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People’s Democracy Party Turkey (HDP)
Introductory note by LeftEast editors
March 31, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from LeftEast – For the last several months in Turkish politics, the party-state’s agenda has been dominated by two interconnected operations: consolidation of power and elimination of opposition.
Kurds and Turks are at the edge of a cliff: An interview with arrested Kurdish women’s rights activist Ayla Akat
Nadje al-Ali and Latif Tas interview Ayla Akat
November 4, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Open Democracy — Ayla Akat, lawyer, former Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP for Batman, KJA Spokesperson and prominent Kurdish women’s rights activists based in Diyarbakir (Amed) was arrested a few days ago alongside other Kurdish women’s rights activists.
They were protesting against the illegal arrest of Gültan Kışanak, co-mayor of Diyarbakir, who has been detained together with the city’s male co-mayor, Fırat Anlı. In addition, 27 elected Kurdish co-mayors are in prison in Turkey, while 43 of them were dismissed. On 11 September 2016, the central government appointed deputy governors as trustees to replace the dismissed Kurdish mayors who were elected by more than 70% of the public vote.
Supporters of the left-wing People’s Democratic Party.
By Dave Holmes
July 7, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One month after Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary elections, the country still does not have a government. Ahmet Davutoglu of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) remains caretaker prime minister. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains the dominant figure in the AKP and is actively manoeuvring to retain his party’s leading position. The president is supposed to be an impartial figure above party politics but Erdogan pays scant regard to such constitutional niceties.
The elections were marked by two significant and related developments.
June 8, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The June 7, 2015, general election in Turkey saw the radical left People's Democratic Party (HDP) win almost 13% of the vote and around 80 parliamentary seats.
It passed the 10% threshold for parliamentary representation for the first time, with a total of almost 6 million votes. The HDP won all the seats in the following Kurdish cities: Batman four, Agri four, Dersim two, Hakari three, Sirnak four, Igdir two. The party won 1 million votes and 11 seats in Istanbul -– a city with a huge Kurdish population although the party also won significant non-Kurdish support there. Thirty-one of the HDP’s 80 new MPs are women, the highest proportion of any party. HDP candidates included Armenians, Yezidis and Assyrians alongside Kurds. The HDP had the only openly gay candidate.
On the other hand, the ruling AKP has lost its parliamentary majority and recieved 3 million fewer votes than in 2010. The AKP lost many votes to the HDP in areas where it has had a big Kurdish following. Turkey's parliament consists of 550 seats; 276 seats are required for a single-party majority government. The ruling AKP has only secured 258 with which to try and form a coalition.
The HDP’s historic gains make the success of the peace process with the Kurds within Turkey more likely, and will restrict Turkey’s dubious relations with ISIS.
The speech below from HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş' 2014 presidential bid outlines the HDP's vision for a new Turkey.
June 6, 2015 -- LeftEast, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary elections fast approaching, all eyes are on the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) contesting its first ever election as a party, rather than a coalition of nominally independent candidates: a momentous decision on the part of the party leadership, which stands to gain clout in parliament and solidify its position as the electoral standard-bearer of the radical Left—or fall below the constitutionally mandated 10% barrier and be excluded from parliament entirely.
By Dave Holmes
May 25, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The June 7 elections to Turkey’s Grand National Assembly are shaping up to be the most important in a long time. The bold decision of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) to run as a party and strive to exceed the grossly undemocratic 10% threshold needed to win representation in parliament has put the group at the political centre stage.
Although its key support base lies in the oppressed Kurdish community, the HDP is reaching out to all those oppressed, exploited and discriminated against across the country. This includes women, workers, the Alevi religious community, Armenians, Assyrians and LGBTI people.
Support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has clearly slipped since the 2011 elections. The AKP will almost certainly gain the most seats, but the HDP's rise will deny it any chance of the super-majority needed to unilaterally amend the constitution through parliament.
AKP leader Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s supposedly impartial president, wants to establish a dictatorial executive presidency. This ambition appears to be doomed.
Poll shows AKP woes
Kurds rally to defend Kobane from IS killers.
By the foreign affairs commission of the People’s Democracy Party (HDP),Turkey
October 3, 2014 -- HDP, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Today the peoples of the Middle East face the threat of a large-scale massacre. Peoples of the region, particularly Syrian and Iraqi peoples, are putting up an historic resistance to ISIS terror. Heavy attacks by ISIS, especially on the Kobane Canton of Rojava, are being resisted by the people of Kobane and YPG forces. The defence of Kobane, under the siege from four sides, continues.
By Dave Holmes
September 27, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Besieged since September 15, the northern Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Kobanê (Arabic name: Ayn al-Arab) has mounted an heroic, all-out resistance to the murderous 'Islamic State' (IS, formerly referred to as "ISIS") gangs.
As of September 25, despite all the superior heavy weaponry deployed by the IS, it appears that fierce resistance and determined counterattacks have halted or slowed the assault. Nonetheless, the IS thugs have pushed closer to the city centre than ever before and the situation remains perilous.
Kurdish fighters after liberating Maxmur.
[See Dave Holme’s earlier report, “Kurds mobilise to fight ‘Islamic State’ over vast front”. For more on the struggle of the Kurdish people, click HERE.]
By Dave Holmes
September 2, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Across northern Syria and Iraq, Kurdish forces are locked in fierce battles with the murderous “Islamic State” (IS) armed force. Whether directly or indirectly, the whole Kurdish people is being drawn into this struggle.
In late August the Syrian Kurdish resistance forces announced they had defeated an IS push around the town of Jazaa in north-eastern Syria, close to the Iraq border. Hundreds of IS fighters were killed in the August 19-31 battles.
The IS attempted to cut off the YPG-YPJ (People’s Defence Units-Women’s Defence Units — the military arm of Rojava, the Kurdish liberated area in northern Syria) from their forces over the border in Shengal (Arabic name: Sinjar). The IS wants to establish a corridor linking Mosul and its possessions in Iraq with Al-Raqqa, its main stronghold in Syria.