On March 31, local elections were held in Turkey in which over 61 million people were called to vote for mayors, local politicians and village heads. In the press of the imperialist states in the Western hemisphere, this election is celebrated as a great victory for "democracy" in Turkey and worldwide. Some media are even heralding the end of Erdogan's "one-man rule".The reason for this is the victory of the Kemalist-social democratic "opposition party" CHP with 37.77% of the vote compared to the AK Party of the incumbent president and genocide-monger Erdogan, which won a total of 35.49% of the vote. In a schematic comparison with the last local elections, the numbers may suggest that Erdogan and his AKP are losing ground. After all, the AKP won a total of 42.50 percent of the vote in the last local elections in 2019, while the Kemalists only won 29.60 percent of the vote.

But this is not as interesting from the point of view of the proletariat and the people in Turkey as it is for the bourgeois press of the imperialist countries. The revolutionary and democratic newspaper "Yeni Demokrasi" wrote in the run-up to the elections that those who control the private ownership of the means of production also control the old state. And that for this reason the will of the people cannot be realized in any country, no matter how advanced, in their "democratic system". It is further summarized that these "democratic practices" have the character of "democracy games" which are under the control of the bourgeoisie and that this can be seen even more clearly in the conditions in Turkey. Furthermore, "Yeni Demokrasi" writes elsewhere that the main problem for the masses in Turkey is not who wins in the elections, but the hunger, poverty and fascist oppression under which they suffer.

From this revolutionary point of view, we can see that the general crisis of imperialism and bureaucratic capitalism at a global level is also expressed in a crisis of democracy in Turkey, where the rulers are less and less able to bring the masses to the polls. While 84.67 percent of voters cast their vote in the local elections in 2019, this time only around 78.55 percent cast a valid vote in the local elections. In figures: 6.12 percent less voter turnout compared to the last local elections, which means that over 15 million people expressed their rejection of the elections. And this despite the fact that Turkey is a country with a traditionally relatively high voter turnout.

In particular, this low voter turnout is also a rejection of semi-feudalism by the people's masses in Turkey, as the local elections are also an expression of the fact that the Turkish state is a bureaucratcapitalist-big landowner state in which big landownership is fundamentally merged with the old state. This can be seen above all in the election of village chiefs, who are often directly and personally linked to the large landowners.

Another aspect that the local elections have shown once again is the national oppression of the Kurdish people. In Turkish Kurdistan, before, during and after the elections, there was increased repression against the voters and representatives of the DEM party, a reformist party that claims to represent the Kurdish people. In the village of Ağaçlıdere, a member of this party was killed by supporters of the AK Party. In the city of Van in the east of the country, the DEM party won the office of mayor with 55% of the vote. However, the candidate was deprived of his election victory by the state and the AK Party candidate behind him took over the office of mayor.

In summary, all this shows very well that the elections of the bureaucratcapitalist-big landowner  state do not serve the interests of the masses in Turkey. The peoples of Turkey will not get their liberation from imperialism, bureaucratic capitalism and semi-feudalism through elections. And it can be seen in particular that the Kurdish people are not making any progress in the struggle against their national oppression and for their right to self-determination through reformist parties at the ballot box. As the newspaper "Yeni Demokrasi" writes, all parties only serve the interests of the ruling classes and there is no room for the interests of the people in the elections.Real democratic power can only be attained by the oppressed masses and especially the poor peasants in Turkey through the people's war that is being waged in Turkey to smash the dictatorship of the big landowners and the big bourgeoisie and to build up the new power of the people against it.

 Cover Image: https://redherald.org/2024/04/04/local-elections-in-turkey-no-victory-of-democracy/