Democracy and change mean embracing the HDP

The HDP’s struggle against the closure case has remained insufficient. The party should have mobilized the Kurdish people and the forces of democracy. It should have called on the Kurdish people to endorse the HDP and the people should have embraced it.

It is reported that the indictment regarding the closure of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was accepted. Based on this indictment, the Constitutional Court will discuss and decide over the issue. Along with the closure of the HDP, the indictment demands a political ban for hundreds of HDP members.

The democratic forces show no huge interest in the closure case. This shows that the democratic awareness in Turkey is insufficient and flawed. This closure case is not just against one party. It is a case seeking to eliminate democratic politics. In other words, it is a closure case against democracy. Those who do not understand it can neither be democrats nor carry out a struggle for genuine democracy. It would mean being a democrat in one's own way. In fact, Turkey has not become a democratic country because democracy has been conceived this way for decades; the country has even come to be ruled by the most authoritarian government in its history. Should we say that people just get what they deserve under these circumstances?

The deadlock in the Kurdish question is distorting and crippling democracy as it cripples and distorts everything in Turkey. If the Kurdish problem is not resolved, democracy will not come into view in Turkey, nor will any political issue be freed from obscurity. Therefore, those who do not offer a solution to the Kurdish problem can neither be in favour of democracy nor democrats. This is the first criterion of being a democrat and being on the side of democracy in Turkey. Talking about democracy without the Kurdish issue is mere demagogy, deceiving the people and the world. The closure case has been debated for years. The HDP has been prevented from the struggle for democracy by waves of arrests and the closure case. If there were another party whose deputies, co-mayors, provincial and district administrators, members were arrested and subjected to special war and constant crackdown, it would not bear up against it. This means that the HDP's struggle for democracy and its political experience are so deep-rooted that these pressures could not tear down the party. The HDP has combined and blended Turkey's experience of the struggle for democratization and the Kurdish people's struggle for democracy and freedom. This is what Turkey needs. By achieving this, the HDP made a huge contribution to Turkey's struggle for democracy and freedom.

If those who call themselves democrats and promote democracy do not support such a political party, it is clear that they do not care about democracy. Currently, the key criterion for democracy is to protect the HDP in a very concrete way. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is talking about change. There are parties that claim to be the opposition and standing against the ruling AKP. If these opposition parties do not support the HDP, the talk of change will remain hypocritical. It will mean deceiving the public. Opposition to the AKP is not for democracy and means that ‘the AKP should leave power, let us replace it and adopt similar policies’. The democracy forces and the peoples of Turkey should not accept this. They should not allow themselves to be deceived again as they used to in the past. If the HDP is not endorsed, Turkey cannot break the vicious circle it has been going through for decades. The country may end up living with the much-criticized 12 September order.

Turkey’s democrats should prioritize this reality. The closure case against the HDP cannot be considered as an ordinary issue. It is Turkey's most serious problem. The party is facing the closure case since it wants a solution to the Kurdish problem. If the Kurdish problem is Turkey's most fundamental problem, then the HDP's closure case should be considered as the most urgent issue. If this issue is not raised, then some would say that other issues have been brought forward to drop the closure case. People can keep talking about the economic problem as much as they want. However, Turkey cannot get rid of the current system with these and other issues. If Turkey does not democratize, economic problems cannot be solved. The solution to the economic problems is related to the solution of the Kurdish problem. Didn't Erdogan say, “Do you know how much a bullet costs?” The money spent on the special war to suppress the Kurdish people's demand for freedom is perhaps half of Turkey's budget. Unspecified amounts of money, called discretionary funds, are also spent on this special war.

Other parties should be criticized for not embracing the HDP. All democrats should bring forward these criticisms. One cannot be a true democrat without doing this.

However, HDP's struggle against the closure case also remains insufficient. The party should have mobilized the Kurdish people and the forces of democracy. It should have called on the Kurdish people to endorse the HDP and the people should have embraced the party. Thousands could have gathered in front of each party office. Supporting the HDP could have been developed in many ways and methods in line with this agenda.

With its declaration to the public, the HDP exerted a significant influence on Turkey’s public and democratic forces. All political actors and social groups that created this effect should have been mobilized. However, the HDP has stagnated after the closure case. The HDP cannot defend itself and prevent its closure in this way.

The struggle for democracy is also a struggle for law. Since there is no democracy, there is no law and vice versa. With the HDP's current approach, it seems that the party has left its fate to others. Or it has placed itself at the mercy of the constitutional court judges! The HDP should know that there are no judges in Ankara who will take a stand for justice.The democratic will of the people affects everyone. A struggle for democracy is necessary for the judges to have a will.

The HDP needs to break the current silence. First, it should force the opposition parties in this regard. The HDP does not consider those who do not oppose the closure case as pro-democracy, and its approach towards them will be shaped accordingly.

Source: Yeni Yaşam