After the elections,
Fight the bosses, fight racism!
In the March 31 elections, with a turnout of 84.52%, 47,784,882 votes were cast and 45,970,921 were valid.
There were many shocking development in these elections, but it will never be fogotten that the Anadolu Agency’s stopped the flow of data when it was clear that Ekrem İmamoğlu had won and delayed for hours the announcement that the CHP won the mayoral position of the Istanbul City Council, and that, even while we were preparing this press release, the main newspapers and television channels were still declaring Binali Yıldırım the winner. All the prominant decision makers at Anadolu Agency must resign immediately!
Was this an election where everyone won?
Contrary to what Devlet Bahçeli said, not everyone won in these elections. There was a loser in these elections, and that loser was the AKP!
The AKP may still hold the majority of councils, but the situation is reminiscent of the April 16 referandum. In the 2014 elections, the AKP controlled 800 municipalities, and in the March 31 elections, they lost a considerable number of municipalities. But more importantly all city councils experienced a complete collapse. The AKP lost the mayoral position in 16 provinces.
In brief, the local-national political line that was quickly consolidated after the July 15 coup attempt has led the AKP to lose votes to both its alliance partner the MHP and to the CHP In brief, while the AKP succeeded in taking three municipalities from the HDP, they lost 16 municipalities including Istanbul, Ankara and Antalya to the CHP and MHP!
Put another way, considering the 2014 data, the AKP lost districts like Ankara, Antalya and Istanbul and now controls just 30% of GDP in terms of municipalities, a figure that was previously 75%.
What a great success!
There were two winners in the west: CHP and MHP
The CHP, in winning the political space in the centres of Izmir as well as Ankara, Istanbul and Antalya, has entered a new period. In now holding the political, economic and tourism capitals, the CHP has made a significant leap
Since the local-national priod began, the MHP has risen from its ashes. With all its ideas in power, but managing to distance itself from the corrosion of power, supporting all the politics of the AKP, but at the same time acting like an opposition party, the MHP has won the most out of the AKP-MHP alliance. It controlled eight municipalities and now it controls eleven. For this reason, after the elections Devlet Bahçeli said the results were a success.
But there was also resistence in these elections: the HDP!
The resistence in the elections: HDP!
The arbitrariness of the OHAL period meant heavy repression for the HDP. Just one day before the elections tens of members were taken into custody, tens of HDP provincial and district mayors were taken into custody. Still, HDP won the elections in eight provinces. Moreover, the fact that it could increase its vote in 30 provinces, especially Diyarbakır, is, together with the pressure it faced, an important success.
Of course the loss of Şırnak, Ağrı and Bitlis is important. Generally, in the provinces and districts which were lost or where the vote decreased, the general election strategy was decisive: the fact that candidates were not put up in the major cities in the west meant a unified election campaign could not be built, the fact that HDP called for votes for the CHP block and did not organise an independent campaign in Istanbul, combined with the unprecedented level of oppression, these losses became inevitable.
AKP boycotted by its own AKP base
The general public opinion and that of the left is drunk with the success especially with the AKP’s loss of the two large symbolically important cities. In the 24 June elections, Erdoğan took 4,578,454 votes in Istanbul. According to preliminary results Binali Yildrim took 4,111,254 votes. In just nine months it seems close to half a million votes were lost. This confirms once again our thesis that was previously tested and proved on 7 June and in the 16 April referandum.
The way to defeat the AKP is to enter into struggle with the male and female labourers and workers of the AKP base who decided not to vote for the AKP.
What mattered was economic impoverishment, not imaginary concerns of national survival!
The local-nation coalition propaganda about national survival did not give rise to what they expected. Millions of people responded to economic impoverishment and unparralleled injustice. This reaction expressed itself in the ballot box in the 31 March elections. The AKP-MHP alliance suffered heavy losses in those districts mainly working class.In the 24 June elections nine months ago, the turn out was 86,2%, the SKP-MHP alliance took 53.7%.
Now, however, the turn out was 83,7% and the AKP-MHP alliance won 51,7% of the vote. If we take into account the 730,000 increase in voters, 2.4 million abstained from the elections. If we exclude the number of overseas votes, The AKP-MHP alliance went from 26 to 23.8 million: the alliance lost 2.2 million votes.
In Istanbul in the 24 June elections the AKP-MHP alliance took 4.65 million votes, while in these elections they were ablr to take 4.14 million, a loss of close to half a million. Similarly, they lost 300,000 in Ankara, 89,000 in Adana, 17,000 in Antalya, 34,000 in Mersin, 157,000 in Gaziantep, 63,000 in Kahramanmaraş, 96,000 in Kocaeli, 176,000 in Bursa, 109,000 in Kayseri, 61,000 in Sakarya, and 42,000 in Trabzon. The total in the big cities was a loss of 2.14 million votes.
A section of these voters voted for opposition parties, but a large majority didn’t vote. It was mainly working class cities with developed industry and service sectors where the votes were lost. For example, in Istanbul the alliance lost two mainly working class districts, Küçükçekmece and Esenyurt.
1 May: for unity against the bosses and racism
Before the elections, we drew attention to the danger of the AKP-MHP alliance on the one hand, and the CHP-İP alliance on the other, normalising and legitimising MHP and İP. The number of municipalities in the hands of the MHP increased, and the İP won 18 district municipalities for the first time. With the MHP’s 7.31% and the İP’s 7.45%, facist and openly racist votes rose by nearly 15%.
However, what was more dangerous was the strategy of tactical voting against the AKP and voting for left mayoral district candidates out of respect for the effort they put in. For example İP became a party which the left can work together with.
We have to address the retreat of right wing in its most reactionary form to the political center together with the bosses claims of “bitter medicine”. Now the elctions are over, the three big bosses organisations announced economic reform and demanded a full-scale attack on workers and labourers and for the working class to pay for the crisis.
Now, the united struggle of the working class needs to be organised on the one hand to prepare for economic attacks and on the other to fight the divisive ideas of racism and nationalism and the polarisation of the election period. In the 7 June elections the masses prevented the formation of a government by not voting for the AKP. In the 1 November elections they turned back to the AKP. We need a programme of struggle that will prevent the masses who did not vote for this party from returning to the AKP base.
The results of the elections have created a contradictory situation showing both that change is possible and that the MHP has become the winning party and the extreme right are normalised. The task now is to bring together united action to overcome the polarisation of the working class and new types of united fronts. Within a few weeks, it will become clear that the CHP-İP alliance taking mayoral positions from the AKP is not a meaningful gain for the left.
What is important is to understand that alongside the concept of neoliberal municipalities being opposed to the working class, attacks will be carried out through these municipalities as the crisis deepens. To show the history of CHP municipalities is full of attacks on the working class and to avoid the drunkeness of victory means to begin preparing for a new period with a united 1 May.
Devrimci Sosyalist İşçi Partisi (DSİP)