Support Selahattin Demirtaş In The Presidential Election; Raise The Independent Socialist Alternative!
All the election systems and of course, first and foremost, the election threshold (%10) designed to block the political subjects who support the real interests of laborers in Turkey. The conclusion which the dominant class drew from 1960s and the experience of TIP (Worker Party of Turkey) is certainly to block socialists in the elections. In this context, the first blocking came with March 12 (the laws of coup d’état in 1971) and the other one came with September 12 (the laws of coup d’état in 1980). The %10 election threshold and other preventions have been preserved since then.
Indirect presidential election held in 2014 would be a chance for the nominee who is the real delegate of labourer classes. In the countries which have indirect elections, little parties show success because in the first round people vote for whomever they want (party or person). But in Turkey, this chance has been blocked in the beginning. When 20 congressman’s sign became a precondition to be a nominee, the nominee number fell only to 3. Hence, the struggle of workers and youth came under attack by means of blocking of democratic rights.
Why Demirtaş Should Be Supported?
We will not underline why Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu who comes from Turkish-Islamist tradition of right ideology shouldn’t be supported. We wrote lots of article about it in bolsevik.org. The important point is about Selahattin Demirtaş.
Demirtaş is not a “red” figure, and he doesn’t act as if he is. So, we are not talking about the dauntless supporter of the advanced interests of working class. On the other hand, Demirtaş is leftist figure beside being an expression of Kurdish people’s longing and suffers and his election campaign is clearly in a left line. These features are enough to support him against the other two rightist nominees. So, acting like Demirtaş is similar to others and saying that “none of them will bring benefit” means to be alienated from reality.
After all, we are not talking about to participate HDP (People’s Democratic Party) or to support HDP’s political line. We don’t think Demirtaş as “red” figure. Our criticism is extant. But progressive workers can’t pull a face and stay quiet. That means to be inactive and without politics. In fact, the rising votes of Demirtaş in the west part of the country will be considered as a reaction to Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu and thinking as a “leftist line” in Turkey. We should accept that it must be regarded as an important situation. Also, it is very clear that the workers who can be count as more leftist than CHP (Republican People’s Party) tend to vote to Demirtaş.
The socialist alternative of working class are not in a position to force HDP to some conditions, because today, we can’t mention such a power of working class. But when the political alternative of working class as an independent power cover a distance, it can do it. However, for doing this, firstly, socialists in Turkey qualify the struggle and to be a real alternative for advanced workers.
From Kemalism To Sectarianism
The people who don’t like Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu and also Demirtaş are mostly consist of the ones who drift with the tide of Kemalism. These people are patriotic or they are in the pocket of patriotism, they would never come side by side with Kurdish national movement. Although some of them hide this nationalism behind leftist rhetoric, it is very clear for Kurdish dynamic. In this situation, prejudices of radical Kurdish youth against Turkish socialist movement increase. A standard Kurdish young considers that: “Even in this case which Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu and Tayyip Erdoğan’s compete they don’t support the nominee like Demirtaş, they have problems with Kurds.” The raising of such prejudices is a sign for a dangerous situation for socialist movement, because Kurdish national movement is very critical ally for labour and democracy struggle. Not to be a servant to them, but the preservation of backgrounds for collaboration is important for socialist movement. Keep in mind that not only in Turkey but also in Middle East, Kurdish national movement is one of the very few left power which labour movement can make a front. Remind that the alternatives of Kurdish movement, unfortunately, Hezbollah in North Kurdistan, ISID (Islamic State) in Rojava and Hewler. Presented as a reason for boycott, the negative attitude of HDP in Gezi movement (SDH criticises the attitude of Kurdish national movement in Gezi uprising attitude since in the beginning of June Days) doesn’t mean to cut down the relationship.
Against Demirtaş, besides Kemalist reflections, we observe sectarian, apolitical and boycotter tendencies. Most of them consider the mission of Kurdish national movement wrongly and then they disappoint. Some of them presuppose that “Selahattin Demirtaş should adopt worker class struggle wholly”. Well, Demirtaş doesn’t have such a mission. If he has such a mission, why we need socialists? Both Demirtaş and Kurdish national movement is the same movement as in the past. We are not talking about a worker’s movement and a labour leader. Do the ones who meet in the same party or same election alliance with BDP in the past, realise Demirtaş just now? So, five years ago BDP adopted worker’s movement but not now? Besides, Demirtaş is one of the most leftist names in Kurdish national movement. To cut it short, in lots of situations, opportunism and sectarianism is hand in hand. Remind that sectarianism can be as dangerous as opportunism for working class movement.
The key of class struggle is united power of socialists. If Marxists build a revolutionary power of youth and working class, in this case advanced workers, mind at peace, make their selection. Under these conditions in which such power exists, then there can be a relation based on equality with Kurdish national movement. This relation will include both collaboration and separation. The healthy relation with Kurdish movement can be built in this ground. The assurance of not to bog down sectarianism or patriotism or tailism is to do socialist construction duty. We have to be successful to gain our future.
Translation: Tilbe Akan