By accumulating so much power, Erdogan will now be free to label any opponent as enemies of the state, or in AKP terminology, 'enemies of the national will.'
ANKARA -- The Turkish electorate knows that the AKP is corrupt, has strong authoritarian tendencies and continues to plunder (but distributes some of) Turkey's resources. But they also know that it can deliver services as it did until 2011. Above all, the voters favor stability and economic predictability. Fundamental values such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and free and fair elections constitute much lesser concerns.
The scandals, the palaces in the Bosporus, the prosecution of his opponents, Taksim Square and the violent confrontation with the young protesters, the hundreds of journalists in jail.. In the eyes of some of those who believed in him the liberator now seemed a dictator.
What makes Turkey's authoritarianism, especially the AKP's, so hard to battle, is that it is covered with a thin layer of democracy. Elections are being held, the turnout is high, no wide range fraud was reported, four parties made it into parliament. But the campaign was all but democratic, given the government's violence, further control over the press and detention of opposition politicians.
ISTANBUL -- In his seminal 1996 volume, The Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington described Turkey as a "torn country." According to Huntington, despite its adoption of Western institutions such as democracy and the rule of law, Turkey remains firmly rooted in the culture of the Islamic world and is therefore experiencing a "civilizational crisis." Today, Turkey is still the only secular, democratic republic in the Islamic world; sadly, under Erdoğan's increasingly Islamist rule, it is proving Huntington right with every passing day.
"This is a success exceeding our expectations," a party official said, acknowledging the scale of the victory was a surprise.
Turkey is a key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS.
The outcome of Sunday's parliamentary election will be important for Turkey's domestic stability, its role in resolving the Syrian conflict and Europe's migration crisis, and Erdogan's legacy.