The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP’s) Honorary Chair Ertuğrul Kürkçü presented his perspectives regarding the “democracy alliance” in Turkery, centred around the HDP’s concept of “third way” politics.
The Turkish parliament’s role in the decision making process has been much discussed in the country as the assembly is now deemed by most critical circles as “functionless”. These discussions are a reflection of the lack of a democratic parliament, Kürkçü has noted. Kürkçü elaborated on these issues in an interview with Mesopotamia Agency.
“The country moves towards fascism at full tilt,” he observed. “The parliament in Turkey is a matter of discussion in terms of democratic norms. First of all, even the very first parliament formed with the foundation of the Turkish Republic was a war parliament and governing a war is never a democratic process.”
In a historical sense, Kürkçü emphasized, the decision of the Republic of Turkey was made to settle within its current borders, which were determined by the treaty of Lausanne, which itself represented the “optimal” situation for the powers of Britain, the USA and Russia.
“The rise of Turkey, as a nation state, was built on such an international pact. If Ottomans were not transformed into a nation state that was established as an authoritarian regime based on the rejection of diversities, this would eventually have a reflection in the regions inhabited by the Kurds,” he observed.
“Thus, the emergence of the dynamics that could challenge the domination of France and Britain, over the petrol-rich regions in Syria and Iraq, consecutively, was prevented,” he added. “Therefore, the borders determined by Lausanne were the preferred borders that were best for the international powers.”
As the first parliament of the Republic of Turkey was known to be a “pluralist” one in terms of the diverse ethnicities of the members of its parliament, it did not “discriminate” against the Kurds for their “ethnic identity”, Kürkçü contended. “But they did not assign a specific importance to Kurdishness either, as they considered Kurds as part of Muslim communities.”
Beginning with the 1990s, Kürkçü observed, parliament for Kurds meant to be present in parliament “with their identity, language, demands and political goals” recognised. “The more the status quo increased and the monopolisation of state power emerged, the more the social need for plurality increased. This paradox eventually imposed the need for a radically different regime, which now forces the regime to such a point that they are not able to solve the crisis with military tools anymore,” Kürkçü noted.
“The claim of authenticity spread over the country so much that not only the Kurds, but the Alevites, the women and all other autonomous social identities become more hard to be united under a monopolist perspective. Either these diversities will be recognised or the crisis will continue,” he stated.
The state’s ideology in Turkey, decribed as “centralist” and “monopolist” by Kürkçü, imposes “colonialism” on the Kurds, but this brings with it a further price to pay for all of Turkish society, he concluded. “Turkey will pay the price of colonialism imposed on the Kurds through increasing fascism. The only way to cope with fascism is through an alliance with the Kurds”, Kürkçü said. “And the Kurds’ salvation from colonialism will be through this alliance as well.”
Kürkçü emphasized that such an alliance needs an alternative perspective if it is to thrive. “If we own this thesis of ‘alliance’, then we have to explain to people how to contruct the ‘third way’ and to show them how to construct a ‘third power centre’ against the two centralist forces that society is currently stuck in-between,” he stated. “The ‘third way’ is simply naming the truth.”
“This is not something we bring about from nothing. All the struggles in the history of this country; the movements for the freedom of Kurdistan, the struggles of the Alevites for freedom, the revolutionary struggles after 1968 and so on, evolved into this ‘third way’ today,” Kürkçü argued. “The ‘third way’ in politics brings forth all these truths that have been and are denied by the two ‘power poles’ in Turkey today. We are not saying the HDP is the only means through which we can realise the ‘third way’, but sure, the HDP is willing to play all the roles it is asked to play to build this ‘third way’.”
“Actually, no democratic alliance, which does not include the HDP and does not utilise the capacity the HDP embodies, would be democratic or an alliance.”