Brainstorming an AKP Successor
"On June 10, writing in the liberal daily Radikal, Murat Yetkin, who is one of the most reliable journalists in Turkey, quoted unnamed AKP officials as admitting that they had now begun making plans for the creation of a new political party to replace the AKP if, as expected, it is eventually closed. They said that they had yet to decide on a name for the new party but had already begun to draw up a list of possible candidates to oversee its regional organization (Radikal, June 10).
"There was no indication, however, as to whether there had been any discussions about the possible composition of the new party’s leadership. Yalcinkaya’s indictment calls for 71 current and former members of the AKP, including Erdogan, to be banned from membership in any political party for five years. As the result of a loophole in Turkish law, Erdogan would still be able to run for parliament as an independent and, if asked to form a government by President Abdullah Gul, could even once again become prime minister. But if he is banned from being a member of any political party, Erdogan would not able to lead the successor party to the AKP."
The AKP has been in power since 2002, and won a landslide in 2007, even taking seats in Kurdish southeast of the country. However, in Turkey, enforced irreligiosity trumps democracy.