The phantom election

Savran, Sungur

Publisher:  RedMed
Date Written:  08/11/2015
Year Published:  2015  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX19801

The author criticises the elections took place on 1 November 2015 in Turkey.The ruling party AKP took away two millon votes from the fascist party MHP, one million from HDP the predominantly Kurdish party. half a million from SP a fundamentalist Islamist party, the predecessor of the AK, another million from new strata that came to vote at a higher rate this time. The author questions and attempts to explain the discrepancy between the opinion polls and the electoral results.



Having lost a full one fifth of its electorate (nine percentage points) in the general elections of 7 June earlier this year, the AKP of Recep Tayyip Erdog(an, now president of the republic and formerly prime minister, made an unbelievable comeback in the snap elections held on 1st November. It regained all that it had given away earlier, receiving close to half the popular vote. Two million votes taken away from the fascist party, the MHP; one million from the HDP, the predominantly Kurdish party; half a million form a fundamentalist Islamist party, the predecessor of the AKP, and another million from new strata that came to vote at a higher rate this time.

The discrepancy between the opinion polls and the electoral results need not detain us here. What really matters is to explain the stunning volatility observed in the space of five months. Short of an apologetic cover-up for the AKP, the answer to the question of how the AKP rose from its ashes in such a short time should start with the characteristics of the electoral process that culminated in the polling of 1st November.

The results of the elections of 7 June brought Erdog(an to the brink of a precipice: having lost majority in parliament, he now faced the possibility of a probe there into his many crimes, first and foremost the notorious corruption cases based on very serious files opened up in December 2013 on the heels of the Gezi events. The reopening of those files, closed earlier by a pliant AKP majority of MPs, would have meant, given the sheer strength of the dossiers, the indictment of four of his former ministers as well as his son and, in all probability, ultimately himself. It is now known to the whole world that in order to extricate himself from this difficult situation Erdog(an reignited the war against the Kurdish movement grouped around the PKK. The calculation was to show the HDP, the predominantly Kurdish parliamentary party that had crossed the threshold of 10 per cent in the June elections as a party of war not one of peace and thereby push it below that fateful threshold. The three months lasting from the end of June to the polling on 1st November saw a ferocious war effort that almost recreated images from the 1990s, the period of the so-called “dirty war” of the deep state against the Kurds. Many Kurdish cities and towns were literally invaded by the police special forces and the army, a round-the-clock curfew declared extending up to ten days and a lot of people, mostly civilians, murdered in cold blood whenever they dared to defy restrictions.

It was in this atmosphere of violence and a suffocating series of restrictions and bans brought by the government and the judiciary, now almost totally under the control of the AKP government, that the electoral process, or whatever remained of it, unfolded. All the parties except for the AKP cancelled a part of their election rallies, with the HDP virtually abandoning the idea of having rallies for fear of another bomb attack.

All these ambitious projects make Erdog(an himself a ticking bomb for Turkey. More and more he is becoming the leader blindly followed by a wing of the Turkish bourgeoisie as well as a whole section of the masses at large and representing a scourge for the other. Turkey may have to pay a heavy price for his divisiveness and his ambitions.

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