Erdogan is not failing to kill Kurds, the fighting is going just fine with enough dead bodies produced by both sides to make Erdogan and PKK delighted about their prospects and impress their diehards. Turkey’s national Kurdish HDP party remains demanding the PKK to disarm as was reported on July 15th in the Hurriyet Daily News and other papers. Mahmoud Abbas and Jerry Adams could take lessons Selahattin Demirtas but he is clearly expressing collective exhaustion by the fighting over the years and that kind of fatigue is what is required to make peace with terrorists. Success within the political spear is also necessary, the HDP had an unprecedented success in the last election, taking support away from Erdogan’s AKP which has ironically sparked this latest round of fighting. In a government that is only capable of the most Byzantine political alliances, a government which only makes cynical political moves, the sudden betrayal of the Kurds and ending the peace talks after the election didn’t produce votes for the AKP but the behavior stood out as pretty cynical even for them. Like the HDP to the PKK, the Turkish population doesn’t appear to be going along with this war. A Gezici poll in Turkey shows a slight drop in votes for AKP to 38% which is only 1% drop but shows that the AKP is not recovering votes lost in the last election.
Erdogan’s contract with the public has failed. Turks cannot ignore the all the building that happened during its administration or its political improvement as a player on the world stage but everything it was supposed to stand for has been rolled back. The AKP was supposed to secure civil rights for religiously conservative Turks without eroding anyone else’s rights but through government pressure and forcing laws through the legislature many secular freedoms have been rolled back, frequently minor ones such as limits on alcohol sales but were noticed by the secular majority. Also, having journalists outside of jail has become a luxury rather than a standard, the crack down on by the police on the Gezi protesters is still an open wound for many. Erdogan is urging people to vote of stability because the constitution requires he not directly endorse the AKP but a police state at war with a third of the population while bullying the majority is not the stability people are looking for and the economy is faltering.
Economically, Turkey has slid backward. While the AKP did not break the inflation spiral over a decade ago, it managed the economy well with relatively good monetary policies, very smooth transitioning of the Turkish Lira to denominations that made non-inflationary sense. The Turkish Lira was always the weakest of the BRICS currency in terms of debt and foreign currency reserves yet most of the building debt is financed in dollars and building has been the core constituency for Erdogan’s AK party. Drawing support from conservative Muslims in the black sea region of Turkey, economic opportunity and public works projects brought the AKP many voters who always felt on the outside looking in on the republic. With the Lira severely down against the dollar after a decade of Erdogan directly interfering with interest rates, the whole building sector is now operating at a loss. Meanwhile, every foreign policy initiative has failed, Turkey is not trusted by any Middle Eastern nation except Qatar, the US President with whom he was always able to get a photo opportunity now avoids direct contact -- even Erdogan has admitted the relationship has gone cold. AK means white as in pure but the AK Partisi as they like to be called is anything but pure, Erdogan has had to disrupt police and Judicial institutions to avoid investigation of his friends and family for corruption. The AKP has admitted the arrest and conviction of many military people for a fictional coup were based on falsified evidence but is now in waging lawfare against the Gulenist movement who were the co-conspirators against the Military and previously close allies of the AKP.
Renewing war with the Kurds is Erdogan’s attempt to “wag the dog” with Turkish voters but it is not working, AKP continues to slip in the poles which means the last election was not an abnormality and the snap elections engineered by Erdogan may only be detrimental for him. The President pushed hard for snap elections with the unprecedented move in denying the number two CHP a chance to form a government. Erdogan has exceeded his powers as president, the public seems very much aware the man they voted into a ceremonial office wants to the Government to be more like Putin’s Russia rather than a Western Democracy. Unfortunately for President Erdogan, Russia isn’t doing so well either.