The recent elections in Turkey are unprecedented. For the first time during 13 years the governing party has lost the majority in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the Kurdish issues-centred Peoples' Democratic Party has gained seats in the parliament.
While the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Peoples' Democratic Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are occupied with political bargaining with AKP, openly setting forth their demands regarding the future government, experts say Turkey is suffering a political crisis. Erdogan’s program of turning Turkey into a presidential democracy is likely to have failed, they believe. Turkey will be more cautious in its foreign policy.
“The political crisis has already started in Turkey and possible solutions are now being discussed. Solutions may be AKP’s alliance with the other parties in the parliament or new elections. AKP is more likely to ally with the nationalists,” says Vahram Ter-Matevosyan, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences.
It is too early to discuss possible developments in the political life in Turkey and prospects for the Armenian-Turkish relations until the coalition government is created, Ter-Matevosyan believes.
Journalist Mark Grigoryan, who was in Istanbul on June 7 and during the post-election period, says Turkey has to face quite a difficult situation now. “AKP which is the actual winner has lost whereas the loser has won,” Grigoryan notes, adding he does not hope for considerable shifts in the Armenia-Turkey process because there is a political uncertainty and Turkey views relations with Armenians in a broader context than the ties with the Republic of Armenia.
“The Armenian-Turkish relations are important for Turkey both in the context of domestic and foreign affairs. The Armenian community and the diaspora are on the one side and on the other side there are relations with Armenia. This is a huge pack of problems hard to solve and, hence, it is not on the agenda presently,” Grigoryan says.
Artak Kirakosyan, Chairman at the Civil Society Institute, also believes there cannot be prerequisites for the promotion of the relations between the two countries on the public level after the June 7 elections. “The elections only showed that people are against Erdogan’s sultanic striving. They voted against Erdogan. And now the main problem Turkey has to find ways to address is the new government and Ankara will be more cautious in shaping its foreign policy,” Kirakosyan says.
The parliamentary elections are “the dawn of the end of Erdogan’s era,” lawmaker Tevan Poghosyan believes. Discontent is seen among AKP’s members, too. “I think now they are concerned over forming the government and it is interesting to see what Erdogan is ready to concede,” Poghosyan says. The lawmaker does not expect any progress in the Armenian-Turkish relations in 2015.