Friday, May 26, 2023

for debate - On the elections in Turkey on 14 May


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"FORGET THE 18 MAY OF '73!" The Power of the People is in its Organisation!
Description: The following article is the editorial of the latest issue of the newspaper Özgür Gelecek, which publishes on the MLM line in Turkey. This article analysing the election results in Turkey is not an "official translation".

It is necessary not to look at the masses of the people as voters, it is necessary to keep in mind that the people are subjects, that they are a power only when and only when they organise for their own class interests.
24 May 2023

On 14 May, presidential and parliamentary elections took place. While the People's Alliance provided the majority in the parliament in the parliamentary elections, it was announced that R.T.Erdoğan received 49.52 per cent; Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu received 44.88 per cent; Sinan Oğan received 5.17 per cent in the presidential elections. According to the official announcement of the YSK, there is a difference of 2.5 million votes between Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu.
Thus, it was announced that the presidential elections were left to the second round to be held on 28 May. Now an intense bargaining traffic is being carried out in the bourgeois political arena. As a matter of fact, it was reflected in the press that the racist fascist who received a certain number of votes for the second round openly demanded office and

position. It is clear that this bargaining has nothing to do with the interests of the people, it is entirely for the second round and the process afterwards.
Because the rates announced in the first round of the presidential elections show that both bourgeois cliques could not establish an overwhelming dominance over each other and that the crisis of capitalism in Turkey continues.
Contrary to what the bourgeois opposition said before the elections, there was no serious tension during the elections. However, the revelation of the theft of votes in favour of the ruling parties is quite natural in the ordinary course of elections in Turkey.
It is natural because elections in Turkey have never been held under equal conditions even in the bourgeois sense. Elections in our geography have a series of very "successful democracy" experiences from "elections with sticks" to "open vote and secret count"!
In the last election, the Turkish ruling classes, with their power and opposition, continued this historical tradition. The government used all the means of the state apparatus before and during the elections, while the opposition went to the elections by propagandising that the 14 May elections were more important than a normal election. This situation especially led to the disappointment of the bourgeois opposition in the face of the election results.
The fact that the elections did not turn out as they aimed for the bourgeois opposition caused demoralisation for the ruling classes represented in this clique and for the circles backed up by this clique.
14 May elections had a high turnout. According to the figures announced by the YSK, the participation in the elections was 87.04 per cent. Although the high rate of participation in the elections can be explained by the people's relationship between the elections and the ballot box in the conditions of Turkey, this alone would be an incomplete evaluation.
Although the high turnout rate in the 14 May elections can be stated that a number of factors, from the "let's finish it in the first round" campaign to the propaganda of "the most important election in the history of the Republic", especially by the bourgeois opposition before the 14 May elections, were effective in the people's going to the polls, it is necessary to see that the smallest demand for rights and democracy of the masses of the people in our geography is responded with fascist violence and that only elections are shown and propagated as the only way for the people to participate in politics, albeit for show.
In this way, the ruling classes suppress the people's demands for rights and democracy and their "political struggle" in daily life, and encourage their participation in politics only through elections, even if only for show. With the "feast of democracy" held every five years, the fascist dictatorship successfully conceals its real class character through such instruments as elections and parliament. This is what happened in the 14 May elections. The intense participation of the people in the elections must be evaluated from this point of view.
Many things can be said about the elections held on 14 May. In the first-hand parliamentary elections, it was announced that the People's Alliance secured the majority of parliamentary seats in the parliament due to the effect of the electoral system despite the loss of votes. Compared to the previous parliament, there is a certain decrease in the number of deputies of the government.
With the representation of the parties forming the People's Alliance, especially the Hezbollahist Hüdapar and parties such as the Yeniden Refah Party, in the parliament, comments that ignore the nature of the previous parliaments with discourses such as "the most reactionary parliament in the history of the Republic" are in need of explanation.
The previous parliaments were not democratic. It should not be forgotten that we are talking about a parliament in which Kurdish MPs were detained not long ago, moreover, the immunity of the HDP's Co-Chairs was lifted, leading to their arrest.

The frustration of the bourgeois opposition!
The first thing that can be said about the 14 May elections is that the ruling classes, as usual, make "democracy" propaganda through the election-polls. The known memorisations of the ruling and opposition are repeated again. In particular, it is clear that the second round of the presidential elections serves to hide the fascist character of the government.
Under normal conditions, the fact that those who "have already taken the horse and crossed Üsküdar" do not object to the small number of differences that emerged in the presidential elections and do not make a push from here means that they think in the long term, not in the moment.
As a matter of fact, the second round of the presidential elections is being used to make up the fascist character of the regime. As a matter of fact, the statements of the spokespersons of the regime, starting with R.T.Erdoğan's statement "How can a person who makes it to the second round be a dictator?" serve this purpose.
It is clear that the presidential elections were left to the second round as a conscious tactical policy, and that the government aims to gain mass support for its fascist practices by gaining a more overwhelming margin in the second round.
On the other hand, it must be stated that the elections were a complete disappointment for the Kemalist fascist CHP, which constitutes the main body of the bourgeois opposition. The "we will win for sure" atmosphere that had been spread before the elections was decisive in this. Even if the fact that the other parties forming the People's Alliance, led by the CHP, carried more deputies to the parliament than their mass support is expressed as a success for them, it is seen that the propaganda that R.T.Erdoğan "will lose in the first round", which was blown before the elections, backfired.
Under the conditions where the economic crisis experienced by the capitalist imperialist system is deepened by the economic policy implemented by the Turkish ruling classes through the ruling clique and of course prioritising their own clique and class interests; due to the further increase in the poverty of the broad masses of the people, the further decrease in the purchasing power of the people with high inflation, and finally the effects of the destruction caused by the earthquake affecting millions of people, etc., the bourgeois opposition hoped and propagated that it would achieve a great success in the elections.
However, the bourgeois opposition's calculation at home did not fit the market. Although there was not a big difference between the government and the opposition as of the announced official election results and the presidential elections went to the second round, the bourgeois opposition seems to have been influenced by this atmosphere created by its own hand. In the aftermath of the elections, a series of well-known memorisations and "evaluations" are flying in the air, ranging from "these people are incorrigible" to the absence of a middle class and the dominance of the lumpen proletariat.
Under conditions where the bourgeois opposition does not offer any significant solutions to the working and living conditions of the working class and the broad masses of the people in the face of the ruling class clique in power, we can easily say that the masses backing the ruling class clique in power behave extremely pragmatist. A considerable number of the masses backing the government have acted with the concern that the situation they are in will worsen.
This is related to the fact that the bourgeois opposition is not seen as an alternative by the masses despite the government's loss of votes. However, despite the second round of the presidential elections, the bourgeois opposition continues to repeat the same mistake and continues to compete with the AKP-MHP government in racism and nationalism. It is clear that these discourses will not return to the bourgeois opposition as a gain, and that in the bourgeois political market, the fake will not be recognised while the original exists.
What is really important here is the defeated mood created in these ranks by the fact that some circles propagating themselves as left and even revolutionary have backed up behind the bourgeois opposition of the ruling classes with the "claim of defeating fascism".
The situation experienced by these circles, who see the ballot box and elections as the only way of struggle against fascism, who show parliamentarism to the masses as the only way of salvation, is directly proportional to the meaning they attribute to the election and parliament.
However, the results of the elections and especially the presidential elections were not unpredictable, especially for the progressive parties and organisations in the ranks of the people. As a matter of fact, almost a month before the elections, we had emphasised that "the elections of 14 May are important, but they are not everything!" and pointed out the danger of this false success story created for elections in countries like Turkey. (ÖG, 12 April 2023) It is not correct to think that fascism will be defeated and destroyed by elections under conditions like Turkey, where elections are not held under equal conditions even in the bourgeois sense, where all kinds of fascist oppression and terror against the masses are escalated, moreover, all kinds of manipulation, threats and blackmail are used even in the struggle for power between the cliques of the bourgeoisie. As it is not true, it is a great political mistake to propagandise this to the masses and defend that it is the way to salvation.

That the policy of not backing any bourgeois clique's candidate in the presidential elections was correct has become clearer with the second round of the elections. It can be seen from the statements made on behalf of the candidate of the bourgeois opposition for the second round that the approach of supporting the candidate of the opposition clique of the ruling classes, especially under the name of regressing fascism, will serve the restoration of order in itself.
The bourgeois opposition propagandises the second round elections as a "defence of the homeland" and "saving the state". Neither the homeland nor the state belongs to the working class and the people. What the bourgeoisie calls the homeland is nothing but an apparatus of oppression to dominate its own market and exploit the workers and labourers, and what the bourgeoisie calls the state is nothing but an apparatus of oppression to maintain this order of exploitation. In order to win the elections in the second round, the bourgeois opposition has focused on racist and fascist discourses and anti-refugee statements. It is clear that this discourse will feed racism and chauvinism among the masses and legitimise the hostility towards refugees.
Moreover, this discourse has no chance of winning against the fascist clique in power.

Don't prepare for new days of struggle!

In the 14 May elections, it has been seen that the policy of the parties and organisations in the ranks of the people not insisting on their independent positions and backing the candidate of the bourgeois opposition in the struggle for power between the ruling class cliques was a tactical mistake. This tactical mistake was not unforeseeable. As a matter of fact, the decision of "not to field a candidate" announced by the "EÖİ" and mainly by the HDP is of course not politically correct when considered from the point of view of a party struggling within the politics of order and 'aiming for power'. The attitude of not nominating a candidate also means a lack of assertiveness in itself in terms of politics within the order." (ÖG. 29 March) and "It is not a correct policy for the Labour and Freedom Alliance, which is formed by progressive, revolutionary and patriotic forces taking part in the ranks of the people with the election process, not to nominate a candidate and implicitly point to the candidate of the bourgeois opposition, K. Kılıçdaroğlu..." (They Will Not Go with the Election, ÖG, 12 April).
Despite this tactical mistake, it is not correct to evaluate the Green Left Party's loss of votes as a "heavy defeat". The fact that the Green Left Party entered the elections instead of the HDP, which was under the threat of closure, the heavy pressure of fascism on this party, the detention, arrest attacks, the list discussions within the alliance and entering the elections with a separate list, etc. are effective in the loss of votes.
It is necessary not to look at the masses of the people as voters, to keep in mind that the people are subjects, that they are a power only when and only when they organise for their own class interests. Elections are only and only a part of this struggle, but never the determinant of it. Any consciousness that forgets this fact will be frustrated by the election results of the ruling classes. It is known that there will be no fundamental change with the elections and that "the order will not change".
The way for this consciousness to come to life is to organise a united revolutionary struggle by using every method and means.
Within the intense election agenda, at the same time, on the 50th anniversary of the murder of the communist leader İbrahim Kaypakkaya, Comrade İbrahim was commemorated in many places. Despite the intensity of the process within the election ballot agenda, it has been an important step for us to bring Comrade Kaypakkaya to the agenda with a more widespread and dynamic, effective work compared to previous years.
Obviously, in the climate of ballot box-election and pessimism,
Kaypakkaya was also showing the way to real salvation. In the 50th anniversary of his immortality, once again this young communist leader in a cap shows us the path we need to walk and continues to teach us what we need to do: "Remember, Remember 18 May '73!"

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