HDP's moderation possible

Published 11.11.2015 01:59

On Nov. 1, a large quake shook the opposition parties, namely the Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

The CHP, MHP and HDP have not yet fully felt the magnitude of this quake. The degree of the damage will be gradually revealed over time. The reason for this is the fact that they - particularly the CHP and MHP - are accustomed to such election defeats. In other words, these two parties are already used to being shaken by quakes, since one has lost 14 elections so far, while the other one has lost seven. But the situation is different for the HDP, which is lately being treated like a "spoiled child" by the former tutelage system and international pressure groups.

They had experience of resolving their problems through political means for the first time thanks to the reconciliation process. The public also approved of this experience in the June 7 elections. However, the HDP's Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş adopted a stance that led to him saying:

"Even a dead HDP can receive 13 percent of the vote. I would like to predict what will happen on Nov. 1: They will regret holding early elections and they will wish they never repeated the elections. Then the HDP had 13 percent, now it has 15 percent. Then it had 80 deputy seats at the Parliament, now it will have 100 seats. They would regret disrespecting the popular will."

With those remarks, the HDP demonstrated that it is not any different from the parties of the former order. Now the party is confronted with a profound crisis because the domestic and foreign political conditions leading to June 7 vanished, and the political equations in the region have started to change rapidly.

It is not possible for the PKK and HDP administrations to not be affected by this change. These two structures have not only lost votes since June 7, they also missed a historic opportunity that gave them the chance to be active agents in the reconciliation process.

This picture inevitably dragged both structures to the brink of an internal settling of accounts. Its possible outcomes can't be foreseen but a war between "pigeons" and "falcons," the possibility of which has been covered up for a long time, seems inevitable. The only reason for its current invisibility is the fact that the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan does not know what to say in the face of the situation. This factor delays it for now. But if Öcalan's latest remarks are true, settling accounts would not be so easy because Öcalan's words target the group in the HDP represented by Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ and the Alevi group in the PKK including Cemil Bayık, Bese Hozat, Mustafa Karasu and Ali Haydar Kaytan.

In the future, it will not be a surprise if a civilian wing represented by Leyla Zana and Hatip Dicle stands out in the HDP, while new figures might come to prominence in the PKK.

Of course, all these developments are closely related with Turkey-U.S. regional policies, regional developments centering around Russia, Assad and Iran, and Öcalan's intervention.

The HDP and PKK are about to enter their roughest period since 1984. Since then, this political movement has grown not through its own rightfulness, but through bad state policies. It also benefited from the opportunities offered by the cyclical developments in the region. Now the movement is confronted with the question of creating politics in its real sense.

However, it is a fact that a structure benefiting such different relations has a weak chance of creating genuine policies in accordance with this reality.

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