Turkey in 2019: An Assessment
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/03/2019
Year Published: 2019
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23488
A look at the current state of the Erdogan regime in Turkey as well as the hopes and challenges of what the left can accomplish.
Prior to the election, some analysts went so far as to suggest there is a new left in the making in Turkey. In particular, the Kurdish movement and the relative success of the pro-Kurdish and leftist People's Democracy Party (HDP) since its creation in 2012 has been a cause for optimism for some on the Turkish and international left.
The HDP's passing of the 10% threshold to enter parliament in the June election in a deeply oppressive environment, and the party's presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas's garnering of more than eight percent of the vote despite being imprisoned - and therefore silenced in the media and unable to campaign - further suggests there exists a base for radical social change in Turkey....
Thus, there are two ways in which to view Turkish society from a socialist perspective in 2019. On the one hand, the election results of 2018 appear to further entrench the authoritarian AKP regime government while providing it with a veneer of democratic legitimacy, as Erdogan and his rightist coalition continue to suppress dissent and supporters rally around the populist-conservative appeal of the Great Leader.
On the other, the inability of the conservative alliance to make deeper electoral inroads demonstrates the failure of the AKP's hegemonic project, and portends instead a possible progressive future. Which of these of these interpretations is more persuasive?