The victory of Erdogan? What was the mistake? I V.U Arslan
Erdogan proved that he is the master of dirty politics and monkey business and took what he wanted. Also, he did this by running upside down all prediction and pulverize his opponent.
Unfortunately, the class politics doesn’t exist. Socialists had been oppressed long time ago and they couldn’t start the renaissance process again. Non- organized and unarmored working class become a side in the artificial polarization process. We witnessed that in the country which is very tense because of the identity, ethnicity, sect and life- sytle, AKP from 9 election since 2004 got almost the 40% or 50% vote. That’s why CHP which can be an alternative only for seculars and Alevis and from the half of the country gain almost zero can’t pass the limit of 25%.
Erdogan knew that he can address the majority from this polarization, he played his card to polarization and trigger the separations. He abused the scarf, the mosque, nationalism… For Kılıcdaroglu he said “He is Alevi”, for Demirtas “he is Zaza”. To trigger the separations they abused even the lies of “Kabatas”. In such a case, election which focused on identities turned to population census.
Since the population number wouldn’t change depend on ethnicity, sect, and life-style, the only thing is to change the way of politics. So, the only future of the oppressed is to be opened by a politics of working class which can exceed sectarian social differentiation and a key to get rid of AKP. We mustn’t forget that AKP’s voters are mostly poor workers. Yet, it is clear that the figure centered the class which can gain these people haven’t existed “yet”. But, in June 7th when these identity issues become diminish, the economic issues, corruptions, worker and women murder ex., we see that AKP lose height. But in November 1th the situation was far from that situation…
Erdogan’s play has practiced very well
We watched that Erdogan’s game was successful. The clashes in Kurdish areas, the blood, the massacres and the sect clashes which exceed to streets bring AKP back to life. The atmosphere between 7 June and November 1th was so much different. The economic issues which take place before 7th June couldn’t become the topic of conversation. Before 7th June HDP and CHP had effective discourse but now they couldn’t even did politics. What was the game of Erdogan? “
What was Erdogan’s plot? “It will be an absolute chaos, disorder, and the collapse of economy when we are gone.” was plotted and put on the stage. The leftist voters would be persuaded this way and the lost votes would be taken back in the name of stability. They had actually meant to stage this play before 7th June, but the Kurdish political movement could not be entrapped by it. Remember the slaughter in the HDP meeting in Diyarbakır, the same attempt in Mersin, and the provocation in Ağrı. The result was AKP’s own failure in its own play, the provocation of which backfired. The Kurdish movement and its representative HDP, whom they could achieve to entrap, got won the general admiration. However, this time the Kurdish political movement was implicated in this play in a way. Every analysis without this point and criticism is to cover the reality itself. Consequently, AKP, with the intention of waging a war, emerged as the winner. As the dimension of the war increased, there left no space for HDP and even the Kurdish voters punished HDP, keeping it the responsible of the war growing worse. This is the only way to account for the intense decrease in the vote rate of HDP in the Kurdish areas and the Kurdish districts of Istanbul
MHP’s Downfall, CHP, “Out of Touch”
It is self-evident that the old and still-in-use “inconsistency caused by our absence will only lead to chaos, turmoil within the state, and massive harm for the economy” ploy works out well to bring the right-wing voters into line. These elections not only showed that AKP was able to regain all of, if not even more, the votes that it lost to MHP in the last elections, but also clearly foreshadowed the impending downfall of MHP. In Turkey, the rightist, petty bourgeois constituency has a simple logic: first, look out for yourself, then look no further than the result. When that is the case, the critical question to ask is, “What has this constituency seen in these last 5 five months leading up to the elections?” Inconsistency, blood, chaos, death. AKP’s vigorous politics of blackmailing has been able to set the votes s in reverse motion, namely back to themselves. Of course, Devlet Bahceli’s uncompromising and non-negotiating stance, in large part, helped the right wing voters make this decision more easily. Even though CHP went into the June 7th elections without any significant increase in votes, it, nevertheless, gained recognition as a result of its promises for the working class which took center stage in both its pre-election agenda and rhetoric. However, due to an atmosphere of political turmoil and instability that defined the November 1st elections, CHP failed to produce anything of substance. The result of these elections proved once again that CHP’s familiarly soft politics will never allow it to realize its political potential. The employment of a truly class-based politics that will stimulate the crowds seems to be a far fetched idea, too distant from CHP’s reality. On the contary, CHP openly declared that it will follow the same neo-liberal path set by AKP, tow the line of Kemal Dervis’ school of thought in driving the country’s economy. In addition, it doesn’t seem likely for a political party such as CHP that has had ties with imperialist entities like the US and the EU to upset the existing the order and change the tide in full swing. It is also for this reason that CHP simply lacks the ability to win back the working class voters who, at times of state-driven polarization among citizens, tend to choose AKP over CHP. Furthermore, the fact that CHP’s promises for the working class voters too often fall short of concrete implementation and come back in demand only around the election does serious harm to its credibility. On the other hand, no concrete political agenda was set for the November 1st elections. The insubstantial politics of optimism employed by CHP only served to make disappointment inevitable. HDP’s Failure While fighting for its existence, HDP could not do much campaign work, struggled with belligerent attacks and censorship, became arrested and got killed. All of this can simply not be ignored. However, they are also not enough to explain what really happened. All in all, HDP also suffered significant losses in Kurdistan. During the last five months between the two elections, HDP lost approximately a million of its former total of 6 million votes as well as 21 of its 81 former congressmen. In some Kurdish cities, the loss was as much as 10%. And this downturn happened not only in Kurdish cities but also in some predominately Kurdish neighborhoods of Istanbul. The most major reason behind this situation appears to be that a considerable portion of the Kurdish voters held the PKK responsible for the recent turmoil in Turkey. The decision made by those Kurdish voters can be interpreted as one meant to send the right message by punishing HDP since the party is considered to be the legal branch of the Kurdish movement. Certainly, the legitimacy of the actions committed by the PKK in Kurdistan of Turkey, especially at a time that ushered in the bright future of HDP, a party that just won 13% of the votes, is up for debate. In the active presence of the PKK, HDP’s quest to prove itself as Turkey’s party turns into an even more challenging question. As a result, these Kurdish voters chose to turn their faces to AKP, while having their backs to HDP, or did not vote at all. The cities where AKP boasted its most significant upticks of votes, on a descending order, are Iğdır (%20.57), Şanlıurfa (%17.66), Bingöl (%17.58), Ağrı (%16.38). Evidently, without the votes coming in from western Turkey and abroad, HDP would not even make it past the 10% threshold. When we put this all in perspective, we can clearly see that PKK’s actions following the June 7th elections coincided with AKP’s game plan. The Kurdish political movement, that masterfully navigated the pre-June 7th election period by not retaliating against any of AKP’s instigations, came forward with a completely different stance this time. Suruc Massacre had been the turning point. In light of the massacre, instead of communalizing and nationalizing this incident by focusing on AKP’s relationship with ISIS as well bringing it into light through mass protests, protests broke about the murder of two policemen in Ceylanpinar. This was exactly what AKP was looking for. Immediately, a series of very violent operations and a wave of arrests broke out. In response, PKK retaliated against these measures. Despite our efforts to explain that it was AKP that wanted the war, everything was clicking the right way for RTE’s plan. In the meantime, the Suruc Massacre wound up in the depths of our collective amnesia rather becoming welded into our memory. A faithful rethinking of the Suruc Massacre must be done in order to imagine and come close to understand what would have happened if it had not been forgotten. Had we put in the necessary societal efforts to organize and even corner AKP, perhaps the Ankara Massacre would not have taken place. Not to mention that the election results would have come up much differently. While the state of turmoil slowed down HDP, those who gave up in the face of AKP’s fear politics chose AKP. And this is the story of the
November 1st Defeat.
There is no shortcut!
We have to disperse the pervading pessimism and to work hard. The extensive human resource of the labor and freedom fight is again in the same place. It is a very important point to be used if this resource could be made use of well. It is quite dangerous to hope for a crisis, military coup or a crack in AKP in order to get rid of them. The future is in our own hands. Hopelessness and the pacifism to be expanded will increase the chances of a more authoritarian AKP and of Erdogan’s being the single man. We have to hold very tight and increase the social opposition to defend democratic rights. Not to be forgotten, Turkey went through a much harder process in the darkness of the 12 September. Now, we possess every condition to defend our labor and freedom. The construction of a struggle based on the class conflict is our future. This struggle is also the weak side of AKP. We are faced to such a responsibility to build up such a leftist political path. The future of ours is all dependent on this. The failure of the utmost goal of the Gezi riot was due to the limited organization in spite of our hard struggle. An internationalist vision to be well established in Turkey is to be successful in overthrowing AKP and making a revolution out of this corrupt system.