“They want to entrust Istanbul to a very mixed-up marginal group. They want to hand the city over to a group including FETÖ, Kandil, the PKK, the LGBT’s, Gezi and the whole confused mess of the CHP…and this group will reduce Istanbul to ruins.” Thus spoke Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to his interviewer on the news channel Habertürk this past Wednesday evening. Invoking the entire panoply of “marginal groups” which somehow inexplicably amounted to an electoral plurality and 49% of the total vote in the March 31 election for Mayor of Istanbul. Not that Soylu or his ..
For the first time the workers and the disabled have a genuine representative while people on the Left who normally avoid elections for lack of real choice have someone worth their vote. Continue reading →
This article was first published in Jacobin. In Sunday’s election Ukrainian voters dealt a decisive rebuttal to the post-Maidan establishment. Yet well-organized nationalist forces represent a time bomb under the new president-elect. American readers won’t be too surprised by a tale of an inexperienced candidate winning against the establishment’s pick. But in the case of Ukraine’s new leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy, this widely made comparison is even something of an understatement. Imagine that Donald Trump was thirty years younger and had never written any books or participated in any (even allegedly) seri ..
People in Turkey are once again called upon to go to the polls on March 31. This time around local elections are on the agenda. The administrations of provinces, districts and neighborhoods respectively are to be elected. One would think that local elections certainly have some importance, but are hardly decisive for the fate of the country as a whole. This is particularly the case in a country where there is an antique provincial government system – the vilayet-system inherited from the Ottoman Empire – controlled by central government, which concentrates many important decision making processes such as gene ..
September 9, 2018 saw regional elections on a massive scale in Russia, with 4,000 representative seats, at various levels of government, at stake: special elections for 7 deputies in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma; 26 of the 85 heads of regional governments across Russia; as well as elections to regional parliaments and representative organs of administrative centers. Elections in Russia long ago ceased to generate any hopes of real, practical potential for change. The results, as a rule, are known in advance – and in the unlikely chance of an authentic “struggle,” it’s i ..
In Turkey, the government of the nationalist-religious Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi—AKP) called early presidential and parliamentary elections for the 24 June. It was aware that its electoral base is gradually eroding, particularly in the big metropolitan areas like Istanbul. Therefore, it did everything in order to enhance the chances of being declared the winner of the forthcoming elections. By anticipating the elections, both president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP hoped to increase their chances. However, not everything is going according to their plans. The ruling party had ob ..
This article originally appeared on N+1mag and was penned by an anonymous author. SUAVE AND SYMPATHETIC, Beyazıt Öztürk is known for making even his most troublesome guests feel at home. The veteran comedian was in the middle of his call-in talk show, the most popular program on Turkish TV, when he received an unexpected call. A woman’s voice, trembling but persistent, admonished him and his guests to remember the children. Are they aware that children are dying? Do they know what is happening in Diyarbakır as the armed forces hunt Kurdish insurgents and the civilians who failed to leave have become fair ga ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: This interview of Àngel Ferrero with sociologist József Böröcz (Rutgers University) was carried out for the newspaper El Salto and first appeared there in Spanish on the 7th of April 2018. LeftEast reprints the English original with the kind permission of the author. 1/ According to the polls, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz is set to win the upcoming Hungarian elections with up to 49% of the vote, followed by the MSZP (social-democracy) with 12% and Jobbik (far-right) with 17%. What is the reason, in your opinion, behind the success and popularity of Fidesz? I don’t want to ..
Belgrade held regular municipal elections on Sunday 4 March. These were the first municipal elections since the mass protests against the Belgrade waterfront project in spring 2016. As such, they were a major test for the conservative Aleksandar Vučić regime since his presidential re-election in 2017. The regime understood the dangers posed by a potential opposition breakthrough, and poured major resources into the municipal election. Serbian President Vučić increasingly distanced himself from the discredited and outgoing mayor, Siniša Mali, and made the election a referendum on himself personally. His party ..