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Expert says reforms in Turkish ruling party is urgent necessity

17 August 2017 13:21 (UTC+04:00)
Expert says reforms in Turkish ruling party is urgent necessity

Expected amends in the structure of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) do not necessarily mean that the party has weakened or no longer meets the requirements of the Turkish people; nonetheless, reforms in the party’s structures are inevitable, Atilgan Bayar, an expert on foreign and domestic policy of Turkey, said in an exclusive interview with Trend, Aug. 17.

Bayar said that political structures of the AKP party, faced with many difficulties, have accomplished a lot for the sake of the national interests of Turkey.

“Nevertheless, there are a number of reasons that make it necessary to reform the party structures of the AKP,” Bayar said.

According to the expert, one of the reasons is related to the necessity of the purge in the party ranks, in order to get rid of the members associated with the movement of Fethullah Gulen. Another reason is related to the fact that AKP really needs an influx of “fresh blood” in the form of young members.

“In Turkey, about 30 percent of voters constitute younger generation (of age no older than 35),” Bayar said. “Based on this fact, the changes in the AKP will be aimed at ensuring that the party meets the interests of the younger generation.”

The expert believes that another important factor, which makes it necessary to start changes in the party structures of AKP, is related to the fact that Turkey, after the referendum on amending the constitution that took place in April of 2017, has entered a new political stage of development.

The expert noted that in 2019, Turkey will simultaneously hold parliamentary, municipal and presidential elections.

“The political parties wishing to become winners of the 2019 elections will have to get more than 50 percent of the votes, which means that people’s interests will have to be put above party interests,” said Bayar. “Political parties and President Erdogan, will have to rely on important political figures that are very popular among the people, rather than on the party functionaries.”

According to the expert, at least 50 percent of the AKP’s political structures will be affected by the changes, and it is possible that serious changes will take place in the Turkish parliament before the 2019 elections.

“A certain barrier existing between the country’s president and some members of parliament (MP) is already felt today,” noted Bayar.

The expert doesn’t rule out that some MPs may leave the AKP and join a new political party, which may be headed by Meral Aksener, who was previously expelled from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Bayar thinks that the expected reforms in AKP, may also affect some media structures.

It should be noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his last statement noted that the AKP needs large-scale reforms.

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) was created on August 14, 2001.

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