Demirtaş wrote: “As AKP collapses”

Fomer HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş wrote an article for the Yeni Özgür Politika newspaper on the June 24 elections process and the collapse of the AKP from the Edirne Prison where he is held hostage.

The political arena is shaking with various tactical moves as the June 24 snap elections draw close. The 50% threshold brought by AKP itself and the alliances act seems to have turned into a nightmare for the AKP-MHP fascist bloc.

If the opposition manages to agree on a principled arrangement, we may witness the “tragic” end of the AKP. Even though the fall of the AKP doesn’t mean that democracy will replace it automatically, there could be new grounds for a struggle for democracy and there can be leaps in freedoms with correct moves from the forces of democracy.

As the AKP and its leadership approaches the end of their life, they keep making greater mistakes. The AKP trying to break the hand that the Kurdish people offered for peace, rather than embracing it, was the beginning of the end for the AKP. The turning point for this was the denial and rejection of the Dolmabahçe Accord. What followed that is not news to anybody.

I watch with astonishment as some folks continue to write that the leader of the AKP is a political genius and has carried his political line from victory to victory with the ultimate smart moves. The political Islamist line that developed after 1940, mostly based in Egypt, achieved its most concrete victory in 2002 in Turkey when the AKP rose to power. What was the exact nature of the victory the political Islam line, aiming to make Islam a subject in social and public life again after 300 years of Islam being othered, looked down on and oppressed in the face of capitalist development, achieved in the person of the AKP, I wonder. Looking with an objective lens, one can see that even cultural Islam has deteriorated and degenerated in their time, let alone them building political Islam.

AKP and its leadership are seen in the Islamic community as “the men who sold out the cause” right now. It has long been understood that a leadership that allows profiteering, theft, corruption, oppression, injustice and moral collapse for their personal power can’t create a leadership for a new social system.

So, all the AKP’s election victories have turned into a Pirsus victory of sorts: They kept losing “the cause” as they continued to win power. This is a very tragic defeat for Islamists. The AKP Leader recently said in a meeting with his youth organization, admitting defeat: “We have been in power for 15 years, but we don’t have the cultural hegemony.”

Woe is political Islamists who invested all the accumulation of such long decades in the AKP Leader. That table has turned for now. Let us look at what we ourselves can do.

Just because AKP and political Islamists experienced a deep ideological defeat, will we leave Muslim peoples alone and abandoned in the face of capitalist modernity? This would not be acceptable morally, historically, or politically. The democratic Islam perspective underlined by Mr. Öcalan countless times should once again be inspected in seriousness and put to practice.

As capitalist modernity attacks all societal values, leftist and socialist groups remaining silent in the face of attacks against the values, lifestyle, culture and dignity of Muslim peoples due to anti-political Islam sentiment is a seriously mistaken approach.

Those who should embrace the freedom of belief the most are leftists. A left that doesn’t respect the values of a people that it fights for, and doesn’t take it as a responsibility to protect it against attacks, cannot be libertarian.

What the AKP and similar right-fascist tendencies feed on the most, is the left’s vulnerability and weakness in this regard. Now, right when the AKP is collapsing, it is time to treat the issue from a libertarian point of view rather than leaving the area to rightist fascism under the title of belief and social life.

Election works offer a significant opportunity to make this libertarian course visible and put it into practice. In the contrary case, even if the AKP mentality is sent to the dustbin of history, a right-wing tendency will replace it very soon. Considering the importance, seriousness and urgency of this matter, the leftist cadres of the Kurdish movement and Turkey’s revolutionary movements should take to the streets and show in practice that they are not far away from embracing the fundamental freedoms of the class struggle.

This should be done by ceasing religion to be a stick of the government and by opening freedom space for the individuals without falling into the mistake of orientation towards right-wing, and without pursuing the goal of directing and shaping Islam.

No leftist movement that doesn’t have a say and action on this issue in Turkey, Kurdistan and the Middle East has the chance of popularization and success. As elections provide new opportunities in many aspects, this issue shouldn’t be bypassed.

I convey my sincerest greeting, love and wish for success to all our cadres, our people and our friends.

Selahattin Demirtaş

Edirne Prison