Tendance Coatesy

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Left Kurdish Party HDP Celebrates Breakthrough as Erdoğan’s Islamists Face Set-Back.

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Our Sisters and Brothers Celebrate Break-through of HDP Party.

The Kurdish news agency, Rûdaw, reports,

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Democracy won over dictatorship in Turkey’s general elections on Sunday, said Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the HDP that looks set to become the first Kurdish-rooted party to enter parliament.

“In this election, supporters of peace and the democracy won against dictatorship and autocracy,” Demirtas said at a news conference after initial results showed the HDP had beaten the 10 percent required to get into the 550-seat parliament.

“Our victory was the victory of the proletariat, the working class and the exploited people of Turkey,” Demirta said. “It was the victory of those who intend to raise the Kurdish question.”

Demirtas reiterated that he would stand by promises made during the election campaign.

“Whatever we said during the election campaign will come true. From now, the HDP is a real party in Turkey. Thousands of people have a share in such an outrageous victory.”

With 99 percent of the votes counted, preliminary results showed that the HDP had won 12.6 percent of the votes across Turkey. With 10 percent of the votes, the HDP would win about 80 seats in the next parliament.

The victory means that the HDP, which is a pro-Kurdish party, had managed to win the votes of many non-Kurds, ending the single party rule enjoyed by the AKP since 2003.

It also means that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who angered the political parties by going against the constitution and virtually campaigning for the ruling party, will not have the pliant parliament he wanted to change the constitution, place himself as head of government and obtain unprecedented executive powers.

“There was a high inequality and the attacks they conducted against our supporters during the election campaigns was against peace and democracy,” Demirtas said, referring to deadly bombings and attacks on HDP offices and rallies in the run-up to the polls.

Latest news on the results (Guardian),

Opposition party leaders appear to be in no mood to discuss forming a coalition with the AKP.

The pro-Kurdish HDP party, which won 80 seats have repeated its unwillingness to do a deal with Erodogan’s party. Its leader Selahattin Demirtas, said:

“We have promised our people that we would not form an internal or external coalition with the AKP. We are clear on that.”

More significantly the nationalist MHP is also in an uncooperative move.

MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said:

“Nobody has the right to sentence Turkey to an AKP minority government. Whenever there can be early elections, let them take place.”

The Republican People’s Party [CHP], which came second with 25% of the vote, says it is ready to form a coalition if the other parties honour their pre-election promises of not forming a government with the AKP.

This Le Monde headline sums up the results.

Législatives en Turquie : Erdogan voit son rêve de sultanat lui échapper.

Elections in Turkey. Erdogan sees his dream of a sultanate escape him.

As we have already  posted during the election campaign Erdogan has railed against the opposition with exceptional virulence.

The Guardian reports,

Even by his shaky standards, Erdoğan’s behaviour during the campaign was exceptionally boorish. As president, he is expected to adopt a neutral stance. Instead, he barnstormed across the country holding rallies in support of the AKP. The results thus look like a very personal rejection.

Erdoğan directed insults, accusations and threats at his political opponents, female activists, the media, non-Muslims, and ethnic and cultural minorities of all descriptions.

Last week Erdoğan dismissed the HDP as a party of gay people and atheists, a description apparently designed to pander to the prejudices of the AKP’s largely poor, devoutly Muslim working class base. He suggested the HDP supported terrorism and was in league with the PKK.

Erdoğan notably failed to condemn more than 70 reported violent attacks on the HDP’s candidates, rallies and offices. After bombs killed two people and wounded more than 200 at an HDP rally in Diyarbakir, in the mainly Kurdish south-east, on Friday, Selahattin Demirtas, the HDP leader, condemned Erdoğan’s silence.

“He should go to Diyarbakir. Is he not the president of 77 million people? He ought to leave flowers where people were killed,” Demirtas said in Istanbul. Erdoğan later offered condolences but said it was Demirtas who should apologise over Syria-related violence last October.

Erdoğan has also been engaged in a vicious slanging match with opposition media, accusing reporters and commentators who criticise him of being part of a conspiracy to undermine Turkey.

People with memories (and not long-term ones at that) will recall that Erdogon and the AKK have been lauded as the moderate face of Islamism….

Update: “The election represents a watershed in Turkish politics, writes Constanze Letsch Istanbul and Ian Traynor in an analysis of the success of the leftist Kurdish HDP.”

The election result brought forth an embryonic new Turkey, but not the one the president wanted.

It produced what is tantamount to a cultural revolution in Turkish political life. Women will pour into the 550-seat parliament in Ankara in unprecedented numbers, 98 up from 79. Openly gay candidates won seats for the HDP. Most of all, the long-repressed Kurdish minority (one in 5 citizens) will be properly represented in the parliament for the first time with 80 seats.

“This is the first time that feminists in Turkey actively supported a political party,” said feminist activist Mehtap Dogan. “Up until now we have always done politics on our own, away from parliament. But this time we ran a campaign supporting the HDP because we believed in their sincerity when it comes to defending the rights of women, LGBTs and ethnic minorities.”

The HDP is the first party to introduce a quota of 50% female politicians, and all party offices and HDP-run municipalities are chaired by both a man and a woman.

The party’s successful attempt to break out of ethnic identity politics and broaden its appeal well beyond the Kurdish issue owes much to leader Selahattin Demirtas’ magnetism and his message of outreach.

But the mass protest movement born in a central Istanbul park two years ago and which mushroomed into national protests which Erdogan crushed mercilessly also fed in to the HDP’s support.

“During the Gezi [park] protests, many got an idea of what Kurds had to go through for years: the violence, the repression, the unjust arrests. It opened our eyes to the Kurdish suffering,” said Dogan. “At the same time, we saw how the pro-government press tried to turn our legitimate, peaceful protests into acts of terrorism.”

Just as Erdogan branded the protesters two years ago “riff-raff”, “terrorists” and “foreign agents”, in the election campaign he stoked division and malice by repeatedly smearing his HDP opponents as “terrorists, marginals, gays and atheists.”

He asked religiously conservative voters not to cast their ballots for “such people who have nothing to do with Islam.”

The tactic backfired as many religiously conservative Kurds shifted their votes from the AKP to a party that promised to represent everyone’s interests.



The Peoples’ Democratic Party (Turkish: Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP), Kurdish: Partiya Demokratik a Gelan) is an anti-nationalist[3][10]left-wing political party in Turkey, acting as the fraternal party to pro-KurdishDemocratic Regions Party (DBP). It was founded in 2012 as the political wing of the Peoples’ Democratic Congress, a union of numerous left-wing movements that had previously fielded candidates as independents to bypass the 10% election threshold. The party operates a co-presidential system of leadership, with one chairman and one chairwoman. As of 22 June 2014, these chairpersons are Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ respectively. The HDP is seen as the Turkish version of SYRIZA and Podemos.[11]

The HDP is a democratic socialist party that adheres to anti-capitalism and aspires to end religious, gender and racial discrimination. The party has a 50% quota for women and a 10% quota for the LGBT community when fielding candidates. The party is also environmentalist, opposing the introduction of nuclear power in Turkey and also speaking out strongly in favour of the Gezi Park protests in 2013 that began as an environmentalist demonstration. It is said to resonate with liberal, middle-class Turks.[12] Despite their anti-nationalist stance, the party has been perceived by some to be a Kurdish nationalist party due to their affiliation with the Democratic Regions Party and their support for minority rights. While the HDP maintains that the party looks beyond the traditional ‘Turkish or Kurdish’ dichotomy, it has openly participated in talks with imprisoned PKK rebel organisation leader Abdullah Öcalan.

More background: Turkey: Kurds, the working class and the new left — interview with Erdem Yörük.

Do not forget this: 12 YEARS OF MASSACRES IN AKP’S TURKEY.

The bomb attacks against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Amed (Diyarbakir) on 6th June has once again revealed the Turkish government’s (AKP’s) plans to massacre civilians in order to stay in power. Erdoğan and his team came into power with a discourse of advanced democracy but committed 17,153 murders during their time in power.

Human Rights reports reveal that AKP has offered nothing but death and massacres to the public since it came into power in 2002. Human Rights Association, Turkey Human Rights Foundation, and Labor and Social Security Institution reports between 2002 and 2014 shed light on the 12 years of AKP history characterised by murders. The reports of these three non-governmental organizations show that a total of 17,153 people were murdered through unresolved assassinations, extrajudicial executions, custody and prison, and work accidents during AKP’s time in power.

An important detail from the reports reveal that these murders have been constantly increasing since Erdoğan and AKP came into power with the promise of advanced democracy, particularly in Kurdistan since Erdoğan acknowledged the existence of the Kurdish issue in 2005.



Written by Andrew Coates

June 8, 2015 at 10:45 am

16 Responses

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  1. Andrew Coates

    June 8, 2015 at 5:19 pm

  2. The HDP had equal marriage in its manifesto. Which I just think is historic and made my jaw drop.

    Good report here on the HDP’s very brave gay candidate (didn’t get in) and the AKP’s vicious homophobia http://lgbtinewsturkey.com/2015/06/05/the-campaign-against-homosexuality-in-turkeys-elections/

    Paul Canning

    June 8, 2015 at 5:37 pm

  3. 70% of Turks in the UK voted for social democrats CHP and socialists HDP, only 14% voted for islamists AKP http://secim.aa.com.tr/YurtDisiENG.html

    Paul Canning

    June 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

  4. ‘The HDP had equal marriage in its manifesto’

    i guess that will ensure western support and the good will of the western ruling classes.


    June 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm

  5. And the good will of many Westerners, and non-Westerners who have no connection to the ruling class and indeed despise its every action.

    (This isn’t in Neil Clark’s Twitter feed at all. Suspect he’s kind of caught; supporting Erdogan would make him seem economically neoliberal, supporting the HDP would make him seem dangerously socially liberal. So he says nothing …)


    June 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm

  6. That should be:

    “And the good will of many Westerners, and non-Westerners, who have no connection to the ruling class and indeed despise its every action.” #ambiguityofcommas


    June 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

  7. maybe they should make Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner the middle east peace envoy.

    i am not sure how much good will the agenda really has. I suspect people go along with it because they are scared to speak out, especially as if anyone opposes gay marriage ‘equality’ (ha!) must be a nazi of some kind…


    June 8, 2015 at 6:54 pm

  8. I note that in Germany the AKP got 54%, but the HDP got 18% (CHP 16%). There is actually a (tiny; not “big” at all) “German AKP” which is only basically noted for denying being run by the AKP and for homophobic election slogans, and for bordering on being anti-semitic. It’s called “BIG”, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%BCndnis_f%C3%BCr_Innovation_und_Gerechtigkeit


    June 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm

  9. […] Source: Left Kurdish Party HDP Celebrates Breakthrough as Erdoğan’s Islamists Face Set-Back. […]

  10. @dagmar – most of the Turks here are Cypriots or Kurds. In Germany most are from Anatolia where the AKP heartlands are.

  11. I know, Paul – which shows what a great vote it was for the HDP here. Though it would be probably more accurate to say “most of their families are from Anatolian villages” as most of them are second or third generation and born in Germany…


    June 8, 2015 at 9:55 pm

  12. I wonder what the SWP and Counterfart will have to say about this: secular Turks and Kurds too backward to realise that Islamism is good for them?

    Jim Denham

    June 9, 2015 at 12:25 am

  13. “Counterfart”

    omfg we need this all the time to prick the pomposity. our very own malcolm tuckers. having just caught veep here’s some inspiration http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/08/jonah-insults-veep-testimony_n_7534296.html

    Paul Canning

    June 9, 2015 at 12:54 am

  14. I found a reference to “anti-capitalist Muslims” in the last Counterfire post about Turkey, August 12, 2014 ), including the digestion that the PKK was organising amongst said religious constituency, and the Gezi Park protests, and various others things, such as trade unions.


    Strangely the sooth-sayers of Counterfire failed to predict the rise of the HDP and its pluralist secularist agenda.

    Andrew Coates

    June 9, 2015 at 11:16 am

  15. the AWoL are just jealous of counterfire/swp because they have more support and are more relevant.
    Counterfire/SWP are anti imperialist, the AWoL are pro imperialist.


    June 9, 2015 at 1:53 pm

  16. AWL = alliance for wankers liberty.


    June 9, 2015 at 1:54 pm

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