How will the Labor and Freedom Alliance affect politics?

According to experts, the left's new Labor and Freedom Alliance is in a "key position" especially for Turkey's presidential elections.

Serkan Alan / DUVAR

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Workers’ Party (TİP), Labor Party (EMEP), Social Freedom Party (TÖP), Labor Movement Party (EHP), Socialist Assemblies Federation (SMF) officially announced its establishment as a political alliance on Sept. 24, named as Labor and Freedom Alliance.

The declaration of the alliance, which was set out with the slogan "We will succeed together," included many topics from economy to poverty, from the Kurdish issue to fundamental rights and freedoms.

The effect of the Labor and Freedom Alliance, which was announced as the third political alliance in Turkey, on the elections, is also a matter of curiosity. According to opinion pollsters, the alliance is in a "key position" especially for the presidential elections.

Yöneylem Social Research Center head Derya Kömürcü said there is an opportunity for the alliance in the upcoming elections that was planned to be held in June 2023.

“Some groups, dissatisfied with the opposition alliance, can easily vote for the common candidate of the opposition in the presidential elections, but vote for parties in the Labor and Freedom Alliance,” Kömürcü said.

Stating that the alliance has a potential of over 12 percent votes, Kömürcü said “the opposition’s presidential candidate who could not get the support of the voters from this alliance cannot be elected president.”

The Social Democracy Foundation (SODEV) President Ertan Aksoy said parties in the alliance except the HDP have low vote rates but huge influence in politics, and this alliance might increase their votes as well.

“The opposition is unlikely to win the elections without the support of either the right-wing İYİ (Good) Party or the HDP,” Aksoy said, referring to the increasing tensions between two parties.

MAK Consulting chair Mehmet Ali Kulat said the HDP is the only party that did not lose votes in their surveys, and is around 10 percent.

“Other parties in the alliance would not reach even one percent. But this alliance may create a new synergy, reaching up to 12, 13 percent of the votes. Because their aim is the same. They prioritize labor and freedom. These two concepts are concepts that should be prioritized by everyone who is currently involved in politics in Turkey. Each party that prioritizes these two concepts finds support above normal,” Kulat added.

On the other hand, researcher Reha Ruhavioğlu hesitated to affirm that there will be a positive effect for the alliance.

“It does not seem very realistic to predict that it will bring a new excitement to politics. Because parties other than HDP are not big parties with a large number of votes. Parties with limited means within the alliance will gain more effectiveness in some provinces with the logistical support of HDP,” he said.

Ruhavioğlu added that different strategies of the parties in the alliance might affect parliamentary majority.

(English version by Alperen Şen)