Parliamentary election factsheet
On Sunday democracy is at stake in Turkey.
The 24 June election have already been labelled as one of the most unfair, unequal, unjust and uneven election ever held throughout 150 years of Turkey's elections history.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called early parliamentary and presidential elections in an attempt to escape 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 artificial growth measures.
On the other hand, the policies of war carried out by the AKP-MHP alliance have contributed to the risk of bankruptcy of the State’s finances.
The elections were originally due on 3 November 2019, but Erdoğan felt he would not resist till then and moved earlier, in this supported and pushed to a certain extent by his partner, the MHP which sees its consensus eroding.
The 16 April 2017 constitutional referendum meant, among other things, that the Assembly is now composed of 600 deputies, up 50, yet the legislative power of Parliament have been greatly reduced.
The referendum was approved by a 51-49% margin, according to official results, but many irregularities have been reported, included a last minute change in the election rules by the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) during the vote which allowed unverified ballots to be counted. The opposition said that at least 1.5 million extra ballot papers have been added to the count.
The AKP will run with the MHP in what has been called the “People’s Alliance”.
The HDP have received support from many smaller left parties and it had actually formed a broad alliance of movements and civil society groups and associations, plus many of the nations of Turkey, namely the Assyrian and the Armenians, as well as the different beliefs, like Alevi, Ezidi.
The CHP, SP, IYI parties will run under the Nation Alliance.
The HDP: A breath of fresh air
The party presented its election manifesto giving its vision for a new Turkey. The emphasis is put on the real possibility of change provided by the HDP and on the much needed “breath of fresh air”, the party is promising to voters called to the polls on 24 June.
The party’s vision for a new Turkey. The emphasis put on the real possibility of change provided by the HDP and on the much needed “breath of fresh air”, the party is promising to voters called to the polls on 24 June.
The HDP promises to begin a transition process on the evening of 24 June, should the people decide to vote for the democratisation of Turkey. “We have a roadmap to democratisation - say the HDP - containing solutions to the problems experienced during the one-man regime”.
Not an easy road, but, say the HDP “we will begin the process of drawing up a Democratic Constitution based on liberal secularism, pluralism, multi-linguism, multi-faith and equal citizenship”.
We’ll solve the Kurdish question
The manifesto underlined that lasting peace in Turkey depends on the solution of the Kurdish question and insisted that in fact the solution of the Kurdish question is connected with the democratisation process in Turkey. Peace, said the manifesto, is not just absence of conflict, death and suffering. It is at the same time it a real work towards coexistence.
A manifesto for women
The HDP underlined that among the most oppressed section of society by the AKP regime, are women. For this reason, 24 June will mark not only the end of the AKP regime but also the birth of a new era, where there will be no room for sexism, violence against women, chauvinism. After 16 years of oppression, women will finally come to the fore again.
At the 7 June 2015 elections, the results were as followed:
AKP 258 seats
CHP 132 seats
MHP 80 seats
HDP 80 seats
This meant a drop for the AKP by 69 seats compare to the previous elections.
Erdoğan was not happy at all with this result (40,8%) and indeed did not accept it.
The real surprise of the 7 June 2015 elections was indeed the HDP which overcame the 10% threshold (totalling 13,1%) and sending 80 deputies to parliament.
A great success which Erdoğan could not allow.
The President formally tasked Prime Minister Davutoğlu with forming a new government on 9 July, with the Constitution granting Davutoğlu 45 days (until 23 August) to form a new government.
The first round of coalition talks involved discussions between the AKP with the CHP, MHP and HDP, after which the AKP announced that they would no longer pursue any negotiations with the HDP.
The second round of negotiations mainly focused on the CHP, while the MHP declared their support for an early election and closed their doors on any form of deal soon after.
Negotiations between the AKP and CHP continued into August, lasting collectively over 35 hours. The CHP unveiled 14 principles upon which a coalition government involving them would stick to, involving many of their manifesto pledges.
The MHP later backtracked on their support for an early election and supported the formation of an AKP-CHP government.
On 13 August 2015, the leaders of the AKP and CHP met for a final time in a meeting that had been perceived to be where a final decision would be made on whether to form a coalition government. The meeting ended after the AKP proposed a three-month interim government followed by fresh elections, despite the CHP's insistence that the government should last four years.
Not surprisingly the breakdown of coalition negotiations between the AKP and the CHP, as well as the MHP's scepticism of forming a coalition government resulted in Davutoğlu stating that an early election was the only option.
It appeared clear that the AKP in fact wanted early elections badly. And it got them.
New elections were called for 1 November 2015, of course anticipated by provocations and attacks aimed at accusing Kurds and their supporters of fabricated ‘crimes’.
Democracy as Erdoğan orders
When Turkey went to the polls on 1 November things were tense. The election took place amid security concerns after Erdoğan withdrew from the talk process initiated by Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Indeed the results were as following:
AKP 317 (49.5%)
CHP 134 (25.3%)
HDP 59 (10.7%)
MHP 39 (11.9%)
Strong of these figures, result of the democracy which Erdoğan likes, i.e. “We go on until I win”, the President launched a war against Kurds, detaining elective representatives, but also destroying cities and jailing thousands. The 15 July 2016 coup provided him yet another opportunity to increase pressure and repression of all dissidents.
On Sunday, at stake is democracy in Turkey.