Turkey ready for multi-voiced politics: HRW

Turkey ready for multi-voiced politics: HRW

Turkey ready for multi-voiced politics: HRW

Supporters of the Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) cheer during a gathering to celebrate their party's victory during the parliamentary election, in Diyarbakir, Turkey, June 8, 2015. Reuters Photo

The results of the June 7 parliamentary elections demonstrated the Turkish society is ready for more inclusive and pluralistic politics and it is against further increase of power in the presidential office, according to a written statement published by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) on June 8.

The most remarkable election result was the dramatic gains the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) made, said the statement penned by Emma Sinclair-Webb, the senior Turkey researcher in the Europe and Central Asia division at HRW.

“The most striking election result was achieved by the HDP, which won almost 13 percent of the vote. The party overcame one of the most fundamental obstacles to a fair political system in Turkey, which is a colossal 10 percent election threshold that can deprive millions of voters of any representation in parliament.

Reducing this threshold should be a priority for the new government,” Sinclair-Webb said in the statement.

She also said support for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) dropped to 41 percent from nearly 50 percent in the 2011 election and the AKP did not have enough parliamentary seats to achieve President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s goal of introducing a presidential system equipped with more power.

Erdoğan had an impact on the AKP’s election campaign and his persona dominated it, as he played the role of party president and avoided acting “above politics” as previous presidents had done, she said.

“The government’s crackdown on press freedom and erosion of the rule of law, which has set back Turkey’s human rights record, were in evidence during the election campaign itself. The president threatened a newspaper editor with life in prison for covering a story the government wanted to suppress.  Judges and prosecutors who issued decisions the government didn’t like were jailed and accused of coup plotting and terrorism,” she added.