Freedom and Solidarity Party (Turkish Özgürlük ve Dayanışma Partisi (ÖDP)) is a left-wing party in Turkey. The party has had limited electoral success, although it controls a number of town halls and is influential in some unions of public employees. It is one of the few political parties in the world to explicitly espouse the political ideology of libertarian socialism.
Founded in 1996 as a merger of several left-wing groupings. In 1999 general election, its first major electoral outing, the party polled 0.8% of the vote, falling far behind the 10% threshold required for parliamentary representation. A deep internal crisis followed and by 2001, several of the initial groupings left. In 2002 elections, the party saw its votes further diminished to 0.3% of the national vote.
In the 2004 local elections, the ÖDP gained control of two town halls in Artvin and Yozgat provinces. In these elections, the ÖDP had joined an electoral coalition with the pro-Kurdish DEHAP and the left Social Democrat SHP (Sosyaldemokrat Halk Partisi). At the next 2009 local elections, Mithat Nehir was the sole victorious ÖDP candidate in the entire republic (17,723 votes for the whole country, i.e. 0.04 %), and became mayor of the Samandağ district.
Ufuk Uras, who was then the president of the party was elected to the parliament from the independents' ticket, during the 2007 general election. The party's formal lists, which hadn't fielded candidates in several key constituencies in support of the left-wing candidates standing on the independents' ticket, polled 0.15% in that poll.
In the 6th congress held on June 20, 2009, the delegates elected Alper Taş as the new leader, solely nominated as the chairmanship. Apart from the discussions on some political headlines, Party Assembly consisting of sixty people was also assigned. In this congress, the signals that the party will have a more anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist route were given.
Former chairman Ufuk Uras resigned from ÖDP on June 19, 2009, one day before the congress. During a press conference at Parliament , Uras said, “We are resigning together with the Freedom Left, who have worked in the founding of the party and held various positions at different times in the ÖDP -- from provincial and district branch administration to membership in the party council, central steering and discipline committees -- where we have been struggling since its founding for a historic meeting that overrides the existing structures.”
Ideology and affiliation
In its program, ÖDP calls itself as a "carrier of the universal and historical longing" for "an equal, free, exploitation-less and class-less world." It aims to "end the power of the forces of capital and imperialism" and "set up the power of the labor forces", "towards a libertarian, self-rule-based, internationalist, pro-democratic-planning, ecologist, anti-militarist and feminist socialism." The party is member of the European Anticapitalist Left and since 2007 a full member of the Party of the European Left.
The prominent grouping within the party is Revolutionary Solidarity (former Devrimci Yol (Revolutionary Path) - also known as Dev-Yol) which was formed following the split of Libertarian Socialism Platform in 2007. Other minor groups are New Way (USFI member), Liberation Movement (joined Socialist Democracy Party in 2002), Odak that links to THKP-C/Third Way (joined Socialist Democracy Party in 2002), Socialist Labor Movement. Libertarian Left Platform, the tendency that was supportive of Ufuk Uras left the party with Uras in June 2009.
- General Elections
- Local Elections