In relation to democracy declaration in September as Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), visited all parts of the country and held meetings from workers, women, the youth, representatives of the civil society and democratic organizations in order to discuss and find solutions to political, economic, and social problems towards building a democratic country. Therefore, “Today it’s time to organize democracy alliance, people are not bound to choose between two evils. There is a third way.” told by HDP’s Deputy co-chair Tayyip Temel.
Temel maintained that the peoples are not obliged to choose either the People’s Alliance or the Nation Alliance, adding that the third way is to meet the needs of the peoples of Turkey. Temel said that various regimes have followed since the beginning of the republic, but none of them has been in favour of peoples and freedoms. He emphasized that they are debating over organizing a new way of doing politics that has not been tried in Turkey. However, Temel underlined that the recent meetings do not propose a new alliance at this stage. “This is an attempt to stand and fight together. Depending on the developments and further participation, this initiative may evolve into an alliance or other types of collaboration later on,” he said.
‘WE SHOULD DEVELOP A PEOPLES’ ALTERNATIVE’
Temel explained why they needed the meetings promoted by the HDP: “The peoples of Turkey are not obliged to endure the policies of the People’s Alliance and the Nation Alliance. The ruling People’s Alliance uses an authoritarian and fascist language and suppresses the society with fear. Peoples, forces of democracy and pro-freedom citizens are not obliged to choose between these two options. They don’t have to choose the lesser evil when there is a better option. Peoples have the power to develop their own will, their own choices. Therefore, we need to develop the peoples’ alternative against these two poles. This is not just about election activities. This alternative is about what kind of regime and country they want to have in the future. Therefore, the main purpose of a Democracy Alliance or whatever its name should be to meet the needs of the peoples of Turkey.”
‘HDP VOTERS SHAPE PARTY’S POLICIES’
Temel argued that the Third Way politics has not been undertaken in the country so far.
“Unlike the two alliances that force Turkey’s peoples to adopt their own understanding of power, we are talking about an alliance based on democracy and freedom. Various forms of government inspired by either Kemalist ideology or military junta or political Islam have been undertaken in a row throughout the history of the republic. None of them has brought freedom to peoples, faiths, identities and cultures. All governments have shown no respect for differences. In fact, they see differences as a danger and tried to suppress them. They have always done this using state’s pressure tools and a politics of fear. There is a government form that has not been adopted in Turkey until now: a democratic rule based on liberties. Those who dreamed of a democratic republic and country have always been prevented from taking part in the administration or being mainstream in Turkey. If this option develops, organizes itself, becomes widespread, a politics based on fear and oppression will vanish in the country. Democratic politics, democratic rule, democratic organization, democratic parliamentary system, all of them point to a different principle, a democratic republic which expresses the full democratization of Turkey. When we talk about such an option, we mean a political organization that will turn citizens into political subjects who could embrace and control the power. Just as the only power that determines the HDP’s politics is the people themselves, that is to say its voters. Indeed, the grassroots occupies the most important place in our party and determines the direction of its policies.
We, in the HDP, are talking about such an alliance during the meetings. We are talking about a unity where forces come together, protect their differences, but agree on common principles and fight for them in streets and factories. We think that such a line of struggle and unity can later turn into a program, a popular movement, and establish its own system. For the HDP, this might be the ultimate goal of an alliance.”
‘WE ARE SEEKING TO BUILD A HISTORICAL PARTNERSHIP’
Temel stated that there is a widespread discontent in the whole country, which led to organize these meetings and collaborations.
“Various parts of the society feel great anger and discomfort against the policies of the government. The fact that the opposition parties do not put forward a comprehensive plan and program against the government makes it imperative for us to organize such an alliance. This alliance, in fact, aims at a historical partnership by appeasing everyone’s anger and by putting an end to their aloofness. Parties may have different ideas. But there is a historic need. At this historical turning point, the goal is to establish a broad and principles-based historical unity with these parties, organizations and social structures, in which not a single individual who cares about a free future for Turkey is excluded. This is a historical partnership of struggle. Parties and political forces may not think so. It was a meeting anyway, and opinions and thoughts were freely put forward in this first meeting. In line with these views and thoughts, a final declaration was released. This final declaration was actually an important partnership for a beginning. As part of this partnership, it seems that a wide-ranging negotiation process which will include other groups will develop in the future.”
‘NOT AN ELECTION ALLIANCE’
Temel also stated that it is not realistic to call these meetings an alliance at this stage. “This is an attempt to stand and fight together. It can then evolve into an alliance or another form of unity. But it is certainly not an election alliance or parliamentary bargaining. We do not consider this partnership as an election alliance. It is a discussion of what can be done against an economic crisis, a justice crisis, a nature crisis, a regime crisis in Turkey. The ultimate goal of this partnership is, of course, to achieve a permanent partnership. But we are still not at this stage,” he said.
‘WE SHOULD ORGANIZE A DEMOCRACY ALLIANCE’
“The democratic alliance is about the responsibility of establishing a radical democracy against the politics of destruction and crisis to trigger a revolutionary transformation. No one is bound to endure crisis, fascism or destruction, and a democratic alternative is possible. For us, this is an alternative that should be open to everyone. This alliance can be achieved with a joint responsibility, participation and effort of the democratic forces. Our peoples and our country deserve this more than ever. If Turkey will turn into a country where all identities and colours will express themselves freely, it is only possible by developing, organizing and expanding this option.”