New political party in Turkey to be established under leadership of former HDP mayor Ayhan Bilgen

A new political party called the “Voice to the Voiceless Movement” has been established under the leadership of former HDP mayor Ayhan Bilgen. The party says they aspire to “govern the country.”

Serkan Alan / DUVAR

Ayhan Bilgen, the former member of parliament for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), is finalizing the foundation of his new political party, the “Voice to the Voiceless Movement,” which he says will govern the country. 

Bilgen was formerly the mayor of the eastern province of Kars for the HDP until he was arrested. When he was released, he resigned from the party. 

Bilgen’s new party announced its formation and plans in a hotel in Ankara this weekend and plans to deliver its foundation documents to the Ministry of the Interior by the end of March. If the Ministry does not approve the party - it is in the midst of trying to shut down the other Kurdish party, the HDP - the party says it has a “plan B ready.” 

“We will be part of administering the country one way or another in 2023,” party representatives said.

Bilgen emphasized at the meeting in Ankara that the party did not intend to participate in the “partyization” of Turkish politics and that it intends to be a “people’s movement,” not a movement aimed at fame. 

“Therefore, we will form a citizens' movement, a movement of the anonymous, not a celebrity movement. We value the participation of the silent majority in politics. We reject from the outset the notion that society is seen as an object in politics. We want to make society a subject in politics,” he said.

He added that the party aims to re-establish true representative democracy in the country and help to have the people’s voices heard in government. 

“We believe that a participatory and transparent democracy can only be formed with the direct participation of citizens,” he said. 

Bilgen emphasized that the party is not aiming to be part of an alliance. The recent election draft law announced by the ruling People's Alliance would lessen the power of alliances - such as the opposition Nation Alliance - in favor of smaller parties. 

Bilgen said that the establishment of this party was a step towards the rebirth of democracy in Turkey. He said that the establishment of political parties has been hindered under the Justice and Development Party (AKP)-led government. 

“We will set out with the silent majority, the masses who see the deadlock in Turkish politics and do not trust either the government or the opposition,” he said. 

Müslüm Doğan, former İzmir Deputy and former Minister of Development, who resigned from HDP in 2018, was also part of the announcement of the Voice of the Voiceless movement. 

Above all, Bilgen emphasized the independence of the party from extant political movements, especially in the wake of the dissolution of multifarious politics under the AKP. The party says it will uphold “participatory, transparent, and accountable” governance.

“We are nobody's successor. We are not set up against anyone. We do not specifically target any alliance, party or leader, nor are we with them in advance, nor against them. Our interlocutor is society,” he said. 

(English version by Erin O'Brien)