Ali Ihsan Kahraman

Table of Contents

Abstract #

The article is exactly the product of an effort to understand and systematize
the dynamics of change in Turkey’s internal dynamics. In this way, he believes
that a basis will be formed for a more accurate understanding of the changes
in Turkey’s foreign policy. This article will try to establish this ground only and will
concentrate entirely on its effects on the domestic economy-political plane. Therefore,
the question of how the changes in the domestic economy-political plane affect
foreign policy will not find an answer and examples in this article. The purpose of
not discussing the connection points with foreign policy in this article is to reveal the
dynamics in the domestic economy-political plane in a comprehensive and holistic
understanding. Discussing it in relation to foreign policy has been taken out of the
scope of the article, as it may constantly shift the focus of the article and make it
difficult to understand and explain the systematics presented. However, the answer
to the question of how foreign policy is affected will be discussed in another study.



Turkey’s foreign policy during the AK Party period has been the subject of considerable debate in recent academic studies. We can address these discussions, which have been held since 2001, under several headings. The first is the axis shift discussions. During this period, the AK Party’s efforts to establish close contacts with the Middle East coun­tries and its emphasis on historical ties in this regard led to malicious comments that Turkey’s axis shifted from being pro-Western to a Neo-Ottomanist plane (Ünay, 2013,
p. 354). ). This debate was cut almost like a knife in the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring. After many discussions about the policies followed by Turkey in the Egypt and Libya processes, the focus of which was not clear, Syria policy has been placed on the agenda of foreign policy discussions. As a result, the foreign policy preferences that emerged during the AK Party government were discussed in many debates with varying focus. However, the common point of these discussions is that their approach, whether neo-realist or neo-liberal, does not consider the state as a homogeneous struc­ture, but as a static structure. In other words, although it is accepted that the capacity of the state to produce policy is variable, the reasons for the changes in this capacity have not been examined much. In the article in your hand, it is thought that the reasons for this lack of discussion in Turkey’s foreign policy are not fully understood. However, understanding the changes in Turkey’s internal dynamics will make it easier to under­stand the changes in its foreign policy.

The article is exactly the product of an effort to understand and systematize the dy­namics of change in Turkey’s internal dynamics. In this way, he believes that a basis will be formed for a more accurate understanding of the changes in Turkey’s foreign policy. This article will try to establish this ground only and will concentrate entirely on its effects on the domestic economy-political plane. Therefore, the question of how the changes in the domestic economy-political plane affect foreign policy will not find an answer and examples in this article. The purpose of not discussing the connection points with foreign policy in this article is to reveal the dynamics in the domestic economy-po­litical plane in a comprehensive and holistic understanding. Discussing it in relation to foreign policy has been taken out of the scope of the article, as it may constantly shift the focus of the article and make it difficult to understand and explain the systematics presented. However, the answer to the question of how foreign policy is affected will be discussed in another study.

The 2001 economic crisis is accepted as the starting date of the change in internal dy­namics that can explain the changes in Turkey’s foreign policy. Turkey experienced a major economic crisis in 2001, and the starting reason for this economic crisis was the dynamics of the political system. After the President threw a constitutional booklet in front of the members of the Council of Ministers at the NSC, an economic depression broke out and Turkey was faced with a serious crisis. This crisis, which was experi­enced in the economy due to political dynamics, turned like a boomerang and changed the political dynamics in the post-2001 period. The state order, which was already ex­periencing difficulties due to the increase in the problems in the structure and func­tioning of the public administration order before 2001 (Şengül, 2003, p. 56), came to a completely inoperable level after the 2001 crisis. However, the fact that the 2001 crisis is a multidimensional phenomenon that should be evaluated with economic, political and governance-oriented analyzes (Celasun, 2002, p. 5) makes it necessary to focus on how the 2001 economic crisis could also change the political dynamics. The way that an economic crisis can also change the political dynamics is if the state enters into a legiti­macy crisis. Because not every economic crisis has the potential to change the political dynamics. Therefore, it is accepted that the Republic of Turkey entered into a legitimacy crisis in the 2001 crisis and it is thought that the main purpose after 2001 is to eliminate this legitimacy crisis. As a result, the political legitimacy crisis brought about by the economic impasses of 2001 caused the winds of change in the state-society relations to blow. It is argued that the fundamental change in state-society relations was achieved by the transition from the hard state-repressed society school that was valid before 2001 to the soft state-changing society school after 2001. This article attempts to clarify how this transition was achieved. It will carry out this effort by explaining the systematic of the new vortex that Turkey has entered after 2001, and then by concentrating on how this systematic is experienced in Turkey.


The 2001 crisis in Turkey created a heavy economic and political wreckage. In addition to the heavy economic cost and an intense management crisis that this wreck has to deal with for Turkey, another meaning is that the society is going through a heavy psy­chological trauma. Throwing cash boxes in front of the Prime Minister and the increase in unemployment protests and union actions are indicators of the deterioration in the psychology of the society. The meaning of the psychological traumas experienced by the society for the state is the legitimacy crisis experienced or likely to be experienced in the eyes of the society. In our article, legitimacy crisis is defined as the general accep­tance of the idea that the state cannot and cannot fulfill its basic functions in the eyes of the society. When faced with a legitimacy crisis, states make it a priority to implement the tools and policies to eliminate this crisis. For a state, its legitimacy in the eyes of its society will come first. Therefore, the 2001 crisis is a signal for the state not only of eco­nomic disorders, but also of political and society-state relations. As a result, the highest priority of the Republic of Turkey after the crisis was the improvement of state-society relations.

In this section, it will be discussed how the state has taken steps to eliminate the legiti­macy crisis in the society and a proposal will be presented. Only one thing needs to be underlined. It is claimed that the steps mentioned here are neither consciously planned by a ‘state’ institution, nor are they realized only by social dynamics without the inter­vention or direction of any state institution. Rather, a mixture of these two possibilities is thought to occur. In other words, after 2001, both the conscious interventions of state institutions and the developments that were guided only by the instantaneous social mind without the need for the state’s guidance took place. As a result of this assump­tion, there is no consensus as to whether the executive of the proposal put forward in the remainder of this section is the state or society itself. This explanation is important in terms of showing that our article does not consider the state-society relations as the only actor and does not view it as a unilaterally managed process. As a result, the main factor in eliminating the state’s legitimacy crisis is the reaction of the society to the steps taken. In other words, society has become the main factor of state-society relations, as in the foreign policy of the state (Aras, 2003, p. 30).

Comparable periods of the Turkish state’s legitimacy crisis are, in fact, the periods be­fore the 1982 coup d’etat and before the 2001 economic crisis. Although the processes that make up the two periods are based on fundamentally different reasons, both pro­cesses have a common output: the state is a powerless and dysfunctional burden on so­ciety. In the time period that came to the 1982 coup process, the state entered into a crisis of legitimacy due to its inability to establish an environment of ‘peace and security’ on the street. In 2001, the state’s inability to solve economic problems or prevent economic deterioration can be seen as the main reason for the legitimacy crisis. Therefore, while the 1982 process was based on security problems, the 2001 crisis was based on economic problems. But what makes it possible for us to compare these two legitimacy crisis pro­cesses, which are based on different grounds, is the same perception of the state by the society in both periods: failure to fulfill its essential functions. As a result, the attitude that the state could take in the face of this situation was to prove that the state was not incapable of fulfilling its essential functions and on the contrary, it could reverse the deterioration with all its power. As a result of the changes in the political balance of the state, the re-establishment of the public’s trust in the state in both periods and taking steps in this direction is the main characteristic after both processes. However, the main difference between the two lies in the course of relations between the state and society. Against the legitimacy crisis experienced in 1982, the state also found the means to ensure its legitimacy to show its harsh face to the society, but after the 2001 crisis, this situation followed a reverse course. After the 2001 crisis, the state’s gaining legitimacy was manifested not with policies in favor of suppressing the society, but with policies aimed at ensuring that the expectations of the society were met by the state. It cannot be claimed that this situation is only related to the change of government. Despite the AK Party being banned from the government and, more importantly, after the post-modern coup of February 28, in the November 3, 2002 elections, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s seat as the Prime Minister is an indication of a significant break in state-society relations.

The November 3 elections and the lifting of Erdogan’s political ban are the products of the state’s stepping back against society as a result of facing a legitimacy crisis after the February 28 post-modern coup, which was the beginning of the process that almost dragged the state into the 2001 crisis. The state tried to overcome the legitimacy crisis not by showing its harsh face to the society, but by showing its face trying to fit in with the society.
Well, at this point, an important question comes into play: Has this situation led to a change in the internal dynamics of the state? Certainly, the answer to this question is ‘no’, based on the idea that “continuity is essential in the state” and “state policies do not change according to governments”. Because in the Turkish tradition, the state is such an institution that governments come and go, but the survival of the state is essential. As long as governments act according to the survival of the state, they can stay in the lead. Otherwise, the functioning mechanism of the state will certainly keep the governments that do not act according to the survival of the state from ruling. The phrase ‘We are in power, but we are not in power’, which has been frequently voiced by conservative politicians of Turkey since the period of the Milli Nizam Party, which was the first party established by the Milli Gorus movement, and continued until the closure case of the AK Party, which was heard by the Constitutional Court, is a projection of this fact. The reason for the difference between being in power and being able in Turkish politics is the ability of the state mechanism to take away the power of the governments to rule. However, this article claims that the legitimacy crisis experienced after the 2001 crisis brought Turkey out of the “power-the powerful” vortex and into the “who is in power” vortex, and tries to understand the dynamics of this new vortex after 2001.

Before the 2001 crisis, the political history of Turkey, which witnessed the struggles of those who were in power to become powerful, witnessed the struggles of who would be the powerful after the 2001 crisis. Before the 2001 crisis, only Turkey’s secular and Kemalist mentality could attribute meaning to the phrase “The State of the Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular, social state of law”, but after the 2001 crisis, more than one structure has emerged that tried to give different meanings to this expression. In this respect, the characteristics of Turkey’s new vortex were determined not by one sec­tor, but by more than one sector. It is possible to talk about three major structures/iden­tities that determine the main characteristics of Turkey’s new vortex: Conservative/ democrat, Secular/Kemalist and FETO. The foundations on which these three identities are based are different. However, it is thought that these are the most accepted identities in the society between 2001-2016. Therefore, these three structures/identities became the main actors of the struggle between 2001-2016 to rule out or dominate the others. Before moving on to the main characteristics of the new vortex between these three
structures, it is essential to briefly outline the political and economic conditions of these three structures, in order to understand the main lines of the new vortex.


Conservative democracy is a concept that entered the political history of Turkey for the first time with the establishment of the AK Party. Looking at Turkey’s political history before the 2001 crisis, it would not be wrong to say that politics was generally dominat­ed by representatives of various ideological bases. In particular, nomenclatures such as Islamist, secular, liberal, communist/socialist, and nationalist/idealist are frequently encountered in the political ground based on these ideological differences. It can be said that the borders between the differences within the society itself were clear in the pre­2001 period, when the state maintained its relations with its society on an oppressive basis. For example, it is a definite fact that Islamist and secular lifestyles are completely different from each other. However, there is nothing in common in the lifestyles of a communist and a nationalist. This situation was reflected in politics and caused the parties that tried to represent these identities to draw the lines between them clearly. Therefore, neither party thought to articulate any two different lifestyles together.

However, the situation seems to have changed after the 2001 crisis. Together with the withdrawal of state-society relations from a hard ground to a softer ground, it has be­come possible and acceptable to combine different lifestyles in politics within the same party. As a result of this situation, which we can describe as playing to the center in the Political Science literature, concepts such as conservative/democracy and social/ democrat have found more place in politics. It is an indicator of this change in Turkish political history that a cadre from the National Vision movement, which was in deep discussions about whether the concept of democracy is compatible with Islam or wheth­er the concept of secularism can be accepted by a Muslim, introduced the concept of conservative democracy in the pre-2001 period. As a result, the concepts of conservative democracy and social democracy should be seen as a product of the flexibility of the boundaries between identities in the period of softening in state-society relations.

Conservatives/democrats have an important role in Turkey’s economy. Since Erbakan’s heavy industry movement, a significant change has occurred in Turkey’s capital struc­ture. Conservatives/democrats are both the architects and heirs of this change. The term Anatolian Tigers has emerged as a term describing the spread of Turkey’s economic de­velopment, which is stuck in Istanbul and its surroundings, throughout Turkey (Gülalp, 2003, p. 45). However, the moves that increased the weight of the conservative/dem­ocratic segment on Turkey’s economic structure and future were further strengthened by the AK Party government (Ünay, 2013, p. 356). As a result, the predecessors of the conservative/democratic segment before the 2001 crisis became the representatives of entrepreneurship and business administration, which was the recipe for the 2001 crisis.


The secular/Kemalist segment is another identity that is one of the main actors of Tur­key’s new vortex. He put forward a political movement identified with the desire to maintain the identity of Turkey’s founding cadre. In general, this identity, which identi­fies itself with the establishment of the republic and keeping the founding principles of the republic alive, represented the status quo in Turkey. Expressing his commitment to the founding principles of the republic in every coup and every political crisis is accept­ed as an indicator of his representation of the status quo. It should be stated here that defending the status quo is not considered as a wrong and unethical choice in this arti­cle. On the contrary, the existence of the status quo in the politics of a country is inevita­ble. Although the democratic form of government is seen as a management model that eliminates the status quo, this article thinks that this is not the case at all. Although the status quo of a segment/party/person is not allowed in democracies due to the right to vote, the existence of the status quo of the majority or those who hold power based on democratic principles cannot be prevented. As a result, the existence of the status quo is a fact of world political history and Turkish political history has taken its share from this fact. The secular/Kemalist segment was able to protect itself by defending the found­ing principles of the republic and became the representative of the status quo, without trying to bring different identities together in every stormy period. This choice was also made by the secular/Kemalist segment, the first to be blown away in the new vortex.
In terms of the Turkish economy, the secular/Kemalist segment is the opposite of con­servative/democrats. While the conservative/democrats were the representatives of entrepreneurship, the secular/Kemalist segment was the representative of statism. In particular, the secular/Kemalist segment, which is evident with its power within the bureaucracy, represented the status quo instead of dynamism in terms of the Turkish economy. In addition, industrialists and businessmen’s associations such as TÜSİAD have also sided with the secular/Kemalist segment when it comes to political conflicts.
The reason for this is that the conservative/democratic segment envisions a develop­ment movement through small and medium enterprises (Özbey, 2011, p. 50). Since the increase in the share of small and medium-sized enterprises in Anatolia in the Turkish economy would mean a decrease in the shares of circles such as TÜSİAD, these associa­tions found it appropriate to act together with the secular/Kemalist segment.


The Gulenists Terrorist Organization (FETO), which was the architect of the July 15 coup and invasion attempt, which was a black mark in Turkish political history, also represented one of the three most important movements of Turkey in the 2001-2016 period. Although it was included as a terrorist organization in the official documents of the state after the 17-25 December process, it constituted one of Turkey’s most popular and appreciated movements until the 12 September 2010 referendum. It is not quite correct to see this movement as having characteristics such as conservative/democracy or secular/Kemalist identities. Because while these two had taken their place in Turkish political history based on a certain ideology before the 2001 crisis, FETO did not have any political history. On the contrary, he was able to impose himself on Turkish society with the propaganda of staying away from politics and found a place for himself in civil society. Therefore, FETO is neither a product of an effort to bring different segments together under the same roof, such as conservative democracy; nor did it try to preserve the status quo like the secular/Kemalist segment. FETO has tried to give the impression that it is a structure that is unique and freed from the dilemmas in which other identities cannot solve and drown in. To the extent that he was able to maintain this impression, he received support from the Turkish society, and when he could not, he lost the sup­port behind him. FETO, which is based on seeing itself as a foundation without any foundation, was written in Turkish political history as a terrorist organization after the failed coup and invasion attempt of 15 July. However, FETO has had a great economic power thanks to the income of its companies and institutions in many sectors it has es­tablished around the world.


The new vortex that emerged in the Turkish political arena after 2001, which was dom­inated by conservatives/democrats, secularists/Kemalists and FETO, was shaped by the question of ‘who will be in power’. The power struggle that emerged between these three structures, which are most accepted by the society, shaped Turkey’s domestic pol­itics between 2001 and 2016. Now, some of the rules of this new vortex will be laid out and then how these rules explain the power struggle since 2001. Before we begin, it is essential to make an explanation of the structure of the new vortex. The new vortex con­sists of two parts, the democracy game and the power struggle. Necessary explanations about this will be made in the article.

Figure 1. Sides of the New Vortex

In this new vortex in Turkish politics, the aim of the parties is to become the ruler of Turkey. Although this goal is a very long-term goal, it actually includes the possibility of returning to the old vortex. In other words, when this whirlpool concludes, the par­ty that can stay afloat without drowning in the whirlpool will be Turkey’s new ruler.

However, as a result of this, the new powerful will aim to not be affected by the power changes, just like the powerful before the 2001 crisis. This situation will result in a return to the rules of the pre-2001 vortex, after Turkey has overcome the legitimacy crisis of the 2001 crisis. What kind of a result the return to the pre-2001 vortex will create in the state-society relations will stand before us as a separate problem.

What are the rules of this vortex, whose purpose is to determine the new power, and how did it work? The next part of the article will answer these two questions. In this triple ‘democracy game’ that dominated the 2001-2016 period, there is absolute compe­tition between all three parties. But despite this absolute competitive situation, it is not possible to win this game by being alone. The condition to win this game is to be in a position supported by the majority of the society. Due to the content of this condition, it was appropriate to call this vortex the game of democracy. Because the indication of be­ing supported by the majority of the society is the elections. The party that receives the highest number of votes in the elections is supported by the majority of the society. The parties seek this majority by concentrating themselves in various political parties. After 2001, the AK Party became the political party of the conservative democrats and the Re­publican People’s Party (CHP) became the secular/Kemalist political party. The point to be noted here is that although FETO is a party to this game, it cannot be mentioned in the name of any political party. Because FETO prefers not to be a political medium due to its rhetorical heritage, it is not possible to limit FETO to a single political party. On the other hand, it would be wrong to conclude that FETO is not interested in and does not exist in politics. On the contrary, FETO, existing within each political party, preferred to direct all political parties in line with its own will. For this reason, it should not be thought that FETO cannot be a part of this game, since winning the majority of the society is a condition for winning the game. On the contrary, FETO tried to play the game according to its rules.

It is also clear that in order to gain the majority of the society, it is necessary not to remain alone. Turkey’s sociological structure and ideological distribution do not allow any single party in question to obtain a majority. In a sense, due to this fact, the borders between identities had to be stretched in order to soften state-society relations after the legitimacy crisis after the 2001 crisis. Because this crisis could only be resolved if a struc­ture supported by the majority of the society was at the head of the state. As a result of the sociological structure’s imposition on the fact that neither side could achieve this superiority on its own, it was inevitable that the borders between identities would be stretched, as explained above.

As a result, the condition to win in the democracy game is to get the support of the majority, and not to be alone in order to get this support. But winning in the game of democracy does not mean being powerful. What is needed to be powerful is to be the organizer of the system. In other words, while being able to be the organizer of the leg­islative and executive powers in the game of democracy, being able also requires being the organizer of the judiciary. As a result, surviving this vortex requires a change not only in state-society relations, but also in intrastate relations. But in intra-state relations, softening is not a condition for getting out of the legitimacy crisis. On the contrary, it is inevitable that the forces that soften in the game of democracy will harden in intra-state relations. For this reason, the trio, who are the parties of the new vortex, can act very cruelly towards each other in order to become powerful.
The aim of the parties in the war of power is to prevent the parties other than themselves from becoming newly powerful. In this war, preventing other parties from being the winners takes precedence over being a winner. In order to be a winner, it is necessary to win the support of the majority of the society alone to the extent that it can interfere with the judiciary. Under the current conditions, this is not possible. In addition, such an attempt carries the danger of staying out of the system without resolving the state’s legitimacy crisis.

However, the most guaranteed way to achieve the goals of the parties in the war of power is to form an alliance. The only side left will surely be defeated. Therefore, being able to form an alliance in this trio in order not to be alone brings about getting rid of drowning in the vortex. As a result, 2001-2016 refers to a period in which binary combi­nations were established among the trio in question. But when the struggle at time t, side A is alone and defeated, the vortex at time t+1 consists of only two sides? The answer to our article is no. In this article, it is stated that this vortex will not come to an end until the causes of the legitimacy crisis wind that created the vortex are eliminated. The cessation of the wind occurs only as a result of the absence of differential air masses such as low air pressure and high air pressure. In other words, the wind does not stop until the mass differences in the air disappear. The factor that brought the state into a crisis of legitimacy in the 2001 crisis was the state’s inability to fulfill its essential duties. Therefore, Turkey’s politics will remain under the influence of the new vortex we have mentioned, before any possible risk of systemic error that may prevent the state from fulfilling its essential duties is eliminated. As a result, in an endless vortex, a defeated party at time t should not be expected to disappear at time t+1. On the contrary, it leaves its ashes at time t+1. But while the defeated side at time t leaves its ashes at time t+1, the victorious sides at time t start to fight each other at time t+1. Thus, the victorious allies of time t will be newly warring rivals of time t+1 and will need the alliance of the side they defeated together at time t. The side that can form an alliance with the loser of time t at time t+1 will enter the war at time t+2 as the victorious side. As a result, the power struggle will continue in a cycle.


In our article, the November 3, 2002 elections are accepted as the starting time of the new vortex in Turkish politics. Because November 3 is the day when the conditions before the 2001 legitimacy crisis ended. The coalition periods are over and the country will be governed by an actor who is in power alone. Therefore, Turkey has entered its new vortex. As a result of this election, two parties were able to enter the Turkish Grand National Assembly: AK Party and CHP. In other words, to express as the sides of the new vortex, conservative/democrats and secular/Kemalists are the two sides at the beginning of the new vortex. However, although FETO has not yet fully manifested itself, it has had to side with conservatives/democrats. However, secular/Kemalists have also been in a position to represent the status quo of the old vortex (before 2001). As a result, the allies and sole remainder of the first struggle of the new vortex are evident from the very beginning. While the AK Party and FETO were their allies, the secular/Kemalists were the only parties. In fact, it cannot be said that this siding took place immediately after 3 November. Because the period until Turkey’s start of EU negotiations, in fact, passed with an effort that the secular/Kemalist segment struggled a lot during the old whirlwind period, but could not achieve any results. At the same time, this period is a period in which policies for Turkey’s economic recovery are prioritized, and therefore political images that will hinder investments are avoided. Therefore, even if we take the November 3 elections as the entry date into the new vortex, it would be more accurate to take 2006 as the starting date of the struggle between the trio. Because Turkey started negotiations with the EU in 2006, achieved what it could not achieve in the old vortex, recovered relatively economically, and a suitable ground was formed for the start of the struggle for power between the parties.

The first cycle of the power struggle between the parties started with the Ergenekon cases. While there is FETO in the position of the executive of the Ergenekon cases, the defendants of the Ergenekon case, in other words, the secular/Kemalists are the repre­sentatives of the status quo of the old vortex. The AK Party, on the other hand, was in a position to support the end of the status quo of the secular/Kemalist segment in the representation of Ergenekon, which formed an alliance with FETO in this case. In a way, while FETO seems to be absent in the legislative and executive branches, it has given its real struggle with its presence in the judiciary. Therefore, the struggle for power in the first period was fought between FETO and secular/Kemalists, and conservatives/democrats holding the ruling party preferred to be allies of FETO. Just as the secular/ Kemalists’ representation of the status quo stems from historical heritage, the AK Par-ty-FETO alliance is also an alliance required by historical heritage. Because both the founders of the AK Party and the leaders of FETO struggled against the status quo of the old vortex. In this respect, it is quite natural for the AK Party and FETO to stand against the secular/Kemalists.

The end of the first cycle of the war of power came with the 12 September 2010 referen­dum. This referendum marked the victory of the AK Party-FETO alliance. The reason for this is that with this referendum, the influence of the old vortex in the representation of Ergenekon on state institutions has come to an end. Because both the changes made in the appointments of the judicial organs and the changes in the election of the Presi­dent are the changes that the CHP and Ergenekon supporters completely oppose. But despite all the opposition from the secular/Kemalist segment, this change in Turkey’s system has taken place. However, within the same period, the trials against Ergenekon defendants were concluded and judgments were given about all of them. The Ergene-kon cases were concluded with aggravated life sentences and prison sentences of up to 1000 years for some of the defendants. These results mean the end of the first version of
the struggle for power.

After 2010, the Ergenekon process began to fail due to various reasons. In particular, the arrest of Ilker Basbug for the crime of “directing a terrorist organization” after he was appointed as Chief of Staff and his release afterwards is an example of the aforemen­tioned events. However, the release of names from different professional groups as a re­sult of the decisions of the Constitutional Court are other examples of events that show that the first stage of the war for power has come to an end. Because these names are the ones who are constantly being touted as criminals by FETO during the most heated days of the Ergenekon trials. However, the release of these names is a sign that the war between FETO and Ergenekon is over, but also shows that there is no reason left for the continuation of the AK Party-FETO alliance.
It would not be wrong to call the time elapsed between the 2010 Referendum and the onset of the 2012 MIT Crisis as a time passed with the repositioning of the parties of the war of power. During this process, cracks in the AK Party-FETO alliance and releases and acquittals in the Ergenekon cases took place. As a result, while the secular/Kemal­ist segment lost in the representation of Ergenekon in the struggle for power in 2010 and the conservative/democrat and FETO alliance won, after February 7, 2012, the begin­ning of the struggle between the AK Party FETO was fired. The classroom debates, the 17-25 December trials, the appointment of trustees, the elections, social events such as Gezi, and the struggle between the AK Party and FETO, which resulted in the last July 15 coup attempt, constituted the second cycle of the power struggle.

The second cycle of the power struggle was experienced between conservatives/demo­crats and FETO. The victorious allies of the first cycle have become the warring parties of the second cycle. However, the secular/Kemalists, who were defeated in the first cy­cle, changed their face both with the release in the Ergenekon cases and the changes in the CHP. The resignation of Deniz Baykal, who was the leader of the defeated period in
the CHP, from the presidency, and Kemal Kılıcdaroglu, who made a name for himself with the corruption debates he conducted with his AK Party interlocutors, especially between 2010 and 2012, came to the chairmanship as the most important and significant change in the face of the secular/Kemalist segment. It is the size to be considered. Be­cause these changes should be considered as the harbinger of alliances to be established in the second cycle.
The change of chairman in the CHP has resulted in the secular/Kemalist segment being able to get out of the rubble of the first cycle more easily. In addition, the new chairman Kılıcdaroglu’s involvement in corruption discussions with his AK Party counterparts, combined with the first round of the AK Party-FETO war being heard with corruption cases, shows the secular/Kemalist-FETO alliance. The alliance of the secular/Kemalist segment with FETO was revealed not only in corruption cases, but also in election periods and in many key periods of the war between the AK Party and FETO.
The winner of the war between the AK Party and FETO was determined by the failed coup and invasion attempt on July 15. On July 15, 2016, a coup attempt was made by military bureaucrats supporting FETO and it was unsuccessful. Since the evidence and results of the incident have not yet become fully public, it is not possible to talk about the post-July 15 process with full certainty. Therefore, it would not be correct to make a detailed evaluation of July 15 in an academic article. However, within the framework of our theory, it is clear that FETO was the loser of the second cycle of the struggle for power on July 15. Because the condition of not losing in Turkey’s new vortex is not to lose not only systemic power factors, but also social support. However, as a result of the FETO Ergenekon trials, it lost its social support as well as its systemic power factors, even more than the secular/Kemalist segment experienced. Therefore, the second cycle of the struggle for power was completed and as a result of this cycle, conservatives/ democrats became the winners.

At this point, it is necessary to dwell on the question of how the AK Party won, while the secular/Kemalist segment seems to have formed an alliance with FETO, in particu­lar the CHP. Because, according to the prediction of our theory, the side left alone must be defeated. When the secular/Kemalists allied with FETO, the AK Party should have been left alone and, according to our theory, should be defeated. However, there are two reasons why conservatives/democrats won the second cycle. First, the FETO-secular/Kemalist alliance only got out of democratic ground by attempting a military coup on July 15. Therefore, it attempted to bring the factors of the old vortex that created the legitimacy crisis to the top of Turkey again. However, this situation will drag Turkey back into the old vortex before 2001 and expose the state to new legitimacy crises. It is quite natural that this attempt does not comply with the rules of the new vortex order
revealed by our theory. In order for Turkey to return to its old vortex before 2001, first of all, the new whirlpool must be concluded and a majority support must be provided that will not bring the state into new legitimacy crises. However, the July 15 military coup and invasion attempt, contrary to this, tried to return to the old vortex without ending the new vortex according to its rules. As a result, it was not successful.

The second is the crisis of representation within the secular/Kemalist segment. The fact that those who were released after the Ergenekon trials did not meet under a single roof can be counted as the reason for this situation. The divisions within the secular/ Kemalist segment resulted in the AK Party not being completely alone in the second cycle. The secular/Kemalist segment, the emergence of the Dogu Perincek school out­side the CHP and the fact that this school sided with the AK Party in the process until July 15, eliminated the loneliness of the AK Party. As there are international reasons why the Perincek school sided with the AK Party, this discussion will be discussed in future studies as it is beyond the scope of our article. But in short, we think that uniting in views against FETO can explain the conservative/democrat-Perincek alliance. How­ever, it would not be wrong to say that the negative course of Turkey-US relations and the bottoming out on July 15 strengthened this alliance.


The political developments after the 2001 economic crisis are quite different from the de­velopments before it. While coalitions and political instability were experienced before the 2001 crisis, there was a period of sole power and political stability afterwards. While GDP per capita remained stable before the 2001 crisis, there was a continuous increase after 2001. While there were many developments such as hyper-inflation that would negatively affect the real income of the society before 2001, the opposite of these devel­opments was observed afterward. After the recovery in the economy, the changes in the political arena were also noteworthy. However, the post-2001 political order, which was shaped by the question of who will be the new ruler after the disappearance of the state’s legitimacy crisis, has reached a different dimension today. Democracy games and wars of power between the three most accepted sections of the society became the dominant element of Turkish political life after the 2001 crisis. The article in your hand aims to systematize these struggles and shows the applications of this systematic with its practical applications. The question of whether the referendum on the transition to the Presidential System after the system change to be held in the spring of 2017 is a part of this vortex or a sign of the end of this vortex, is left to the next studies, although it is curious.


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