In countries governed by democracy, the ruling parties rise to power and gradually move away from power, usually at the end of their first term. For this reason, their work then becomes a note in the public’s memories. The transition of power means the outgoing government transfers the reins to another party in a relatively short time.
Some parties have gained dominant party status across the world, like the Japanese Liberal Party and the U.K.’s Conservative Party. After winning consecutive elections, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) became the dominant party in Turkish politics. Since it entered the political stage, the AK Party has won all the elections and referendums held in Türkiye and has been in the position of being either the most popular or second choice party in all provinces in Türkiye.
The sequence of events that made his party the dominant party of the country has also made President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan one of the most experienced leaders in the world today. Or vice versa, all the successes mentioned above were led by Erdoğan. Being the leader of Türkiye, which is on the axis of the world in terms of its geopolitical position, means being part of the world’s most complicated foreign policy issues. And the man who is part of such sophisticated issues is now the most experienced world leader and a chess master of world politics.
The AK Party has concluded many revolutionary innovations and thousands of investment projects during its 20 years of running the country. This progress has been the factor that has kept the AK Party in power for so long. But as the list of completed projects is too long to mention all at once and does not resemble the shorter lists of achievements of the above-mentioned short-lived-governing parties. Nowadays, every intellectual should spend time analyzing the 20 years of the AK Party and communicate this unbelievable track record to the younger generations.
The last 20 years
• Administrable Türkiye
The political scene in 2002: the financial gangs, composed of the leftover generals who organized the Feb. 28 post-modern military coup together with the media and the pro-Western Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) circles, squandered the state’s financial resources and left the country unmanageable. By the end of the second year of the AK Party government, the votes of the then-Democratic Left Party (DSP), the largest party in the previous election, had fallen to 1%. Even this data alone proves how the country’s politics and administration were driven into bankruptcy. The AK Party governments have managed to take Türkiye out of this swamp and convert it into an administrable country.
Military/civilian bureaucrats, the businesspeople who substituted the imported products within their safe-heavens constituted by ultra-high customs taxes and the Turkish democracy imprisoned in the NATO concept gained a remarkable vision during the AK Party governments. Following the European Union provisions has been very effective in the democratization processes of civilian politics in Türkiye.
• Investment campaign
AK Party governments accurately noted Türkiye’s requirements for investment and services and resolved all problems step by step in a very rational order. The list of improvements in transportation, health, education, business conditions, energy, agriculture, logistics and cargo sectors would include thousands of items over the AK Party’s 20 years. Today, one can compare Türkiye with Germany in terms of infrastructure investments. This claim should be analyzed in detail and transformed into a sound scientific study.
• From military tutelage to civil administration
Countries defeated in World War II formed a category. Although Türkiye is not in this group, with the 1960 revolution, it was also inserted into the same league, transformed into a country where foreign powers exerted influence through military tutelage. For this reason, even though theoretically civilian politics were in power, the steering wheel was in the hands of military tutelage from security to foreign policy, from the economy to public administration. It was customary to carry out a coup d’etat every 10 years. AK Party governments gradually increased their power and accomplished things that most thought were impossible, achieving revolutionary success, linking the armed forces to the control of political power, as it should be in democratic countries. This success is indeed the result of a determined struggle of 60 years.
• Regional power Türkiye
After World War I, there was a general assumption that all the states worldwide would be slaves of England and France until the end of the world. This belief lost its meaning after World War II. Hegemony passed into the hands of the U.S. Türkiye, which has been trying to progress gradually toward independence since its foundation, has taken decisive steps toward complete sovereignty under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Today, Türkiye is a regional power in the economic field and has a global impact, hence the effect of a global player with its effective foreign policy.
• Defense industry revolution
A good economy, a strong army, and history and culture are the three pillars on which an outstanding country rises. An awareness and a complete revolution have emerged in the Turkish defense industry. Today, local defense industry manufacturers are providing 70% of the defense requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
However, it’s not possible to summarize everything the AK Party governments have achieved in just one article.
Source: Daily Sabah