No love lost on Erdogan
Turkish voters answered President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions to expand his powers and to be a quasi-dictator, by stripping his party of its simple majority in parliament, in parliamentary election Sunday 7th of June. Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, the AKP, had the support of around 41 percent of voters, state-run TRT television said. That would give it some 258 seats — 18 below the minimum needed to keep its majority. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) scored 25 percent. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) secured 16.5 percent of the votes. Peoples» Democracy Party (HDP) got stunningly 13 percent!
In the 550-seat parliament the CHP, MHP and HDP are projected to secure 132, 81 and 79 seats. About 54 million citizens were eligible to vote in the polls, with 86 percent of attendance rate, according to Turkey’s semi-official Anatolia news agency.
The country’s pro-Kurdish left-wing Peoples» Democracy Party (HDP) crossed the country’s extremely high 10 percent electoral limit that affected the distribution of seats and, consequently, the power of the ruling party. Thanks so much for that!
«The ones who are authoritarian and arrogant lost, and the ones who are in love with the liberty and peace in Turkey won in the polls,» Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chairperson of the HDP, said in a televised statement. «We, the oppressed of Turkey, have beaten a government who used all the state’s facilities against us, to attack us… This is the victory of the oppressed and alienated in Turkey,» he added.
Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had campaigned to write a new constitution to increase the powers of the country’s presidential office. The AK-party needed at least 330 seats to unilaterally initiate such a change and take it to a referendum. All the other three main parties are against a presidential system. But it didn’t go like that for the ruling elite. The AK-party has become increasingly authoritarian throughout its 13-year government. But the country has avoided a one-person dictatorship and a civilian coup thanks to the bravery of Turkish voters whom saw this danger in time. No it’s time to look for a more left-leaning country away from harshness and despotism.
Kurdish voters punished AK-party
Garo Paylan, an HDP candidate from Istanbul who is likely to make his way to the parliament, told Al Jazeera that Turkish voters punished the AK party’s divisive rhetoric.
«The results show that the citizens of Turkey have expressed their support for the HDP’s language that has been calling for all the citizens of Turkey to live together in harmony,» Paylan said.
«We want all political parties in Turkey to see this picture and make their contributions to form a new culture for all citizens of this country to live harmoniously together. We will work in the parliament for a new constitution for all people to respectfully live together,» he told Al Jazeera.
Thousands of Kurds in the country’s predominantly Kurdish southeastern Turkey celebrated the unofficial results, setting off fireworks and waving HDP flags.
The political atmosphere was tense in the region before the polls, with bombings targeting HDP buildings and rallies.
«The election results are a big success for the HDP as it has moved from a Kurdish-oriented party to a party that addresses the whole Turkey. It got votes from liberal voters who previously voted for the AK party and CHP and who wanted to block Erdogan and AK party this time,» Deniz Ulke Aribogan, a professor of political science from Istanbul Bilgi University, told Al Jazeera. «The results show that Turkish citizens want Erdogan to act in line with his position as a neutral president. They don’t want to see him rallying as if he is the leader of the AK party.»
Two years ago, 28 May 2013, first day of occupy Gezi park, Taksim, İstanbul, the protests started in Turkey against the Erdogan-mafia. It lasted for several months. From all over the world support and solidarity was given. So did we, the radical socialists of Norway. In solidarity with the left in Turkey: Keep on fighting for change, justice, democracy and freedom – we will be steadfast on your side!