In Turkey’s snap election held on 1 November, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) got 317 seats out of 550 and won more than 49% of the vote, compared with 41% in the June 2015 general election.
The main secularist Kemalist-nationalist party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), on the other hand, again found itself disappointed with a vote share of 25% and 134 seats. However, the biggest surprise came from the fascist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which lost nearly two million votes to the AKP, slipping to 12% from 16.3%.
The pro-Kurdish, leftist People’s Democratic Party (HDP) vote reduced from 13% in the June election to 11% in this election. All in all, the electoral victory of the AKP was no surprise. The Turkish people have been confronting “Machiavelli of the 21st century”, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has not hesitated to implement force, coercion, duplicity, political manipulation, and silencing the media. In other words, the victory of the AKP depended on restarting a war against the Kurds when the HDP passed the military-imposed 10% threshold in the previous June election and prevented the AKP forming a single-party government.
Since then, there has been mounting tension and violence in Turkish Kurdistan, resulting in the death of nearly 600 people, including soldiers, police, Kurdish guerrillas, and civilians. The HDP has also struggled to stand up to fascist attacks during the electoral campaign. This resulted in the cancellation of all its electoral rallies after explosions during a peace rally in capital Ankara, claiming more than 130 people. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu unsurprisingly built his electoral campaign on intimidation and manipulation by saying that if the AKP lost, the white Toros — a symbol of mass murderers in the Turkish Kurdistan in the 1990s — would return. Chaos and political instability were perfectly exploited by the AKP. It is fair to say that even the basic fundamental principles of liberal-bourgeois democracy — free, fair and competitive elections — were severely curbed. However, the HDP still passed the election threshold and with more than five million votes. This is a hope for socialists, leftists and progressive people. Socialists should fight not only against capitalist system and market forces but also against the nationalist fervour which is the obvious religion of Turkey.