For the 3rd part of our Turkey Election Special we asked Zaher Baher from the Kurdistan Anarchists Forum about the future of Turkey and Kurdistan.
Is there still a chance that Erdogan will not win the game? If so, who are his counterparts? What strategy do they pursue and what goals do they have? What is going to happen if the HDP exceeds 10 % and moves into parliament?
I believe Erdogan will win again but may be narrowly. Erdogan controlled everything in Turkey almost all the Media, the State’s administrations, the courts & jurisdiction system, the military section, the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), the Parliament. In addition, he has turned Turkey into an open prison for its citizens. All this in some way helps Erdogan to dominate the election campaign process, in other words people can hear mainly AKP campaign voice not the rest of the political parties and groups.
Probably HDP exceeds 10% threshold but still there won’t be much chance for HDP to make big changes because of its experiences. We saw it previously in the Parliament so what do you think under the presidential system?! I also must say the role that the political parties including HDP play is to weaken the mass movement by deceiving people and giving the impression that the real problems Turkey’s society is currently facing can be resolved with the help of the elections and the parliamentary system. We all know that whenever the political parties are strong, the mass movement becomes weak and vice versa.
Can you describe the current situation of the Kurdish people in North-Kurdistan? What will happen here if Erdogan wins?
Well, the situation in Bakur, North-Kurdistan, is much worse than in the 1990s. I have mentioned this in my articles published in Lib-Com and Anarchismo. What was left intact from the 1990s, is now, after imposing the war there in July 2015 by Erdogan, almost completely destroyed. In addition, Erdogan managed to weaken the mass movement there too.
If Erdogan wins or not, his AKP’s MPs work on paralysing and destroying the mass movement in Turkey in whole. It is in Erdogan’s and his party’s interest to replace the mass battle by political battles of the parties. He is a very clever politician, as he knows very well what makes the Turkish establishment weak is not the party political game and the parliamentary system, it is in fact the people’s movement, the working class movement. All his efforts now concentrate on deceiving people and diverting them from the right way of struggle against the State of Turkey into the dead-end Parliamentary system game.
What impact will an AKP election victory have on the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and the situation in the Middle East? Can the idea of Rojava survive a Turkish autocratic state?
I don’t think that the policies of AKP, if Erdogan wins, will get better. We all know Erdogan’s ambitions are very big as he tries to bring back the role of the old Ottoman Empire to play a major role in the Middle East and whole Europe as well. Please see my article https://zaherbaher.com/2018/05/30/president-erdogan-is-as-dangerous-as-president-trump/.
He is very arrogant guy. Every time when he has succeeded in his political career, it made him more ambitious and more persistent on implementing his polices. He is now more of a dictator and more brutal than ever. Since he has been in power, Erdogan he has done everything to fail Rojava. If he wins, it will probably get worse because he thinks that he has a mandate now from the people who elected him again. He is an evil man like the rest of the politicians so that he compromises with evil to defeat Rojava, his political history for the last two and a half years proved that.
As for the Middle East, Erdogan tries to be a main leader, he tries to give an impression he is the voice of the voiceless, the voice of all Sunna Muslim, the voice of the Philistines and the voice of peace and security in the region.
In relation to Rojava, it is very hard to expect the idea of Rojava as claiming of Democratic Confederalism can be survived in a long term because of so many reasons. The special circumstances Rojava has, surrounding by the different enemies, lack of international solidarity, controlling the political, social and economic arena by PYD and the serious mistakes have PYD made, all these are few factors among many that have aborted the Tev-Dem movement’s initial aims. I have stressed this point in my article on Afrin and the policies of the Democratic Union Party, please check the link: http://zaherbaher.com/2018/04/09/afrin-and-the-policies-of-the-democratic-union-party/