Turkey’s leftist Labor and Freedom Alliance calls for self-criticism within bloc following elections

Turkey’s second biggest opposition bloc Labor and Freedom Alliance, including the HDP, has held a meeting for the first time after the parliamentary and presidential elections. The alliance said “the targeted results could not be achieved” and called for self-criticism among “every component that makes up the alliance.”

Duvar English

The Labor and Freedom Alliance, Turkey's second largest opposition coalition, on June 14 held a meeting at the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters for the first time after the elections. 

The Labor and Freedom Alliance includes the HDP, Green Left Party (YSP), Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP), Labor Party (EMEP), Social Freedom Party (TÖP), Workers' Movement Party (EHP) and Socialist Assemblies Federation (SMF). The YSP became the HDP’s back-up party in the elections over closure risk.

The meeting saw the participation of representatives of parties without co-chairs and chairs.

After the meeting, Labor and Freedom Alliance Coordination released a statement and said “the targeted results could not be achieved” in the elections. 

“In the next process, we have determined that every component that makes up the alliance should make an election accounting by operating the mechanisms of criticism and self-criticism. There is a strong will regarding the importance of common social struggle. On this basis, as the Labor and Freedom Alliance, we strongly emphasize that the common struggle of the peoples and the oppressed is valuable,” they added.

In the general elections, the YSP received 8.79% of the votes, and garnered 61 seats in the Parliament out of 600. The TİP garnered four seats with 1.72% of the votes. The alliance was aiming for 15-20 percent of the votes.

The results once again stirred the debate on not fielding a joint deputy candidate list as alliance parties. 

The TİP decided to join the elections with their own logo in some districts, arguing that they would receive votes from those who would not vote for the HDP. The move was criticized by senior HDP figures, including jailed Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtaş, arguing that they would lose seats in total as an alliance due to d’Hondt electoral system.

After the elections, the TİP executives defended their move, and said it “brought more people to the opposition front.”

The alliance also did not field any presidential candidates, backing up the main opposition Nation Alliance’s candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan beat Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in the second round of the presidential election on May 28 with 52.18% of the votes.