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.
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.
ANKARA -- Erdogan has divided the country on ethnic, sectarian and lifestyle levels in an unprecedented manner. Traumatized by the terror attack, Turkey will first need to facilitate free and fair elections, then form a coalition government and then go about rehabilitating the country's deep divisions. Rooting out domestic ISIS cells must be a priority. The alternative is the Pakistanization of Turkey. We cannot afford to let this happen.
ISTANBUL -- The civil strife and jihadism that have torn apart states like Libya, Iraq and Syria have now begun to menace Turkey as well. The Turkish authorities have even turned a blind eye to ISIS activities within Turkey on numerous occasions. No part of the country, not even Ankara, is felt to be safe anymore.
A radical break with the past is the only way to provide the families of the Ankara massacre victims with the answers they deserve. The current state can't properly and convincingly investigate the political murders committed against its citizens. Only a truly new Turkey, based on pluralistic citizenship, can.
VIENNA -- The success of the mainly Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party in capturing 13 percent of the vote in the recent election -- a total well above the party's core constituency -- should boost the Kurds' confidence and ease the way ahead in the peace process. But the far-right Nationalist Movement Party performed strongly in the election, capturing 16 percent of the vote, probably owing largely to popular opposition to the opening to the Kurds.
Turkey is a radically different exemplar from Egypt. It says political differences can be mediated. Political ambitions can be tempered by the popular vote, while seeing through major structural changes to society and the economy, the curtailing of the deep state, and the advancement of minority rights. In a region convulsed, and fractured, by conflict, that is a powerful message.
ISTANBUL -- Having lost its majority in parliament, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's party will no longer be able to form a single-party government. In practical terms, this means the end of Erdoğan's dreams of changing the Constitution to create a presidential system. From now on, Erdoğan is no longer the only one in charge in Turkey.