29 July 2010, Thursday


Boycott is the only reasonable option for democratic front!

Many political parties and other political and social organizations have been announcing their positions on the referendum on constitutional reform. All these groups try to rationalize their stance on the referendum and criticize others’ positions. As I discussed in my previous article, the main camps regarding constitutional reform have started to emerge as either the “ballot boxers” or “boycotters.” However, we need to consider the inconsistencies of the arguments of certain “democrat” and “left” groups regarding their positions on the referendum.

ALİ ŞİMŞEK arsim2008@gmail.com

To start with, these groups say “no” to the constitutional reform, based on three main factors:

First of all, they are motivated by an anti-AKP position, and they perceive the package to be an AKP package. According to this group, AKP’s main aim is to take control of the critical state institutions, such as certain offices in the judiciary and Higher Education Board (YÖK). This argument is mostly promoted by CHP  and MHP.

Secondly, these groups’ opposition to the package is also an implicit attempt to distance themselves from the Kurdish movement.

Thirdly, saying “no” also supports the CHP, due to an increasing expectation that the new CHP, with the “Gandhi” Kemal, will win the coming parliamentary elections.

Within these “democrat” and “left” groups, we also see an attack on the “boycotters,” based on the arguments that are very similar to the CHP’s opinion on the referendum.

For example, a party leader within these groups goes as far as to say: “Just like we did not say yes to, or boycott the September 12 Constitution in 1980, in order to get rid of the junta regime, we cannot boycott or say yes to the attempts of the current ultra-conservative government party to seize the judiciary or the Higher Education Board. Boycotting the referendum would especially make the “yes” camp look stronger, and we won’t do that.”

What we need to ask to the groups with such positions is, what happens if the “current ultra-conservative party” does not appoint their own people to the state institutions? Then the less conservative CHP, or MHP, would appoint his or her own people to the same positions. Would this change the unprogressive and fascist character of the Higher Education Board? These types of arguments force us to choose among more conservative or less conservative options.

The boycott option is already making the hegemonic classes uncomfortable. There are even some discussions about the possibility of an AKP-CHP alliance against the “boycotters.” The planners of such an alliance believe that it may be the only option to crush the 29th Kurdish rebellion.

Overall, the big picture tells us this: people who believe in equality, liberty, the right to organize, religious freedom, and democracy need to act together, along with workers and all other oppressed social groups. The “yes” or “no” options are two sides of the same coin; they are the two faces of the September 12th tradition. We need to be especially careful with certain social groups who try to disguise such attitudes under “democratic” or “left” discourses.

BOYCOTT is the only way to reject both the old and new September 12ths, and only reasonable position to promote a democratic and freedom-oriented constitution.