DISAVOW THE SYSTEM

“The next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election”
~ George Carlin.

How many times have you heard some ignoramus say that Kurds must use political means to gain their rights in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan? Like me, you’ve probably heard this more times than you care to remember. For all those ignoramuses who actually believe in this nonsense, here’s something from the AP, carried by the International Herald Tribune:

Turkey’s ruling party moves to clamp down on Kurdish party
The Associated Press

Published: October 5, 2006
ANKARA, Turkey Turkey’s ruling party on Thursday submitted a proposal to parliament which would make it harder for a pro-Kurdish party to field candidates to parliament as independent candidates in elections.

A high, 10 percent electoral threshold — the percentage of votes needed before a party can enter parliament — prevents a legal Kurdish party from being represented in parliament and news reports have said the party, the Democratic Society Party, was now considering circumventing the problem by making its candidates stand as independents at Turkey’s next general elections.

The threshold does not apply to independent candidates.

The move comes despite the European Union’s call on Turkey to reduce the threshold and ensure wider representation in parliament.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party’s proposal would amend the electoral law and scrap independent candidates’ right to have separate ballot papers from those used to chose candidates running for elections under party lists.

The independent candidates could stand outside polling stations and hand over ballot papers with their names already inscribed to voters, giving them a slight advantage over the political parties’ candidates.

In Turkey’s relatively poor, and Kurdish-dominated southeast, where literacy is low and some people don’t speak Turkish, voters often find it easier to pop an independent candidate’s ballot paper into the envelope than to select a candidate from a complicated and long ballot paper listing all of the parties.

Newspaper reports have said the government’s move is aimed at the Democratic Society Party which has replaced the now defunct Democratic People’s Party, or DEHAP, and which won only 6.2 percent of the national vote in the last elections, held in 2002.

Separately, the ruling party also submitted a draft constitutional amendment to reduce from 30 to 25 the minimum age for election to parliament with the aim of attracting younger voters and giving younger politicians a chance to run in the polls.

The parliament was expected to debate and approve the changes next week.

TDN comes right out and says that the AKP is taking measures directed specifically against the Kurdish DTP:

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) agreed on Thursday to support constitutional amendments proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which had to limit the changes to one that was acceptable to the opposition.

The constitutional amendment involves lowering the minimum age for election to Parliament from 30 to 25. In addition there will be a revision to the Election Law that will allow independent candidates in national elections to appear on the main ballot instead of requiring a separate one. The change in ballot procedures is seen as a measure against the pro-Kurdish Democratic People’s Party (DTP).

Then there are more reasons why the AKP is leading the charge against Kurds, from TNA, in September:

The DTP isn’t being represented in Parliament, even though they got 5-6 percent of votes throughout the country and nearly half of all votes cast in the southeast. This bothers the party.

A good example of this is Hakkari. The DTP competed in the last general elections under the name the Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP) and got 33,000 votes, of 45 percent of the votes cast in the city. On the other hand the Republican People’s Party (CHP) won 6,000 votes and the Justice and Development (AK) Party got 5,000 votes. Both parties managed to get seats from this city. Independent candidates received 17,000 votes.

[ . . . ]

There is a serious ongoing debate within the DTP over fielding independent candidates in the next elections. It seems possible that the DTP will have 30 deputies if they are well organized in the region. Only in the region? They may have independent deputies from Mersin, Adana, and even Istanbul. Attention should be drawn to the crisis that the DTP will likely create in Parliament through this strategy. When this project was first spelled out the government responded with a counteroffensive. A threshold for independent deputies could be introduced.

We all remember what kind of chaos resulted the last time there were real Kurds in the TBMM. They were imprisoned for over a decade for speaking Kurdish in that all-holy sanctuary of Turkish nationalism. Of course, the chaos was a result of the reactionaries, not the Kurds. Let’s make no mistake about the so-called “Kurds” in the TBMM right now. They got where they are by willing assimilation. They have abandoned the Kurdish people. They are not Kurds. They are traitors.

Pretty damned scary for the racist Ankara regime, isn’t it, having DTP, i.e. Kurd, politicians sitting in the TBMM representing part of Istanbul? What a scandal. What an insult to Turkishness–call out Article 301! It’s also pretty scary for the ruling AKP to face those 33,000 votes (or 45% of the votes) from a place like Culemêrg (Hakkari), deep in Kurdistan. When we consider that DTP has been visible as working for the people, especially since the Semdinli bombing, it would be nice for AKP if they could rearrange the farce that passes for an election process in Turkey.

Why bother with re-rigging everything anyway, especially when all those 33,000 votes in Culemêrg counted for nothing? But, AKP is scared. I mean, who wouldn’t be with a bloodsucker like Buyukanit breathing down your neck and your oppressed Kurdish population more pro-PKK than ever? And all of the changes to the election criteria have to be in place a year before the elections, which means it has to be ready to go this month.

Oh, the pressure!

But I have a different idea about this election altogether. In a word: Boycott. Why should Kurds bother to acknowledge a system that is continually reshaped to lock them out? Why should Kurds bother to acknowledge a system that does not acknowledge them? What I would love to see, on the day after elections next year, is that not a single vote comes from Turkish-occupied Kurdistan,and that not a single Kurd votes in Turkey. Instead of voting, stand outside the polling places in silence, the entire day, with lots of duct tape over the mouths of all the protestors.

Wouldn’t photos of that look nice in the international press, especially if all the DTP politicians joined in? After all, for Turkey, image isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.

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