“Defeat is inevitable for the AKP-MHP coalition government, no matter what anyone does, no matter which of Erdoğan’s forces puts whatever effort into his fate.The architects of this defeat are not those active at the political table, they are those defending the streets and squares and the politics of resistance,” writes Fehim Işık for Yeni Özgür Politika.
It is clear from Erdoğan’s threats that he is not in a good position. Election surveys and journalism from the streets are putting the situation of the administration on display for all to see.
In the past those voting for the AKP (Justice and Development Party) or the MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) were so belligerent that they used to express their dissatisfactions by swearing violently. But the most important thing is the reactions of those feeding at the table of government. They are completely out of control. On the one hand they express their personal fears relating to the coming period, on the other, they give the impression of aiming to influence society with new fears, by alleging that chaos will reign.
The entry of the country into an election climate, the direction of tangible discourse of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) with the National Alliance and the parties in its periphery in matters like the Kurdish question, unemployment and poverty and the increased visibility of the collapse of the [Turkish] government’s foreign policy can be seen as indications of some of the reasons for the panic in the ranks of the government.
Similar things are happening in the opposition front.
Not to be underestimated – and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu [leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, the CHP] also got involved with his recent discourse – he said that Erdoğan will fight not to lose power.
There are those taking their place in the ranks of the opposition saying more of the same, and there are those stating that it makes no difference whether he is in or out, Erdoğan will start a war.
Though there may be nuances of difference between those from the ranks of the government spreading a climate of fear, and those of the opposition saying that Erdoğan will do anything not to give up the power, in the end what they say all comes down to the same thing. That Erdoğan has seen that he will be defeated, and that he will squeeze the last drops from the state apparatus he has taken control of to stay in power.
It is true! Erdoğan will not enter an election he is going to lose. And if he has to enter an election he will use all means possible not to lose. He managed this in the past, when he was not as strong as he is now. Apart from the local elections of 31 March , he has won all the elections he lost at the ballot box through trickery.
There are also those who say that he was aware of what he was doing in the local elections, that rather than preventing the defeat he accepted the outcome, playing the bigger game of preparing for the general election. But it is clear that this is not the case. He tried very hard, did not succeed, and was forced to accept it. And this being the outcome, the stance of the HDP voters became very clear.
In actual fact, Erdoğan was unable to thwart the HDP’s strategy. After this, he again attacked the will of the Kurdish people and compensated for some of his losses with the [appointment of] unelected administrators using the lack of foresight of some of the opposition. He has tried everything to prevent the CHP and the Good Party from running their municipal councils, and he is still trying.
The situation being as it is, the opposition needs to act shrewdly. As things stand there is nothing Erdoğan can do. Defeat is inevitable for the AKP-MHP coalition government, no matter what anyone does, no matter which of Erdoğan’s forces puts whatever effort into his fate.
The architects of this defeat are not those active at the political table, they are those defending the streets and squares and the politics of resistance.
To be honest, if the revolutionary and patriotic opposition at home and abroad, and particularly the opposition under the leadership of the HDP, had not resisted, neither the National Alliance, nor the parties clustered around this alliance or lined up to cluster around it could have beaten Erdoğan, because their one issue was continuity. The former status of the country was based on rejection, denial and assimilation, and they did not hesitate to give Erdoğan’s policies their unspoken support in this respect.
What is now clear is that even if Erdoğan is thinking of using fear and chaos to guarantee his own future, as the loser, every step he takes will trip him up. It will be impossible for him to get the outcome he wants.
In addition, the US and the other western countries, making their calculations around Turkey, do not want a period of chaos that will pave the way to civil war in Turkey. If they had wanted this they could have made it happen 50 times over. The conditions have been ripe for it.
It is patently obvious that Erdoğan has remained in power by taking advantage of the self-seeking policies of these states. We can indicate a number of reasons for the attitude of these states. Let us recall that the primary reason is that Turkey’s strategic importance for the West, and secondary is its policy towards migrants. These reasons have not lost their importance for the western countries.
All of this carries us into dependency on the attitude of the opposition. The opposition, led by the National Alliance must not make the mistake, in the hopes of preventing a new period of chaos, of saying, “Let’s get rid of Erdoğan first, then we’ll look at solving the problems”.
Even if these elections were to be held in more normal times, a clear recipe for solutions to all the problems, from the economic crisis to unemployment, from poverty to the Kurdish question, would have to be laid before the public in the very near future.
No results can be achieved from hesitant, cowardly politics.