The ruling AKP party failed to form a coalition after a first vote in June, which its detractors claim was a tactic to weaken support for the newly elected pro-Kurd HDP movement. Opposition members and commentators also accuse the AKP of fueling chaos in Turkey ahead of the repeat elections in order to encourage the electorate to vote more conservatively second time round.
According to Turkish law, if the main party in parliament fails to form a coalition government, the president can give a mandate to the leader of the second-largest party to form government. However, current president Recip Tayyip Erdogan — who founded the AKP — made it clear he would not do this: a first in Turkish political history.
Losing the AKP’s majority, which it has held since 2002, ended Erdogan's hopes of establishing a presidential system by changing the constitution, a move which would require a strong majority in the assembly.
By Rosa Burç
Although the latest opinion polls show that the election result will not significantly change, it is already undeniable that the upcoming elections are going to be a turning point in Turkish history. Read more...
By Naomi Cohen
Asena Günal, a Turkish expert on history, feminism and culture, tells teleSUR the election could be a turning point in the Turkish republic's history. Read more...
A History of the Turkish-Kurdish Conflict
The conflict is deeply rooted in the imperialist history of the Middle East, involving the Ottoman Turkish empire, as well as the British and Western powers who were dividing up the region after World War I. Read more…
8 Key Facts About the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party)
With Turkey again bombing the PKK, we look at the role of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in the Kurdish struggle. Read more…
Interviews from Quito: The Struggle in Kurdistan
One of the longest conflicts in the Middle East is the struggle of the 40 million Kurdish people for self-determination. Living in Southeastern Turkey, Northern Syria, Northern Iraq, and Western Iran, in addition to a sizable diaspora in Western Europe, Kurds have been subject to various forms of ethnic discrimination and repression. In today's program, host Gregory Wilpert interviews journalist, documentary maker, and anthropologist Mehmet Dogan, spokesperson for the Kurdistan Latin American Solidarity Committee.
Snapshot: Turkey Goes After the PKK
Massacre in Turkey’s Capital: Why?
By Taylan Tosun
On October 10th, trade unions, organizations representing doctors, engineers and architects, pro-Kurdish political party HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), some other leftist parties and groups organized a “peace rally” in Ankara, Turkish capital. The rally was supposed to call for an end to the armed conflict between PKK and Turkish army which has been recently resumed after a two years period of “peace talks.”Read more...
Kurds Fight Islamic State Group as Russia Enters Syrian War
By Joris Leverink
Syrian Kurds fighting under the banner of the Peoples' Protection Forces, or YPG, have been one of the U.S.'s closest allies in the fight against the Islamic State group, and supported by coalition airstrikes they have dealt a number of significant blows to the jihadist organization. However, Turkish reservations about the organization due to its close links with the PKK — which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state for the last 30 years — forced the U.S. to keep its support to a minimum. Until now. Read more...
Erdogan’s Self-Coup Deepens with New War on the Kurds
By Alp Altınörs, Vice President of the Peoples’ Democratic Party-HDP
The basic aim of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at June’s elections was to gain a broad majority in the parliament, in order to allow him to change the country’s constitution and become an “executive president.” Erdogan wanted to become an elected Sultan and advance his political Islamist program. The old, rotten political establishment seemed desperate in the face of Erdogan’s drive for the presidency.
The June elections were a remarkable victory for the HDP. The party doubled its vote and reached 13 percent, nearly 6 million votes. As the HDP gained 80 seats in the National Assembly, the AKP party lost its majority. … This was a political earthquake favoring a democratic and progressive change. … Erdogan’s self-coup came under these circumstances. He is preventing any coalition possibilities so as not to end his unlimited power. Read more…
The Building Up of Fascism in Turkey
By Taylan Tosun
One type of fascism is built from the bottom up, as is well known in the cases of Nazis in Germany and the Mussolini regime in Italy. This kind of fascism is more dangerous because it is able to create mass mobilization. It gets its own paramilitary forces to intimidate the dissidents. This kind of fascism benefits from an active support of some factions of the capitalist class. It gets its own cadres who are able to control crucial positions in the state machinery and particularly a propaganda machine, including a large mass media.
In Turkey, what we are experiencing since 2011 is a fascist regime similar to this. Why in a country where three military coups d’etat have taken place in the last 55 years, is it that we are now facing fascism? What are the root causes of this? Read more…
Tariq Ali talks to the scholar and academic Sungur Savran, about the ongoing crisis in Turkey, a country backed by NATO and run by an Islamist government led by Erdogan.
David Hearst reviews the aftermath of Turkey’s recent election, the 11th election that the AKP party has won in 13 years. Was it such a resounding defeat for the party which has dominated Turkey for over a decade?