Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered a historic defeat in Turkey’s local elections that even they could not spin as a victory.

Following the AKP’s loss of the three biggest economic centres of Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara, Erdoğan’s balcony speech sounded defeated and defensive.

How did this happen? What role was, and will be played by the country’s main leftist coalition party, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP)?

The March 31 Turkish local election results showed democracy is alive, but if the opposition wants to win there needs to be unity of the Kurdish and Turkish left, writes Arash Azizi.

Why is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan broadcasting the video of the Christchurch mosque attack? The reason lies within the deep contradictions shattering Turkish politics and growing popular opposition.

Local government elections in Turkey will be on March 31. The Kurdish-led People's Democratic Party (HDP) is campaigning to win back municipalities whose HDP mayors were removed by the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as part of a crackdown on the party.

Leyla Guven, a member of Turkey’s parliament for the left-wing, Kurdish-led People’s Democratic party (HDP), launched an indefinite hunger strike on November 7 from Amed Prison, where she was held jailed by Turkey’s regime. Her demand is for an end to the isolation of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Jailed by Turkey since 1999, Ocalan is the recognised leader of the Kurdish liberation movement. Since 2011, his lawyers have been unable to met with him.

US president Donald Trump announced by tweet on December 19 his intention to withdraw US troops from Syria. This followed a phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had often stated his intention to invade north-eastern Syria. 

Trump’s announcement was widely seen as giving a green light for the planned Turkish invasion. Trump’s decision caused dissension within the US government. Defence secretary James Mattis resigned, as did some other prominent officials.

Russian president Vladimir Putin, the main backer of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has supported the rebels seeking to overthrow Assad, in the southern Russian town of Sochi on September 17.

After the meeting, it was announced that Putin and Erdogan had reached an agreement on the future of Idlib, a province in northern Syria.

Large rallies were held in towns throughout Idlib on September 14 in response to the threat by the Assad regime to invade the province in Syria’s north-west.

Idlib is currently controlled by a mixture of rebel groups. The strongest is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an extremely reactionary Islamist group that controls 60% of the province.

The Assad regime and its allies have been building up their forces around the rebel-held Idlib province, in Syria’s north-west, in preparation for a major offensive. Some bombing raids have already been carried out in the south and west of the province.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are carrying out guerrilla resistance against the occupying Turkish army and its militia allies in the Afrin canton, a predominantly Kurdish area of northern Syria.

In common with many other countries, Turkey’s socialist movement has been marked by the dominance of men in positions of leadership and authority.

The patriarchy is a social order that has become dominant globally over the course of millennia and which connects with oppressive conceptions of the family, exploitation and inheritance — in short, with social class. Socialists cannot stand by as it recreates itself in the very structures we claim exist to overturn social stratification and oppression.

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