Peoples' Democratic Party and Green Left Party (Turkey): We made an effort to open the door to democracy
First published at HDP English.
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Mithat Sancar and Green Left Party co-spokespersons Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar and İbrahim Akın held a press conference on the presidential run-off elections.
According to the preliminary results of the presidential election, Erdoğan received a good 52 per cent of the votes in the run-off for the highest office in the country on Sunday, while his challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the CHP came in at just under 48 per cent. According to Akın, this was a clear expression of the people’s will for a change of system despite all the repression.
“We have witnessed an unfair election marked by violations of basic democratic rules, which took place under the repressive conditions of the one-man regime,” said Green Left Party co-speaker İbrahim Akın. Akın criticised unfair conditions in the run-up to the election and state manipulation. “There was no free media, no independent judiciary. State resources were used in favour of the incumbent and a troll army on the net, in the service of the palace propaganda apparatus, by creating deep-fake content and spreading disinformation in the form of information pollution, has repeatedly made it clear that the election was not fair.”
‘Our people did not step back’
Akın said: “We have expressed and defended that the main thing in these elections was to change the regime. We made an effort to open the door to democracy by offering realistic promises to a society faced by a choice between authoritarianism or democracy. With this strategy and our fight accordingly, we stopped Erdoğan in the first round. In the second round, we continued with the same strategy with the aim of changing the regime. The results show that our voters have resolutely supported our party’s policies and goals, and have strongly expressed their will in this direction. The vote preference for Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in 16 regional provinces where most Kurds live was as high as it was on 14 May. Despite all the pressure and dirty propaganda, our people did not take a step back.”
Akın thanked the Kurdish people and all the voters of the Green Left Party for expressing their desire for change and democracy in line with their party policies and hailed their stance and struggle. At the same time, he was self-critical. It is necessary to analyze and work through the causes of the election results and draw the consequences, Akın said. “This is a requirement of our responsibility to our people and our tradition of struggle. In the heat of the struggle, we must keep one thing in mind: If the so-called People’s Alliance persists in its strategy of encircling and suppressing society, which it has been practicing especially since 2015, the hyper-crisis in Turkey with its economic, social and political dimensions will open the door to a major collapse.”
Against these policies and practices, the Green Left Party and HDP want to continue to defend society and its rights with all their strength and fight in all fields, Akın elaborated. “With all our deputies, we will defend the principles of democracy, peace, justice, equality and freedom under the umbrella of parliament and take our resistance for a democratic republic to the next level. Therefore, the main task of the political actors:in Turkey is to change the current system, which is clearly blocked, polarizes the society and destroys the foundations of democracy. With the 100th anniversary of the Republic in mind, it is crucial that we work together to create a civil and democratic constitution.”
Allowing democratic politics to grow
Society and politics are not hopelessly at the mercy of the downward spiral, but have the chance to consciously and actively intervene in the process of change, Akın stressed. Green Left Party and HDP are ready in any case, he said: “We are here. We will continue the democratic struggle for change both in parliament and in all other areas of life, we will make democratic politics grow. We will not deviate from this path. With the base of society, we will fight and win together.”