Turkey: SEP Central Committee Statement on Local Elections
In the March 31 elections, the AKP has been slapped harshly. Though Erdogan says “we are by far the first party”, the loss of the AKP in the three metropolitan cities and in the central cities of industry, tourism, service sectors and universities shows that the AKP is the loser of this election. Workers and the youth dealt a blow to the absolute one man dictatorship. The polarization policy saved the AKP from total destruction, since it still has popularity among unorganized workers and in rural areas. But still, it is a fiasco on behalf of the AKP because they had the opportunities of the illegitimate use of state resources, put enormous pressure on the opposition, the power of the media which is controlled by the Erdogan, black propaganda. Despite everything, the AKP failed. The results of this election are very important.
We can summarize some of them as follows:
- The results of the elections showed that the idea that people are docile and loyal to the AKP is completely wrong. The hubris of the dictatorship and its legitimacy took a major blow. This is very important for revolutionaries, as chronic disappointment among the opposition had paralyzed the public backlash and made things difficult for the revolutionary struggle.
- Despite the weakness of its political content, optimism, which was brought about by the defeat of the AKP, will create a positive atmosphere for us. There are strong opportunities to increase the effect of socialists in society. On the other hand, the success of socialist construction is strictly related to socialist actors. Only a party with a true political program, a dynamic organisation and the program of a united action of the revolutionary left can make progress. Without those, real success is impossible.
- The MHP grew in relation to the AKP, though they ran the elections together (National Alliance), and this will destabilize their block. New alliances, new needs and new possibilities will emerge in the bourgeois political arena. As the economic crisis intensifies, the contradiction in the ruling classes will be more visible. This situation will create opportunities for the class struggle. Because of the economic crisis and workers’ mobilization, the AKP-MHP dictatorship cannot be that aggressive against the labourers because of the possibility of worker actions against the crisis.
- Although the CHP achieved a great success in terms of the results, this was due to the lack of an alternative against the AKP dictatorship, rather than the success of the CHP administration. In fact, a more detailed analysis of the results tells us another story. Neoliberal policies and bad governmental experiences led to terrible results in many municipalities that had been already governed by the CHP. Despite the economic crisis and regression of the AKP in general, the CHP suffered serious losses in provinces such as Thrace, Muğla, Zonguldak, Giresun etc. Without the deepening economic crisis and people’s negative attitude towards the AKP dictatorship, it is obvious that the current results would not have come true.
- The CHP remains committed to neoliberalism, to the EU, to big capital and the US, and as such, the CHP can never be an alternative for the laborers. For example, in the face of the intensified economic crisis, will the CHP struggle against the IMF and the policies it will implement when the AKP reaches an agreement with the IMF? Or will it defend the harmony with international capital and the interests of the bosses? The key positions in the CHP are predominantly in the hands of businessmen and right-wing politicians, and the program is a capitalist one.
- The support of the HDP voters in the success of the CHP in almost every region has played an obvious role. On the other hand, the HDP, which determined the results in the west, has apparently failed in Kurdish provinces. This is due to the poor performance of the HDP in municipalities, the effect of the AKP trustees’ performance with all the propaganda and the response to the recent autonomy wars that have marked the whole process.
- The victory of “Communist Mayor” Maçoğlu in Dersim is an important opportunity for socialist politics to reach laborers all around Turkey. We hope that this opportunity will be utilized duly. It is a big question mark why the socialist left in Turkey hesitated and acted so sectarian about supporting Maçoğlu, who adds enormous prestige to socialist politics and creates opportunities in this sense. These actors have shown that they are not capable of carrying the class struggle forward. It is inevitable that the hostile attitude of HDP and its component organisations against Maçoğlu and the black propaganda they made will leave deep marks in left politics.
- In the coming period, where the economic crisis will deepen further, the struggle for the payment of the bill of the crisis to fall on the bosses will gain importance. This struggle can only be carried out with the tools of the class struggle. There are no ballot boxes in this struggle. On this issue, regarding millions of laborers’ kitchens, their children’s allowances, house rents, clothing; laborers can only rely on their own actions and on socialists. That is why the socialist left has to show itself to the laborers as an alternative. It is, of course, important that the AKP dictatorship has taken a step back, but our future depends on the success of the struggle for socialism. Otherwise, oppression will come back and exploitation will get wilder and wilder. Unless we are organized and empowered, we will be vulnerable to any dark scenario that history will bring before us.