Voilà some post-election analyses, one from the Istanbul Calling blog, another from Istanbul Notes (which is pessimistic for the future of the CHP). And then there’s this by Soner Cagaptay (who is more optimistic for the CHP), on “Turkish lessons for the Arab spring.” The last paragraph is key
The sine qua non of a potentially successful marriage between Islamist politics and democracy is a strong liberal partner. The new CHP could not only protect Turkish democracy, but also, ironically, might save the AKP from itself by checking the very popularity that lies at the root of that party’s authoritarianism. The lesson for the rest of the Middle East is exactly this: Islamist parties can moderate their platforms, but only if elections are free, if media is independent and if there is a strong liberal party that counters the Islamists’ desire to equate democracy with unchecked power.
A strong liberal partner. Arab politics and liberalism are an oxymoron. Now the CHP didn’t used to be liberal but is becoming so. Does one imagine a former ruling party in an Arab state—e.g. the FLN in Algeria, a Tunisian post-RCD or Egyptian post-NDP—taking the liberal road? Or some other significant liberal Arab force emerging in any given state? To pose the question is to answer it, methinks.