Leftist parties in Turkey form new political coalition

The new alliance, the Union of Socialist Forces, has resolved to put an end to the conservative rule in Turkey led by Erdoğan and the AKP, as well as defend secularism and withdraw from NATO

August 26, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
The Union of Socialist Forces has resolved to end the conservative regime in Turkey led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his right-wing Justice and Development Party (AKP). (Photo: Evrensel)

On August 20, left-wing organizations in Turkey formed the Union of Socialist Forces, a new electoral alliance. The alliance comprises the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), the Revolutionary Movement (Devrim Hareketi), the Left Party (Sol Party) and the Communist Movement of Turkey (TKH). In a press conference organized in Ankara last week, the Union of Socialist Forces launched its manifesto regarding the 2023 general elections. The press conference was attended by Ozan Yılmaz of TKP, Ercan Bölükbaşı of Devrim Hareketi, İsmail Hakkı Tombul of the Left Party and Umut Kuruç of TKH. The Union of Socialist Forces has resolved to end the conservative regime in Turkey led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his right-wing Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The major points in the political program of the Union of Socialist Forces include bringing an end to the rule of the Islamists of AKP and Erdoğan. The manifesto calls for the cessation of the privatization of key sectors and the nationalization of all health, education and social services. The Union of Socialist Forces seeks to put an end to the actions of the imperialist monopolies using a planned economy. The Union called for a withdrawal of Turkey from NATO and the guarantee of Turkish independence from imperialist powers and closure of foreign bases in Turkey. 

The protection of secularism, women’s rights and rights for ethnic, religious and gender minorities is another point in the coalition’s program. Under the rule of the AKP-run government led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, religious conservatism has tightened its grip on all sectors of social and private life in the country. The working class, artists, writers, secularists, women, gender and ethnic minorities are under constant attack by the ruling class and religious fanatics. 

The conservative government has also continued to be a part of NATO. Attacks on refugees, women and Kurds have spiked under AKP rule.

Kemal Okuyan, the general secretary of TKP, told media, “the Union of Socialist Forces was established for those who adopt the goal of a secular and independent Turkey as their flag, and defend the interests of the working people to create a united and organized movement. Here, different political structures met on common ground and decided to act with a principled, contingent framework, in contrast to the existing alliances buried in electoral negotiations.”

Okuyan added, “The Union of Socialist Forces is not a formation that limits itself to elections. However, we are in the election period and naturally there are those who call the Unity of Forces the 3rd alliance. As a result, we act with the aim of not condemning the society in Turkey to a political partisanship determined by so called nationalists and republican alliances and in this sense, we represent a different side. The side has a weight far above its current voting potential. Undoubtedly, we want this to be reflected in the vote, but our main goal is to increase the organized power of the people in Turkey.”