Labour and Freedom Alliance held its first public meeting in Istanbul

The Labour and Freedom Alliance, formed by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Social Freedom Party (TÖP), Labour Movement Party (EHP), Federation of Socialist Assemblies (SMF), Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) and Labour Party (EMEP), held its first public meeting in Istanbul on September 24.

The event was held at the Haliç Congress Centre with the participation of thousands. The congress hall was decorated with banners that read “We will change together” and “Labour and Freedom Alliance” banners in Kurdish and Turkish.

At the event, the alliance shared a joint declaration featuring the principles of their political framework, the road map covering the period pre- and after Turkey’s upcoming elections, and the principles of their struggle for justice, equality and democracy. With the slogan of “We will change together”, the alliance declared that it had started its march to stop the destruction caused by the AKP-MHP alliance in every field and, to realise a democratic change.

A new economic system ensuring dignified working and living conditions, a democracy based on popular sovereignty, a peaceful and democratic solution for the country’s Kurdish issue, justice, equality and freedom for women, as well as for the youth, the disabled and other disadvantaged groups, and the protection of nature, the environment and cultural heritage were listed as main priority areas in the declaration. The Labour and Freedom Alliance had been formed last month to wage a common democratic struggle in Turkey.

The declaration said briefly the following:

“It is an urgent task to stop the destruction created by the People’s Alliance in many areas from economy to politics, to end the One Man Rule, to improve the working and living conditions of the people, to ensure a change and transformation on the basis of democratic rights and freedoms. In order to make this change and transformation, the pro- labour, peace and democracy forces must strengthen and resolutely continue their common and united struggle. This unity and struggle must also be a decisive and effective force in the new era. This is also the expectation and demand of our people.”

“The programmes and actions of AKP-MHP government are based on a political understanding and practices that prioritise the interests of imperialism, the capital class and its own crony companies and holdings. The economic and social deprivation caused by the policies of exploitation and oppression of workers and labourers, poor farmers, peasants, tradesmen and oppressed segments of the population has become the first concern of our society. Taking concrete steps to solve the problems of cost of living, low wages, unemployment, poverty, housing, etc. and improving the working and living conditions of workers, labourers, and oppressed masses is the first issue for everyone today. In this regard, it is imperative to pursue policies that will make domestic and foreign capital pay the heavy bill of the economic crisis and the multifaceted social destruction and put an end to the precariousness and futurelessness experienced by labourers.”

“The one-man rule established under the name of the Presidential Government System has rendered democratic rights and freedoms unusable; institutionalised arbitrariness, tyranny, lawlessness and injustice; deepened the exploitation, oppression and insolvency experienced by this country and its peoples; and made fascist practices a part of daily politics. Therefore, one of our primary goals is to change all institutions, mechanisms and relations that sustain and nourish the one-man system. There is an urgent need to abolish the electoral threshold, to guarantee the widest use of democratic rights and political freedoms, and to establish a democratic, impartial and independent judicial system. Our goal is to build a democracy based on the true sovereignty of the people on the basis of democratic, libertarian and egalitarian principles.”

“One of the most fundamental problems Turkey needs to solve is the Kurdish problem. For a democratic solution and peace, a constructive policy that takes into account the approaches and concerns of the country’s all social segments is needed. In order to solve the Kurdish question, which is directly linked and intertwined with democratisation, it is necessary to take steps for a democratic and peaceful solution instead of the politics of denial and suppression. It is obvious that instead of war policies and conflict methods, dialogue and negotiation options have historically imposed themselves. It is of great importance to establish and strengthen the ground for dialogue and solution; to pave the way for the future for the whole society through democratic negotiation methods and to make the necessary arrangements for the recognition of all universal identity rights, especially the right to mother tongue.”

“It is imperative to provide all kinds of guarantees for women to be equal and free in all areas of social life. A comprehensive fight against systematic male violence against women and femicides, which stem from male-dominated mentality and practices, is a must. Reinstatement and implementation of the Istanbul Convention and removal of all political, administrative, economic and cultural obstacles to gender equality are the first urgent steps for women and LGBTI+s.”

“The economic support of young people and their greater participation in governance in all areas will lead to creative and progressive ideas becoming more prominent in society. Children are subjects of society with their own rights. We must recognise this and fight against all discrimination they are exposed to.”

“There are more than 10 million disabled people in our country. Disability cannot be handled with a medical approach that is reduced only to the body. It is of vital importance to raise awareness in society in every sense and to make all kinds of arrangements for the disabled to benefit from public services as equal citizens.”

“Capitalism cuts down the tree whose shade it cannot sell. The AKP-MHP government, which ensures the deepening of neoliberal policies in the country, is looting natural assets for capital. Declaring a state of emergency against the climate crisis, all projects that lead to the destruction of nature and the environment must be stopped. A nature protection-oriented approach in all policies, especially in energy, transport, urbanisation and agriculture, is both urgent and imperative. The right of every living thing to live in a healthy ecosystem must be protected by effective laws. The plunder of historical and cultural assets must be stopped.”

“We call on all institutions, organisations, parties and citizens who care about the bright and democratic future of Turkey. Let’s take responsibility together. Let us rebuild this country, in the second century of the Republic, in a free and democratic way with common demands and an understanding of struggle together. The peoples of Turkey are not condemned to discrimination, hate speech, polarisation and a dominant politics stuck between the People’s Alliance and the National Alliance. We can establish a social order dominated by the people, on the basis of labour, peace, freedom and democratic values. Achieving this is possible with the transformative power of the oppressed and exploited peoples. We invite everyone to a common and united struggle in line with this understanding. We will succeed together!”

More articles on the topic:

Bakırhan: As the Labour and Freedom Alliance, we will succeed together

HDP: “Let us win together; we call for justice, democracy and peace”