Turkish voter’s changing consciousness: AKP can claim for 40 percent of electorate for several years more – ANALYSE

Turkish voter’s changing consciousness: AKP can claim for 40 percent of electorate for several years more – <font color=red>  ANALYSE</font>
# 30 March 2009 15:10 (UTC +04:00)
How will the results of local elections in the regions bordering on Armenia effect on the Azerbaijan’s interests?

Baku. Vugar Masimoglu–APA. Results of local elections in Turkey unveiled the changes in the voters’ consciousness. First, there is monolithic electorate in the country created as a result of long-year political crises. The Turkish voter’s consciousness was guided by the political ideas for long years. The people made their choice not for the promises, but for the political views and parties of the people they voted for. However the confrontation between the parties and unsuccessful government coalitions replacing each other tired the voter’s consciousness. The Turkish voter fears of the political, government and economic crises and therefore the voters supported AKP, which is not promising the fears. For that reason, AKP has won at least 40 percent of the votes since 2002.

AKP electorate was formed from such monolithic voters. The results of the municipal elections show that AKP can lead in the elections with 3-5 % differences while the electorate is not free from the fears of political and economic crises. AKP electorate is not only the conservative religious people, as it was in the first times. It includes various categories of voters representing the various layers of the society. Usually the governments in Turkey, for example Ecevit’s cabinet, fell because of economic crises. Despite there is more serious economic crisis in Turkey currently, AKP lost just a little part of its electorate and the economic crisis had insignificant effect on the municipal elections, because the Turkish voters prefer to vote not for the political views, but for the respective stability. In fact, AKP lost 8 percent of the votes, it had in 2007. However AKP has a chance to compensate its losses in the next elections because not only the political parties, but the personality of the candidates running for the municipalities.

How can the results of Turkish local elections be assessed from Azerbaijan’s aspect? It is obvious that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to Turkey-Armenia relations, especially to the opening of borders between the two countries. Of course, the results of the elections in the regions bordering on Armenia will play important role in the future relations of Turkey with this state. Another reason making these regions interesting for Azerbaijan is that the great majority of the region’s population consists of Azerbaijanis. But both in Kars and Igdir the results of the elections are not satisfying. Especially in Igdir, where 65 percent of the population consists of Azerbaijanis, it is a failure that the candidate of Democratic Society Party (DTP) won the elections. Head of municipality and parliamentarians in Igdir had been Azerbaijanis for 80 years, our compatriots mostly won as candidates of MHP, DYP and ANAP. For the first time in 2007 Igdir could not send an Azerbaijani to the Turkish parliament and yesterday for the first time in its history non-Azerbaijani was elected head of the municipality. Igdir, which borders on Nakhchivan, is a very important place in terms of Azerbaijan’s interests. Change of the demographic situation in Igdir, which borders on Armenia, Iran and Nakhchivan, may have a negative impact on the interests of our country in future.

The results of the elections in Kars can be assessed as relatively normal. Naif Alibayoglu, who supported opening of the borders with Armenia and pursued policy in this direction, failed to win the elections. If the new head of municipality from AKP does not continue Alibayoglu’s policy, this change will reduce the interest in the opening of borders in Kars. But this time it is possible that the development in Kars will be continued in Igdir and it is interesting what will be the attitude of the new head of municipality from DTP towards the opening of borders.