I explained in another piece before why I consider a snap election almost impossible for it requires consent of the parties of the ‘government front’. Therefore, I won’t go into details on this aspect of the matter.
However, it is noticeable that the ‘government front’ acts as if there is such a possibility.
The clearest example of it is the attempt for causing tension between CHP and İyi Party by the instrumentalization of HDP for this purpose.
The power circles act as if ‘Millet İttifakı’ between CHP and İyi Party didn’t come to end after the election.
Questions that come to mind
Would increasing level of tension between CHP and İyi Party really benefit AK Parti and MHP in any way today?
I could have been suspicious of some plans designed for taking İyi Party into ‘Cumhur İttifakı’ if it hadn’t been the MHP leadership itself who expelled the leading figures of İyi Party from its ranks, and forcing them to set up their own party in 2017.
No doubt that there are some MPs in İyi Party who weren’t in the ranks of MHP before, therefore would be welcomed by MHP if they wanted to see their party as a part of the ‘government front’. These MPs in İyi Party may be on target.
What needs to be asked here, however, is whether or not these MPs would find MHP as a promising option for their political prospects.
As you see, this topic too is as complicated as the supposedly imminent military intervention in east of the Euphrates that is said to start “tonight perhaps, or tomorrow, or earlier than tomorrow.”
Nevertheless, I feel that I can raise this question for consideration: Do you think that underlying reason here may be anxieties felt in pro-government circles as a result of increasing public interests towards the political formations on their way to organizing themselves into brand new political parties as the recent findings of public opinion pols point out?
[Translated by Bernar Kutluğ from the the article appeared in this site’s Turkish section on October 6, 2019]