This post has been updated: Here’s more on AKP’s candidate list.
The parties have published their slates for the the June national elections. In AKP, Erdogan has consolidated his cadre, pushing out the remaining National View (Islamist) voices in favor of younger, educated men who have demonstrated their loyalty. Two of them are former heads of the party’s youth branches. One-fifth of the AKP’s 550 candidates are legal experts, in line with the government’s upcoming push to rewrite the constitution according to what the news article (here) called a more “libertarian” approach. Libertarian has a very specific connotation in the US, referring to a rather radical belief in individual liberty, small government, and minimal regulation that puts the citizen almost off the grid. Kind of back to a largely fictional era of self-reliance, the Wild West where government never interfered (even in regulating pornography) or assisted people with things like subsidized mortgages and Medicare. A totally hands-off government. Somehow I find that hard to imagine in Turkey. What was the Turkish word they translated as “libertarian”?
It would be nice if the hard-working heads of the women’s branches were also rewarded with a seat at the table, but there are no women’s names on the list of central players (click here for the article). No women were nominated for places where they had a chance to actually win. CHP nominated 20 percent women, AKP 14 percent, MHP 12 percent, with 12 women as independent candidates. The women’s names are placed toward the end of the lists where they have little chance of being elected. The best-case outcome if the women were all elected would be 20% women in parliament. (click here)
And there are almost no minorities. Two Syriacs and two Jews will run for the legislature; no party chose to nominate an Armenian candidate, proving earlier predictions wrong. Only one of these candidates, according to the media, stands a chance of being elected. (click here) Non-Muslims are unhappy about this, needless to say. If Erdogan wishes to get rid of ethnic nationalist “red lines” in Turkey as he broadcast in a pre-election speech, he should start at home in his own party. The future for women wasn’t mentioned at all.