• Elections in Turkey
  • We Are In Minority Again

  • By Hayri Kozanoğlu | 11 Jul 18 | Posted under: Turkey , Elections
  • In the night of June 24, the sentence which my mother makes after every election we lose, ‘’we are in the minority again’’, echoed in my ears. My father, who was a fanatic supporter of Republican People Party (CHP), which is the main opposition party of Turkey currently, could not be able to recover himself after each defeat. He grieved for days, after every defeat in the elections. Since we have an understanding that does not see the elections as the only way of struggle; elections affected us relatively less than others. However, we all demoralized because a regime shift is on the carpet.

    Especially, with the positive wave which is created by Muharrem Ince, who is the main opposition party’s presidential candidate, we sacrificed pessimism of the intellect, to optimism of the will. We underestimated the reality that there is no possibility of a fair election in the period of state of emergency.  We underestimated the effect of the captive media on the everyday citizen’s perceptions and the lure of granting a thousand liras to each retiree right before the religious holidays.  If you wish, let’s try to make an optimistic approach, considering declining public support of Justice and Development Party – Nationalist Movement Party (AKP-MHP) alliance and try to analyze the political situation serenely.

    1- Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the leader of AKP, took 51.8% of the votes by himself in the 2014 presidential elections and later on formed a coalition with the MHP, which is the nationalist party of Turkey, in the 2018 elections since he understood that it is not possible to win the elections himself again. With that alliance, he barely reached 52.5%. Unfortunately, this percentage was still enough for achieving his aim.  In the elections of November 2015, the accumulated vote of AKP-MHP coalition was 61.4%. In the June 2018, it decreased to 53.6%.  However, this decline was inadequate to make them upside-down.  Now, Turkey is ruled by a form that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan always complains about, an unscrupulous coalition.  So, we can say that, he lost one of his most important weapons.

    2- There is no possibility of continuity for a regime which brings all institutions of a country to the brink of collapse, which gave no importance to merit, which never takes vote from educated, productive segments of the society. A rise in the unemployment, a deepening economic crisis, a sudden stop in economic growth seems inevitable. He will face the consequences of a crisis created by him. Probably his final exit will be arising from economic failure.

    3-Another shocking result of the elections was outrun of the Good Party (İYİ Parti)- A number of people who split from MHP founded İYİ Party, who are more close to the center-right-  by MHP and the rise in the votes of MHP.  As I understand from that situation, MHP under the control of AKP was opted by right wing voters, instead of İYİ Parti, which was a component of an alliance which led by CHP. İYİ Party which is ruled by Meral Akşener participated in the elections by a gesture from CHP. As it seems, that right wing voters also disliked that circumstance.  It could also be predicted that the cadres of MHP seek for influence in bureaucracy and getting share from being the part of government affected the voting decisions. Although it seems as something reprehensible to our left - social democrat voters, who make their vote decisions mainly based on principles, ideologies; priorities of right wing voters are different.  Benefits are in the foreground.

    4- Muharrem Ince earned a really important success in instilling hope, giving excitement to the people who are culturally opposite to AKP regime. In the Maltepe meeting, I observed that, people who participated to the meeting, mobilized around the values of secularism, modernism, enlightenment. In contrast to this entire positive picture; there was no success in luring the supporters of the opposite cultural camp.

    5- Since Ince comes from a conservative family and takes a ‘’libertarian’’ attitude, right wing found him more favorable than Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of CHP. Likewise, the constructive approach to the solution of the Kurdish problem and supporting education in the mother tongue was also helpful in reducing tension in society and promoting tolerance among dissident groups. However, it is not easy to transform the just sympathy to votes.  A similar situation is also occurred in the Karamollaoğlu’s, the leader of Islamist Felicity Party, case also. He created a sympathy among left-secular groups by his ‘’good old man’’ profile, he was even likened to Che. However, this sympathy could not find a response from Islamic groups.  If we think in a long-term condition, Ince’s effort did not go to waste. We can say that, he succeeded in messages heard by different groups.

    6- Although he has a sharp style, he did not question the basis of the order in main topics. He tried to fill the gap which was created because of the reputational loss of Erdogan in the West.  It is obvious that, those efforts did not make the expected impact.  We must say that, the guarantee of  central bank independence, the commitment of full EU membership,  supporter of status quo in the foreign relations, did not come up to  Ecevit’s, the deceased leader of CHP and old President of Turkey,  ‘’this order must change’’ discourse.

    7- HDP’s, Peoples’ Democratic Party that consisted of socialist-liberal left and mainly secular Kurdish movement, success in passing the election threshold is a significant consolation either in existence of opposition within the parliament and the contribution of CHP’s voters to this result  with  tactical votes. There are two dangers which wait HDP.  First, they see themselves as the sole center of the left-revolutionary opposition because of the socialist figures they sent to parliament. The second is the liberal, left-liberal representatives who sent to the parliament by the lists of HDP and the possibility of, then exhorting a compromise with the AKP regime.

    8- In the election period, a positive climate was occurred not only between the members of the Millet Alliance (CHP-SP-İYİ Party alliance) but also between the Millet Alliance and HDP and other opposition groups in the society. That positive attitude was built upon solidarity, tolerance and collaboration and opposition against the regime which is tried to be established by RTE. The difference between HDP and Demirtas, presidential candidate of HDP, by 3.3% and between IYI Parti and Akşener by 2.7% could be understood as a reflection of an effort to consolidate the votes in the most powerful option. The people, who vote for Ince, responded that gesture by helping HDP to pass the election threshold.  This positive climate should not be sacrificed to pessimism, hopelessness.  The mood which reminds us the Gezi Period and April 16 referendum should be protected for tomorrow.

    9- If we put up the humble efforts of TKP’s, Communist Party of Turkey, independent candidates, there was no choice which was totally anti-systemic programme in the June 24 elections period. In other words, we can say that, the hair comes out and the gloves come off.  We witnessed escape from criticizing capitalism, imperialism and defending secularism. Any understanding that does not put the debate on the labor-capital conflict; does not questions the capitalism’s ownership-exploitation relations; does not stand up against imperialism’s global hegemony and its Middle East policies; does not openly embrace secularism ; does not condemn the reactionism in the society, could not establish a permanent bonds with the labor. United June Movement, which was founded after the Gezi Revolt, and other revolutionary-socialist subjects, must fill the gap which could not be filled by CHP and HDP because of their cyclical alliances and their limits.

    10- In the upcoming period, we must form the organized and united struggle of labor. Today we have no other choice but establishing Turkey again from today to tomorrow by protecting the achievements in the academia, trade unions, and professional organizations. Our country needs a revolutionary will more than ever in an environment of frustration and despair. As long as we do not forget that ‘’we are right, we will win!’’


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