Can’t Erdoğan and the AK Party be criticized?
To tell the truth, I consider this question itself to be great injustice, let alone the efforts made to answer it.
Is there another party that has been criticized as much as the Justice and Development (AK) Party in our political history? Is there another politician or another leader, who has come under heavy criticism as much as Erdoğan? Did the late Erbakan and the late Özal and their parties experience one percent of the criticism that the AK Party and Erdoğan are being exposed to?
The AK Party has been severely criticized since the preparations for its inception, and Erdoğan has been criticized since the moment he stepped into the political arena.
The AK Party and Erdoğan are not only being criticized within the borders of the National Oath. The politicians and media of the U.S. and Germany are messing with the AK Party and Erdoğan under the mask of "criticism" day in and day out. Through the signal fire they have ignited, many centers in the world are targeting the AK Party and Erdoğan.
If it were criticism alone it would still be alright. But assaults come into play when criticism does not yield results. This party and its leader, which you ask whether they "cannot be criticized," have been exposed to assaults and threats, both internal and external, for 15 years.
The major factor that cultivated the AK Party and Erdoğan and brought them to the top is criticism. Unfair and destructive criticism that is far from the feelings of the nation has made the AK Party the party of the nation and Erdoğan the beloved of the nation.
Erdoğan frequently expressed that both he and his party have grown with criticism, by changing one word in Ece Ayhan’s famous verse, "We have grown by clashing with headlines, my brother.”
It is not only destructive and unjust criticism that has cultivated the growth of the AK Party and Erdoğan. The AK Party and Erdoğan have paid attention to constructive and sincere criticism, friendly warnings, suggestions and criticisms, determined their direction accordingly and built its success on this constructive criticism.
The AK Party's group meetings, consultation meetings, and particularly Central Executive Committee and Central Decision Board (MKYK) and Central Executive Board (MYK) meetings, are essential criticism and self-criticism platforms. Erdoğan is a leader who is capable of self-criticism. He is a leader who keeps the grounds of criticism in party mechanisms and listens to all kinds of criticism attentively and notes them down. His advisors can express any kind of criticism in his presence in a decent, courteous and constructive manner and believe that he pays attention to all of them.
Criticism and self-criticism are the closest companions of the AK Party and Erdoğan. It was like this in the beginning and is also the case today.
We have recently been faced with a criticism that the AK Party and Erdoğan have not experienced before.
There is a striking approach that seems to be gracious, pretends to speak and write internally, which begins its speech by saying "I am also an AK Party supporter" and then voices the most ruthless and unjust accusations.
Halime Kökçe addressed this topic and wrote a nice review in yesterday’s column in Star newspaper: “The discourse presented as criticism deserves a definition far beyond criticism. This now manifests itself as an oppositional stance.”
She says that the criticisms intend to “back up Erdoğan and the AK Party as an Islamist party,” adding that "the discourse presented is not criticism that paves paths, but illustrates an opposition front where the essentials keep quiet and agents speak.”
A few weeks ago, in my article entitled "Trap," I wanted to draw attention to this danger that Kökçe emphasized. I wrote that there is an insidious effort to create an opposition power from inside the AK Party.
However, I disagree with Kökçe on the timing and source of this insidious attack on the AK Party and Erdoğan. There is no doubt that the style that seems to be an internal self-criticism harms and spreads unjust mutterings. However, I do not agree that the threat of "creating an opposition from inside the AK Party" is the case at the moment and it is not these criticisms that feed this threat. Or not these criticisms alone.
As well as the criticisms that seem to be well-meaning, or that go beyond them, exaggerated, insincere, artificial, indecent, impudent and "soggy" attitudes adopted under the name of "defending Erdoğan and the AK Party" feed this threat. These attitudes not only feed the threat of "creating an opposition from inside the AK Party," but also produce the criticisms that we complain of.
The failure to see that there is a “reaction” other than an “action” moves us away from analyzing the threat. Some seem to be the AK Party and Erdoğan’s supporters, but they are never so. They are trying to eliminate everyone that they consider to be an obstacle to their pecuniary advantages. Seeing this threat alone means missing the whole picture.
Fortunately, the AK Party and Erdoğan also see the scenario and trap, as the self-criticism mechanism is operating very well. This debate of "criticism" will benefit no one, neither sycophants nor those who pretend to criticize.