Sabri Ok, a member of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council, strongly criticised the conduct of the elections in Turkey and predicted that Turkey’s policy in Syria would change as drastically as its domestic policy following the elections, according to a recent interview released on Wednesday.
In the interview, Ok accused the Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of resorting to authoritarian tactics and assuming the role of the state itself. He specifically highlighted the situation in Kurdish-majority election districts, where the chief of staff of Turkey’s army allegedly worked to secure Erdoğan’s re-election. Ok further argued that various religious sects, communities, and the entire state bureaucracy were mobilised in favour of the Turkish government against democratic forces throughout the election process.
Despite the challenges faced by pro-Kurdish parties, Ok commended their determination and resilience, particularly highlighting the achievements of the Green Left Party. He acknowledged the difficulties encountered, including the arrest of dozens of mayors from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which had fielded candidates under the Green Left Party lists due to an ongoing closure case at the country’s top court, as well as the imprisonment of party members. Ok stressed the importance of constructive self-criticism and unity among democratic forces to strengthen their position and prevent the undermining of democratic politics.
Ok emphasised the significance of the Labour and Freedom Alliance beyond the elections, considering it the most important and honourable alliance. He urged participants to think bigger, work harder, and make greater efforts to strengthen the alliance, emphasising that the future of Turkey and the freedom of the Kurdish people depend on it.
According to the KCK executive, the Turkish state’s policy will revolve around preventing a democratic Turkey and suppressing the will of the Kurdish people. This policy is expected to extend beyond domestic affairs, with Turkey aiming to reshape its Syria and Middle East policy and establish new relationships with Middle Eastern countries. However, Ok pointed out that Turkey’s condition for involvement in Syria is the destruction of democratic autonomy in the region, specifically referring to the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.
Ok also commented on the recent Iraqi attempts to lay siege on the Makhmour (Mexmûr) refugee camp and the continuing Turkish attacks on Sinjar (Şengal), denouncing Turkey’s “vengeful actions driven by its support and financing of ISIS”.
Highlighting Turkey’s geopolitical advantage and its utilisation of its NATO membership for its own interests, Ok underscored Turkey’s historical role in playing with existing balances and leveraging relationships with NATO, Russia, the Middle East, Arab powers, and Iran. However, he noted that Turkey’s heavy dependence on NATO and the US undermines the genuineness of its relations with Russia and China.