Turkey: The polls open in the local elections

Featured image: “The ruling classes are backed by a huge press army, advertising posters and an election campaign that lasts several months. What happens next is the continuation of the exploitation system. The people have never had the right to free choice in elections. People who are brought before the public with the mentality of ‘vote for us or for us’ are imprisoned in a compulsory thought. It is necessary for the people to understand the facts and unite the oppressed masses for their own benefit.” Source: Yeni Demokrasi

The local elections in Turkey are held today. Since the opening of the polls, grave violations of the bourgeois ideals of ”free” elections have been reported – electoral observes have been forced away from the booths, people vote with ballots they have brought with them and in large groups, and in Kurdish provinces soldiers and police have been brought to the booths in uniform and carrying weapons, which is a violation of the electoral laws.

Some days before the election Yeni Demokrasi wrote that the electoral path is “a path that serves the ruling classes, far from the interests of the people” and that this path has been seen multiple times in the past. They note that huge budgets have been allocated to the electoral propaganda, in the midst of a deep crisis. “Elections are much more visible, especially on the streets. We see the candidates of the parties on almost every corner, street, bridge and billboard. …The public’s expectation of ‘changes through elections’ has weakened considerably from yesterday to today1”, they write.

The particularities of the local elections is that many local and social problems are discussed, and all the candidates promise to fix all the local problems. Yeni Demokrasi denounces that the municipalities cannot take a different approach than the central government, and they too follow the line of the administration which protects the interests of the ruling classes. “The candidates presented to the public are people who can sustain the central government and the economy. Those people have to be elected, the system organizes itself with them, they organize and appear before the masses as ‘those to be elected’.” Yeni Demokrasi also denounces that the local politics are plagued by corruption and semi-feudality especially in smaller regions, giving an example of the district of Trabzon where the same family has been elected for 150 years. Finally, they point out that often after the elections, superficial “improvements” are made, but no real local issues are fixed. “In a government designed for exploitation, there is no room for the interests of the people”, they write. They conclude that the elections are an illusion of choice and a mask to cover the reality of exploitation.

We have earlier published an unofficial translation of the position of Partizan in the local elections in Dersim.

1All quotes are our unofficial translations.

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