The president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lost the parliamentary elections, which people had been waiting for with curiosity and excitement. However, no one has come up and said, “What do elections have to do with Erdoğan, how come could a neutral president lose the parliamentary elections?” That’s because the whole world knew that these elections served as a presidential referendum through which Erdogan judged the possibility of his own political objectives becoming true. (With all due respect) “Mr. Pres(sed)ident” has lost his chances of becoming the president unless he finds another way or makes a coup d’état through a scam that is unheard of. In our article from last year titled “Towards a civil war regime,” we have laid out the conditions for a future dictator to be successful and said the following:
“The name Erdogan has been associated with “dictatorship” for a while now because of his “authoritarian” and “one-man-centered” attitude. Association aside, some circles openly call him ‘fascist.’ However, dictatorship takes more than a man’s will and subjective wants – it requires objective conditions (…) The prime minister has lost all fundamental advantages that are necessary for him to become a dictator in the past year! It’s obvious (or not) that the primary condition for someone to become a dictator is to carry a good reputation, have an image of “the savior,” and even of the “father of the nation” in the eyes of the general public, at least at the beginning of his time of power. If nothing, a general internal and external consensus that he responds to an urgent need is necessary even if it may sometimes come with aversion. A dictator candidate should prove his actual and/or historical necessity. He should be able to be approved directly or indirectly by the ‘world order,’ the internal and external big brothers, foreign and local financial capital, military and civil bureaucracy, and the average middle class members. He should also be able respond to the fears and concerns of these groups as well as to their demand of peace and stability.
What is more, a dictator must either have gained a ‘civil war’ that had put the future of the capitalist ownership in danger, or have annihilated the possibility of a ‘civil war’ that scared the groups above to death. This condition would serve as key for acceptance and legitimacy for a dictator. When it comes to our prime minister, it’s feared that the possibility of his possible presidency brings about a ‘civil war’ in the mid-run. Let’s not forget either that our prime minister, with his position, politics and attitude, is the very source of fear, concern and despair for a significant portion of the society instead of being the one to take away these feelings, whether artificially or not. More significant than anything else, it is very important for any dictator to have the general support and confidence of the people who have had enough of the thievery, corruption, bribery and plunder of the old regime.”
Despite not having fulfilled the requirements to be a dictator except his great will to become one, Erdogan had already gained the enmity mixed with fears and concerns of a large portion of people because, as a result of his unconscious and desperate acts, he has become a serious close danger for the whole country except for his immediate circle and interest groups. He made a large portion of the country’s population gather together around these fears and concerns even though one can’t even claim that the totality of these people represent “social democrats.” During his time as a “neutral president,” Erdogan has already shown us what it would be like to have him as “a president with a party” and that’s precisely why he has lost.
The second loser is AKP who must have gotten the first place under normal conditions but who has fallen to the “second place” because of the extraordinary weight of the Chief. And it did so despite the 40%! What would have been ideal for certain discontent leaders within AKP would be to reach a level of majority, which would allow AKP to form the government but which wouldn’t be enough for Erdogan’s presidency. Hélas, things didn’t work out that way. AKP remained much below 276 seats. It could only got 258 seats and lost its chance to form the government alone.
What’s at stake here is not simply the loss of votes, seats or political power. In addition to these losses, there is also the loss of a series of economic, financial, social interests and gains, which were enabled by the votes, seats and political power and which, through Islamic ways or through scams, were gathered in the big “pool” in which the party floated. So long story short, what’s in danger here is the reputation of political Islam as well as a gigantic structure, which is the expression of the years worth of “savings. ” What is more, these losses will not take place as simple reductions or diminutions. They will feel more like “earthquakes” and will evoke great chaos within bureaucracy, justice, security forces, business circles, media and all cemaat and tariqas that were conglomerated thanks to the government as well as within all back lickers who were gathered around the party and the palace.
The future of AKP
So what does the future of AKP look like? This depends on whether the party means something without Erdogan. No extremely powerful, charismatic and monist leader would allow the possibility of any other leadership or of any other candidate for the latter except for himself. In the absence of the “big chief” whose weight crashes everything, the party comes to disintegration and breakup in the hands of the secondary men (and let’s be just, sometimes women!) unless the big chief leaves a strong successor behind to whom he gave hand or whom he let survive. In parties who had always been at power and who owes its strength to be in power, the possibility of disintegration and breakup while they’re in position of opposition is much greater (see ANAP, The Motherland Party which was in power in the ‘80s). Even if the Abdullah Gul factor is uttered in certain circles and that the future of AKP surely involves certain political negotiations and balance of power, its existence actually depends upon Erdogan’s intentions, the form of the relationship he will have with the party, his fears and concerns that might make him even more dangerous and his will to “start over.” As far as we know, no one within AKP would take any precautions despite Erdogan. No one would dare to dream of anything else either. However, it is also clear that a struggle within the party will burgeon, which may come hidden at first but which will eventually become obvious.
Let’s not forget that AKP and its chief came as first party in the elections with 40% of the votes. There are several factors as to why AKP has lost votes in parallel with their dictatorship-like desires such as the course of economy, the deep injustice in the distribution of wealth, unemployment, poverty, rising prices and the worsening conditions of life. In addition to these, we can also list AKP’s political responsibility for workplace murders, its arrogance, its intervention in people’s lifestyles, its tendency to not even let people breath in any field of life that it doesn’t approve, its dangerous insincerity in the process of resolution of the Kurdish problem, its attitude that spreads hate for Roboski and Rojawa and finally the adventurous-dangerous-unsuccessful politics of foreign relations that it has been following. Yet, we shouldn’t forget that AKP still has the support of a significant number of workers; and Erdogan even more so. The elections results in Soma and in similar parts of the country points out to this fact. Even if AKP accuses all the opposition to act “ideologically,” its own power primarily derives from “ideology” itself. The loyalty of the AKP voters is based upon an ideological ground supported by an informal network of relations and by a system of alms and charity or so-called social support, which is organized around the party by using all facilities and opportunities of the state. The disintegration of this system wouldn’t come with simple calls to individuals or groups. It would only be possible if the workers and working masses gather together on the basis of class struggle, break this ideological tie and destroy this fake cemaat solidarity that holds the rich and the poor in unison.
The success of HDP
The real winner of the elections is by all means HDP, which managed to surpass many obstacles including the historical 10% threshold. During the campaign period, all means of state had been used in the utmost illegal ways; the President directly targeted HDP beyond all customs, rules, legal and constitutional limits. “Contra” groups whose identities and relationships were not hard to guess instigated bloody provocations. Despite all that, HDP surpassed all thresholds and obstacles. The party didn’t only erase AKP in Kurdistan. It could also stand against all tricks of the state and the government and managed to bring 80 deputies into the Assembly thanks to its power of resistance and struggle, its ability to be organized and its strategic mind and skills. In addition to its authority and prestige over its supporters, its capability of establishing discipline and its traditional experience of street struggle, its new power in the Assembly brought even more importance to HDP. This power will now hinder the fake “resolution process” of AKP, which, in reality, aims to liquidate the Kurdish national movement and it will force all of its interlocutors including CHP to put themselves together as well.
It’s very important that HDP takes an independent attitude when the grand bourgeoisie recommends a coalition to the parties of the order with enthusiasm and opposes early elections that is obviously not going to make anything any better or different. It’s becoming of the center of opposition within the left and its transformation into a country-wide political alternative rest upon this attitude. It is very important that their inclusive attitude doesn’t limit itself to an axis of “culture-identity” and that it rests upon the axis of labor to which a great majority of the suppressed class-wise belongs. The dissolution of the base of AKP, the attainment of the workers who still support AKP, and ending of the hatred of Turkish workers towards the Kurdish depend upon this. A good number of votes had long been “committed” to CHP, which has ideologically been the party of the state, because of the election threshold. Now these votes are casted to HDP this time, which meant, for many, taking a “risk.” If HDP could sustain these votes, it would be a great progress.
Liberal-reformist vices and the increasing political-class influence of the Kurdish bourgeoisie within HDP might fuel the tendency of integration into the order inside the party. However, a labor focused and prioritized political-class line would make HDP the main alternative among the left in social struggles and the fight for political democracy, especially since its militants and supporters are primarily composed of workers. In addition to demanding resolution and peace based upon justice, freedom and equality, HDP should also demand and struggle for the annihilation of the 10% election threshold, change in laws concerning political parties, labor and unions, elimination of all legal and de facto obstacles for strikes and union organizing, provision of labor safety and security, the annihilation of internal security law and all other oppressive laws as well as a call to account for the past. It is only by doing so that HDP can increase its support and ensure the continuity of this support. Any other scenario would cause a heavy disappointment.
Days to come
We will all see what will happen in the near future. But like we said above, the urgent demand of the grand bourgeoisie is not going for early elections at all. On the contrary the grand bourgeoisie is asking for a coalition that would defend its interests and ease the “markets;” for instance an AKP-CHP coalition. That’s precisely why they call everybody to act responsibly (of course, for their own sake!). The ideal scenario in effect would be a single-party government ruled by AKP, which is without Tayyip and which had lost enough power and become much more controllable but hélas, those days are over.
On AKP fronts, we understand, from what we hear from the mouth of Davutoglu, that the party leans towards a coalition, at least for the time being. The primary concern about a coalition for AKP is the “Tayyip Erdogan condition” that will be brought to the table by any possible coalition candidate regardless of which party it might be – in other words, the political passivation of the “Boss” and keeping him away from the affairs of the government. Even if this condition may not sound so bad for certain party notables, nobody would be able to guarantee it given the direct influence and power of Erdogan on the party. Besides, the “absence of Tayyip” may even lead to serious dangers given the critical situation that the party is in now. But for other parties, getting into a coalition with AKP under the leadership of Tayyip is no different than committing suicide.
(With all due respect) the Pres(sed)ident wrapped himself up with a weird kind of silence and a spooky tranquility due to the effects and fury of his defeat. It is as if the familiar “bully” has turned into a well behaved and “neutral” figure. He is inviting everyone to act responsibly! But we all know that this personality, as well as his circle, would be in deep trouble unless there is reconciliation within the order, which might be able to save him only through serious compromises. So we are all aware that this personality would and could do any villainy if it helps him prove the necessity of the presidential system. If RTE is the RTE that we know, we also know that he won’t get out of the picture that easily! It is not hard to guess that he would use all discretionary allocations, legal-illegal means and organized forces in order to keep a gigantic and definitely existing network of interests, thievery, corruption and bribery. Pretty much everybody agrees upon the fact that Erdogan would put anything into fire in order to prove that Turkey has no other chance but him and his presidential system. The issue for the “Chief” and for AKP is to assure that they don’t stay too far away from the power and that the break from governing alone doesn’t get too long and such assurance would come via different means such as coalitions, early elections, or even illegal or unofficial turns if nothing else works out. The main reason for seeking such assurance is the concern to be called to accounts for the past. What we should remember is that settling accounts with the past is quite necessary and would be touchstone for all other parties.
It must be that neither CHP has gotten used to its new “social democrat” image, nor did it give confidence to the voters because CHP kept on making no progress whatsoever in these elections. That being the case, they declared immediately that they understood the duty that the nation puts upon them and that they will act responsibly. As a matter of fact, the chance to become a shareholder of power after a very long time is not one to be missed. Any political entity that seeks for success and power must, one way or another, serve to the ruling class and act responsible towards them. On top of all other “social” responsibilities that they have, we have no doubts that CHP would fulfill this fundamental responsibility as well! By the way, we would like to lay out the fact that all votes that are said to be lent from CHP to HDP are votes that CHP itself had borrowed — these votes have never really belonged to CHP but still had been casted to them for many years out of obligation and due to lack of other options.
Another rising star of these elections have been MHP that managed to steal some nationalist votes from AKP to a certain extent. MHP received 16,5% of the votes without saying anything new but by simply using all known historical national fears, panics and concerns as well as the internalized “survival syndrome” and counterrevolutionary despairs. As a result, it acquired the same number of deputies in the Assembly as HDP. In the post-election period, MHP declares that they desire early elections while putting forward the condition of “ending the resolution process” all the while. However, considering the historical background and perspective of the party and their hunger for power, we can’t ignore the possibility of them grinning and bearing the situation and going for a coalition with AKP or CHP as required by their “national responsibilities.” MHP has always been one of the fundamental elements of bourgeois order. Our simple hope is that it doesn’t transform into an apparatus of civil war or into a provocation tool for as long as it could!
Joy and concern…
The loss of single and direct power of AKP and HDP’s surpassing of the election threshold created an atmosphere of joy and hope in the whole country and especially within the left. However, we are sure that “somebodies” will try to ruin this atmosphere. Our concern is not about classic political tensions; they’re bound to happen! What raises concern is what those who wouldn’t want to let us have what they couldn’t have could do. Same concern goes for those who would seek power by trying to prove that a possible chaos could be prevented only by a presidential system, and even by a presidential regime, or for the forces of classic or neo-classic Bonapartist order who would try to acquire a portion of power by taking advantage of vacancy and confusion if suitable conditions arise. The latest murders in Diyarbakir are not simple coincidences. They’re the continuity of the bloody election campaign led under the direct or indirect responsibility of the government and state forces. It fits very well with the President’s call to the Kurds that went, “Get rid of fascist Kurds!” It is obvious that a leg of the quest for power will be trying to make Kurds fight among themselves alongside a series of terror and provocation plots that will also involve the west of the country.
What about us?
We declare that the struggle of the working class and masses is the only thing that we trust in and we are rejoicing about the fact that the critical electoral support that we offered to HDP didn’t go to waste. Yet, we are well aware of the kind of world that we live in, the kind of country we have and the kind of living conditions that we are subjected to. We are involved in the struggle for all kinds of democratic rights and freedoms. Wherever we want to arrive, we know that the only way to get there is through struggle — that is primarily the class struggle. That’s why we don’t love in a world of “democratic dreams.” Besides anything, we know that the aim of a socialist revolution in this country is much better and more realistic than the aim of “best possible” liberal or radical democracy. For that reason, we are defending workers’ democracy against bourgeois democracies that could come under various guises.