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AKP ponders what went wrong

While skeptics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Justice and Development Party are still not very vocal, reality seems to be on their side.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrives at a meeting with his AK Party local officials at the party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, June 11, 2015. Davutoglu said on Thursday history had shown that coalition governments were not suitable for Turkey but that his ruling AK Party was open to all options. "We've used the coalition eras of the 1970s and 1990s as an example to show that coalitions are not suitable for Turkey and we still stand by that stance," Davutoglu told a meeting of AKP local officials
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Since Turkey's general election on June 7, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in a visible mood of stress, doubt and soul-searching. The obvious question is why the party had a major setback at the ballots, securing just 41% of the vote, down from 50% in the 2011 elections. There seem to be two major camps, providing two different answers. One of them — the weaker one — very discreetly and respectfully suggests that perhaps some of the excesses of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the narrow circle around him are to blame. The other camp — the more powerful and defiant — blames the first camp for being full of potential "traitors" who do not appreciate Erdogan's grandeur and began to unravel at the first sign of trouble.

These camps are not fully revealing themselves, for the AKP has a strong culture of concealing its disputes and presenting the appearance of solidarity to the outside world. We get the scoop thanks to gossip and off-the-record remarks, and see its reflections in the pro-AKP media, in which fierce columnists from both camps — but more so from the uncompromisingly pro-Erdogan one — write angry and often rude rejoinders.

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