ANKARA - HDP Co-chair Sezai Temelli said HDP voters will be going to the polls on June 23 against fascism in even greater numbers.
The Istanbul mayoral elections are to be renewed on June 23 after the AKP ordered the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) to cancel the March 31 elections.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) announced after the decision to renew the elections that the party will be supporting Ekrem Imamoglu as a strategic move for the June 23 elections.
HDP Co-chair Sezai Temelli spoke to the ANF about his party’s stance for the Istanbul elections.
“NOT LIMITED TO ISTANBUL”
Why are the Istanbul elections important for the HDP?
First of all, Turkey is going through a severe crisis of democracy. One of the most fundamental reasons for this crisis is misgovernment. The government today is unable to govern the financial sphere, the political sphere, or the social sphere. And with every passing day, they drag the country into deeper crises with this failure to govern. In this sense, the Istanbul elections have long moved beyond Istanbul. As such, we want an election that will showcase a reflex - a reaction, an objection - against this misgovernment crisis. This goes for all of Turkey. We call this a referendum for democracy. So, Turkey will either walk a path of democracy or be condemned to this government dragging the country into crises. The government is looking to institutionalize fascism through the Cumhur Alliance.
Looking at all these, this is an objection to the unlawfulness that has continued for a long, long time. It is an important opportunity to state a preference for democracy. I say this is a domino effect. The only foundation for Turkey not being a true rule of law state is the understanding of government and power. Looking at the last four years in particular, the system evolved into a rapidly authoritarian rule under open fascism conditions with the start of the absolute isolation.
“DEMOCRACY DECLINED AS THE ISOLATION GOT WORSE”
How did the isolation reflect on this picture you paint?
The isolation has been there for 20 years, but it was more severe in the last 4 years. Like the table of the Dolmabahce Accord being overturned, looking at the time, we see that there was an absolute fracture and rupture. In these four years, unlawfulness grew every day in this country. It spread everywhere, it is in every home now.
The trustees show this. The idea of a trustee is where the misgovernment crisis peaks. Trustees are the strictest method of political tutelage. This is an understanding that disregards the voters and the electees in the local and appoints officers from the center to turn the municipalities into the central government’s outposts, so to speak.
Ocalan met with his lawyers, and his family. Then Binali Yildirim went to Amed. At the same time there are assimilation efforts against Kurdish. Attacks against Southern Kurdistan and Rojava also continue. Thinking of all these, what do you think of the AKP’s stance?
Even these visits gave the peoples of Turkey and the society in general hope again. I said this in all our rallies, there is an issue of democracy in Turkey, and if they want to resolve this issue, it is not possible until the Kurdish issue is resolved as it lays at the heart of all other issues. The economy can’t be resolved without the Kurdish issue, neither can politics. The Kurdish issue is not an issue that Kurdish people have, it is a global issue that concerns the Middle East and the world. In this sense, when this issue is resolved, important steps will be taken for democracy in Turkey and peace in the Middle East. How can this issue be resolved? Everything has been tried before. The most rational proposal for a solution came from Abdullah Ocalan, who is the leader of a people. That is how he is seen. He is also the first interlocutor. Disregarding and isolating the interlocutor of an issue cannot resolve an issue.
We must draw important lessons from these four years. He himself said this too, Ocalan said he is still at 2013. The solution process was not handled well. It couldn’t be spread to the public. It didn’t come together with democratic politics. As such, the process was stuck in the government’s own mentality, in calculations of interest, and in the state’s approach to the Kurdish issue. Society should give due diligence to Ocalan’s theses. Politics can’t reproduce through temporary fixes. One man saluting folks in Kurdish, one man calling the Kurdish people “beloved”, these are insincere acts. Above all, they are insulting to the Kurdish people, who have always been the most important political subject in Turkey’s peace issue. They have political consciousness. I am calling on all of society: Come and let’s be brave in this matter together. Say your piece, give your critique. But also do something for the solution.
“WE WILL SUPPORT IMAMOGLU AGAINST AKP-MHP FASCISM”
Going back to the Istanbul elections, HDP didn’t put up a candidate on March 31. For June 23, will you be supporting Ekrem Imamoglu because you stand against the AKP? Could the support be thought of a coming together of sorts?
We insist on our strategy on March 31 because that was our strategy. Our strategy is not built on elections, we consider the whole process. The June 23 elections are made up. The elections that should have been renewed were the Mus, Tatvan and Malazgirt elections. Our strategy hasn’t changed. The main issue is what we do, what others do is not important, We will break the isolation and smash fascism. Because this country shouldn’t be condemned to fascism. In this sense we continue our fight. The elections are an important stop, and our stance is against fascism. We will support Imamoglu to break the AKP-MHP fascism. We did that on March 31, and we will do the same on June 23. This candidate is like such and such, that candidate is like this and that, these are not our points of contention. We are concerned with pushing back fascism. Because fascism reifies itself over hostility against Kurds. To put a stop to that, one must stand agaisnt fascism. This is how we see these elections.
Were you able to convince the undecided voters?
Our province chapter is working very well. Most HDP voters went to the ballots on March 31. This will increase for June 23. Our undecided voters will also go to the polls.