'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

Bottoms Up!

Relative peace has returned to Turkey and to our quiet corner. The election is done but not dusted – now come the smoke-filled rooms and the shenanigans and (in my opinion) the ‘Night of the Long Knives’!

There are two blessings to be counted. First, those bloody awful vans plastered with portraits of political wannabes that go around in convoys blasting out ghastly music have disappeared back from whence they came.

UKIP van

sorry, wrong picture


Second, the relentless march of Sauronesque authoritarianism has been checked (for the time being). Shalob has been exposed to the Light of Galadriel . .



. . and Samwise Gamgee has risen to the occasion.


Sam Gamgee aka Selahattin Demirtaş

The significance of the breakthrough of the HDP (People’s Democratic Party) into mainstream politics here in Turkey cannot be overstated. The apparently unstoppable RTE hi-speed train has been checked. The courageous gamble by, what was a largely Kurdish political movement, to broaden its platform in order to appeal to the wider population and thereby break through the 10% glass ceiling has paid off. They have secured 80 seats, 31 held by women, in parliament, which gives them a considerable lever.

With the governing party’s overall majority gone the three main opposition parties could form a coalition and govern. But, that which divides them is probably greater than any common ground beyond their envy and hatred of the AKP and Sauron the Dark Lord. So, the AK Party will be looking to stroke the egos of either the MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) or the HDP. If either one of those joins the AKP they will, I believe, sow the seeds of their own destruction. In the case of the HDP they must resist the lure of (apparent) promises for short-term gains in resolving the many Kurdish issues. Such an alliance would be a betrayal of the broader electorate they have garnered and as of the time of writing the party has rejected any cooperation with the AKP.

Will there be a coalition? In my opinion it is doubtful that there can be an effective minority/coalition government and so the possibility of a re-run looms.

So, what of the near future? Sauron is weakened and Saruman aka the Prime Minister will either resign or be pushed. Waiting in the wings is the co-founder of the AKP and former president – a Rose by any other name. He withdrew from the limelight after being, as he saw it, betrayed by Sauron, the present incumbent and a number of his close party hacks.

This rose is not without thorns but he is a constitutionalist and deeply opposed to an executive presidency. With the departure of Saruman, who is also leader of the party, the way would open for our Rose to take the reins of the party and, assuming there is a re-run, stand in a safe AKP constituency (or force a by-election). Also in the mix is the Witch-King of Angmar who once led the Nazgûl  intelligence agency of Mordor and was a right-hand man of Sauron until he was dished by the Dark Lord. Will he emerge as a king-maker in the AKP?


Witch-King of Angmar and former Lord of the Nazgûl

If, and when, it comes to a re-run the mixture will have changed dramatically – if Mr Rose is back then many who deserted the AKP because of the malign influence of Sauron will no doubt return to the fold. What then for the HDP? There will be no guarantee that they will have the 80 seats they now enjoy and they might well slip below the 10% anti-Kurdish barrier once again. Things are not always as simple or as bright as they seem.

For those who wish to better understand where the HDP is coming from here’s a link to an English language blog

With that in mind, J has come up with a very sensible and soothing calmer for any jangled nerves – a sort of comforting Dinneford’s Gripe Water with different side-effects – the recipe is below.

mulberry gin008

mulberry gin010

1 bottle of gin (any old rubbish will do); 1 bowl of black mulberries (black makes it look nicer); a few jam jars. Method: put berries in jars, slop on some gin and leave for a few hours. Decant and enjoy regardless of the bloody elections, inflation, deflation, etc, etc.

Bottoms Up, guys!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

ps this morning these beauts were flowering – Galadriel’s Lights!

mulberry gin002

14 thoughts on “Bottoms Up!

  1. Hi Alan. Thank you for explaining who and what the local parties are. I have been aware that Turkish friends in Dalyan have been politically unhappy for some time now, not unlike myself living in the UK. I go to Dalyan Wednesday and look forward to getting their ‘take ‘ on what’s just happened. I shall try your re ripe to get me through the next five years here. Best wishes. Mary

  2. Turkish friends in France have been A – rejoicing and
    B, not having mulberry gin, wondering what deals will be done to put a blight on things.

    Looking at the LibDems in the U.K., any party going into a coalition with the axis of evil will be tainted, so let’s hope that the HDP keep a clear head and recognise their responsibility to their wider electorate.

    1. . . my gut reaction is that if any party goes into a coalition it would be the MHP, but I think even they are leery at the prospect. RTE is most assuredly damaged goods but that doesn’t mean he won’t be trying to shore up his castle walls.

  3. I rejoice at this small step in the right direction and hope for a small palace coup if only to paint over the gaudy excesses of the present incumbent. Oh, and just leave the Gordon’s. No need for the berries.

    1. . . there are still many imponderables – and several balls lie in the court/palace of the president – there is still a lot scope for mischief making. If the three opposition parties could get their act together, leave aside their widely different agendas and focus on curbing the unconstitutional power of RTE and reforming the electoral system (getting rid of/reducing the 10% threshold) and then calling an election they could do much to get this country back on a semi-democratic path. On the other matter, you get ‘ginned-up’ your way and I’ll get ‘ginned-up’ mine ;-D

  4. Brilliant post as always and what interesting times; happy that voices stepped up and heard and a step forward for democracy; hugely look forward to seeing what will happen next. And what a gorgeous looking drink that is!! : ) Cok selamlar, Ozlem

  5. Great synopsis – and entertaining parallels to Tolkien – of the elections. I heard a fascinating podcast a couple of weeks ago on the HDP’s history and transition to mainstream group pulling voters from all walks… will be following Turkey’s politics in the coming year and I try your recipe to drown out the runup to the American elections.

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