Looking Beyond the June 12 Elections
The June 12, 2011, national elections look as normal as a democratic election could look in the Turkish polity. Do the elections signal that a stable pattern of parliamentary politics is likely to continue? The chances are that the same party groups will return to the parliament, but how many seats will each of them have? There are several potential scenarios. If the MHP gets about 5 million votes and if the CHP receives around 30 percent of the vote, even though the AKP obtains close to 50 percent of the votes, it may barely win a simple majority in the parliament and form the government alone. Or if the MHP fails to get 4 million votes and the Kurdish nationalists fail to get more than 20 seats, with no more than a few non-Kurdish independents winning any seats, the AKP and the CHP will share all the remaining seats among themselves. If we focus only on these two more likely scenarios of a simple versus super AKP parliamentary majority, we would realize that the consequences for Turkish democracy would be dramatically different.