HDP’s “becoming Turkish” - SÜLEYMAN SEYFI ÖĞÜN

HDP’s “becoming Turkish”

It seems obvious that the results of the 2015 election will not be changing the array of political parties. The whole matter is tying up what the voting rates will be. Of course, field surveys on this matter will be indicative. What I’m going to say here is not based on any concrete research. I’m only speaking over some intuition-based understandings. Thus, I’ve taken on the responsibility of possible mistakes.

I don’t think that the 2015 elections will be bright for the center opposition. I assume that the CHP (Republican People's Party) will have no chance at all. Let’s say that CHP preserved their vote rates. I guess counting that as a success will not be satisfying the CHP base, and it will be naive to say or think otherwise. We can already see that the resentful and tired segment of the CHP voters are in new pursuits between Vatan Party, or VP ( Fatherland Party), MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) and HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party) for the upcoming elections. I cannot possibly know what their vote rates will be; however, this situation appears to be a factor that will make CHP lose some votes. Over this dynamic, considering that MHP will be consolidating their own base, especially seeing that the segment which MHP lost to AK Party (Justice and Development Party), but which are scared of the resolution process and returned back to MHP, we can talk about the existence of this segment. In addition, in the case they come to an agreement with BBP, I can foresee MHP increasing their vote rates.

Another interesting matter is the one related with HDP. It’s clear that HDP preserved the base votes they acquired from the Kurdish voters. At this point, the decisions of indecisive Kurdish voters, which are around 10% and shuttles between AK Party and HDP, will be playing an important part. However, both dynamics should be taken into consideration. The most striking one of them is that a countenance towards HDP has started, especially from the Alevite-rooted CHP-supporting citizens. As for the other one; nationwide, we can see the support of liberal circles and a part of “left-wingers” towards HDP. Based on this, we can say that HDP’s election campaign will be their claim of “becoming Turkish”. Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş’s performance in the Presidential elections can be regarded as the igniting factor of this matter. (Well, Mr. Demirtaş blew up all these impressions during the October incident; however, since the memory of post-modern politics is not that strong, this could also be forgotten.) I still can't figure out how much this will contribute towards HDP’s vote rates in the direction of exceeding the threshold. However, if these dynamics allow HDP to exceed the threshold, then saying that the parliament's arithmetic will be quite surprising in the new period will be equal to pointing at the reality. 

It’s necessary to approach HDP’s “Becoming Turkish” matter separately as a political claim. In other words, this “Becoming Turkish” Notion is extremely plastic in my opinion, even scrappy. Every expression that includes the “Becoming Turkish” Notion is leaving the impression of an intellectual fabrication, which is perfunctory and not mediated, on me. Doesn't the opening of the “Becoming Turkish” notion amount to “the place where Turkish people live”? If failing to resolve the political identity issue and piling it on the geography is not a simplification, then what is? Of course, this a separate matter to be discussed; however, the reason I mentioned this was to bring the context of the “Becoming Turkish” claim forward more clearly. The “Becoming Turkish” claim is nothing other than the attempt of the Kurdish politics to have themselves confirmed by the Turkish politics. The sensitive point here is to achieve this task of adoption without causing a “Turkish issue”. Then, the question is; to what extent can Kurdish politics, which will not cause a Turkish issue, stay as Kurdish politics? This, essentially, makes us think about two new directions. Either you will develop a new politics that relatively pulls the Kurdish politics back, or become successful in equipping or uniting the Kurdish politics with other politics. Relatively, the first one might drive a wedge between the party and their base voters, Qandil and especially with the radical young base. Besides, relatively pulling the Kurdish politics back will make AK Party more dominant in the options of the Kurdish voter segment, which acts with pragmatic or solemn incentives. This will give birth to the notion “going farther and faring worse” from the point of HDP. Eventually, this requires a multi-essential doctrinal change and it’s digestion rather than a strategy change.

As for the second direction; this makes finding the equivalents of the Kurdish issue in the Southeastern and Eastern part of Turkey in Central Anatolia, Black Sea, Aegean or Thrace mandatory. This is not easy at all. I don’t think that anyone can pull this off by making a generalization or metaphorization of oppression. (Nobody thought about the ethnical identities of the people that lost their lives in the Soma calamity). Thus, HDP’s claim to “Become Turkish” by preserving their Kurdish politics should be paid attention to, since it points at an important transformation, which foresees doing politics outside the ethnic codes. However, even though this provides a political attraction or support in a cynical sense, it seems unlikely that this claim can be fulfilled as easily as it’s assumed.

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