Ufuk Uras first ‘Left Socialist’ to return to the Turkish Parliament in 38 Years’

Mick Hall

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.



Filed under Turkey/left wing/Socialism/elections/politics/United Fr

5 responses to “Ufuk Uras first ‘Left Socialist’ to return to the Turkish Parliament in 38 Years’

  1. Waldorf

    It is questionable whether parliament makes a difference in the UK. All the more so in Turkey, with three military coups in the 20th century, and real power in the hands of the National Security Council, not parliament. Socialists have been in parliament before in Turkey, in the 1960s, but frustration hit when they lost most of their seats, and a section of the left went underground and turned to armed struggle.

    There are far more fascist deputies in the parliament than socialists, even socialists of the tepid kind like Ufuk Uras.

  2. Mick Hall


    You may be right about Parliament, but I do not feel the left can abstain from it, as you wrote a section of the left in Turkey tried that and it was disastrous.

    Your also correct about the new parliament containing people with fascistic politics, indeed some of the incoming MHP deputies have served terms of imprisonment in the past for violent attacks on socialist’s, I believe one was sentenced to death for murdering a leftist, others have very murky pasts.

    The Right, criminal elements and the secret State in Turkey have a history of acting as one.

  3. Waldorf

    It is a feature of Turkey that some of the banned groups, even of the left, have more substance than the “mainstream” parties.

    Abstentionism continues. Eighty-seven members of HOC (Front for Rights and Freedoms) have been imprisoned when they were arrested at a rally in Ankara calling on people not to vote, and turnout was lowest in some areas with a Kurdish population and a reputation for rebellion, like Tunceli. In some cases this was deliberate abstention, in others it was about having to go through x number of police/army checkpoints to go to a polling station.

    Political violence has been a persistent feature of Turkey since the 1970s. The state calls left-wing and Kurdish violence terrorist, though not fascist violence.

  4. Mick Hall


    Do you have an opinion on Ufuk Uras and the organization he leads the ÖDP.

  5. El Ché

    This will go the way of all social-democrat reformism: i.e. — exactly nowhere but class-collaboration. Mark my words.

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