The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government abused Turkey’s public resources in its election campaign, Green Left Party (YSP) Co-spokesperson Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar told reporters on Monday morning.
“The People’s Alliance has not left a single thing alone in the elections, which should have taken place on a level playing field. They have abused all public resources in their favour,” she said. “Fraud and conspiracy played a role in this outcome.”
The YSP was subjected to “political operations” from day one of the campaign period, Uçar said. “They tried to hinder our efforts through attempted lynchings … and the Kobani conspiracy as well as the closure case.”
With the ‘Kobani conspiracy’, Uçar was referring to a case against 108 Kurdish rights activists, most of them high-ranking members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who stand accused of incitement to hate and violence and of murder in relation to 2014 street protests against the ISIS siege of the symbolic Kurdish town of the same name, and with the ‘closure case’ she was referring to a case at the Constitutional Court to shut down the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and ban close to 5000 top party officials from holding public office.
The elections were held “under an atmosphere of oppression”, and the court case for closure of the party “prevented a fair and just election race”, she added.
“However, we have failed to fully achieve the goals we set. It is clear that the elections cannot be seen as a success on our part,” Uçar said.
HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar spoke after Uçar and agreed with her assessment of fault. “There is a certain downturn in our votes,” Sancar said. “And it is more prominent in western provinces. One thing is clear, there is failure here.”
“While we may even increase our seats in parliament depending on the outcome of objections, it is abundantly clear that we remain behind the goals we set for ourselves,” he added.
The high percentages that Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has achieved, exceeding 70 percent in the Kurdish provinces, show that the HDP’s electorate has “embraced the party’s strategic-political decisions,” Sancar said. “This decision was the most important factor in the People’s Alliance not being able to secure the elections in round one, and our voters’ loyalty to the strategic decisions is what has enabled there to be a second round.”
However, the parties have lost votes overall compared to 2018. “Do not take this as an excuse, but it is well known that we entered these elections under very harsh circumstances,” Sancar said. “The closure case was an important factor in the design of these elections.”
The HDP had decided to field its candidates under the YSP as a precaution against a possible last-minute ban of the party, as the Constitutional Court refused to guarantee to postpone the case hearings until after the elections despite numerous appeals.
Twenty-one years of Erdoğan in power, accompanied by the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the last eight of those years, has “greatly damaged all aspects of society and shaped political tendencies”, Sancar said. “If Erdoğan had lost and Kılıçdaroğlu had won in the first round, this would not have changed. We would still have the duty to build a new beginning, a new life, and a path towards democracy, peace, freedom and equality.”
“We have the power to determine the path, we have always said this. We were aiming for more, but we are still the third largest group in parliament,” Sancar added.