Although the Supreme Electoral Council has not explained its final decision regarding the results of constitutional referendum on April 16, it explained YES votes to be 52.41% (25,133,391) and NO votes as 48.59% (23,758,401). Therefore, the Council announced that the constitutional change was accepted with a difference of 1,374,990 votes. As IDP (Workers’ Democracy Party), we not only consider these results fraudulent but also believe that the referendum itself and its results are not legitimate as a whole.
The provisions of constitutional change allegedly accepted on referendum pursue leading the country to a party-state dictatorship, not to a more democratic initiative. Moreover, they drag the country back to military junta constitution of 1982 in terms of overall constitutional and democratic rights. As the party of workers and popular masses, IDP cannot accept any referendum in any country as legitimate, which unites that country’s regime and/or administrative system with a single party, party state, dictatorship or executive, legislative and judicial powers at the top of the state and leads to any kind of oppression system.
Besides, legitimacy of this referendum should be further questioned due to the fact that April 16 referendum was held under state of emergency conditions in which party presidents and administrators, mayors and party members especially in Kurdish cities were imprisoned, opinions against the amendment could not be explained, thousands of people were deterritorialized and in an environment where the government party attempted to impose itself on free will of peoples by illegally using all means of the state.
On top of it, thousands of violations such as the use of unstamped envelopes and putting invalid stamps into effect despite of the complaints and criticism by ballot box observes starting from the very beginning of referendum have rendered the referendum fully shady. The report of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which observed the elections, announced that the referendum became questionable owing to unlawful methods, emphasizing the truth once again. IDP believes that these infractions said to concern 2.5 million votes are implementations which increase illegitimacy of the referendum.
In spite of all these hitches, half of the voters heroically objected to a drift towards an authoritarian regime. We consider this opposition as a victory of popular masses. The largest cities of the country said “No” to dictatorship; AKP+MHP (Justice and Development Party -government party- and Nationalist Movement Party) alliance has been substantially downgraded in industrial cities like Bursa, Sakarya and Kocaeli; Kurdish cities maintain their democratic stance… These all point out that the regime will have a hard time in authoritarianism, and democratic and social mobilizations will gain strength.
The votes allegedly received by authoritarianism through abovementioned antidemocratic practices are expressed as a personal acquisition by the “Chief” himself. In other words, the new system of governance to be found is not an institutional victory of the regime and so it is a fake triumph in this sense. A system which will be built in such way will be an unbalanced authoritarian regime and an extremely weak personal dictatorship. The President and AKP are well aware of this situation, and they will develop new strategies after situation analyses to be made in the forthcoming days and weeks. Given the attacks started by the government in Kurdish cities and across the country following the election defeat on June 7, 2015, it is highly possible that their new policies will be similar. Speeches of the President right after the referendum gives this clue.
In addition to the weakness of party-state system and Turkish-type authoritarian regime to be created, bosses, in other words, the bourgeoisie is also hesitant in part and astounded in reality. We may expect pursuits of political outburst in the bourgeoisie which has seen that a regime based on a single chief is politically unbalanced in the middle and long term, dangerous in terms of society and economically unfavorable. Discontents within AKP, the fact that MHP is divided and the presence of center and center-right politicians seemingly “democratic-liberal” will accelerate the attempts of forming a new alternative for the bourgeoisie. It is possible that we will witness establishment of such parties in the upcoming weeks. At this point, duty of IDP will be to prevent working and popular classes from setting their hopes on fake democratic organizations, give weight to policies based on class independence and accelerate the building of a revolutionary party.
Since HDP leaders are in jail and the ones who are not imprisoned are under the government’s oppression, CHP (Republican People’s Party) and its president Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu assumed the leadership of NO front. It can be said that they were successful in their own terms during referendum campaign, and therefore it is obvious they will now try to utilize the majority of “NO” votes in favor of their party. However, we will be required, without disrupting the unity of class, to insistently tell working and popular masses that this party is eventually an advocate of bourgeois regime and capitalist exploitation system. IDP will ask CHP to be insistent regarding the fraudulency and illegitimacy of referendum, and will continue to persistently tell laborers and democrats supporting CHP that a constitution can be legitimate only if it leads the country to a democratic and social change.
The first explanation of Kılıçdaroğlu right after referendum stating that constitution is a “social contract” and therefore “the politics has great obligations” signaled that CHP can enter into a new agreement with the authoritarian regime. As a matter of fact, Kılıçdaroğlu now suggests “preparing a new constitution together” with the authoritarian regime. IDP invites working masses not to build high hopes in which a democratic constitution is prepared by coming to terms with leaders and their so-called representatives who are keen on an antidemocratic authoritarian regime. A truly democratic and social constitution can only be written through a Constituent Assembly comprised of all parts of the society, workers’ organizations, women and social movements. The only power that can stand against and hold CHP back from compromising with the system of dictatorship will be the pressure of workers, laborers, young militants of CHP and women’s movements. IDP is ready to collaborate with these powers.
On the other hand, IDP strongly criticizes CHP’s counterrevolutionary attitude and discourse against Syrian refugees and state system during pre-referendum propaganda period. CHP develops an antilabor and racist attitude towards Syrian asylum seekers. IDP recognizes these asylum seekers as a part of working masses in Turkey, and defends that the asylum seekers who want to stay and live in this country should benefit from all civil rights equally. The allegation that asylum seekers cause unemployment among local workers by occupying job opportunities in the country is nothing but an allegation used by the regime and bourgeoisie to divide the working class. The real reason behind unemployment is capitalist production style and its greed for cheap labor exploitation. The only system that can eliminate unemployment is a centrally planned economy to be built under democratic control of all workers and popular masses. IDP invites all progressive unions, and asylum seeker and refugee laborers to endeavor to unite with working class in line with this aim. On the other hand, granting the power to reorganize all administrative units of the country to a single chief is a regulation which we are naturally against. This authorization should be returned to the parliament immediately. However, wholly objecting to the idea of establishing states through an anti-Kurdish approach cannot be accepted. IDP supports universal self-determination right of a nation within the framework of Kurdish cities’ demands, and therefore the ability of establishing state or states provided that such ability is within the will of a democratic parliament.
We salute the upright, self-confident and honorable stance of HDP as a democratic party despite of all pressures. As IDP, we always have stood and will stand against the oppressions of government on this party. We know that the so-called lost votes in the referendum are due to these oppressions, mass exiles and electoral frauds. No matter what, HDP continues to represent willpower of the Kurdish people. What is expected from HDP in the upcoming period is to embrace all worker and laborer masses of Turkey and help unify self-determination right of peoples with liberation struggle. IDP will always be open to collaborate with a democratic party like HDP, and continue to criticize all attempts that disrupt the unity of working masses with nationalist discourse and give the excuses referred to as “counter-terrorism practices” to the hands of regime.
One of the factors that lead the half of voters to say NO to the authoritarian regime was democratic mass organizations and movements and social media. We whole-heartedly congratulate thousands of women and men, and especially the youth who gathered around these circles and dauntlessly struggled against the attempts of dictatorship. Their efforts existed as various communities were extremely significant and partly determinative in the triumph of NO, particularly in big cities and in downgrading the supporters of the Chief substantially in many places. The duty of IDP is now continue to act with these communities and contribute to the development of a workers’ alternative with them.
Victory of NO votes in big cities including industrial centers points out that working class is freeing itself from the illusions created by the oppressive regime. At this point, all progressive unions and other labor organizations should now speed up this process. Organized will of working class will bring in strength and organization, and more importantly, guidance to opposition movements and mobilizations in other parts of the society. The most significant duty of IDP is to contribute to improve such will as a united front of working class and laborers.
IDP believes that the urgent goals of the upcoming political struggle period are:
Lift the State of Emergency immediately!
End to decree laws!
Release all political prisoners and imprisoned journalists!
Reemploy the workers who don’t have certain court decision and were unlawfully dismissed by decree law!
End the oppressions on right to organization, expression and demonstration!
April 16 referendum is invalid and illegitimate!
Forward for a Constituent Assembly to prepare a democratic and social constitution!