By İhsan Dağı
SETA Policy Brief, August 2008, No. 19
The Constitutional Court ruled not to close down the AK Party, relieving Turkey from an unprecedented level of political uncertainty, social and economic turmoil, and potential chaos. Instead, the court chose to keep the ruling party under close scrutiny by declaring it “a focal point of anti-secular activities,” and imposing financial measures. Leaving the closure case behind the ruling party is expected to be more restrained, and to act responsibly as demonstrated during the proceedings of the case, while trying to strengthen its democratic and secular credentials through a reform policy in keeping with the EU accession process. The verdict may also have some ramifications on the opposition. It highlights the limits of the Constitutional Court to be a focal point of opposition against the AK Party. Having lost their hope that the AK Party could be toppled by the court or by pressure from the military, the opposition parties, especially the CHP, may be forced now to develop more down-to-earth policies instead of relaying on a mere secularist discourse against the AK Party within the political sphere.