24th of June elections: The politics has shifted to the right! Now it’s time to build the left and the unity of the working class

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In the elections of 24th of June AKP (Justice and Develpment Party) is the party that both has gone into decline and won the most number of MP in the parliament. AKP (Justice and Development Party), which had taken 23 milion and 681 thousand vote in the election on the 1st of November 2015, took 21 milion and 91 thousand vote in this election. AKP (Justice and Develpment Party) lost 2,5 milion vote between those two elections despite the fact that the number of voters increased 2 milion. This discloses the political feature of the new situation in Turkey after the 24th of June election.

Welcome coalition!

AKP (Justice and Development Party) can not have the majority in the parliament without the support of MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). AKP (Justice and Development Party) that won 295 MP in the parliament can only have the majority in the parliament with the support of 49 MPs of MHP. This means that the government party which was proud of ending the coalitions period in Turkey is now condemned to coalitions and we are facing political unstability.

In this election, the most surprising and unexpected move came from MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). It’s seen that approximately %7 of the vote that AKP (Justice and Development Party) lost in this election shifted to MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). When this is considered together with the political character of MHP (Nationalist Movement Party), the existing dominant coalition in the parliament indicates a shift to the right in Turkish politics. 

Another indicator of shift to the right is the fact that İyi Parti (Good Party) took %10 vote despite that it hasn’t even been a year since it was founded. One of the indicators of the right-wing political environment is that İyi Parti (Good Party), which came out of main fascist party (MHP - (Nationalist Movement Party) and has cadres who organised fascist actions in the past and played an important role in establishing the fascist tradition in Turkey, took %10 vote.

Why did Erdoğan win?

If it is compared with the referandum on the 16th of April 2017, it seems that Erdoğan has recovered his previous loss. Erdoğan who lost the a significant part of the big cities particularly Ankara and İstanbul in the 16th of April referandum, won the majority in these two big cities again. Whereas in the referandum on the 16th of April the opposition won the majority in the districts such as Eyüp and Üsküdar which were the castles of AKP (Justice and Development Party), in this election the majortiy in these distrcits voted for Erdoğan again.

How did Erdoğan win despite the fact that both the politics shifted to the right and the conditions that we have gone through creates some advantages for the opposition?

The first answer to this question is that the reaction of the masses to the economic crises is not limited to resistence. The masses may not want to change the captain of the ship when they go through a crisis and wave of impoverishment and there is a stagnation waiting fort hem on the door. On the 24th of June a substantial part of of the masses didn’t prefer an economic crisis which is accompanied by political crisis. This is one of the reasons why Erdoğan took that high vote while his party lost considerable amount of vote.

The other reason is that the polling companies and the majority hided the fact that the referandum that was held last year aimed at changing the governmental system and some AKP voters voted for “No” because they were against the change of the governmental system. But this election on the 24th of June was about who was going to be the president after the change of the system and people who were against the proposed new system during the referandum prefered Erdoğan to be the head of the new sysstem if the change is to happen. 

What kind of groundswell?

There was a groundswell that was mentioned before the election. One of the reasons that Erdoğan won this election is that the search of this groundswell in the wrong place. We’ve come to face with masses which shifted to MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) from AKP (Justice and Develpment Party) because of nationalist reasons rather than masses which wants democracy and equality. This indicates that the masses have sympathy for the state policy related to the survival of the state which has remained on the agenda for 2.5 years. Turkey radically changed its’ Syria policy, first put the peace process with Kurds aside and then gave up entirely, interfered in Syria in a couple of ways including military intervention. This effort explained to the masses by the joint local and national initiative.

The military coup which hapeened two years ago on the 15th of July led to the increase of the assertions of “foreign powers attempting against the existence of the Turkish state and pawns of these powers”. Both the polling companies and the left couldn’t foresee that the military interventions to Afrin and Kandil and the discussions with USA over Menbiç would turn into a nationalist groundswell. When it was impossible for the AKP-MHP alliance to win the majority in the parliament in the case of MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) takes %5 vote, the political conditions in which concerns about survival are kept alive constantly led to strengthen of the nationalist reaction.

HDP passed the threshold!

When evaluating the 24th of June elections it is essential to be aware of the injustice caused by the state of emergency in Turkey. The government used the power of all state facilities whereas the opposition was framed as enemy, custodies and arrests continued throughout the election process. Selahattin Demirtaş who is aour friend and presidential candidate had to run his election campaign from his prison cell. The election process was entirely a process of inequalities and injustices.

The oppression towards HDP (People’s Democratic Party) has been continuing for a long time. Thousands of members, MPs, mayors and administrator of HDP (People’s Democratic Party) were arrested. If we consider all of these together, the importance of HDP (People’s Democratic Party) riding out the storm would be better understood. HDP (People’s Democratic Party) again became the third party in terms of both the percentage of vote and the number of MPs in the parliament. The ones who thought that HDP (People’s Democratic Party) would fall outside politics through oppresion were mistaken. We had “One vote for HDP (People’s Democratic Party), one vote for Demirtaş” campaign for two months. Still we have to underline the fact that HDP (People’s Democratic Party) passed the threshold despite the oppressive conditions but its’ vote in the east of Turkey stagnates. In Bitlis AKP (Justice and Development Party) got ahead of HDP (People’s Democratic Party), and in the west the strategic votes coming from CHP (Republican People's Party) voters contributed to the HDP (People’s Democratic Party) votes. The most important reason for this stagnation is the method that was used in the nomination process and the candidates particularly in Istanbul.

Both instability and struggle will continue!

As the election of Trumps means the end of the world that we know, with the 24th of June election we have come to the end of Turkey that we know. Now we have to put the old habbits to one side and build the organisation of struggle and the left required by the new struggle era. TÜSİAD, the organisations of bosses, congratulated Erdoğan today and demanded reform. Last week the government accepted an IMF programme without IMF which aims at making the poor pay for the crisis in exchange for taking on debt.

Even though the politcs shifted to the right now we have to fight more intensely in order to build the united struggle of the working class. We will shout out louder that “we will not pay for the crisis, the bosses must be taxed”.

MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). is the biggest winner of the 24th of June election. This means that Erdoğan and AKP (Justice and Development Party) will be under the pressure of MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). This will open the door for right wing politics but on the other hand it will cause a continuous instability like a a sword of damocles hangs over government’s head.

On the other hand all the political parties except HDP (People’s Democratic Party) and including Muharrem İnce whose election performence has been liked a lot, made racist and nationalist statements regarding immigrants, particularly Syrians. İyi Parti (Good Party), MHP (Nationalist Movement Party), CHP (Republican People's Party) and AKP (Justice and Development Party) set their sight on Syrians. Couple of days before the election Erdoğan said that he was to send the Syrians to Syria. Acting with solidarity with the Syrians has become a more urgent task particularly after the 24th of June election.

Turkey joined the political climate which also shifted to the right and in which political figures such as Trump, Orban and Putin rises. This shift to the right which was prefered after the military coup on the 15th of July is getting stronger in the absence of an alternative which can address the poors voting for AKP (Justice and Develpment Party) in Turkey. Now it is time to strengthen the left again, resist to the darkness, and fihgt for peace and brotherhood under equal conditions. We should not forget that AKP (Justice and Develpment Party) has declined. This decline does not necessarily means rise of right wing politics. Our main target after the 24th of June election is to organise an alternative which puts forward the contradiction between bosses and working class rather than the contradiction between secular and religious and aims at winning the support of the working class and poors. We call everyone to unite under this target.

The Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party, Turkey (DSIP)
26th of June, 2018

(Translation: Arife Köse)