Tue May 28, 2024
May 28, 2024

The Municipal Elections in Türkiye

By Kırmızı Gazete

1. The results of the municipal elections are likely to lead to a structural change in Turkish politics. As a result of the regime’s aggressive economic program, unemployment and the cost of living have increased, and the reaction against these attacks has been reflected in the ballot box as a drop in support for the existing AKP-MHP government bloc.

2. The Erdoğan regime has been unexpectedly set back in the elections. Its historic defeat in Istanbul, which is almost as important for Erdoğan as the elections in Türkiye as a whole, will shake the regime. The loss of money which came from controlling Istanbul and especially from earthquake zone-municipalities, which were primed for new investment, will accelerate the flight from the AKP-MHP alliance.

3. The two party-bloc system between CHP and AKP, which saw some consolidation in last year’s presidential elections, was further consolidated in the municipal elections.

It can also be seen that the center-right liberal formations such as DEVA and the Future Party, and nationalist parties such as the Good Party, on which the bourgeois liberals had pinned their hopes, have done their job and thus nearly disappeared from the political scene.

4. There is a possibility that the current Erdoğan’s bonapartist regime may collapse in on itself. The AKP-MHP alliance may dissolve. It may even take action into its own hands, including the possibility of coups.

The ruling bloc has never tasted defeat on such a large scale before, leaving cracks in their rule that the working class and socialists can use to leap forward.

5. Kurdish voters organized against the AKP and it worked. DEM Party (a new Kurdish party) has consolidated itself in the Kurdish region. The election campaign carried out by DEM against all the forces of the state has been successful.

6. The daily transport of policemen and soldiers to vote in Kurdish provinces, which is directly reflected in the results, is unacceptable. The elections in Kars, Şırnak and Bitlis must be re-run! “Erdoğan and his regime, who used to say that “open voting was used during the CHP’s single party period”, carried out a ballot box coup in the places where the DEM Party won. It is clear that the DEM Party is the winner of the elections in Kars, Şırnak and Bitlis. The elections must be repeated after being audited by independent committees. Transferred votes must be deleted.

7. The rise of the Welfare Party (YRP) means strengthening another “national Islamist right” party instead of AKP. The YRP has gained a certain influence on the workers, especially in Anatolia. This rise can be stopped by the organized presence of working class revolutionaries in working class regions. Undoubtedly, the unmasking of the government on the Palestinian question and the voicing of political demands such as the liberalization of cannabis cultivation have been decisive in this rise. The socialist left must consider intervening around these issues. As a pole of regroupment for dissatisfied AKP supporters, the YRP will become a counter-revolutionary element within the working class.

8. Despite it being an important province for socialists and a city gravely damaged by the 2023 earthquakes, the left failed to win in Hatay. Part of its failure was due to the nomination of right-wing people in the Workers’ Party of Türkiye (TIP, ex-Stalinist) who had no concern other than their own future.

The fact that even in regions with a high support for socialism, a left bloc could not be created despite the debilitating weakness of the bourgeois parties, will be remembered by history.

It is noteworthy that the candidates in the town of Defne and in a few other towns, some left candidates came close to winning despite the lack of a socialist bloc to support them. Their calls for solidarity fell on deaf ears. We hope that socialist parties recognize this failure and engage in honest self-critique (but we’re not holding our breath).

9. As the socialist left’s program problem gets worse and worse, we’re only going to see more attempts to co-opt working-class revolutionary movements. Suddenly, winning a seat in parliament and other bourgeois institutions becomes the sole barometer of political success. We expect that there will come a day in which the socialist left will parrot the new liberal rhetoric of “democracy won”.

10. However, at the same time, we think and see that this atmosphere of victory will trigger unionization processes in workplaces, as we have observed, and increase the possibility of organizing more boldly.

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