The Failure of the AKP’s Total Transformation Project

As the last turning point; Erdoğan as clearly misread the nation’s fifty percent vote as a mandate for unfettered power at 2011 General Election. Not only is he now largely unrestricted by the judiciary, which has been manned with pro-government judges and prosecutors, or by the EU accession process, which has been all but derailed. He has also centralized all power in the party in his hands and he has used it to push liberals and center-right figures out of positions of power. In addition to these arguments AKP has a government that has only recently been re-elected with fifty percent of the popular vote. Moreover Erdoğan, who was once the flag bearer of democratic reform and humane government, yet who has lost touch with developments on the grounds, and who is about to suffocate in his own delusions of grandeur. He is talking disjointedly about women who should have at least three children, about abortion as murder, about people who drink beer as alcoholics, and about the protestors as an immoral bunch of looters. He disregards anyone, who disagrees with his views and tries to brand mark them as enemies of the state.

Not forgetting the aforementioned points, which are included to explain the essence of the protest in Turkey, AKP’s main political, social and systematically transformation policies and their disturbances should be elaborate.  In this respect, it is possible to see the background of the protest and main reasons why the society is reactive both AKP and the Prime Minister Erdoğan. At this point, it is possible to express that the 2013 Protests are the main outputs of these transformation process. To be much illustrative it is possible to categorize these transformation processes.

We can interpret the Gezi process as a final of AKP’s failure of several transformation projects. For instance, first of all urban transformation and gentrification; huge construction projects are initiated by the AKP government, which helped the construction sector to grow rapidly. These government-backed construction projects involve the “remodelling” of rural and urban landscape. Secondly, unemployment, poverty, deunionization, dissemination of the subcontracting system; as it was mentioned before, one of the faces of AKP government is hidden into its economic policies. AKP government is a perfect member of world hegemonic economic system which is possible to call that free market based neoliberal capitalist economic model. This model, which has been significantly getting an effective role during the AKP period, causes unemployment, poverty and deunionization by the help of subcontracting system. Thirdly, social security system transformation; One of the main the reason behind the electoral victories of AKP is more complicated, the story of success of neo-liberalism is the same as the story of successful transformation of the social field in Turkey as in other Third World countries. In this sense, transformation of the social policies has played a key role. It is one of the most important aspects of reinventing the social so as to restructure society around neo-liberal ideals. In addition to the accelerating growth of informal sector and flexibilization of the labour market (which paves the ground for institutionalization of subcontracting, and part-time work and facilitates the ending of wage contracts), transformation of social policies in the Third World countries both eliminate the redistributive role of the state, and establish a new regime of prudentially and calculation in which every individual is deemed responsible for calculating his/her own future risk and taking necessary measures against it (Bora, 2011:126-127). Therefore, besides changing the relation between state-market and state-society, social policy reforms also attempt to establish a new form of subjectivity. Recent developments in the social security system in Turkey should also be seen as a part of this process. In here it has to be said that AKP’s transformation of social security system seems greatly use full in the first sense. However that this new neo-liberal system create a great many aggrieved people who protested the AKP government in 2013 Protests. Fourthly, transformation in the media, oppressions against the journalists; the state of press freedom in Turkey has recently been in the spotlight, particularly after Reporters without Borders declared the country as “the world’s biggest prison for journalists” last December. While concerns about press freedom in Turkey are not new, a series of recent reports reveal a rather disturbing declining trend in the country’s press freedom.

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