The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Green Left Party (Yeşil Sol) have announced that they will continue to oppose Erdoğan in the second round of the presidential election.
In a press conference on Thursday, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Green Left Party announced their stand regarding the run-off election for presidency in Turkey, which is set to take place on Sunday, May 28. The press conference in Ankara, held after a meeting of the executive committees of the two parties, was attended by HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar and Green Left Party co-spokespersons Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar and Ibrahim Akın.
“THE RUN-OFF ELECTION HAS THE CHARACTER OF A REFERENDUM”
“We will go to the polls together in the second round of the elections and change the one-man regime,” Buldan said, explaining that the outcome would shape the years to come.
“We are dealing with a totalitarian understanding and structure based on absolute power, which has built a system based on one man for 21 years. Therefore, the election on 28 May has the character of a referendum between those who are for a democratic change of the system and those who want to maintain this monist regime. Let us first state that we do not approve of any political understanding that breaks, exploits, weakens or distracts the resistance to democratic change in society. We will continue our democratic struggle against such approaches to the end,” Buldan said.
“WE WILL CONTINUE OUR STRUGGLE FOR A COMMON AND EQUAL FUTURE”
Referring to the protocol signed yesterday between the nationalist Victory Party (Zafer Partisi) and the Nation’s Alliance candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (CHP), Buldan said: “The main goal of our struggle and Third Way politics is to bring the system to a universal standard that prioritises citizens’ rights and freedoms, social justice and democracy, and to prevent a handful of profiteers from usurping the opportunities of the state and society. The only thing that makes us uncompromising and unyielding is this demand and the need of the oppressed people. We strongly emphasize that those who pawn the political will of the Kurds through the trustees are also those who pawn the rights and freedoms of all the peoples of Turkey. It is not in the interest of society that the Kurdish question remains unresolved. The Republic will not be able to integrate into democracy as long as this unsolvable game is not broken.
At the beginning of the second century of the Republic, we will put the will of the people above any other will, whatever the circumstances. We will continue our struggle for a common and equal democratic future. It must be emphasised once again that it is wrong and inhumane to instrumentalise migrants or refugees for political interests. It is not these people who are responsible for the current situation, but the government, which insists on a policy of war and instrumentalises flight and migration for economic and political purposes. The refugee and migrant problem can only be solved by waging a strong peace struggle against the war policy.”
“THE ONLY OPTION IS TO CHANGE THE ERDOĞAN REGIME”
Pervin Buldan continued: “We would like to emphasise that no political calculation and interests can be more valuable than the future of the poor, labouring peoples, women and youth. We know that only the principles of democracy, law and freedom can stand against the policies of the People’s Alliance [alliance of the ruling AKP party with nationalist and Islamist parties]. We would like to take this opportunity to once again present to the public the stance of the HDP and the Green Left Party, which have no other concerns than the common interests of society and its democratic, equal and free future, and which have no secret deals or conditions on their agenda. We, the HDP and the Green Left Party, stand solely for the people’s struggle for equality, justice, law and freedom; these values are our only criterion, our unwavering commitment. We repeat our pledge that we will not deviate from this stance under any circumstances. The current freak regime created by Erdoğan and his partners is the cause of the social problems. The elections on 28 May will vote on whether this irrational regime will continue or not. In the 14 May elections, there was strong support for the demand for democratic change and prosperity, and this demand was reflected at the ballot box. Millions of votes against the current system represent the demand for more freedom, more democracy and more prosperity. The goal is to build a free, democratic and just system without discrimination, where people can participate in government.
Once again, it is evident that the Erdoğan regime cannot fulfil these expectations and demands. The biggest obstacle to the realisation of these demands will continue to be Erdoğan and this regime itself. Therefore, Erdoğan is never an option for us, and the only option is to change him and the power he represents. For this reason, we reiterate that the recognition of the democratic ballot of the Kurdish people and the society of Turkey as a whole and their expectations and longing for democracy, law, justice, equality and freedom is of utmost importance and priority for us. On 28 May, together with millions of people, we express the hope that we can succeed and together turn the course of history towards democratic change. We believe it, and so do you. We will go to the polls in full force, and together we will change the one-man regime. Our own strength and the desire of millions of people for change is our greatest source of inspiration. We will continue our struggle persistently and tenaciously. We will never, never give up. We will definitely, definitely win.”
UÇAR: OUR VOTE FOR DEMOCRACY, CHANGE AND TRANSFORMATION
The Green Left Party co-spokespersons Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar and Ibrahim Akın expressed similar sentiments.
“With the decision we made in the first and second round of elections, our party has declared that it will vote for change, transformation and democracy. In doing so, it has insisted on and defended its principled stance, which did not require protocols and negotiations, from the very beginning. More than half of the voters who went to the polls in Turkey defended and voted for change, transformation and democracy. The HDP and the Green Left Party are the lifeblood of this demand for change and democracy. We have fought a great battle with the strength we have received from our peoples, and we will continue to do so. We were the answer to the politics of trustees yesterday and we will be the answer to the new trustee discussions today. We will cleanse politics in Turkey of chauvinist and nationalist language, because it does not correspond to the reality of society and peoples. This is our call to the people: our absolute priority is to end this pharaonic system, the one-man regime, the anti-women regime. The election we are facing is not a choice between Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu. This election is our election. Our vote is once again in favour of democracy, change and transformation.”
The parties yesterday convened their executive committees to decide their position in the runoff, following a deal between the opposition candidate and Ümit Özdağ, head of the ultranationalist Victory (Zafer) Party.
The Kılıçdaroğlu-Özdağ deal pledged to maintain the practice of removing local administrators with “terrorist ties,” which raised questions about the HDP’s stance in the runoff vote.
Since 2016, almost all city councils won by HDP in the 2014 and 2019 local elections have been robbed by Erdogan appointed trustees. Since the last local elections in 2019, the Erdoğan government has dismissed all but six of the 65 HDP mayors in the country’s Kurdish areas and replaced them with trustees. The municipalities he lost through elections he looted through arbitrary action. Shortly before the elections, on 14 May, his ultranationalist Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu explained how arbitrarily Erdoğan had acted against the municipalities held by the HDP: “Erdogan instructed me to seize all (65 municipalities) that the HDP won in the elections. Within 48 hours, in the morning, I arrested all co-mayors and appointed ‘trustees’.”
Prior to the first round of the elections on May 14, Kılıçdaroğlu and his allies had repeatedly opposed the removal of mayors and pledged to end this practice.
The HDP participated in the parliamentary vote on May 14 under the banner of the Green Left Party due to an ongoing closure case. In the predominantly Kurdish-populated provinces where the HDP is traditionally strong, Kılıçdaroğlu secured a sweeping win against Erdoğan. The Green Left received 8.8 percent of the votes countrywide, winning 61 (of which 30 are women) of the 600 seats in the parliament. This makes it the third largest party in parliament. Not only in parliament, but also in general politics, the HDP and the Green Left Party are the democratic alternative and thus the “third way” to the two nationalist alliances. Its role as a shaper of democracy in Turkey remains politically crucial.
(Last updated 25 May at 23:00)
Source: HDP and press