Ufuk Uras, head of the Socialist Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP), who was elected to Parliament as an independent candidate from Istanbul’s first electoral district, was certified officially as an MP on Thursday.
After registering as an MP, Mr Uras declared he is the first socialist deputy to be elected to the Turkish Parliament in 38 years, since deputies Behice Boran and Mehmet Ali Aybar of the Turkey Workers’ Party, (TİP) he added
“We socialists have broken our run of bad luck. In the period ahead we need to expand the support base of the left. In other words, we will work to fill the gap vacated by the Republican People’s Party [CHP] leader Deniz Baykal on the left of Turkish politics, and to promote a restructuring of the left.”
Mr Uras expressed his belief that leftist deputies could make a serious difference; something he said would become conspicuous once Parliament convenes. “I am very positive about this Parliament. For the first time all colors of society are reflected in Parliament. For the first time we will have the opportunity to confront the fundamental questions of society. It is important to take permanent steps on issues such as the democratic and political solution of the Kurdish question. I think this Parliament is one that can take those steps and resolve concrete problems. We will form a will that does not create problems, but rather one that solves problems. You will see the results of having a socialist deputy in Parliament after 38 years. We will start showing the extent of what we have lost in the past 38 years.”
He said his electoral success was made possible by support from all the colors of the left, including the Alevi movement, the political Kurdish movement, the socialists and environmentalists. “We are thinking of formulating this model as one that is directed to Turkey as a whole.”
Uras did not specify whether he would join the parliamentary group of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), but he said he would be open to cooperation with the DTP, recalling that the party had supported him as an independent candidate.
It is clear from Ufuk Uras election along with that of the 26 independent candidates representing the Kurdish people and Movement that there has been a blossoming of democracy in Turkey that has not been seen for some time. Much of the credit for this must go to the AK Party leader and Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. For not only has his period in office gradually reinserted into the public consciousness that not all politicians are corrupt on the make shysters. It has also help create that half inch of space which does not normally exist under governments of the right, that allows politics, the arts and civil society to burst forth, create, grow and think the unthinkable.