“A wake-up call for the HDP”
In an unadulterated, thought-provoking article titled "Parliamentary election from the HDP perspective: Why did it happen this way?" for Artigercek, Selahattin Demirtas former co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), underscored the necessity of a careful examination of the current situation and the development of effective measures to address the challenges faced by the party. Rather than succumbing to complacency, he warned that the election results should serve as a clear warning sign for the HDP.
INCOMPLETE AND DISORGANIZED EFFORTS
Demirtas said the ruling bloc has taken over the state and utilized all its resources without any ethical consideration, launched a massive defamation campaign, and engaged in manipulative tactics. However, it would be simplistic to solely attribute the HDP's lack of success in the parliamentary elections to these factors, criticizing the party’s election campaigning as too little and too late.
AN AMATEUR APPROACH
“Given the overall situation, if you declare, "We will exceed 15% in the parliamentary elections, and we will ensure the opposition candidate surpasses 50% in the presidential election," in a country with 63 million voters, and if you start your election campaign one month before the election day with an unprofessional and amateurish approach resembling a local association's campaign, you cannot expect to be successful,” he said.
Also drawing attention to the internal dynamics within the HDP, Demirtas revealed the challenges he faced in trying to bridge the gap with various segments of society.
MY VOICE ECHOES BACK
“Over the past five years, I have been trying to convey this reality through letters, messages, and articles to the HDP headquarters, but each time, my voice echoes back to me,” Demirtas said.
LACK OF INSTITUTIONAL FUNCTIONING AND A SIGNIFICANT VOID
He added: “There are many incidents happening, but I refrain from exposing them to the public because I believe in operating institutions. Unfortunately, institutions often fail to function.There was a significant void, and no one else was attempting to fill it or even if they did, they couldn't succeed.
“However, some friends from our neighborhood, instead of trying to understand these efforts, focused on lynching me, thinking I was trying to put myself in the spotlight. If there are deficiencies or shortcomings, they can only be addressed through criticism and suggestions, not through unfaithful attacks”
DISILLUSIONED MIDDLE CLASS
Demirtas also highlights the disillusionment and decline experienced by the Kurdish middle class due to a lack of clear political direction and fears of losing their livelihoods. He criticized the emergence of individuals who, in the absence of substantive political approaches, indulged in trivial matters, dominating political and social spaces without offering any meaningful contributions.
“No one can progress further with mere slogans. If we cannot explain democratic modernity to a people who have been so heavily exposed to capitalist modernity and if we cannot present alternative, beautiful, and honorable ways of life with our institutions, societal collapse becomes inevitable.” he said.
SELF-COUP OF 2016
In conclusion, Demirtas identified the "self-coup" of July 20, 2016, as a pivotal moment when the government closed and usurped political, cultural, media, women's, youth, and local governance institutions, establishing a degrading system.
He highlighted the socio-economic hardships faced by the people, including unemployment and poverty, as well as the alarming increase in drug addiction and forced prostitution, particularly among vulnerable youth.
“Despite everything, there is still a challenging struggle being carried out with great effort, sacrifice, and cost. I believe that by avoiding approaches that would harm this struggle and instead embarking on a major renewal effort, we can respond effectively to the process,” he said.