HDP MP Kürkçü: We want to stop Erdogan 'a la turca' fascism

HDP election campaign in spite of daily harassments, persecutions and attacks across the country unfolds like a peoples' festival

ANF spoke to HDP Izmir deputy, Ertuğrul Kürkçü about the meaning of the 24 June elections, the guarantees which can be expected, the importance of the work done by the HDP to build a wide alliance which has set the basis for the work which is to begun after the elections. 

Given the strengthening of repressive policies both in the police-military and in the judicial side, we are far from a democratic system. Specifically as to what refer to the elections, which guarantees can we expect?

24 June elections are one of the most unfair, unequal, unjust and uneven elections ever held throughout 150 years of Turkey's elections history.

All what have been considered a fraud or a systemic vulnerability for a fraud in the past elections have gained the force of law following amendments in the elections law in the eve of snap elections: four of the seats in the seven-person ballot box committees have gone under the control of the existing power - the committee chair and the vice chair will be appointed by the district sub-governors (kaymakams) alongside two seats spared for Erdoğan's AKP and its ally MHP -a real threat for fair voting and counting in areas where opposition parties are nor well organized.

According to the amendment, ballot paper envelopes will be considered valid albeit they do not bear the ballot box committees' stamp -a gross contradiction with the previous clause of the law which conditions validity of the envelopes with that particular stamp; police and other security officers are empowered to enter in the voting zones notwithstanding the special invitation by the committee chairs.

A recent video footage showing Erdoğan in a closed-door meeting advise his accomplices the best tactics for electoral frauds leaves no doubt that 24 June elections are already marred with the most unabashed orders by the head of the state. 

And then there is the media embargo on the HDP…

Yes. HDP and other opposition parties are suffering from a shameless media embargo under de facto ban by Erdoğan. According to Transparency International in May, the public media TRT allocated total 147 minutes to AKP, 25 minutes to main opposition CHP, 25 minutes to AKP ally MHP, 14 minutes to MHP splitter İYİ Parti and null for HDP!

And of course the same applies for Demirtaş. But most horribly, Erdoğan has recently speeded up his slander campaign against Demirtaş, charging him for the loss of more than 50 lives during 2014 protests against the siege of Kobane and adding insult to injury calling for his execution - strikingly, Turkey has abolished death penalty 20 years now, while Demirtaş has never been indicted for involvement in the Kobane disturbances; no need to mention other deputies and thousands of  HDP workers and officials who are already jailed across the country. 

Nevertheless, HDP election campaign in spite of daily harassments, persecutions and attacks across the country unfolds like a peoples' festival in the urban centers as well as in Kurdistan provinces.

HDP strives to overcome the mainstream media embargo via creative and systematic social media campaigns. The most significant change in the electoral discourse is that Tayyip Erdoğan has lost his favourite trump card of aggrievedness to his most fearful rival Demirtaş: the popular conscience is on now on Demirtaş's side and not on Erdoğan's. 

The major incentive for both the HDP and the opposition in general dare participate in this fraudulent and unfair snap elections is the expectation that fed up with Erdoğan's arbitrary and draconian rule the Kurdish and Turkish peoples will flood the ballot boxes to clear the way out for an Erdoğan-free future: Gain 10 % vote for HDP and relieve yourself from Erdoğan's Sultanate. The public has already got the message!

Why did Erdogan call early elections?

The basic motive behind the “very early” elections was the government's desperate need to escape from the negative consequences of the economic and financial meltdown anticipated to hit Turkey in late 2018 or early 2019. Erdoğan was optimistic that he could manage to improve the situation with further “hormonization” measures.

However, since the political melt down of Erdoğan's arm-rest MHP's voter support was much faster than that of the overall economic meltdown, the veteran fascist pushed his ally from behind for early elections in order to save his political future. Erdoğan responded with calling very early elections -a wishful tactic to pull the opposition into the “ambush” while sidelining Bahçeli.  

However, the opposition parties were more than prepared for snap elections. The indicators for a worsening economy was already there and  heatedly discussed during 2018 budgetary debate in the parliament. The opposition converged on the opinion that the “groundbreaking” 7,4 % growth in 2017 was 'hormonized”: it basically stemmed from unparalleled government subsidies, tax reductions and other financial incentives and it was “relative”: achieved at the background of 2016 negative growth.

All in all the snap elections was forced for saving the government from the impact of impending economic meltdown but overall AKP policies now coalesce in a downward spiral for Erdoğan ans his dreams of a post-modern autocracy. 

In order to gain access to the Parliament, the HDP has to once again to overcome the 10% threshold.

Our major point is to stop Erdoğan and rebuff  his final leap towards a la turca fascist dictatorship. HDP, urges for reclaiming separation of powers alongside the general opposition, however the positive aspect of  our election platform is our political proposal to “refound the republic on a democratic basis with extended powers for local governments.” 

The HDP campaigns for refounding the country in the form of  “a democratic republic based on democratic autonomy for provinces and regions”, that is a radical democratic step forward for a new political framework to meet Kurdish demands for self-government and thus help facilitate the solution of the Kurdish Question through peaceful means. 

The future of Turkey's democracy hinges around HDP's success in overcoming the 10% national  national election barrier. Due to particularities of Turkey's present electoral system the AKP-MHP “Popular Alliance” will be ousted from power should the HDP pass the 10 % barrier but they will gain at least 70 extra chairs and gain a landslide victory should the HDP remain at the threshold. 

HDP has become the key element for the future of  Turkey and for the outcome of 24 June elections: will Turkey fully fall in the hands of an authoritarian-sectarian state or reset itself on track of a democratic takeover, the answer to this question mainly depends on HDP's electoral success.  

The HDP has promoted Demirtas as presidential candidate. He had a good result in the previous presidential campaign. What makes him a candidate who could actually go to the second turn?

Actually, Demirtaş and HDP bring about a single whole. His personal talents and charm adds further voter attraction to the mass following of the HDP and reinforces confidence in the party and the Kurdish masses among the young urban Turkish voters. His unjust and unfair incarceration also draws the popular conscience on his and HDP's side.