The Green Left Party announced its election manifesto on Thursday, kickstarting its campaign for Turkey’s 14 May elections under the trilingual motto, “Dîsa Em/Reyna Ma/Buradayız, Birlikte Değiştireceğiz” (“Us Again” in Kurmanji, Zazaki and Turkish).
Two spokespeople for the party and the two co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) gave speeches in the event in capital Ankara which other constituents in the left-wing Labour and Peace Alliance attended.
“We will paint the polls green first, then the parliament,” HDP Co-chair Pervin Buldan said in her speech.
“We come to build a strong democracy. They put a thousand and one obstacles on the HDP’s path, installed all kinds of tools for oppression, but they failed. We come for change, together with our allies,” Buldan’s co-chair Mithat Sancar said.
The HDP decided to run under Green Left Party lists in the elections, as there is an ongoing case to shut the party down. Both parties are part of the left-wing alliance, along with the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) and the Labour Party (EMEP).
“We started the great march for democracy on 7 June, we will crown it with a great victory on 14 May. We are stronger than them,” Buldan said.
The HDP had won 13.12 percent of the vote in the highly consequential elections on 7 June 2015, ending the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 15-year supermajority in parliament. However, a summer of instability followed the opposition’s failure to form a government, and the AKP recovered its losses in the repeat elections in November.
HDP’s former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and the former mayor of southeastern Diyarbakır (Amed), Selçuk Mızraklı, sent a message to the event from prison, congratulating the parties.
“Those marginalised from society can partake in how the country is governed and resolve their issues only with a strong Green Left in parliament,” the jailed politicians said in their message. “We invite the youth, women, workers, the unemployed, farmers, artisans, pensioners, Kurds, Turks, Arabs, Armenians, Circassians, Bosniacs, Sunnis, Alevis, all of Turkey to come together under the same tree’s colours in the Green Left.”
Green Left Co-spokespeople İbrahim Akın and Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar then read the manifesto, which had a heavy emphasis on women’s rights and workers’ unions as well as ecology and Kurdish rights.
The party seeks to solve the housing crisis, worsened as Turkey delves deeper into a currency crisis and inflation, and return Turkey as a signatory to the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on violence against women.
The program also emphasises independent and multicultural arts, and the protection of the natural environment.
Cross-border operations in Iraq and Syria, as well as the wider hostile foreign policy espoused by the current government are also among the changes the party seeks. They call for Turkey’s withdrawal from Iraq and Syria, as well as a solution to the Kurdish issue based on negotiation and dialogue.
Other pledges by the party include prison reform, and a judiciary free from government intervention.
With an event held in Ankara, we have launched our election campaign under the banner of the Green Left Party (Yeşil Sol Parti) and shared the election manifesto for May 14th elections with the public. We are here & together we will bring change. #BuradayızBirlikteDeğiştireceğiz pic.twitter.com/Akp93vM3Hg
— HDP English (@HDPenglish) March 30, 2023