Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.10
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Although the Turkish military having had a special status throughout almost the entire history of the republic, the army was completely removed from interfering in politics during the era of the ruling Justice and Development Party.
The prevention of the Balyoz (Sledgehammer)- Ergenekon coup by the Justice and Development Party signaled the beginning of the end for the country's army.
According to the Balyoz plan, an explosion during Friday prayers in Istanbul's Fatih and Beyazit mosques, coinciding with an attack on a military museum of the country, and the destruction of several fighters of the Turkish Air Force and then accusing the Greeks, the resulting chaos was the stage set for the Turkish Armed Forces to overthrow the country's government.
After the failure of the Balyoz-Ergenekon operation, a wave of retirements was observed in the Turkish Armed Forces as a sign of protests.
The government has also targeted the Fethullah Gulen's movement [Islamic public figure living in the U.S.] and is currently charging it with spying for Israel and the US; even though it earlier played an important role in the successful isolation of the army from Turkey's political life.
It seemed that after the purge in the Turkish armed forces, servicemen who resigned would not be able to return to political life in Turkey. However, creation of a political party "AS Parti" on Feb.9 by the retired servicemen, most of the founders of which are retired sergeants, is a step towards the return of the servicemen to Turkey's political life.
The founder of the party Cavit Kayikci made a statement saying that the party "AS Parti" will be committed to religious, national and spiritual values.
It should be noted that with the exception of the Kurdish Democratic People's Party (HDP), almost all political parties use an appeal to religious belief, which suggests that the religious factor in Turkey has already acquired a special meaning.
Given the fact that other political parties in Turkey such as the People's Republican Party (CHP), National Action Party (MHP) and the pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party (HDP) are not in a state of open political opposition against the AKP; one can say that the party "AS Parti" will not remain in the shade like most of the political parties in Turkey.
But one shouldn't expect the "AS Parti" to seriously affect the political life in Turkey, unless the AKP wins parliamentary election in Turkey, which are to be held in June, then the "AS Parti" could become a serious alternative to the opposition in the country.
Edited by CN
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu