It is not over! Workers in struggle will speak last
The June 24 snap elections took place under the state of emergency conditions. The opposition was neither given the time to prepare for them, nor received freedom of expression.
During the period leading to the elections, all parties outside of People’s Alliance, mainly HDP, were subject to significant oppressions. Many cities witnessed provocations against the opposition. Following the closing of the polls, a mass perception management was carried out through the elections results broadcasted by the Anadolu Agency so much so that it wouldn’t be wrong to say that all preparations were ready on the part of Erdogan to face a possibility of loss.
Opposition and the masses
According to the unofficial results, the AKP and MHP alliance managed to retain a significant portion of the votes from the Islamist and extreme right sectors. The bourgeois opposition parties, on their end, made it clear that they don’t really like mass mobilizations through their attitude of “vote for us and we’ll take care of things.” All they accomplished, as a result, was to create a dream of democracy, primarily imagined around Muharrem Ince. Despite the fact that they could mobilize masses who have had enough of AKP’s enmity against democracy and workers for their election drive, the reducing of democracy to mere votes and mobilization around polls ended up guaranteeing Erdogan’s victory.
Capitalism has been in a deep crisis, hence no longer has the luxury of furthering democracy. By insisting on their politics of turning the masses’ anger into mere votes, the bourgeois parties dragged masses into a defeat. Life does not get constructed via repartees against Erdogan or satire; constructing life requires trust in lasting organizing as well as in continuous mobilization of the masses.
HDP’s partial victory
Despite all repressive measures, the HDP’s keeping of seats in the Parliament by overcoming of the election threshold is a positive outcome for Kurdish people’s struggles. There is no doubt that the HDP is devoid of a revolutionary programme that could carry workers to power. Yet, its defense of Kurdish people’s democratic rights will still make it the target of Erdogan’s regime and People’s Alliance. That is to say, supporting HDP and millions that it represents in their struggle for democratic demands will remain important in the near future.
Possibilities and class struggle
Erdogan’s victory in the first round of presidential elections evidently strengthened his hand and the power of destruction of the People’s Alliance. However, the 16-year long AKP government has only brought recurring crises to Turkey. It has become impossible to avoid crises in economic, political, and diplomatic processes alike.
In the aftermath of the elections, the AKP sovereigns guaranteed their use of state resources for yet more time. The industrial bourgeoisie will keep supporting Erdogan’s regime in order to be able to keep attacking workers through lowering of wages and purchasing power of workers, seizure of severance pays, and strike bans. Despite that, Erdogan’s regime will face hardships in the near future, not simply because of contradictions between labor and capital, but also because of internal contradictions of capitalism based upon a logic of trying to make profit out of market competition, access to credit as well as of looting and plundering. The increase in Turkey’s account deficit, the country’s entrenched problem, as well as the growth of external debt to unpayable levels under Erdogan’s regime are concrete expressions of such hardship. In the upcoming period, Erdogan will try to fix these problems by attacking workers and nature. However, Turkish capitalism has been in a deep crisis and no matter which repressive measure Erdogan chooses to turn to in order to fix it, he will not be able to. It is quite probably that he’ll turn to the imperialism that he doesn’t miss a chance to scold, for help. This will have negative effects on workers while at the same time preparing the ground for their mental disengagement from his regime.
Therefore, the working class will have many reasons to fight in the upcoming days. Liberation could neither fit in a ballot box, nor come through a mere vote. Democracy doesn’t reside in a vote; it resides in our struggle, the struggle of workers. A reliable future could be guaranteed only through struggle of masses in mobilization, and not through the ability to count votes one by one. Given the crisis environment we’re living in, this would have still been the case even if elections went to the second round, or even if Erdogan lost in the first one. The ballot box would not have been able to prevent the seizure of our severance pays, the decrease in our purchasing power, the destruction of nature, or the increase in staple food.
Future is not written in counting numbers; it is determined by the struggles and organizing of workers. As Workers’ Democracy Party, we will keep spending all our energy in constructing our future along with workers in struggle.