Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

What’s Next After the AKP’s Bloody Electoral Victory?

After the newly called elections, there is an atmosphere of defeat. The AKP managed to win the elections after an intense campaign of violence. A new wave of neoliberal offensives awaits at the door, with Erdogan only promising war and barbarity. But in the end, class struggle will decide the future.

Baran Serhad

November 13, 2015
Facebook Twitter Share

For five months, there was a nationwide state of exception in Turkey. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) carried out a bloody electoral campaign. Under the label of “Anti-terror operations,” President Erdogan unleashed state-sponsored terrorism against the Kurdish movement and the left. Hundreds of people were murdered and thousands were imprisoned. Consequently, the AKP ensured that it will continue to govern on its own.

Will the assassinations stop now after the AKP’s electoral success? Will the confrontation of the government against the Kurds and the Left cease and calm return to Turkey? Will there finally be economic and political stability, as the capital hopes?

The political conditions in the region speak against this: Erdogan’s bellicosity and hostile external relations led the Turkish state into a geopolitical crisis, as evidenced by the facts that the “Turkish model” of moderate islamism and neoliberalism failed to succeed in Egypt and that Turkey isolated itself by backing Assad in the civil war. Now, Erdogan wants to make concessions to the imperialist powers in order to present himself as an “agent of stability” in the region. The first signals to this effect were the meeting with Merkel on the refugee crisis and the meeting with the US about the situation in Syria.

Internally, there is also very little to suspect that the government’s instability will decrease. Possibly, AKP-critical sectors of the Turkish bourgeoisie will advocate “peace” in order for the government to concentrate on economic “reforms,” because the Turkish economy is shrinking and Erdogan will try to overcome instability by harsh economic attacks. The first lay-offs are already happening.

The HDP’s role

The pro-Kurdish party HDP was especially affected by the state-organized assassinations of the last months. Hundreds of HDP offices were attacked, dozens of HDP activists were murdered at the massacres in Diyarbakir, Suruç and Ankara, and hundreds of Kurdish politicians were detained. Several Kurdish cities were put under siege by Turkish military and some military confrontations remain ongoing. Under the threat of further attacks, the HDP stopped its public electoral campaign and thus was unable to act under conditions equal to the other parties. Within that context, it is especially noteworthy that the Kurdish people reached a parliamentary representation anyway.

At the same time, it is important to emphasize that the HDP has limited itself to a purely observing role in the face of Erdogan’s course of increasing bonapartization. The HDP tries to present itself as a “trustworthy” party to end the “regime crisis”. However, this conciliatory role will only deepen the attacks on the workers by the government and the capitalists. The HDP abstained from mass mobilizations against Erdogan’s violence and limited itself to angry pronouncements. The non-existence of resistance was one condition for Erdogan’s ability to continue his murderous policy. After the Ankara massacre there was a two-day general strike, but in reality it was a funeral vigil.
In this period of offensive by the Turkish state, the HDP is turning right: The co-president of the HDP, Selahattin Demirtaş, argues that a coalition government would be the democratic solution, instead of an authoritarian one-party government. Before the elections, Demirtaş had already declared his willingness to discuss coalition options with the AKP and the CHP. Now, the bourgeois sectors of the HDP declare their desire to debate a new presidential system, which would grant Erdogan even more authoritative power.

But there is no resistance within the party against this conciliatory course because the representation of conservative and bourgeois sectors supposedly expresses the “democratic plurality of the party”. That ignores the fact that the interests of the bourgeois sectors amount to a renunciation of the interests of the workers. The willingness to debate the presidential system serves to legitimate Erdogan’s belligerent policies.

How to go on?

The elections are over. Erdogan will continue to rule the government. It is illusory to expect opposition from the conciliatory parties like the HDP, which are not wiling to raise demands for the class struggle. But the demoralization of the masses only serves Erdogan’s anti-worker and chauvinistic plans.

In contrast, the experience of the Gezi protests and of the workers’ struggles of the last few years show that Erdogan is very afraid of mass mobilizations and the organized class struggle. It is necessary to launch a broad campaign calling for the resignation of Erdogan and the new government, for the judicial conviction of the corrupt politicians, and for the independent investigation of the massacres. The answer to the authoritarian one-party government can’t be a coalition government but only the implementation of a free and sovereign constitutional assembly based on the mobilization of the masses.

Facebook Twitter Share


The Unknown Paths of the Late Marx

An interview with Marcello Musto about the last decade of Marx's life.

Marcello Musto

February 27, 2022

The Critical Left in Cuba

Frank García Hernández discusses the political and economic situation in Cuba and the path out of the current crisis.

Frank García Hernández

February 27, 2022

Nancy Fraser and Counterhegemony

A presentation from the Fourth International Marxist Feminist Conference.

Josefina L. Martínez

February 27, 2022

Who is Anasse Kazib?

Meet the Trotskyist railway worker running for president of France.

Left Voice

February 27, 2022


Robert Habeck Wrote a Play Praising a Right-Wing Mass Murderer

Germany's Green vice chancellor strikes many as an idealist who has been struggling with the tough realities of government. Yet before he was a national politician, he wrote a play that opens a window into a dark soul.

Nathaniel Flakin

December 1, 2023

The World Kissinger Built Must Die Too

Henry Kissinger died at 100 years old. But his legacy remains in the brutal world system he built and the future generations of imperialist ghouls he inspired. They all must go.

Samuel Karlin

November 30, 2023

Fact Check: Did German Leftists Try to Bomb West Berlin’s Jewish Community Center in 1969?

Answer: No. The bombing was undertaken by West Germany’s domestic secret service, originally founded by Nazis.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 29, 2023
Protesters in NYC for Palestinian liberation.

Uniting Workers for Palestine Is a Fight for the Future of Labor

The struggle for Palestine shows the potential for the rank and file to push unions to break with imperialism and to build a new, combative, and internationalist unionism.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

November 27, 2023