Karasu: On 31 March elections the AKP-MHP lost, and this loss really started a new course in Turkey

the AKP-MHP fascist government lost, and this loss really started a new course in Turkey


In the second part of this analysis, Mustafa Karasu, a member of the KCK Executive Council, spoke about the results of the local elections and the new attacks of the Turkish state in South Kurdistan.

The first part of this analysis can be read here

To take a look back at the municipal elections in North Kurdistan and Turkey; How do you evaluate them? Do you share the view that the AKP has lost and a new era has dawned in Turkey?

I think the outcomes of the municipal elections on 31 March need to be evaluated thoroughly. The Kurdish people and the democratic forces need to analyze this well. With these elections, the liberalized form of 12 September was to be brought to power. A new Turkey was to be created. In fact, Erdoğan was going to create the Turkey that was aimed at via the coup d’état on 12 September. This is how this government should be evaluated. But here is the government 22 years later, clearly not having achieved its aims. Especially in the last nine years, the partnership between the AKP and MHP has really descended on the peoples of Turkey like a nightmare. An order of unprecedented oppression was established, and it oppressed both the Kurdish and Turkish people likewise. The AKP-MHP created polarization in Turkish society with a policy that is unprecedented anywhere in the world. No other fascist country has done this.

There is a situation where one neighbor is looking at the other as if it were an enemy. Special warfare has been applied to the whole society. Should this not have lasted so long, maybe society would have been able to bear it. But such a prolonged special war was waged that society showed a great reaction to it. In fact, we can say that the reason why the AKP government regressed so much on 31 March was actually the revolt inspired by the righteous values of society. Rights, justice, law, conscience, and equality; these values exist solely in society. Society rebelled because all these values were under heavy attack. There was oppression and exploitation.

Of course, the AKP-MHP fascist government lost, and this loss really started a new course in Turkey. In fact, the presidential and parliamentary elections in May 2023 produced similar results. The government cheated and played games there too. Since then, the government has done nothing to alleviate the discomfort in society. Instead, they became comfortable because of their success in previous elections. In actuality, they had lost the elections then too. We need to see it like this. How else would it be possible to explain that there has been such a huge change within ten months? I mean, the shift existed before. I want to point this out: the elections were rigged. The people of Turkey really breathed a sigh of relief in these elections. And this aspect is very important. The idea that the AKP could not be defeated seems almost unchallenged. It had tied the whole society to itself with its special war. This has been broken.

There is a quote by Abraham Lincoln. It is actually a really good saying: 'You can fool some of the people all the time, and you can fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time'. Because society is a historical phenomenon. The individual may be affected here and there, but in terms of the integrity of society, in terms of its sense of rights, justice, and equality, society has always had the high ground. We saw this in the election. In this regard, the election was a great victory. But one should not assume that everything will change just through elections. Bahceli openly said, 'We did not build this country with a ballot box.” Erdoğan carries the same mindset. Erdoğan is not on the point of giving up his power; they are not democrats.

These elections should not be regarded a complete success, but as a beginning. It would be a mistake to think that this election would fix everything. In this election, the democratic tendency of society came through. This is, in a way, the success of the democratic front. We should see it like that. It was the united stance of the democratic part of society that showed its power in these elections, it was also the attitude of the Kurdish people.

The Kurdish people stood against the trustee policy. They already wanted to take the local administration of their own lands. They want to govern their own cities in Kurdistan locally. But there is a fundamental problem for the Kurds. The main task of the Kurdish people is to find a democratic solution to the Kurdish question. The Kurds have been waging a great struggle for democracy for more than 40–50 years. They are struggling for the freedom of the Kurdish people, and at the same time, they are struggling for the democratization of Turkey. Because the Kurdish question cannot be solved without the democratization of Turkey.

In this respect, if we ask why the Kurds showed such an attitude in the election and why they united with all those who want democracy, the answer is clear. Because the Kurdish question can only be solved through the democratization of Turkey. In this respect, Kurds base their attitude on whether democratization will develop or not. The election is not about the election of this or that party or the victory of this or that party.

Will democratization develop, or not? Will the tendency towards democratization rise in Turkish society? These are the main questions. The attitude of the Kurds is based on this.

As we have stated before, it is not like one person will come and solve the Kurdish question. Such an expectation simply shows a misconception of the reality of Turkey. It means that the Kurdish policy of the Turkish state has not been understood. Will there be a break in Turkey? Will it democratize? The answers to these questions may bring us closer to the solution to the question. One who thinks that the Kurdish question will be solved without the democratization of Turkey, or that someone who is not democratic will come and solve it, shows that the enemy has not been understood. We are facing those who want to commit genocide against the Kurds, against the Kurdish reality, and dominate them. What they want is to completely destroy the Kurds. This is their basic, fundamental policy. This can only change with a democratic mentality. In this respect, when asked why the Kurds made that choice, the answer is clear. However, if Turkey democratizes, if the votes of the people serve democratization, then it is because of the attitude of the Kurds. Because for the Kurds it does not matter who is elected, it matters whether there is a development towards the democratization of Turkey or not.

On the other hand, we need to look at what needs to be done now. The elections took place; the CHP came to power. One cannot expect too much from them. Of course, the people have demands because the CHP became the first party as a result of the joint attitude of all democratic forces. There are expectations, there are clear demands of the people and of society. It is necessary to develop the struggle for democratization. It is necessary to pave the way for this. If this is the case, a positive process can be evaluated correctly. If the results are evaluated in this way, progress will be made regarding Turkey’s democratization. The same applies to the solution to the Kurdish question.

Of course, political parties should be put under pressure; it is necessary that they are answerable to the demands of democratization. One of the aims of an organized society is to exert influence on politics, to direct and lead politics. That is what society wants. When it comes to the reality of Turkey, it is necessary to struggle for its democratization. It is necessary to build alliances for this. It is necessary to develop ways and methods of struggling with this. The struggle for democracy cannot be developed without alliances. Democratization will not develop in Turkey if Kurds just say that they will elect their own municipalities in Kurdistan, and that is it. In this respect, we need to make use of the current environment for the democratization of the whole of Turkey.

The organized power, alliances, and struggles of society will change a lot. Wan is full of very important lessons. Why did they give Abdullah Zeydan the certificate of registration in Wan? They gave it to him as a result of a great struggle. The people in Wan stood up for this. The democratic forces supported Zeydan. All the socialist forces supported him. The opposition within the system also supported the attitude of the people of Wan. They did not accept the government’s policy. It did not accept the usurping of that certificate. It is necessary to be aware of this. If it weren’t for this resistance, trustees would have been appointed not only in Wan but also in other municipalities in Kurdistan. Each of them would have been deprived of their municipality for this or that reason. When the ‘Supreme Election Council’ (YSK) announced that Abdullah Zeydan should be given the certificate, it knew that if it had not, Amed, Elîh, Şirnex, Şirnex, Qers, Colemêrg, and all Kurdish provinces would have risen up. The whole of Kurdistan would have been like Wan.

The Turkish intelligence service (MIT) gave a report in which they stated that if the certificate was not given within the following few hours, all Kurdish cities, especially Amed, would rebel until iftar the latest. The MIT gave this report to Erdoğan, and of course, in order to avoid such a situation, Erdoğan immediately told the chairman of the YSK to give Abdullah Zeydan the certificate. Erdoğan later gave a statement, shamelessly saying: “Some terrorist organizations were trying to provoke, and we prevented it.”.

The struggle of Wan and the attitude of the people in Sirnex and other cities were effective. In fact, the government had made a decision before the elections. They were going to appoint trustees, just like in 2019. But they were too weak in the election. The opposition got stronger, and the CHP became the first party. More precisely, Turkish society reacted against the AKP and MHP; they showed a tendency toward democratization which weakened the current government’s hand. In this process, when the people of Wan stood up, this affected the whole of Kurdistan. In return, the government was forced to take a step back. This happened with the development of struggles and alliances. In fact, the Wan resistance created a natural alliance. This is very valuable. What needs to be done now is to develop the alliance of democracy. There was the Alliance of Labor and Freedom; it needs to be expanded further.

I want to emphasize this point. Those who oppose the alliance policy are those who want to weaken the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom. Consciously or unconsciously, it does not matter. The policy of forming alliances must be appreciated and developed. There may be shortcomings and mistakes, but let’s develop alliances. Let’s include every part of society. This cannot be done by simply saying that we will only organize ourselves without alliances. We will make strong alliances by organizing ourselves. If we don’t organize ourselves, we cannot form strong alliances. But not much can be achieved if we only organize ourselves. We need to develop our organization in Turkey through alliances, we need to expand. We need to attach great importance to this. There are narrow, inadequate approaches in this regard; we need to overcome them. If we want to democratize Turkey and solve the Kurdish question on the basis of democratization, then we need to attach great importance to this alliance policy. This is to be done on a very broad spectrum. It may be true that you cannot agree on everything. This is a reality, but one needs to be aware that, all over the world, democracy has always developed through alliances.

The struggle against reactionism, fascism, and authoritarian regimes is based on alliances. So, what should be done from now on? We need to improve our organization. We need to develop our organization in Turkey and in North Kurdistan. We particularly need to organize the youth and women, and while doing so, we need to develop alliances both in Kurdistan and Turkey. Importance should be given to the alliances in Kurdistan and Turkey likewise. Approaches that do not value the alliances in Turkey are wrong. All other political parties in Kurdistan should seek alliances with democratic forces in Turkey. If this happens, I think the outcomes of these elections will be great. If there is no united struggle, the AKP and MHP government will continue with their oppressive policies.

If the government in Turkey does not have a democratic mentality, if it cannot put forward a democratic solution and approach to the Kurdish question, then it will attack the struggle of the Kurdish people. Because the Turkish state’s reality - whether it be its laws or its constitution - is built on suppressing the Kurdish people’s struggle for liberation.

It is different when there is no struggle, but if there is a struggle, which there is now, then of course they will attack. We evaluated even before the elections that they would attack no matter what the outcome of the elections was. It was said that they might soften their approach after the elections. This is wrong. People ask questions likes: 'Will the war against the Kurdish people be stopped?' or 'Will the democratic organization and democratic struggle of the Kurdish people be accepted?' There is no such thing at the moment. Just the other day, the Minister of Justice said, if you act the way we tell you, then we will allow you to exist. In other words, he’s saying to give up being Kurdish. He criticizes the DEM Party. Why? Because the DEM Party defends Kurdishness, because they want the Kurdish problem to be solved.

Back when the government appointed trustees to Kurdish municipalities, what was the first thing they did? First of all, they closed all Kurdish and women’s institutions. Their oppression continued because it was not opposed. What was their justification? Separatism. Their justification was always “homeland-nation-Sakarya”.

Now they’re putting the flag on the agenda. This is incorrect. Rêber Apo spoke about his position regarding the flag 30 years ago. He said that we have no problem with it. The problem is not the flag, but the chauvinist connotation attached to it. The problem is the “Homeland-nation-Sakarya” mindset. They want to influence society by manipulating them through the flag. They want to increase the pressure by saying, “Look, this is what was done to our flag.”

Now they are discussing the constitution in an environment where such resentments are intensifying. You have imprisoned thousands of politicians, you use the judiciary and the courts as a beating stick, you use all kinds of oppression. People are being arrested every day. For 7 years, Erdoğan has been arbitrarily arresting people. Why would you put an 80-year-old woman in prison? Erdoğan is killing sick people in prisons. The message he is sending to the Kurds is this: 'Look, we are ready to kill all of you. If you struggle, this is how we will respond.' In such an environment of oppression, a constitutional debate will be held.

The point of a constitution is that it makes a state more democratic. Only the leftists and democrats demanded the abolition of the September 12th constitution. They have been voicing the need for a new constitution for over 40 years now. Since the 82nd Constitution, the Kurds have been voicing the need for change the most for a democratic solution. Erdoğan and Bahceli also want a change of constitution, but their aim is to develop one which is worse than the September 12 constitution. If they don’t even implement their current constitution, how could they be expected to implement a new one?

Of course, the Kurds want a new constitution more than anyone else because the characteristics of the current one is completely based on the Kurdish genocide. This is the essence of the current constitution. Turkey has a single-article constitution; all the other articles depend on it. And what is that one article? The genocide of the Kurds. Therefore, of course, Kurds want it to change, but there is no democratic mentality or ground for this at the moment. That democratic environment needs to be created; everyone needs to put forward their thoughts in this regard. Kurds are criticized as soon as they open their mouths because they speak Kurdish, what they call an “unknown language.” How will there be a democratic constitution when you do not even accept the existence of the Kurdish language? How can there be a constitution without Kurds expressing their rights and demands on a democratic basis? First of all, a democratic environment must be created. Otherwise, the ongoing discussions are meaningless. The process of making a constitution should be seen as a struggle for democratization. This struggle for democratization will lead to a constitution that the Kurds want.

Ozgur Ozel said something about Erdoğan, that he is a good politician but a bad person. It is obvious that Erdoğan is a bad person because he established his regime through evil. He has not left a single wrong-doing over the last nine or ten years, he has done all kinds of evil to the societies of Turkey. But Erdoğan is not a good politician. He is a mercenary of special, psychological warfare. He uses the entire country’s resources for special warfare in order to keep his own power and suppress democrats, as well as the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom. This is what Erdoğan thinks about day and night. What he thinks about day and night is evil. We have seen this for the last nine, ten years.

Erdoğan must be understood like this. A bad person can never be a good politician. This can clearly be said about Erdoğan, who presents himself as a religious person. He has no religion because he has no conscience. The main aspect of religion is that it appeals to conscience and to justice. Erdoğan has nothing to do with this. That is why he has no religion. The most fundamental characteristics of religions are rights, justice, law, and conscience. Billions of people have adopted these religions because they truly follow these values. Does Erdoğan follow them?

We don’t know what the results of the Erdoğan-Ozel meeting will be, but we are certain that Erdoğan will bring up the Kurdish question. He will try to influence Ozel by saying that the Kurds are dividing Turkey, that they are the enemies of Turkey. He will invite Ozel to take a common stance against separatism, 'let’s fight together'. Erdoğan will say. This is already a trap. This is enmity against democracy. Uniting against the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom means opposing democracy. Erdoğan will lure Ozgur Ozel into the enmity of democracy. We will see what the outcome will be.

The peoples of Turkey have rejected the policies of the AKP-MHP. They took a stance against the current government and did not vote for them. The attitude of the people is as obvious as is the AKP-MHP’s attitude. The people really want democratization. They want the current policies to stop. They are fed up. Of course, from the opposition, they expect not the continuation of the current policy but instead an attitude against that policy; a different policy that will meet the democratization aspirations of the people of Turkey.

Erdoğan’s attempts to seek allies on an international level are continuing. Most recently, he visited Baghdad and Hewlêr [Erbil]. How do you assess this?

We are following the negotiations between the AKP-MHP government and Erdoğan in Iraq and South Kurdistan. We received some information in this regard. Iraq has shown a certain compromise and flexibility on some issues, but it did not accept everything Turkey said. It is necessary to be aware of this. Turkey did achieve the success they are propagandizing on Turkish television. They did not achieve the very important results they keep talking about.

At the moment, the most unreliable politician in the world is Erdoğan, and the most unreliable government is the AKP-MHP one. How can anyone trust them? Erdoğan had relations with Syria, and what he did there is obvious. What kind of policy did he pursue in Syria? He is the biggest source of chaos there. He is making the Turkish-affiliated gangs attack everywhere. Also, his relations with Egypt are like this. What he did in Libya is obvious as well. Erdoğan is a very unreliable politician. It is wrong to expect that the AKP-MHP government will get great results from their initiatives and that it will get very strategic, long-term results. Nobody trusts them. Iraq doesn’t trust them either.

The AKP-MHP regime actually wants to legitimize its expansion policy through the 'development road'. As soon as Turkey finds the opportunity, when they find a weakness in a neighboring country, they will invade it. They exploit all the resources yet, still, they do not leave. The Iraqis know this. The Arabs have learned this very well. Everyone has learned about Erdoğan’s politics. Russia also knows what the AKP-MHP government is and tries to use it. We do not think that the Turkish government has achieved much. They have made some compromises, such as a joint fight against terrorism, an agreement on some economic issues. But how will this unfold in practice? In practice, Iraq is not in a position to do what they claim.

Although there is a tendency in the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Sudani to establish closer relations with Turkey, a majority of the other political parties are against Turkey. I don’t believe that Sudani trusts Turkey. We know that they haven’t achieved much in this direction, but we need to be careful and cautious. If Iraq does really follow Turkey, it will be the first to lose. It will realize that this relationship with the Turkish state will cost it dearly. But we don’t think that it will come to this point. We don’t think that the stated struggle against us and economic agreements will yield many results.

Finally, a question regarding the current attacks and the threats of possible new operations. How do you evaluate this situation?

Of course, the Turkish state is attacking and continues to attack. I’m convinced that they will increase their attacks. They particularly target the Medya Defense Areas. They are attacking Xakurkê and there is a possibility of an operation in Gare. Certain attacks will continue, but the resistance against these will also continue. This needs to be clear. Erdoğan should not think that he will enter, just by saying 'I will enter.' It is not that easy. Doing this is not as easy as simply saying it. When the time of war comes, and they face the guerrilla. It will not be easy for them to achieve their goals.

They are using the KDP. Their forces wanted to advance in some places, but they stumbled upon resistance. The KDP cannot do this, and they should know this. If the KDP continues like this, they will face a war between us and the KDP. The guerrilla is patient and careful, but if the KDP continues, there will definitely be a response. They should know this. The KDP is pushing the line. As a matter of fact, the guerrillas have responded to the KDP before and will respond again. They should not expect the guerrilla to tolerate their behavior. If they continue, they should be ready to bear the consequences.

As the AKP-MHP attacks to achieve the genocide of the Kurdish people in their homelands, the attacks against Kurds increase in the diaspora too. There is no need to evaluate the attacks against Kurdish television too much. These are openly fascist attacks because only fascists would do this. It is almost as if this is the duty of a section within NATO. Brussels is the center of NATO. Is this what France wanted? The Minister of Justice must answer for this. The former Minister of Justice gave a statement in this regard. He said: 'To act in such a self-interested way means to lose humanity.' They exposed themselves in this way. It is impossible for them to get results. The press will continue doing their job, they have already voiced this.

The whole of Europe should think about this raid, the method, and the form of the raid. They must see what they are doing. This means openly supporting the Turkish state’s genocide of Kurds and being a partner in its crime. This should not be regarded as a simple raid against the press and television. It means being a partner in the Kurdish genocide. It means supporting the genocide policy of the Turkish State. They have fallen into this situation. The AKP government and those behind it cannot survive. European society will not accept this. The journalistic struggle continues; no one can stop it.