Global Independent Analytics
Miray Aslan
Miray Aslan

Location: Turkey

Specialization: Media, Politics

TURKEY'S ELECTIONS: IS THE REFRIGERATOR A+?

Everyone wants peace

The pro-Kurdish the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) won 13 percent of the vote in June 7 2015 general elections, bringing to an end the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) single rule since 2002. Moreover,  HDP entered parliament as a party, rather than as individual independent MPs for the first time.  HDP therefore prevented AKP from gaining 400 MPs who could single-handedly rewrite the constitution.  

However, due to Erdogan’s wish to go for new elections while AKP has full control, attempts to form a coalition government after the elections in June had failed and November 1, 2015 was appointed as the date for “repeat” elections. The new elections were formed to remind voters  that "AKP is the party of stability." If there would be a no vote for AKP, there would be no stability in the country.  In August 2015, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that "the Peace Process had been put in the refrigerator.” He was referring to the ceasefire between the Turkish army and militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and to the peace process  Turkey  had been maintaining since March 2013. The aim of the peace process is to solve the Turkish-Kurdish conflict in a democratic way.

There appears to be a deeper connection than a superficial glance reveals between the frozen  peace process and Cemile Çagırga's dead body, kept in a fridge for several days in the family’s home before the young girl was buried.  Cemile  who was shot and killed  by the police in front of her house, but her body could not be transferred  to the morgue due to the curfew in Cizre. Before the recent elections, Turkey's government had lifted the curfew in the southeastern city of Cizre, the scene of heavy fighting between the army and fighters from the PKK.   For Cemile Çagırga, it was too late.  After nine-day curfew, the government said that up to 32 outlawed PKK fighters were killed in Cizre, while the pro-Kurdish party contended a civilian death toll of 21, including children. The co-leader of HDP, Selahaddin Demirtaş, noted that Cizre was being punished for voting “84 percent for the HDP.”

Setting November 1

The AKP goverment  allowed the police  to target its own citizens in the name of ‘operation on  terrorism’ in Cizre.  The state media announced  that HDP is the political wing of the PKK, and as such it is a terrorist organization in and of itself, calling the party "HDPKK." Following this,  HDP offices came under attacks with around 130 of the party offices destroyed, along with many  television and newspaper offices termed as  anti-goverment by the AKP.  Suprisingly no one was captured by police at that time of the attacks on the HDP offices, as policeman were watching angry "civilians" create terror inside the city centers. Furthermore , it appears not to be a coincidence that ISIS was active during the exact same time, when hundreds were killed  and wounded in suicide attacks carried out by ISIS. The attacks resulted in the deaths first of 33 pro-Kurdish activists who were planning to help rebuild Kobane in July 4  and then of civilians participating in the  HDP's Diyarbakır election rally, in June. 102 people were killed in the recent Ankara Peace Rally attack. Demirtas, a co-leader of HDP, blamed the government for the attack: "Who are you to keep threatening us? We will not allow you to kill us like this, day after day. We are the ones who are dying,” he said. The party cancelled rallies following the latest Ankara attack due to security concerns. In the other camp, with the Muslim Holy Book held in his hand Erdoğan was starring in rallies showing the people how he  is fighting  against "the evils which are supported by the West, trying to divide the country and destroy religion."  Erdoğan of course took no responsibility fort he terror attacks and was quick to describe  blasts  as a “provocation” designed “by PKK or Western evils.” The AKP’s aim seemed to be getting more votes, as the party actually benefited most from the services of the state and the municipalities. Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT, gave the AKP more extensive coverage than any other party. On the other hand, whomever wrote or broadcasted negative news about Erdogan or AKP was arrested, even if he was not Turkish. Three VICE news journalists were arrested in Diyarbakır. 

Before and After

Erdogan has promised a return to stability if his party wins a majority. After hundreds killed and wounded and  thousands, including journalists and co-mayors of HDP, imprisoned , the people were shown that “they need stability before democracy" as  a pre-war scenario was drawn out by AKP. On the elections day in November 1, 2015  AKP won 317 seats in the 550-strong Turkish Grand National Assembly, resulting in  49.5 % of the total votes.  HDP lost 21 seats, but passed  the 10% threshold and become 3th largest party with 59 parliamentary seats for the first time.  The AKP has insisted on ignoring HDP while Erdoğan said he will start a new peace process by commissioning the  President of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). Perhaps the AKP is looking for a way to distract the public and gain time after it promised that none of the “HDPKK” members are going to get elected to the national Assembly. HDP’s co-leader Figen Yüksekdağ  said that "we did not have elections in normal conditions, however 10.7 % is enough to rebuilt to peace, to bring democracy."

Just a few days ago, the representatives were sworn in to the Turkish Parliament, of whom 59 are parliamentary representatives of HDP.  The deputy for Ağrı, Leyla Zana, said before she took her oath in Kurdish: “with the hope of a honour and a lasting peace.” Leyla swore “in front of the great nation of Turkey on my honor” instead of “in front of the Great Turkish Nation on my honor.” Interim speaker of the Parliament Deniz Baykal called her back to repeat the oath, but she didn’t repeat it emphasizing the entire country instead of one ethnic group. It was the first democracy lesson given by HDP  at the first day. It is obvious that  Turkish Grand National Assembly could not  be without HDP any longer and that AKP must  accept  HDP as the voice of democracy and as the main party for the Kurds and manyother  minorities in Turkey.

By the way, who said that “the process is in the refrigator " stays the same all the time? The peace process must be  broughy back from the lower-class refrigator as soon as possible considering  the fact that HDP is the main actor  now . Otherwise Turkey would not be able to neither  pay for the bills nor continue  the "process" as before. Do you think that the refrigerator is A+?  

POPULAR ARTICLES

Not Found

OPINION

Vladimir Golstein

Vladimir Golstein

The Danderous Acceptance of Donald Trump

James N. Green

James N. Green

Politics in Brazil: Fasten Your Seat Belts!

Barbara H. Peterson

Barbara H. Peterson

Health officials confirm spread of Zika virus through sexual contact in Texas, first in US

Danny Haiphong

Danny Haiphong

WHY IS OTTO(SUPER)MAN ERDOGAN LOSING HIS CHARISMA?

Miray Aslan

Miray Aslan

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Navid Nasr

Navid Nasr

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Writers

chief editor

Joshua Tartakovsky

Analysis should serve as a method to better understand our world, not to obscure it.

Materials: 42

Specialization: Israel and the Middle East, US politics

Materials: 7

Specialization: Balkans, NATO and EU policies, Strategic communications

Materials: 3

Specialization: Foreign politics, Immigration, Human rights.

Materials: 2

Specialization: Political Science, Social Anthropology

Materials: 3

Specialization: Eastern Europe

Materials: 14

Specialization: Industrial Safety, Corporations

Materials: 12

Specialization: Eastern Europe, Labor movement

Materials: 3

Specialization: American history, way of life, and principles

Danielle Ryan

Ireland

Materials: 10

Specialization: US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias

Materials: 20

Specialization: War, Racism, Capitalist exploitation, Civil rights

Materials: 8

Specialization: Modern Japanese History, Modern Chinese History, Military History, History of Counterinsurgency, History of Disobedience, Dynamics of Atrocities in Wartime

Dovid Katz

Lithuania

Materials: 3

Specialization: Holocaust Revisionism and Geopolitics; East European Far Right & Human Rights; Yiddish Studies & Litvak Culture

Materials: 20

Specialization: History, Catalunya, Spain, Geopolitics, Nationalism in Europe, Islamization, Immigration

Materials: 5

Materials: 3

Specialization: migration, international relations

Materials: 1

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy and strategies, BRICS/SCO

Materials: 19

Specialization: Balkans, Yugoslavia

Materials: 10

Specialization: Jihadist Groups, Islamic Terrorism, Global Security

Materials: 4

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 4

Specialization: Media and government relations

Materials: 2

Specialization: Latin America, Brazil

Jay Watts

Canada

Materials: 2

Specialization: History, Marxism-Leninism, Imperialism, Anti-imperialism.

Materials: 2

Specialization: International Relations, Sociology, Geostrategy

Materials: 1

Specialization: civil rights

Lionel Baland

Belgium

Materials: 22

Specialization: Euroscepticism, Patriotic parties of Europe

Maram Susli

Australia

Materials: 3

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights, Racism, US politics

Materials: 1

Specialization: geopolitics, economics

Max J. Schindler

Palestine-Israel

Materials: 9

Specialization: Politics

Miray Aslan

Turkey

Materials: 12

Specialization: Media, Politics

Materials: 5

Specialization: Politics, International relations

Navid Nasr

Croatia

Materials: 13

Specialization: Global security, Politics

Materials: 9

Specialization: Development of European Union, Non-governmental organizations, Politics and economics in Baltic States

Materials: 9

Specialization: Greece, Crisis of the US hegemony; Israel / Occupied Palestine, Oppression of Black people in the US

Materials: 4

Specialization: geopolitics, Russia, USSR

Pedro Marin

Brazil

Materials: 17

Specialization: Latin America, Ukraine, North Korea

Materials: 13

Specialization: Sustainable development, International relations, Comparative European politics, European integration, Eastern European politics and EU-Russia relations

Materials: 8

Specialization: Politics

Materials: 16

Specialization: Counterterrorist Finance

Seyit Aldogan

Greece

Materials: 3

Specialization: ISIS, Middle East, Globalization, Migrant crisis

Materials: 1

Specialization: Head of "Srebrenica Historical Project"

Materials: 3

Specialization: Economy, Social politics

Stevan Gajic

Serbia

Materials: 1

Specialization: Full time researcher at the Institute for European Studies

Materials: 5

Specialization: Geopolitics, Geoeconomics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights

Tobias Nase

Germany

Materials: 8

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy, Ukraine

Valerijus Simulik

Lithuania

Materials: 2

Specialization: Politics and economics in Baltic States, education and science, non - governmental organizations, globalization and EU

Van Gelis

Greece

Materials: 17

Specialization: Middle East

Materials: 1

Specialization: Kosovo, Serbia, Belgrad bombing

Materials: 5

Specialization: international relations, Russia

toTop