Ali Haydar Can Sümer runs as a mayoral candidate from the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) for the Nevşehir's Hacıbektaş municipality in the local elections in Turkey to be held on March 31, 2019.
Sümer told soL news the problems in Hacıbektaş, his plans about the district under a socialist municipality, and how his candidacy from the TKP has excited the people of Hacıbektaş.
Could you tell us about yourself a bit?
I was born in 1983 in Nevşehir’s Hacıbektaş. I have been in Ankara and Istanbul for high school and university education after completing primary education in Hacıbektaş. I graduated from the Department of Computer Engineering, ODTU (Middle East Technical University) in 2007 and have been working since then. I became a member of TKP in 2014.
How do you see the general political atmosphere and the elections period in Turkey?
Turkey is approaching the elections with deep pessimism. On the one side, the cost of living is boosting significantly, there is a remarkable reduction in economic production and increase in mass lay-offs. On the other side, a feeling carrying hopelessness affects our people, makes them think that there is no alternative against the ruling party in the country. In this context, Turkey is entering the elections with a serious deadlock.
What are the major points that differentiate TKP from the other participating 12 political parties? How did you decide to become a candidate from TKP's list in your hometown, Hacıbektaş?
TKP is the only party that constantly points out a way out of the capitalist system. It is the only party that defines itself as being against this system which kills our workers at workplaces and causes economic crisis we deal with today. TKP has never made negotiations within the system, it never got dirty. This well explains why I am here.
I was born in Hacıbektaş and also care about it personally. Besides, the town has a very important historical role within the history of our enlightenment struggle here in Anatolia. We have to maintain and advance this historical importance. We aspire to do so.
Your candidacy is welcomed very warmly. A citizen from Hacıbektaş announced that he will donate land for students in case you win in the elections. Additionally, you have received too many messages supporting your candidacy sent by intellectuals and artists. Is this support reflected in the election campaign as well?
When we talked to people of Hacıbektaş regarding my candidacy, we clearly saw that people become excited when it comes to our common values. The things that can be done, the opportunities we have in Hacıbaktaş... We could build many things that affect country-wide and give hope to people. That man you mentioned just proved and strengthened what we are saying. There are a lot of people believing that we can do better and achieve an alternative model.
People need hope. We need real experiences constituting samples. People require to contribute to the struggle to transform themselves in a progressive way. Intellectuals and artists already started to back us. Doctors, engineers, teachers... We have received too many calls asking what they could do.
What can you say about this town you were born? What are the political problems and needs of the region? What actions to be taken to overcome them?
Hacıbektaş, in fact, is the center of Anatolian wisdom and humanitarianism. It has considerable potential. However, this potential is generating problems as long as it is not realized and concreted. Stemming from pessimism and alienation as well as some "artificial problems", there is disorganization. Our starting point is to remove those and make people more excited in struggling for our own future in an organized way. Hacıbaktaş can tackle with and resolve its all problems collectively.
TKP's electoral campaign in the district kicked-off pretty early. We came across many people that are offended, feeling helpless, looking for an "individual remedy" and fed up. They have a very big dilemma: They are trying to maintain their own individual comfort, however, life itself impedes this seeking and invites social emancipation. We are gaining those people, making new friends and comrades. We are spreading hope. In this sense, we can easily affirm that even today we have already won in Hacıbektaş!