Category Archives: Labour Party (EMEP)

Labour Party (EMEP): It Is a Human Duty to Resist ISIS, To Defend Rojova and To Be in Solidarity with Rojovan People

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The hunger for blood of ISIS gangs cannot be satiated. Gangs set up supposedly in the name of Allah and religion, refusing the right to live to non-Sunnis as well as Sunnis that disagree with them, trying to create a culture of massacres, torture, decapitation, playing football with severed heads, etc.

Following the abandoning of Mosul by regional powers to ISIS control as part of an imperialist plan, attacks on the Kobane Canton in Rojova (Kurdish region in Northern Syria) by ISIS gangs have been repealed by the Kurds and all those peoples who share their fate.

Initially supported against Syria and now attempting to control the whole of the Middle East, ISIS cannot be controlled. Having been supported and encouraged by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, ISIS is increasing its influence in the region through daily massacres and attacks.

The union of all regional salafi-jihadist groups, ISIS is terrorising, dominating and occupying territories in the whole of Middle East and primarily the Sunni-Arab areas. It is clear that international imperialist powers are trying to legitimise ISIS.

Those behind the attack on the Kobane Canton include international imperialist powers such as the USA, France and UK, wanting to increase chaos and conflict in the Middle East and use it as an excuse for intervention, as well as those sectarian countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

It is well known that Turkey staged numerous operations and machinations to suffocate the Rojovan Revolution. Having first supported Al Qaida, FSA and then Al Nusra, sending two thousand trucks full of weapons and supplies, providing money and logistical support and still failing to topple the Assad regime, regional dictators and imperial powers seem to be in agreement over suffocating the peoples’ rule in Rojova.

The Rojovan people are putting up a heroic resistance, causing great losses to and the withdrawal of ISIS in the face of resistance by PYD and PYJ forces. The resistance is growing, gaining more support and solidarity in the region and worldwide.

We support the attempts by Kurdish peoples and those of other beliefs, races and cultures to create a future that is free, just and united through the Rojovan revolution and repeat our message of solidarity. Threatened by the advances in Rojova, dictators, defenders of denial and assimilation, imperialists that divide up the Middle East and draw borders with rulers are now attempting to suffocate the Kurdish struggle through ISIS.

As world experiences have demonstrated, peoples that organise and resist cannot be beaten. The resistance of the Kurdish and all other Rojovan peoples will not be broken. We call on all peoples that stand up for labour, peace and freedom to support and show solidarity to the justified struggle of the Rojovan peoples.

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European ICMLPO Members: No to the Anti-Social, Anti-Democratic and Militarist European Union

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Regional conference of parties and organizations of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO)

The recovery of the global capitalist economy is not on the agenda. The recovery is constantly being announced for tomorrow, but for the vast majority of countries, there is stagnation or recession. The so-called emerging countries are in turn caught up in the crisis.

Within the European Union, the governments of the right, social-democrats or coalition governments are imposing brutal austerity policies and the European Commission is charged with controlling their strict implementation. In the Euro zone, it exerts even a priori control of the budgets of the various governments, ensuring that they meet the neoliberal criteria of reduction of the budgets and the indebtedness of states.

This neoliberal dogma of reduction of state debts up to 3% of GDP has become the “rule of steel” especially written into the Merkel-Sarkozy Treaty (the “fiscal pact”), a real war machine against the social gains, social welfare and public services.

The offensive of the bosses, the governments and the European Commission focuses on the drastic lowering of wages and increased productivity, which combined make for increased profits of the monopolies. The crisis is a formidable pretext to generalize flexibility and oppose the rights and gains of the working class and the toiling masses. The policy of mega-austerity imposed by the “troika” (European Central Bank, European Union and IMF) on Greece, implemented by the coalition government of the right and social-democracy, is causing immense social harm, an unprecedented decline in the standard of living, a decrease in life expectancy and the health of the population, not to mention the exodus of young people and skilled workers, who have left their country in the hope of finding work in other countries. The same thing is taking place in Spain, Italy and Portugal, where unemployment has skyrocketed, especially among the young workers, and where millions of families live below the “official” poverty line.

Europe is synonymous with the policy of austerity, social regression, etc.

For the workers and peoples, the youth and women of the popular strata, the EU stands for the policy of austerity, social regression, the competition of all against all, social dumping, mass unemployment and misery. In all the EU countries, the working class and the toiling masses are in a chorus of protest against this policy: a massive protest, with strikes, demonstrations and mobilizations that put millions of people in the streets, of urban and rural workers, the retired, etc., in short of all the victims of this policy. The media controlled by the monopolies pass over this in silence, because the financial oligarchy, the governments at its service and the European Commission are its instrument, fearing above all that those fights against the same policies will reinforce each other, and that the working class and the toiling masses will become conscious of their strength and their common interests and they will lead all strata that are victims of these austerity policies in their fight.

and of reaction

To impose these policies of austerity and competitiveness, the financial oligarchy, the monopolies and banks do not hesitate to put in place unelected governments, governmental alliances including parties of the extreme right, and to impose European norms and directives that have the force of law, which are binding on the governments, parliaments and national institutions. Thus also in Italy, the troika began by imposing the first non-elected government and gave its support to a third government, also unelected, led by a reformist liberal leader who wants to speed up imposing anti-worker measures and an authoritarian presidential system. Austerity goes along with with more reaction, more repression against all those who oppose it and further criminalization of social protest.

This only emphasizes the anti-social and anti-democratic character of the EU. The real power is in the hands of the heads of states and governments and the unelected European Commission, which decides and develops directives that are imposed on states, under pressure from representatives of lobbies of the monopolies. The superabundant European Parliament discusses these constantly, but its decisions have little effect. It serves as a “democratic” pretext to an EU that is not democratic.

No to Fortress Europe, No to Militarist Europe

This is a EU that takes refuge behind an arsenal of laws, of military ships, of walls, in order to hunt down potential migrants crammed into boats, of whom thousands have capsized in the Mediterranean. With “Frontex” [the EU agency that controls external borders – translator’s note], detention camps such as that of Lempedusa, the walls of barbed wire, this “fortress Europe” wants to “defend” the men and women who are fleeing poverty and wars for which it is itself responsible.

Indeed, it is the EU which today is intervening militarily in the Central African Republic, an intervention decided and implemented on the ground in the first place by French imperialism, which called on its EU allies for help. Some governments have sent troops, other logistical support, but none have condemned the intervention, which is turning into a quagmire, like all imperialist military interventions in Africa. Their principal objective is the maintenance of neocolonial domination and the control of sources of raw materials, particularly uranium deposits. The most aggressive and belligerent imperialist powers in the EU, particularly French imperialism, British imperialism, and more and more German imperialism, are playing a particularly dangerous and reactionary role in order to push the EU to acquire military means to defend “their” interests, particularly in Africa, which it considers its “exclusive hunting ground.” This policy is carried out in close collaboration with U.S. imperialism, which gobbles up billions and is pushing militarization in all the EU countries. It is openly directed against the struggles of the peoples of Africa, who are fighting to get rid of imperialist domination and the reactionary cliques in power in these countries, which are its instruments.

Secret negotiations on the “Great Transatlantic Market”

For months the European Commission has been negotiating in secret the terms of a trans-Atlantic agreement with representatives of the governments, the Ministries of Commerce and the big U.S. companies. It is a neoliberal “free trade” treaty that seeks to break the norms of protection of food quality and the environment and to expand the opening of all markets, in particular public markets, to the appetites of the monopolies. These agreements would allow the monopolies to bring the States before a private court that could sentence them for obstructing “free” competition. This treaty was presented by Obama as a “NATO” in commercial matters, aimed at combating the economic power of China and other competitors of the US-EU alliance, according to the formula: Unite against the rest of the world and set off together in the economic war for the conquest of markets and the control of raw materials and sources of energy. This agreement is a war machine against the workers and peoples of the whole world, through the competition of all against all. The only beneficiaries of the “free and undisturbed competition” are the most powerful monopolies. It is urgent that a large movement be developed in all EU countries to demand an end to these negotiations.

The dangerous situation in Ukraine

This policy has led to the current dangerous situation in Ukraine and throughout the region, which threatens to escalate into a large-scale military confrontation.

First, there are the inter-imperialist contradictions, the policy of eastward expansion of the EU, under the impetus of German imperialism, which is seeking to strengthen its leadership in the EU and thus carry more weight in the competition among the imperialist powers on a world scale.

Ukraine is a large country with very important resources and occupies a geostrategic position that is essential for Russia. To swallow up Ukraine into the sphere of influence of the EU would be a great blow to Russia and the ambitions of its leaders to make their country a major imperialist power. No one should ignore this. But this is exactly what made the EU leaders not hesitate to support the reactionary forces, including openly fascist forces, who took power through a coup. Putin’s reaction was immediate. U.S. imperialism openly came into action to take control of the management of this crisis and to place itself at the head of its European allies, who for years have built economic ties with Russia. French imperialism sells it weapons, German imperialism depends in part on its gas supplies, British imperialism needs billions from the Russian financial oligarchy, and a large portion of the gas consumed by EU countries runs through Ukrainian pipelines. Taking advantage of this crisis, NATO is expanding to the East, still closer to the borders of Russia, which only fuels the tension.

The big imperialist powers are directly involved and are adversaries. If today none of them wants a direct military confrontation, an unstable situation has taken hold in the region amid a revival of militarism. The EU appears more and more clearly as an imperialist bloc whose ambitions threaten peace. While there is not complete unity within it, this is the course that the dominant imperialist powers within it are imposing and are developing on its behalf.

The identity of views between the social-democratic parties and the conservative parties should be noted here. They all supported the Allied response to the extreme right in Ukraine and they all welcome the return of NATO to the stage. The way the appointment of Stoltenberg, a leader of Norwegian social-democracy, as Secretary General of NATO was hailed by all of these forces is an example.

The workers and peoples reject this Europe

This whole policy is now the object of a profound rejection by the workers and peoples. This protest continues to grow everywhere. The progressive, revolutionary and anti-imperialist forces, the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations, have an urgent duty to stand at the head of this vast protest that affects all strata of the people, starting with the working class. To stand at the head of this protest means to fight relentlessly against the austerity policies that the governments and the EU are imposing. It is to support the aspirations and struggles of the workers and peoples against the anti-democratic character of the EU, against the imperialist nature of its policy and against the denial of the right of the peoples to decide their own future.

The reactionary and extreme right forces, the openly fascist groups and parties want to take advantage of this protest to lead it on the dangerous path of nationalism, division and xenophobia. For them, the enemy is not the capitalist system, but the other peoples or the “foreigners.” These forces want to utilize the European elections to strengthen themselves, to elect deputies and receive funding from the EU to extend their work.

The position of the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations in the European elections

We Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations, the signatories of this declaration, will develop our analysis of the nature of the EU and its policies and make known our positions on the occasion of these elections. These elections are a reflection of European construction; this is a caricature of democracy.

In countries where there are forces that are taking part in these elections on positions of the fight against the EU of austerity, reaction and war, we call for a vote for these lists. In countries where this is not the case, or where the choice is between forces supporting the EU and forces that criticize it in certain aspects, without questioning its foundations or its objectives, and develop illusions about possibility of reforming it, we do not endorse any of these lists and develop an active policy in favor of abstention.

In the countries where the progressive forces are fighting for the withdrawal of their country from the EU, or where they have popular support or they are engaged in broad fronts that are taking part in lists on this basis, we call for a vote for them. We will popularize these lists on an international level, in the name of the right of the peoples to decide their own fate. We denounce any blackmail, any attempt to conceal their fight or to distort its meaning and range.

In all cases, we put forward the following main lines:

Down with the imperialist EU
Stop the austerity policies of the EU
No to the EU of austerity and reaction
No to the Europe of criminalization of social protest
No to the war policy of the EU
No to the Transatlantic Treaty
No to the project of the United States of Europe
No to imperialist Europe
For the right of the peoples to withdraw from the EU
Yes to the solidarity of the workers and peoples.

Regional conference of member parties and organizations of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations

Germany, April 2014

Denmark: Communist Workers’ Party of Denmark – APK; France: Communist Party of the Workers of France – PCOF; Germany: Organization for the construction of a Communist Workers Party (Arbeit Zukunft); Italy: Communist Platform of Italy; Norway: Marxist Leninist Group Revolution; Spain: Communist Party of Spain Marxist-Leninist – PCE-ml; Turkey: Party of Labor EMEP

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Labour Party (EMEP): On the Events in Turkey

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Labour Party (EMEP) Leader Selma Gurkan stated that the resistance started at Gezi Park widened to become an opposition to AKP government policies. Regarding the Prime Minister’s stance she said, “This is not simply insistence on the Barracks. The PM knows that if he takes a back step now others will follow.” Gurkan answered our questions, stating that widening of the resistance is the immediate responsibility of all labour and democratic forces.

What are your thoughts on the people’s movement started by the defence of trees in Gezi Park?

The will and resistance shown by the people to the fluctuating intervention and attacks have not developed overnight. It is a manifestation of the reaction built up by the policies of the government that victimises its own population. It is a reflex against political attacks.

The movement seems to be against the PM. The masses walk to the PM’s office rather than the Parliament. The slogans calling for the PM to resign are the most common…

The reason is the PM’s stance and his statements; aggressive, separatist and provocative. Hence the PM is the visible face of the government’s policies and the target of the protests. In both in his speeches in Tunisia and on his return to Istanbul, as well as his public addresses in Mersin, Adana and Ankara; his mildest definition of the protesters has been looters, plunderers, scoundrels… Since the beginning, he has used similar language against all that has opposed or resisted him. Such as telling the farmers to “take your mum and go”, branding the protests of citizens as “ideological, agitation”, etc. Now he is using definitions against the Gezi Resistance that are untrue. The public has witnessed the dose of violence displayed by the police and their civil companions brandishing sticks. Of course any movement that is just about vandalising cannot be accepted and will damage itself. But what shall the public do faced with gas bombs, police panzers and plastic bullets. They rightfully resist. We are talking about advertising boards that people use as shields being targeted in attacks. These unprovoked attacks are the reason for this resistance to be so popular among the public.

As well as “agitation by outside influences” the PM is also talking internally about the interest lobby, Ergenekon and those favouring a coup. Is there any truth in this?

History is repeating. They are a repeat of government lies I used to hear in my childhood. If we need to draw attention to any agitation it should be the mindset that blocks the eyes, ears and hearts of the public, which oppresses them, gasses, bludgeons and kills them. If an interest lobby exists then the government should look at its own financial relations. It is not the Gezi protesters that exchange money with international financial institutions. To see this movement as an attempted coup is utter carelessness. The PM thinks that his portrayal as the victim of a coup will increase his political reputation. On the contrary it is well known that to bring into line the public, the opposition, the media, the judiciary, the universities, etc. Erdodan uses tactics that differ not much from a coup. These classic methods to discredit the people’s just resistance do not work anymore.

The PM’s stance was tough before going to Tunisia. The expectation of a softening in his stance on his return was also futile. There was a very strong intervention in Taksim on 11 June.

Yes, he does constantly mention his determination to rebuild the Topgu Barracks but this is not an insistence on the barracks. The PM knows that if he takes a step back now others will follow. This is the emphasis of all of his politics. As a result a reckless attack has been staged on 11 June under the pretext of ensuring security in Taksim.

The level of participation among the youth surprised everyone. Youth in central and women in local actions have been prominent. What has brought them to the fore?

The government policies mostly affect youth and women. The youth, due to its character, do not give in to the traditional; do not appreciate intervention on their lives. They are fed up of the changes in the education system, problems in further education and universities, unemployment and uncertain futures, and women of intervention in their lives, violence and poverty.

What about the Gezi protests spreading to 70 cities around the country?

What we said for the youth and women could be widened to all sections of the society. Everyone is going out on the streets in line with their own local issues. The government’s policies affect all sections of society adversely.

What would the influence of the current period of negotiations and ceasefire be on Gezi resistance or the impact of Gezi on the peace process?

We can definitely talk about a mutual positive affect. The ceasefire of the last five months weakened racist, chauvinist influences and supported the rise of this movement. On the other hand, the Gezi protests have also exposed the public’s yearning and demand for democracy, rights and freedoms. We can confidently say that nothing will be the same again. During the peace process, it was said of the Kurdish struggle that it is a point of no return; the genie is out of the bottle. We could now say the same about the desire and energy shown by the public on the streets in fighting for rights and freedoms. Governments need to realise that you cannot govern without recognising the will of the public.

Along with the call for constraint – aimed mainly at the protesters – by TURK-Yt (Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions), TZOB (Turkish Chambers of Agriculture), TOBB (The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey), Hak-Y^ and Memur-Sen (Pro-government trade union confederations), weren’t the other unions late in their reaction?

A call for constraint among the public after their sufferings from attacks, injuries, deaths and violence will not find a response. The calls for restraint must be addressed at the government, the Department for Internal Affairs, governors and the police. It should also be noted that the support from opposing unions within TMMOB (The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects), TTB (Turkish Medical Association) and DYSK (Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey) and some opposition unions in Turk-Y^ to the initial strike decision by KESK and the strike and street protests, taking place in the early stages of the protests is important and meaningful, regardless of their weakness. But this unity has not been developed further. Local platforms, committees and unions must be set up immediately for unity of power.

What kind of lessons should be learnt from the struggle by the unionists and advanced workers and labourers?

Unions should quickly advance the organisation for unity among workers and public workers to develop class unity. Organisation should not be limited to this; all sections of the public involved in the struggle, mukhtars, neighbourhood associations, community centres, religious centres, etc. that defended their rights and freedoms in the streets and neighbourhoods should develop and strengthen their own organisation. To develop this struggle and turn it into a real people’s opposition, spread the struggle for democracy in the country, to create the widest unity of equality, democracy and peace movements; these are the immediate tasks facing labour, peace and democracy organisations as well as our party.

The reaction to Erdodan’s statement of “I’m hardly keeping the 50% at home” has led him to point at the elections in seven months time and took decisions for big rallies in major cities. What does this mean?

This has never been seen in history. The government has the opportunity to communicate with the population at any time they want. Everything he says is in all forms of media. He had thrown the same threat at students protesting against exam irregularities. He is now organising rallies that will put people against each other. The AKP government-calling people out for these rallies are a call to arms. Furthermore, he is abusing the power of his office, blackmailing public sector workers to welcome him in the streets, and abusing public utilities such as using public transport vehicles. Where is the equality, justice democracy in this? Kenan Evren had staged rallies like this after 12 September to make the public feel the force and effect of the coup. You are the government in office, how are these different from the rallies of a coup?

Even if the PM got 70% of the votes, does this justify oppression of the other 30%?

We have to look at this 50% issue from different perspectives. Firstly, what reality does it represent? Once the system, election threshold, non-voting has been taken into account his share drops to 49.5%. Hence it is not clear to what degree he represents the public’s desires. Let us assume he got 50%, even 90% of the votes. Does this mean the government can do what it wants? Let’s look at AKP’s election manifesto. Did he go to the public saying “We’ll fix minimum wage at the hunger threshold? Increase the price of petrol, electricity and water. We’ll ban alcohol and cigarettes. We’ll evict you from your houses through ‘urban transformation’. We’ll open mines that will poison your lands and water and ruin the environment with new dams. We’ll reduce your children’s opportunity for employment through our work policies. You’ll pay extra for education and health services. Vote for these policies?” What has been promised and exercised is different. At what stage of these implementations is the public consulted? He is talking about a 50% as if he kept his promises. Second issue is the lie that the minority is ruling the majority. Gezi protestors aren’t complaining about this or that aspect of the majority. Besides, he is talking about majority and minority according to what criteria? What is important is that the rights of the majority and the minority are secured. He is trying to split society into them and us, but the Gezi protesters are giving his politics the best response with variety and colour.

Could the Gezi demands be seen as democratic demands? How can a link between those and other be established?

They are the most democratic demands. What is not democratic is the PM’s stance, policies, and government. A call to “Give up on building the Topgu Barracks, demolishing the AKM, and building a third bridge” means give up on all policies such as building dams, power plants, urban transformation and privatisation of forests and protect your history, nature and environment.

The investigation, removal and prosecution of the governors, police chiefs and secretaries of state responsible for the attacks is a call to the government to not wave a stick in the faces of its citizens, investigate those that do and not use chemicals on your own people.

Furthermore, photos of the police officer that killed Ethem Sarysuluk in Ankara had been shared in social media for days and finally shown by national media. The irresponsible actions and hostility of this officer, who jumped in among the workers and just shot the young worker, cannot be accepted. Internal Affairs and police should immediately hand this individual over to the law.

To demand the release of those in custody means; you cannot investigate, prosecute and imprison people just because they are against the dominant policies and critical of them, you should review these policies. The demand to open squares to the people means remove any barriers against the public’s rights to gather, demonstrate, march and those against media and freedom of speech, make open spaces available to the masses.

Formulized for equality, solidarity and freedom, the Gezi protests summarise the country’s need for more democracy. It represents the demands for justice and freedom by all sections of the society; equality between Turkish and Kurdish, solidarity among all minorities whether Laz, Caucasian, Arab and Armenians and equality between all beliefs whether Alevi, Sunni, Christian, Assyrian.

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ICMLPO (Unity & Struggle): Statement of the 15th Meeting of the Marxist-Leninist Parties of Latin America

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Together with the workers and peoples of the world, we are outraged and condemn the genocide of the Israeli government and army against the Palestinian People!

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of Quito, which proclaimed the birth of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations, we the Marxist-Leninist communist parties of Latin America, together with the fraternal participation of the Marxist- Leninist comrades of Turkey and Spain, met to review the individual and collective work that we carried out in the last year; it is an occasion in which we also analyzed the situation in our respective countries and that of Latin America and the world in general.

During the presentations and discussions, we established that our parties have been active to different degrees and with weaknesses in development in different aspects; they have been making strenuous efforts to link up with the working class and the popular sectors, in order to promote their political positions, advance their struggles and win their consciousness; and, with a view to increasing their ranks and advancing towards becoming political forces that affect the national political life, always with the perspective of the seizure of political power.

We live in the midst of a complex situation that requires a deeper and continuous attention on our part. Although Latin America still remains an area that is the fundamental domain of United States imperialism, other imperialist powers, the European Union among them, and now China and Russia in an unusual way, through the BRICS, are embarking on the search for an important share of the natural resources and market in the area. This makes Latin America into an important area of inter-imperialist contention, which has and in the future will have some political implications that we will have to know how to deal with very intelligently.

Another element that adds complexity to the situation in Latin America is the fact that, besides the puppet governments that continue to be tied to the worn-out neo-liberal prescriptions, in several countries the politics of the system are expressed through proposals of governments that define themselves as progressive and even leftist, while still keeping a good part of our peoples under their influence.

We note that in most countries there is a growing tendency to curtail democratic rights and civil liberties; to criminalize protests and carry out judicial prosecution of revolutionary militants and trade union and popular activists in general with charges up to terrorism and rebellion against the state. This is only because they might be organizing activities for demands in favour of the popular masses or of opposition to government policies. Facts that show this trend in our continent can be seen clearly in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Ecuador and in most countries of Central America.

This negative trend places before us the urgent necessity to raise the struggle in defence of democratic rights and the achievement of human rights, at the same time as we strengthen international solidarity among our parties and peoples.

The overall situation demands of our parties a theoretical and propaganda work that is much broader than we have so far developed, which has been limited.

Among the many other phenomena that are presented to us is the BRICS project and its policies, stated recently with special emphasis by the governments of the countries that make it up. This could create a lot of confusion among our peoples, leading them to believe that China and Russia, and the government of Brazil, are led by leftist positions, when in fact the first two are imperialists, and the third is a bourgeois government allied to imperialism.

We are confronted with the challenge of denouncing the imperialist character, the specific interests and policies of this project, which finds an important ally in the government that call themselves left-wing, by which they deceive the popular masses and therefore discredit the real leftist positions.

Our propaganda has to promote our revolutionary and socialist ideal as the real solution to the problems of our countries, the working class and peoples and to highlight the anti-national and anti-popular character of U.S. imperialism, the European Union and BRICS.

In the presentations and discussions the elements of the policies were emphasized that in one way or another, but with the same content and purpose, are being applied in Latin America, all of which seek to contribute to a phase of expansion of capital. They are:

1. The concessions to the multinationals for the exploration and exploitation of resources, mining, oil and gas, among other things, as part of the effort of finance capital and the multinationals to find new investments, seeking to recover the average rate of profit, as well as to ensure control of sources of raw materials.

This policy of conceding territory for mining exploration and operation hides the terrible affects that they would cause and, in fact, are causing to the environment, the fresh water and the communities and populations that are located there.

2. The promotion of genetically modified crops that in agri-businesses seek a source to expand the profitability of capital and that use the false discourse of fighting hunger. This affects the productive culture of our people that is a fundamental part of their sovereignty, while it harms human health.

3. The promotion of so-called policies for economic growth for the governments in office; this is not for development, but is based on low wages, reduction in the achievements and rights of the workers and popular sectors in general and the destruction of natural resources. The so-called competitiveness on the international level of these growth policies is based on these components; therefore, they stimulate the growth of GDP but, at the same time, they maintain and increase the levels of poverty of the popular majority.

4. Adoption of laws, decrees, regulations and contracts, which under the euphemism of the “rule of law” and “governability,” ensures the possibility of making those concessions; they cover up the investments of the multinationals and capital in general.

5. Neo-developmental policies, which give the State the power to make investments in areas that are not in conflict with private capital and instead pave the way for its circulation; while, in general, they are expenses that have a high component of “public charity” to mitigate the effects of privatization of public works and to disguise the poverty, but essentially they do nothing more than maintain an electoral following.

6. Policies of internal and external debt, almost always by issuing government bonds, which finance capital and businesses buy up, aware of the fact that the countries have natural reserves that serve as guarantors, thereby affecting national sovereignty. Besides this they place more taxes on the peoples and cut social investments in the public budgets that should benefit the people through education, health care and social security, among other things. In general it can be stated that all our countries face big fiscal deficits that cause multiple repercussions.

The implementation of these policies has led to the response of our peoples. In the majority of the countries important popular struggles have developed demanding the cessation of the policies of handing over natural resources to the multinationals, as well as for the achievement of better wages and democratic rights for the majority.

Although those struggles still do not mean that there is an upsurge of the popular movement, they do show a trend that is growing. Something that is very important and that our parties should bear in mind is the fact that various social sectors take part in these, being affected in one way or another by these policies. By their diverse composition, these movements express forms, even though in the beginning stages, of popular fronts that our parties should encourage and propose to lead.

It is a reality that these policies make up expand the social bases for the opposition to the governments and political regimes and institutions that protect and support them. This is the importance of political line and tactics.

In our discussions we have kept in mind that our parties and organizations, grouped in the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations, have been taking up and promoting the need to develop popular front policies that in each country will have a name and composition that the specific realities call for. We concluded that this approach is correct and calls for more work on our part.

This is a challenge to the revolutionaries: to build a powerful broad front of the masses, that strikes the official policy and interests of finance capital and the multinationals, and in this struggle it is proposed as an alternative of power.

This challenge leads us to other challenges without whose solution it is difficult, almost impossible, for us Marxist-Leninist communists to fulfill our role of fighting revolutionary vanguard of the working class and of our peoples; that is, the need to increase our ranks, to become communist parties with deep roots among the masses, capable of leading the political processes taking place up to the seizure of power. If we are not big, strong and influential and, above all, if we do not place our sights on the conquest of power, the social democratic or overtly right-wing currents will take advantage of the circumstances and gain the leadership of the peoples and of power.

Therefore we must always keep in mind the popular masses; know what their aspirations and level of consciousness are; be one with them in thought and action; sum up their aspirations and demands in a platform of struggle; bring them to the struggle, be concerned with raising their level of consciousness; and in the process help them become political leaders. This is a matter of the line of our parties, but once the policy is defined, they must become concrete, they must be converted into actions through the men and women, through the membership; this determines everything. The theoretical and political training and the political readiness of the membership to explain and promote our politics among the masses is a vital issue in order for us to fulfill this orientation by our parties.

Aware of our challenges and commitments, mainly to the working class and working people, we will continue to work with greater determination in fulfilling the orientation of the ICMLPO to contribute to the building of Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations in other countries.

We take up these commitments and challenges conscious of the fact that our realities are complex and difficult for revolutionary political work, but there are also favourable conditions for it.

In that sense, we are striving to gain more clarity on the situation and, above all, to make our membership increasingly aware that we must work more, and that we can grow.

The world today, despite some initial indicators of economic recovery that signal the end of the cyclical crisis that began in 2008, also shows the reality that in many countries the external debt is high and in order to pay it the governments must use much of the public revenue; there are fiscal deficits and high levels of unemployment and underemployment persist, all of which could lead to reversing the trend towards growth.

Beyond this, and as an important element for revolutionary propaganda and agitation, the capitalist system is starkly showing its cruelty and its harmful impact on the lives and conditions of the peoples. There are millions of households without any of its members having a decent job; there are millions of young people without access to education and employment, among other problems.

The stage of getting out of this economic crisis has intensified the dispute among the monopolies and the imperialists in the world. It has unleashed the greed of financial capital in seeking to take advantage of the destruction of productive forces caused by the crisis and to gain possession of the principal strategic centres of energy, raw materials, cheap labour and consumer markets,. This is exacerbating the conflicts and confrontations, the wars of aggression and intervention against the peoples, even creating the dangers of an escalation towards a confrontation between the imperialist powers.

To this logic there correspond, among other things, the war in Ukraine and Syria, the increasing confrontations in the Africa continent, the restructuring of forces in contention in Iraq and the contradictions between China and Vietnam.

The onslaught of the Israeli government and army against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip deserves special mention; it is a genocide carried out with the approval of U.S. imperialism and the complicit silence of the European Union and the UN.

We restate our revolutionary solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people and with all the workers and peoples fighting against the aggression of the imperialist powers and against the oppression of capital.

Revolutionary Communist Party – Brazil
Communist Party of Colombia (M-L)
Communist Party of Labour – Dominican Republic
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador
Communist Party of Mexico (M-L)
Peruvian Communist Party (M-L)
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Venezuela
Communist Party of Spain (M-L)
Party of Labour – EMEP – Turkey

Ecuador, July 2014.

Source

Labour Party (EMEP), Turkey: About the Mine Massacre in Turkey

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The reason for the Soma Massacre is the insatiable indulgence in exploitation by the bosses

284 miners have lost their lives in Soma, Manisa in a mine owned by Soma Coal Inc. The death toll is expected to rise and there is a high number of casualties.

We send our condolences to the working class and the families of the deceased, and wish a speedy recovery to the injured.

We cannot call what happened in Soma an accident like the Government representatives are trying to. On the contrary, not an accident or fate this is a real massacre!

According to figures, during the 12 years of AKP rule, over 14.000 workers have lost their lives. The Soma Massacre has become the pinnacle of these murders.

All these murders are a result of an anti-labour a policy. The neo-liberal policies by the AKP government, as well as those before them; privatisation, subcontracting, increased workload with reduced number of workers, increased exploitation in the name of improved performance; these are all reasons for these murders.

A motion to set up a ‘Committee of Investigation’ due to frequent deaths at Soma Coal Inc., put forward by MPs from the political parties of CHP, MHP and BDP, was defeated in the Parliament (TBMM) by AKP MPs votes only 20 days ago.

The parliamentary question by HDP Istanbul MP Levent Tuzel was practically dismissed by the relevant ministry, stating that workplaces are regularly inspected.

The managers at the mine where the Soma Massacre took place have praised the virtues of privatisation, enabling them to reduce the price of coal by 60%. This must be how the cost of coal must be reduced! Reducing the number of workers, increasing workload, getting rid of experienced workers to replace them with cheaper, less experienced workers, employing ignorant, inexperienced workers through sub-contractors, preventing unionisation and depriving workers of their basic rights, reducing expenditure on security in the name of reducing costs, breaching worker security and health regulations, close relations with the ruling party leading to avoiding inspections, etc.; these are the practices they boast about in the name of cost reduction and they led to this blatant massacre.

Murders at work and this last massacre obviously are not fate.

Murders at work will stop only when the bosses drive for profit and indulgence in exploitation stops. Our party is working to end the system of exploitation.

We are very sorry for the worker friends we have lost. The best thing we can do for them now is to unite against exploitation and raise the struggle against it.

We call on the government to give up policies that are against workers.

The Energy and Natural Resources Minister and the Work and Pensions Minister should be the first to immediately resign. Those responsible should be sentenced and given the severest sentences.

The legislation, currently inadequate to secure worker health and security, should be reviewed; workplaces should be inspected by experts on workplace security. Serious penalties should be introduced for bosses of companies that do not meet the necessary worker security and health measures.

We call on workers and unions to protest the Soma Massacre with strikes and rallies. We should not let such a massacre be swept under with messages of condolences. As a country, it is the right time to reach for the switch and stop life in order to prevent such future massacres.

Labour Party (EMEP), Turkey

Source

Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP): The struggle and organisation of the youth of Turkey, and the EMEK Youth

TDKP_Logo

From Unity & Struggle No. 25, Spring/Summer 2013

Turkey

The youthfulness of Turkey’s population is evident. Although since 2000 a decrease in the rate of population increase has been recorded, this tendency does not alter the existence of a particularly young population.

Today as yesterday, the leaders of Turkey consider this young population with pride, as part of the country’s wealth. The armed forces, consisting of some 700,000 young soldiers, have been presented for years to the imperialist “markets” as our ” primary exports”. The political representatives of the bourgeoisie often claim that “the main weapon of the great Turkish power, today and tomorrow, is its human strength and its young population.” They continually presume and repeat that “investing in the youth is investing for the future.”

According to the representatives of the ruling classes, with their political, academic, cultural representatives, this is something to be considered natural, real and accepted by all. This approach is considered as something positive and constructive by the great majority of society and the mass of young people. However, if we take into account the truth that they are hiding, it is not at all what they present to us.

The concepts “pride, wealth, greatness and strength,” propagated without any shame, are based entirely on the existence and continuity of the interests of the ruling classes. What they want to preserve is the future of the ruling system, to protect it completely. The youth have nothing for the future and no “wealth” in life.

The beautiful and happy days promised are only a dream, realizable only for the small minority of youth of the ruling classes. The vast majority of youth are forced into a race among themselves to be able to realize that false dream of leaping out of their social class. For most youths, it is a struggle to survive, overwhelmed by destructive and reactionary oppression, accompanied by unemployment and inhumane exploitation. Since the beginning of the Republic, the life offered to the youth by the ruling classes of the country as a bright future is nothing more than decrepitude within a vicious circle.

The youths who are opposed to the propaganda of all varieties of nationalism, of Islamic-Turkish synthesis, idealistic religious fatalism, liberalism, to all of which they are subjected, pay dearly for their audacity. In the last 50 years, all kinds of oppression have been used to docile those advanced sections of the youth who refused the false heaven, who organised and fought for sovereignty, democracy, freedom and socialism.

At the base of the policy towards the youth, with the pretext of the declining birth rate, is in reality the short- to medium-term interest of the system and its social ambitions. The future that they claim to guarantee is not a beautiful and free future for the youth, but for the system and its ruling classes.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan makes frequent calls to the families to conceive at least three children. It is clear that neither the Prime Minister nor the ruling classes that support him make these calls out of love for the parents or their children. Their aim is to transform Turkey into a country with young, able and cheap labour force. This is the truth that is hidden beneath the AKP’s electoral slogan, “Objective 2023.” One of the goals of this government of the bourgeoisie for the immediate future is to lower the value of labour power in order to compete with countries such as China and India. The Turkey led by the AKP (Justice and Development Party) is trying to become a miniature China or India in the region in the near future.

The religious younger generations that the Prime Minister and the ruling classes want to train is a youth completely resigned to the capitalist attacks, completely docile toward the system. These are their desires.

To this end they have abolished compulsory education to instead implement a system of a progressive “4 +4 +4,” that is, the boys who have already had four years of study can work in the factories, and the girls can marry.

Another major problem that profoundly affects today’s youth and the future generations is the policy of war, both inside and outside the country. The Turkish bourgeoisie and its political representatives want Turkey to become “a regional power and ensure its leadership of the region.” The ruling classes want to permanently militarize the youth of Turkey, starting with the Turkish and Kurdish youths, for their war policy.

The ruling classes of Turkey know the determining role of work as well as the energy of the Turkish and Kurdish youths for the present and future generations in terms of reproduction and organization of the economic, social, political and ideological infrastructure and superstructure. Therefore they are trying to educate the new generations as well as individuals subjected to their reactionary interests, domination and desires. But this policy does not help the Turkish and Kurdish youths. Moreover, neither Turkey nor the peoples of the region or the world need a youth educated with these ideological characteristics, neither today nor tomorrow.

What the oppressed classes and peoples of these lands need are new generations that believe in equality, peace and brotherhood in a world without repression or exploitation. What we need is a youth that really defends labour, science and all the progressive values of humanity, a youth that is willing to defend these values and fight for them. This is the interest of the youths, workers, unemployed, students and peasants of Turkish and Kurdish nationalities.

The revolutionary party of the working class, EMEP, the Labour Party, and its youth organisation, “EMEK Youth” (Labour Youth) are working to unite the youth to take up this fight.

The Emek Youth and its platform of struggle

The Emek Youth held its 6th General Conference on April 6 and 7 in Ankara, under the slogan “We demand jobs, the right to education, peace and freedom.” In preparation for the General Conference 300 local conferences were held with over 4,000 young people from the whole country taking part. During the Conference, the Emek Youth discussed the problems of struggle and organization. It renewed its leadership through democratic elections, organized from the bottom to the top.

The Conference was launched after the 6th General Congress of EMEP. This Congress, held under the slogan “Against Imperialism and War, For Jobs, Peace and Freedom” took measures for all the battlefields, such as that of the youth and their organization. The analyses and decisions, the political and tactical platform of the Congress of the Party, have guided and strengthened the struggle and organization of the Emek Youth.

In analyzing the situation in Turkey and the world, EMEP emphasized the need to attract the young people and the women to the struggle and the importance of the convergence of the struggle of the workers with that of the youths. Both the conferences of the Party and of the Youth, as in the following months, paid particular attention to these issues and made a criticism and self-criticism in various steps. This was shown in the June, 2012, internal organ of the Party, “Parti Gündemi” (Party Agenda): “[…] To make ourselves heard by many young people during this process, to unite a group of youths around our local organizations, to renovate the leadership of Emek Youth through democratic elections, as well as the participation of new members; all this is important, but not enough!”

The application of these possibilities, as was evident at the Conference of the Youth, is not the sole responsibility of the youths, nor does the end of the period of the conferences mean that the responsibility of the Party towards the youths is over. Quite the contrary, the Party organizations must take on new tasks and discuss how best to promote these possibilities to advance the work of our youth organization.

What do the slogans mean?

The 6th Congress of EMEP appealed to the working class and oppressed masses to unite “against war and imperialism,” emphasizing three main demands: “Jobs, Peace and Freedom.” The Emek Youth for its part adapted its tactics to the slogan “Let Us Unite for Jobs, Peace and Freedom!”

We have briefly discussed the political situation in Turkey and its impact on youth. Starting with the above-mentioned slogans we will more thoroughly analyze the platform of struggle that the Party and the Emek Youth are trying to organize to meet the main attacks of capital that are further aggravating the situation of the youth.

The struggle to prevent the youth from being dragged into war

The AKP is a party in the service of the bourgeoisie and has been elected into the government three times in the last 11 years. It presents itself as “democratic conservative” and its head does not lose any occasion to proclaim that it will make Turkey a “regional power.” In total collaboration with the United States and Western imperialism, the government is trying to carry out its wish to be the regional power, using for some time the “model of moderate Islam.” During this period, the slogan used by the government was that of “zero problems with our neighbouring countries.” Since 2007, the situation began to change, and today there is not one neighbouring country with which Turkey has no arguments.

The AKP government, which readily agrees to propagate “the model of moderate Islam” in the region, like the Trojan horse, that the U.S. wants to export, is trying to take advantage of the revolts in the region to implement this plan. And as events have not developed as they wanted, now Turkey is abandoning its role of the Trojan horse to act as a faithful ally of the United States and NATO in the region.

In order to control Iran and Russia, and in collaboration with the U.S., Turkey has installed an anti-missile shield in the eastern town of Kurecik. Recently, referring to the Syrian issue, Prime Minister Erdogan stated that Turkey is belligerent: “Syria is now an internal problem of ours. We can not remain indifferent.” The military concentrations on the border, the mobilization orders sent to the hospitals, the haven in the camps in Turkey for militants linked to organizations like Al Qaeda before their shipments to Syria, the violent reactions to the proclamation of autonomy of the Kurds in Syria considered as a danger, are elements that show that Turkey is rapidly sliding into the quagmire of war in the Middle East.

EMEP believes that Syria’s future must be decided by its own people, and opposes to any form of foreign intervention.

Turkey’s populations are generally against U.S. imperialism and its warmongering policies in the region. Earlier, the large anti-imperialist demonstrations against the occupation of Iraq resulted in Turkey’s parliament rejecting a war authorization. Aware of the popular opposition to the war, the government, using its media, launched a campaign of disinformation and war propaganda. This propaganda directed against Bashar Assad and Syria was also intended to incite hatred against the Alevis in Syria.

According to the government, this is the first reason to prepare for war, while the second reason is the proclamation of autonomy by the Kurds in Syria. This, the government believes, poses a danger for Turkey with a population of 20 million Kurds who demand the right to speak their own language and autonomy with a social statute. The government has responded to these demands with oppression and violence bordering on a civil war against the Kurds. In this war that has been going on for 30 years, some 50,000 people, mostly young, have died.

The tension with neighbouring countries is increasing the internal tensions and Turkey is susceptible to all kinds of provocations. The reality is that the position taken by Turkey against Syria is really disastrous. The government is like a poker player who cannot control the situation. In the city of Hatay, on the Syrian border, there lives a large number of Arab Alevis who are suffering discontent parallel with the increased tension. The tension between Sunnis and Alevis is growing throughout the country. Furthermore, racism, nationalism and chauvinism are provoked by the state, as well as a campaign of harassment against the Kurds. This is leading Turkish workers and youth to a belligerent situation. The youths are the main target of this reactionary campaign.

In this context one of the main subjects around which the youth is organized is war. The revolutionary party of the workers and Emek Youth are intensifying their struggle around this and they attach particular importance to propaganda, agitation and a protest campaign. Another aspect of the fight against imperialism and war is the need to fight against their ideological and cultural aspects. In order for the youths to accept the war policy, the AKP government is trying to impose the theory of “neo-Ottomanism,” going well beyond the most right-wing nationalists concerning the “Turkish-Islamic synthesis”.

Currently in Turkey we find many people who are against imperialism and war. However, the government disinformation and propaganda can create confusion among the youths, weakening their fight. Many of them who claim that they are defending their national interests, who call themselves leftists, social-democrats or even communists, are caught up in this bewilderment. These groups, unable to consistently defend the right to self-determination of the Kurdish people, often abstain when it comes to consolidating the front against war, and they find themselves supporting the government and the State. Some organizations that claim to be of the radical “left” swerve voluntarily to the right, rejecting the demand for peace, as if it were demeaning, and curiously counterpose that demand to one of “revolutionary war”.

We can state that now in Turkey, under these conditions to claim to be against imperialism and war does not mean much. For that opposition, if it is not linked to a consistent struggle of the working class and oppressed peoples for a genuine democracy, quickly loses its bearings. In that sense, Emek Youth is completely different from other political currents among the youth, and it never separates the fight against the war from the struggle for independence, democracy and socialism.

The struggle for “peace and freedom”

We have briefly seen the implications of Turkey’s foreign adventures on the country itself. We will now pause to consider the importance for the youth of peace linked to the Kurdish question.

The uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East also concern the Kurds. After the first imperialist war of redivision, the Kurds were divided among four countries whose borders had been drawn by the imperialists about 100 years ago. Thus the Kurds were condemned to live without a state. Currently, the Kurds are a people with a population of about 40 million, divided among the territories of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The largest part of this population is located in Turkey, numbering 15 to 20 million. The status won by the Kurds in Syria and Iraq as well the winds of independence blowing in the region also concerns the Kurds in Turkey.

The Kurdish liberation movement initiated numerous insurgencies in the past and they were all fiercely repressed. This movement took on a particular importance in the mid-1980s. Today millions of Kurds are united around common national demands. The BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) represents the Kurds in the Turkish parliament and has a parliamentary group. In the Kurdish cities, more than 90 mayoralties are headed by the BDP.

The AKP, which came to power with promises of “change,” “democratization” and “democratic opening,” also made a number of promises to resolve the Kurdish question. Those promises aroused great interest among the Kurdish and Turkish workers. Today no one believes in them. The repressive apparatus of the State, in the hands of the AKP, has returned to its attacks against the Kurdish people. Tens of thousands of Kurds have been imprisoned, and hundreds of youths, both among the PKK guerrillas and among the Turkish army have died in armed clashes. They have gone home in coffins, both in the East (the Kurdish cities) and the West (the Turkish cities).

While Turkish and Kurdish youths are killed daily in the armed clashes, the demands for jobs, bread and education are hidden by the shadow of war. Racism and chauvinism are being spread by a fascist State campaign. In the streets, the schools, the big cities, on the job, Kurdish youths have been lynched. In this context, Emek Youth is developing its struggle against racism and chauvinism, continually explaining how to deal with the Kurdish question. It is conducting sensitivity campaigns in the Western cities, and it is particularly concerned with organizing the young students in associations, clubs and institutes. In this period Emek has consolidated and established itself both in numbers and in influence among the Kurdish youths. Everywhere one hears the cry: “As long as the Kurdish youth are not free, neither will the Turkish youth be.” Emek Youth has appealed for the unity of the youths of any origin against the capitalist system. It constantly explains the vital problem of a democratic resolution of the Kurdish question, to win the urgent economic and political demands of the youths.

During this period, EMEP, BDP and other democratic organizations of the left formed an alliance to create an electoral bloc, which shortly after took the name “Democratic Congress of the Peoples” (HDK). Currently HDK is in the process of becoming a Party, in order to participate collectively in the coming elections. Emek Youth has addressed the broad masses of youths to explain the importance of HDK. While working to win the broad masses of youth for the struggle for peace, fraternity and democracy, Emek Youth has been strongly involved in strengthening the youth organization of HDK. Emek Youth has made a priority of the ideological struggle against all forms of nationalism, whether of the right or the “left.”

The struggle for “the right to jobs and education”

The 2008 economic crisis that broke out in the U.S. and spread across the world has led the workers and youths to demonstrate in the streets. Despite repression and arrests, “Occupy Wall Street” has retaken the streets to mark the first anniversary of its movement. The great imperialist powers are placing the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the peoples of Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, etc. In these countries, hundreds of thousands of youths have occupied the plazas for months. From Germany to France, UK to Italy, all of Europe has been plunged into important actions by the workers and youths. The Arab uprisings that began in the Maghreb spread to the Middle East with the slogan “Jobs, bread and freedom”. The Arab youths and those of other regions have taken to the streets by the millions against unemployment and the lack of a future.

It was impossible for the Turkish youth not to be influenced by these events. The youth in Turkey has carried out protest actions against private education, increased tuition and against irregularities in examinations.

During these actions, the professors and academics have struggled against the AKP’s attempts to control the universities. Without forgetting the students who have confronted the police, the university students who demand equal opportunities, the temporary teachers who demand their seats, the dental students have seen their future career in the air, the science students have seen their subsidies withdrawn, the drama students have had to fight against the privatization of public theatres. They have all taken part in the struggle. The Kurdish youths have carried out actions demanding an education in their mother tongue, and the Alevi youths have carried out numerous actions demanding a “genuinely secular education.”

Among the workers in small and large factories, workshops and enterprises who demand their rights, there is a significant presence of youths. When possible, these youths with no union, without job security, with the lowest wages and harshest working conditions, have rebelled against their bosses. Also many youths have participated and put forward their problems in the meetings organized by the party of the working class (EMEP). Though the impact of their actions are not as important as those of Europe, we must emphasize the struggle of the youths in Turkey. The Prime Minister accuses the youths who demand their rights of being marginal. He also threatens them that he will bring the youths of AKP out into the street. There are now 771 students in prison, some sentenced to 15 years in prison for having displayed a banner demanding free education. Among these youths is Eren Yurt, a member of the National Committee of Emek Youth. Yurt’s “crime” is that he took part in the Kurdish national festival Newroz and that he supported the Kurds.

All these youth activities have been at the local level, at the time when the AKP intensified its propaganda, saying that “the crisis has not affected us.” The Prime Minister and his economic institutions have shown the situation in the country, affected by the crisis, and they have launched the slogan “Turkey is rising up”. But the increase in Turkey’s wealth is due to the policy of privatization and exploitation carried out after the crisis of 2011. While the rich multiplied their wealth, the millions of workers and youths are called upon to make greater sacrifices. When the imperialists worldwide advocate austerity policies to get out of the crisis, in Turkey austerity has taken the name of “continued stability”.

This is a period in which the rights of the youths have receded more than ever. With the support of a significant part of the population, thanks to words like “stability,” “change,” etc., the AKP, as a party in the service of capital, has quickly had laws passed by Parliament against the rights of the workers. These rights have been gradually dismantled, and trade union rights and freedoms have been rolled back. These attacks were synonymous with the attacks on the youths as they will mainly follow the path of their parents, to become workers, but may not be as “lucky”. Explaining that these attacks of capital against the workers are actually attacks on the youth, EMEP and Emek Youth are trying to unite the working class with the young workers. The Party is trying to put on the agenda of the unions the question of young workers and it says that one has to use new forms of organization in the unions to unionize the youths.

Emek Youth is explaining to the youths the importance of unions. It is working to unify the youth organizations. These are new steps, but the coming actions will be achieved in this way.

Where does the strength of the AKP come from to manipulate the people with its slogan “We will not stop, we will continue on our way”? It is clear that it is not faced with a united movement of the workers and youth. The objective reality now is one of division and disorganization but this is a temporary situation. The government is taking advantage of this, and is slowly squeezing the rights of the youths and waging a big campaign.

Let us look at the different attacks of the government against the youths this past year:

• Turkey is beginning to implement the Plan Bologna which has already been implemented in many European countries. The government thinks that by eliminating the tuition fees it can gain support of the youth in the next election. The truth is that this elimination does not mean the end of payment for education. It is just another step towards the implementation of the Bologna Plan. By withdrawing from the universities, the government is forcing them to finance themselves. The administration of the universities depends on private enterprises and the student card is practically becoming a bank card.

• Millions of students who have difficulties with housing and do not have the financial means are condemned to accept the services of religious sects.

• The AKP government, which had announced that it would amend the fascist constitution of the September 1980 military coup, has brought together youth assemblies, leaving millions of youths outside them. The aim was to show that AKP had broken with the coup leaders, but the measures taken by capital based on the coup are now continuing with AKP.

• While subjects like philosophy and sociology will disappear, idealist subjects such as theology are included, and are booming thanks to the government. Conferences and exhibitions on the theory of evolution are prohibited, while the State is organizing activities against these theories and against science.

• By saying that one youth out of four is unemployed, the government and the capitalist organization are taking advantage of this to create a cheap and flexible work force. They do this in the name of “reducing unemployment.” The professional institutes and professional higher education are now located in industrial zones. So the modern slaves are chosen by bosses at their school desks. We could multiply the examples, but it is not necessary.

Despite these setbacks, the youths are gaining greater militancy and organization. From there, Emek Youth is working to bring together the young workers, the unemployed, students, peasants and youth of all strata in order to achieve the broadest possible platform. The objective of this work is to unite the youth with the strength of the working class and win them to the fight for socialism.

Mass struggle, mass organization and Emek Youth

Let us see what are the problems that the youths in Turkey face and what fights they are waging. How is the struggle for the organization of the masses in Turkey? What are the objectives of Emek Youth? Let us see.

When we speak of the struggle and organization of the masses there are two objectives entrusted to Emek Youth.

1. To build an organization of the masses and the struggle, in which as many youths as possible take part, on the basis of the urgent demands of the youth (economic, academic, democratic, etc.).

The last 50 years have allowed the youth movement and organizations in Turkey to acquire a great experience. The fascist military juntas have attacked and dispersed the movement and the organizations; the bourgeois governments are continuing with this policy and do not stop exerting great pressure on the youth. The most militant strata of the youth have been expelled from the university. The attacks on youth leaders aim to break the ties between the masses of youths and those leaders. In analyzing this period, we find that the governments in the service of capital and the State have won some points in that sense. Since the coup of September 12, 1980, the concept of “organization” has been presented to the youths as something to be feared, while they propose “individual freedoms” and “individualism” as a barrier against the idea of organization.

In the mid-1990s, as part of Turkey’s accession period to the European Union, student elections were held in institutions of higher education and secondary schools to promote democracy among students. The system managed to bring together the youths who managed to tear the revolutionary movement out of the Student Representative Council (SRC), while mercilessly attacking the revolutionary and democratic students.

However it was possible, as in other countries, to avoid the trap set by the State. For this it was necessary to take part in the elections organized by the SRC, to organize the mass movement within the SRC itself and to try to democratize the rhythm of the struggles. Emek Youth was launched along this road and it continues today. Several petty bourgeois organizations, which claim to be left-wing, fell into the trap of the State and boycotted the elections and the SRC. These groups persist in isolating themselves from the student masses.

Emek Youth is on the one hand waging an ideological struggle against these deviant currents and tendencies and on the other is trying to establish the foundations of a mass based struggle by taking part in youth activities.

2. As a communist organization, Emek Youth must have the flexibility and inclusiveness to attract and open the doors to all young victims of capitalism and who want to get rid of this discriminatory system.

In our country the disorder of petty-bourgeois leftism acts in a vile manner to undermine the work of organization among the youth. This activity is masked as a struggle against a “political organization of elitist youth”. Emek Youth is no elitist organization. It is a communist youth organization that takes in all youths who rebel against the current system. Emek Youth is at the same time a school for socialism, but no young person who wants to enter Emek has to pass a test on socialism. They will learn what socialism is in that school. And the youths who finish this school continue their struggle in the Party. Therefore Emek Youth cannot and should not imitate the Party as an organization.

In this sense, Emek Youth is radically different from the petty-bourgeois organizations. However, the traditional disorders and habits of the leftist movement continue to show some manifestations in our youth organisation. Thus, a characteristic of Emek Youth is to regularly practice criticism and self-criticism for its actions in order to draw the appropriate lessons from its mistakes.

The bulletin “Party Agenda,” published after the 6th Conference of the Party, addresses this problem of narrowness with the following example:

“One of the criteria for the success of the Youth Conference has been the number of participants. One will better understand this question with some figures: Nationwide, 4,000 youths participated in the conference of Emek Youth. And in the last three youth encampments, more than 6,000 youths attended […] And while 4,000 youths took part in the conferences, in the different blocks of Emek Youth in the May Day demonstrations, or on May 6, this number was multiplied 3 or 4 times, which shows that there is undoubtedly some organizational narrowness.”

Therefore, Emek Youth must, on the one hand, call on broad strata of youths to take part in the struggle for the demands at the same time as they form their mass organizations; and on the other hand, it must orient the struggle of their youths for political power, that is, to fight for the revolution and socialism. At the same time, Emek Youth is firmly fighting any conception of sectarianism or narrowness in its organization.

The daily newspaper and the youth

The working class of Turkey currently has a weapon that allows it to carry out a daily struggle against capital: the newspaper created in 1995 that has existed for 18 years. The proletarian party EMEP is working to establish unity among the advanced workers, the honest trade unionists, workers’ representatives and factory workers. The paper plays an essential role in this task. It had an important role in the success of numerous strikes and in national and international solidarity. In the state monopoly spirits and tobacco Tekel, Antep Textile and Telecom strikes in recent years, the workers were able to consolidate their solidarity through the newspaper. The messages sent by the workers and published in the newspaper were an important source of solidarity. In recent years, along with the newspaper a popular television network has been created and this has expanded the possibilities of struggle.

Undoubtedly the existence of a daily paper is of great importance both for the workers and for the youths. Emek Youth is reaching out to the masses of youths through a supplement of the newspaper fortnightly, which is also its central organ..

Like the Party of the working class, the youth organization evaluates and discusses how to increase the influence of the newspaper and its better utilization for the struggle. Undoubtedly, one of the best criteria to measure the progress of the Party is the degree that the newspaper is used and distributed.

At the 6th Conference of Emek Youth it was emphatically recorded and stated that it is “no longer possible to carry out daily political work with a youth journal that comes out fortnightly”. Since then, the work of distributing the daily in the usual places of concentration (enterprises, schools and neighbourhoods) has increased.

Conclusion

Emek Youth, at its 6th Conference, has called on its members to be aware of the international experience of the working class struggle and insisted that all its members should arm themselves ideologically, and draw on the experience of the Party, the works of Marxism-Leninism and the publications of the Party.

The international communist movement continues to light the way for Emek Youth, made up of young people of all nationalities in Turkey.

Source

Labour Party (EMEP): Current Developments and the Kurdish Question

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April 2006

Introduction

Different Paths in the Kurdish Movement

The US invasion of Iraq has had, among other things, a profound effect on the Kurdish question itself. New alignments, new developments and dissociations are evident and three years after the invasion, there is a need to summarise new factors in this century-old ‘big game’.

Of course, one has to remember that the Kurdish people’s right to self-determination is, under all conditions, valid.

The US invasion created such conditions that, the Kurdish people who were under enormous state terrorism in all ‘parts’ of historical Kurdistan (historical Kurdistan is divided amongst  four states today; Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, and this makes the Kurdish question unique) started to think that the USA, after all, could be a force of ‘liberation’ for them. This thinking was fomented by the feudal Kurdish forces in Iraqi Kurdistan (Barzani and Talabani), while it created an upheaval in Turkish Kurdistan.

This upheaval is important in many ways. First, Turkish Kurdistan is advanced in comparison to other sections; capitalism has penetrated deeply into this area. Also, about 15 million Kurds live in this section; while the total number of Kurds in all sections is around 22 million.

Under these conditions, it is only natural that the first modern nationalist Kurdish movement, PKK (Kongra-Gel), has taken root in the Turkish section. This modern, socialism-inspired movement radically differs from feudal leaderships in other sections; in essence it does not rely on feudal relations, but dismantles them.

Ocalan’s Capture

The PKK, which is a force supported by millions of Kurds, is extremely cautious towards US imperialism; though its stance softens when it comes to Europe. This caution, together with the influence they command, resulted in a de facto situation in which the PKK is perceived by Washington as a ‘primary threat’ to US’ Kurdish policy. Thus, the leader of the movement, Abdullah Ocalan, was captured by the CIA and MOSSAD, and promptly given to the Turkish state. Ocalan is still a captive in Imrali, an island-jail in which he is the only prisoner.

The capture of Ocalan did not result in a weakening of the national liberation movement; rather, the movement changed policies and tactics. We can say that today, despite serious problems, the PKK movement still is the authority in Turkish Kurdistan; and also is actively struggling for influence in other parts; especially in Iranian Kurdistan.

The historical motive of all feudal Kurdish leaderships was ‘trying to find allies outside the region’ to gain the upper hand against Turks, Arabs and Persians in the region. This outside ally has been imperialist powers like Britain, France and the USA. Though the Kurds have always been deceived by the imperialists and left in the middle of hostile governments, they opted for cooperation with the US again in the Iraq war. Because of historical distrust, we can safely say that the Iraqi Kurds are extremely cautious while dealing with the Americans, and the feudal leadership has had to convince the people of ‘good American interests’. This distrust continues today. The PKK has refused this historical ‘tactic’. This movement, in essence, tried to help form a united Turkish-Kurdish front against the Turkish bourgeoisie. One of the founders of the PKK, Kemal Pir, is Turkish, by the way.

Feeding from this positive legacy, the captured leader of the PKK, Ocalan, has taken a very important stance vis-a-vis the American invasion. Ocalan has repeatedly said from prison that, an ‘independent Kurdistan’ under the wings of Americans will not be independent at all; rather, this would be a second Israel in the region, fomenting hatred amongst the peoples and in the end, bring great harm to Kurds. Though Ocalan has great authority, the ‘new player’ in the region, USA, is trying to use the Kurdish question in its own interests. Thus, while the Kurdistan government in Iraq strengthens, we see riots and revolts of Kurds against the reactionary Syrian and Iranian authorities. There have been major uprisings in both Syrian and Iranian Kurdistan over the last two years.

An Anti-PKK PKK ?

In Turkish Kurdistan, the ‘key’ to all Kurdistan, we see different developments. The US and its ally, the Turkish government, is actively trying to divide the PKK and create a ‘harmless’ PKK out of its ashes. The most important development in this sense was, Ocalan’s brother, Osman Ocalan. Osman Ocalan quit the PKK two years ago, declared that USA was a ‘democratic imperialist’ force and formed his own organisation under the wings of Barzani and the US army. This attempt to divide the PKK was thwarted, but new attempts may happen. Also, the forces of Barzani are undertaking serious political activity in Turkish Kurdistan, mainly through their own, young legal party, HAK-PAR.

Today, the dissociation in the Kurdish movement is also shaping in relation to the natural and definite dissociation of the Kurdish ‘upper classes’ and ‘lower classes’ from each other. It is evident that the pro-imperialist stances are related to the ‘upper classes, the Kurdish bourgeoisie and feudal forces, while criticism of these stances and attempts to create an alternative position are related to the ‘lower classes’, the Kurdish labourers.

US imperialism tries to use the Kurdish problem as a ‘wild card’ to tie Turkey further to its regional policies. But also, it tries to form a political dissociation among Kurds and create ‘its own’ Kurdish movement.

The European Union policies, in essence, are not different. These two main forces are exploiting the Kurdish problem in their rivalry over the Middle East. One side, with its ‘Greater Middle East Project’, is exploiting the issue actively. The other side uses ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ rhetoric to expand its influence among Kurds.

US policies are found to be ‘encouraging’ by the Kurdish reactionary circles and they are trying to create new opportunities for their class interests. After 1980 and during the rise of the PKK, the bourgeois-land owner-feudal lords have been ‘erased’ from the political processes; but now they are again on the rise, on the basis of an anti-PKK stance. This tendency , for the first time in many years, again puts itself openly in the political arena.

The dissociation in the Kurdish movement can be transformed to opportunity by the Turkish and Kurdish peoples. As practice shows, the identities of dissociaters (revolutionary, anti-imperialist or reactionary, pro-imperialist) are much more evident today. The exposition of this lackey politics will be a positive development for Kurds and also other peoples in the region.

Taylan Bilgiç

There is nowhere left to escape from the Kurdish problem! The policies of the last 80 years have collapsed. Nobody believes the nonsensical thesis and claims such as: ‘There are no Kurds; they are in fact mountain Turks. Kurdish is not a language; it is only a dialect of Turkish’. The glaze of the supposedly scientific works like the ‘Sun Language Theory’ (claiming all present languages are derived from Turkish) and the ‘Turkish History Thesis’ (claiming that Turks are the origin of all human races) developed after 1925 in order to rivet these assertions have worn off, they have broken down. The policies of creating one nation, Turkification, melting all the other peoples and cultures into one pot have been condemned and defeated by the realities of life. Now it has had to be accepted that there is such a language as Kurdish! Even if it is for show only and even if it is limited to a few minutes a week, there are state radio and television broadcasts in Kurdish, along with other forbidden languages such as Arabic, Circassian and the Zaza language. Kurds are loudly demanding the expansion of the Kurdish broadcast to private radios and television channels as well as the right to education in their mother tongue. In spite of the various pressures and prohibitions, Kurdish language courses have been opened in Batman, Urfa, Van, Diyarbakır (Kurdish provinces in the East and Southeast regions of the country) and lately in Istanbul. Kurds as a people are demanding that urgent steps be taken in terms of their rights to language, culture, identity and politics.

It is obvious that the reactionary denial policies of assimilation carried out through the use of violence cannot continue. Struggling and not cowering in fear despite all the pain, massacres and the great price paid both physically and morally, caused by the inhumane policies executed throughout the decades; the Kurdish people, resisting for their linguistic, cultural, political and identity rights, are insistent on their demands. The resistance waged by the Kurdish people in spite of all their suffering from cruelty, historical injustice and all the destructions, has united with the common struggle of the workers, labourers and intellectuals of all nationalities and peoples of Turkey to compel the forces in denial and pro-assimilation to retreat.

However, the ruling classes do not want to accept the Kurds as a people or recognise their linguistic, cultural, political and identity rights. The national demands of Kurds do not have the guarantee of laws as yet. The Kurdish question and the demand for the rights of the Kurdish people are still considered as ‘separatist’ and within the framework of ‘terror’ and are responded to with violence. The ruling classes try to say that the Kurdish question can solved by a few small improvements. They try to make it seem as though the Kurdish question has been solved by the campaign by ‘democratisation’ and by the legal regulations within the framework of the Copenhagen Criteria through the process of membership in the European Union, which have been put on paper but still not put into practise. The government wants to make a show by the release of the four Democratic Party (DEP) MPs who were arrested ten years ago and put into prison as a result of a raid on Parliament. It has tried to make it seem as if this was an important phase in the democratisation process, but it did not take long for the falsity of this show to become apparent and for the government to exhibit its genuine character. The former MPs became the targets of the government and the military because of the speeches they made in the demonstrations. Lawsuits were filed against them once again. The meeting planned for Diyarbakir for September 1, International Peace Day, was banned on completely pathetic grounds.

Furthermore, operations are continuing in the region. The people there are being targeted for attacks on the grounds that they are ‘assisting and abetting’ terrorists. The demands of the KONGRA-GEL (the successor to the PKK) for a cease-fire, the taking of democratic steps, providing the opportunity for the armed guerrillas to socialise in everyday life but with the necessary guarantees, are rejected on the pretext that; ‘No negotiations will be held with the terrorists’. Attacks are continuing and the people of the region are being mistreated. There is no end to the claims of torture, and arrests and imprisonments are not decreasing. New Kurdish political detainees and prisoners are daily added to those already in prison. Provocative operations are carried out in the Kurdish provinces such as Diyarbakir, Van and Tunceli and the mayors elected by the people, as in Diyarbakir, are being targeted for attack and being made victims of political lynching.

The thousands of villages that have been forcefully evacuated, the nature that has been destroyed and the tens of thousands of Kurdish peasants who have been mistreated as a result of the policies of violence carried out for years continue to struggle with great difficulties. No steps are being taken to compensate them for all the massacres experienced, the thousands of murders by ‘perpetrators unknown’ and all the violations in the fields of human rights and freedoms. Believing that steps taken in this direction will result in a ‘rise’ in the consciousness of the Kurdish people and that hence new demands will be immediately brought to the agenda, policies of violence are insisted on. The policy of denial is being continued by military precautions and the systematic use of violence. The demands of the sections wanting to return to their villages are not being met. The wronged villagers hesitate to return as they do not believe that they will be able to lead safe and secure lives in their villages.

It is still forbidden for political parties to broadcast in Kurdish, to publish and distribute leaflets and brochures in Kurdish and for the political party administrators to deliver speeches in Kurdish. Lawsuits are filed against political party administrators for having greeted the people in Kurdish in demonstrations and various activities and they are often penalised. Besides the other antidemocratic practices, obstructions and pressures, the representation of the Kurdish people in parliament is prevented by the 10% election quota. The system of ‘rural guardianship’ continues to be enforced along with the military operations and the piling of military forces in the region. Instead of recognizing the Kurds as a people in their own right, meeting their national, economic and political demands and carrying out the necessities for an equal and free environment; the ruling forces and the government think that by hoodwinking the people with a few Kurdish language courses, a few minutes of Kurdish broadcasting every week and a few other crumbs thrown here and there, it will be possible to convince the people that Turkey has become democratised and that the Kurdish question has disappeared. On the other hand, those who are not convinced will be made the targets of violence as ‘terrorists’ by these forces.

The ruling classes do not want to understand that unless the Kurdish labouring people do not freely determine their own destiny and take their place in the course of history as a free nation, the Kurdish question will continue to be a fundamental one and neither acts of violence nor an approach of ‘we crushed them and that is the end to them’ will solve the problem.

Imperialism, the Collaborator Government and the Kurdish Question

The Justice and Development (AKP) government currently in power cannot overlook the Kurdish issue. The AKP has talked about democratisation and entering the European Union (EU) as a fundamental policy and claims that it will be able to solve all Turkey’s deeply rooted problems since the day it came to power. This places it under a great burden in terms of the Kurdish question and the Kurdish people. Stating that: ‘If you act as if there is no Kurdish problem, then there won’t be such a problem’, the Prime Minister has had to swallow his words and come face to face with solving the problem ‘in some way or another’. However the government thinks that it will solve the problem with the attitude we have pointed out above. At this stage, claiming that ‘There is no Kurdish problem’ has ceased to have any worth or plausibility. Certainly nobody believes this any longer. In place of this approach, in the region where the Kurds predominate the AKP is trying to dish out a new kind of relation similar to the one the USA has entered into with the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (PDK) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (YNK) [in Iraq]. This plan, in which the members of parliament who are Kurdish, religious sectarian and owners of capital of the AKP will also take part, has been established in order to divide the KONGRA-GEL.

Now the government is being dragged behind the US. The pro-denial and pro-assimilation forces which are being dragged behind the plan of using of the Kurdish question as a ‘trump-card’, as a continuation of the Iraqi occupation, are becoming partners with the ‘reformed’ and reactionary forces and are establishing a Kurdish political party under the protection of the US. The plan, which aims at the division, neutralisation and liquidation of the KONGRA-GEL or at least its reduction to a marginal level; is to create a Kurdish movement following the same political line as Talabani-Barzani in Iraq. The AKP government is at quits with the plan of the USA.

Though it may seem as if the rulers of the EU, the USA and Turkey are proposing different solutions to the Kurdish question, their moves actually fit into one another. As in the attempt to divide and liquidate the KONGRA-GEL, it seems that there is, at least at present, an agreement on the orientation of the party to be established by Osman Ocalan (Abdullah Ocalan’s brother).

Dividing the democratic Kurdish movement over the KONGRA-GEL, a division shaped by US pressure, aims to strengthen the reactionary, nationalist, feudal Kurdish alternative. The imperialist centres are acting very rapidly in trying to have the feudal-bourgeois collaborator circles form a power which will then be gradually presented as the representatives of the Kurdish people,. It is evident that the reactionary forces of Turkey are totally mobilizing for this initiative to be effective. The weakening of KONGRA-GEL is being seen as the hegemony of the political line of Talabani-Barzani and Osman Ocalan in the region.

This division in KONGRA-GEL is different from the problems, separations or divisions experienced previously. Using the present conjuncture of forces in the region, the imperialists and the reactionary forces of Turkey have made a crucial move in seizing a collaborator section within the Kurdish movement, which has not acceded to cooperating with imperialism. With this move, the US has succeeded in maintaining, through Osman Ocalan’s PWD, a similar position in Turkey to what it had previously obtained in Iraqi Kurdistan through the PDK and YNK administrators. The US has now found a Kurdish representative in Turkey which it will be operating through. The US has taken advantage of the ideological weaknesses of KONGRA-GEL, its delay in taking a definite and clear stand towards the US intervention to the Middle East and its occupation of Iraq and its hesitant attitude toward imperialism. The US is using this as an opportunity to open a breach and is now widening it. 

The AKP has fastened itself to the helm of the US and is now aiming at reaching a solution to the Kurdish question within the framework of this plan. The inclination is to form a ‘Kurdish Platform’, a sort of Kurdish AKP in which Osman Ocalan and his supporters, the big landowners, the tribal chiefs, the representatives of Kurdish nationalist currents and even some of the AKP MPs will participate in some way or other. The EU is also playing this game. The EU is trying to manipulate the democratic longings of the people and the ‘interest’ demonstrated towards the EU and its policies by the Kurdish liberal bourgeois. In the future the EU hopes to increase its influence among the legal Kurdish politicians. 

The Imperialists and the reactionaries in Turkey want to solve the problem of ‘representation’ in relation to the Kurdish question by using the Kurdish Platform as the ‘representative’ of the Kurdish people. KONGRA-GEL is being eliminated from this process. The same tactic is being used against the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DEHAP), which is regarded as a supporter of the same political line. For these reasons, to evaluate this latest division within KONGRA-GEL over Osman Ocalan as being in the same category as previous divisions within the organization would be incomplete and even more importantly would be a major mistake.

In this sense, the DEHAP line is also at a crossroads. The interviews held with Osman Ocalan and his statements in the newspapers and on television recently also indicate this fact. The names of the former Democracy Party (DEP) deputies and certain Kurdish politicians are being mentioned and as well as their readiness to be included in this plan. Under these circumstances, DEHAP will either go forward as an anti-imperialist, anti-US Kurdish democratic movement, or if it hesitates it will fall into the trap of this operation. Its progress along its current political orientation will mean taking its place among the front ranks of not only the struggle for the democratisation of Turkey but also the struggle against US hegemony in the Middle East and against the Greater Middle East Project as a tool of this hegemony. Otherwise it will become just another ordinary Kurdish nationalist movement.

DEHAP advancing along the same platform as the Kurdish and Turkish labourers, with the labour and democratic forces, is significant in terms of the democratic movement and its future in Turkey. A DEHAP acting in this direction will also bring the collaborator “Kurdish Platform” being hatched up to nought.

The Party of Labour (EMEP) and the Kurdish Question

All the labour and democratic forces in Turkey are faced with an important duty of rendering the alliance between imperialism, the reactionary forces of Turkey and Talabani-Barzani-Osman Ocalan unsuccessful. EMEP, as the party of the working class and labourers of all nations in Turkey, will continue with all its efforts for the Kurdish workers and labourers to overcome this danger. Attaching great importance to acting together with DEHAP against this reactionary plot and to struggle, our Party will carry on its struggle with all its organisations, both in the Kurdish region and all over Turkey. It is necessary in this period to be strengthened and united around an anti-imperialist political line. Our party, which established an election front with DEHAP in both the general elections of November 3, 2002 and the latest local elections, will carry on its fight for the advancement of the struggle of all the people of Turkey, whether Kurdish, Turkish or any other nationality, against imperialism and the collaborator reactionary forces of Turkey.

On the other hand, the dark contra-guerrillas, the drug related forces, and the military and paramilitary forces have started to become active again. These developments are also being manipulated to cause panic among the people, to provoke divisions and to incite an oppositional attitude towards the Kurdish democratic movement which is refusing to collaborate. These kinds of provocative initiatives have been brought to the agenda in Van, Diyarbakir, Tunceli and other Kurdish provinces. Our Party will be even more careful to warn the people in the face of the explosions and assassination plots by unidentified forces and in condemning initiatives of this kind.

Again this period in the region is clarifying the demands of the workers and the labourers. It is to be expected that the big landowners, the tribal forces and the despots, who have been left motionless due to the hegemony of the Kurdish movement, will become reactivated and make new moves to regain their previous prestige and privileges. The AKP handing out ‘small bribes’ to the labourers of the region, who are in the claws of unemployment and poverty, are among such moves. The demands of the agricultural sections will become even more fervent. It is to be expected that developments similar to those in Maras and Diyarbakir (two Kurdish provinces in which the poor sections of the Kurdish people partially united to demand land from the big landowners) will take place in other provinces. Taking into consideration that the landowners and the tribal forces will go into action, it will be necessary to take more advanced steps for the organisation of the class struggle in the Kurdish villages. Considering that unemployment and poverty are prevalent in the Kurdish regions, putting forward demands particular to these regions will play an important role in unifying the people and repulsing the attacks.

What is at the head of the agenda in this particular period is to carry forward the anti-imperialist attitude of the Kurdish people and to spoil the games of the feudal nationalist forces. In addition, one of the most important duties of our Party is to develop the struggle in order for the Kurdish workers and labourers to intervene in this process and to stand up to the attacks and resist with their own demands the attacks of the bourgeoisie as well as all other kinds of attacks.

The Current and Urgent Demands of the Kurdish People

A general political amnesty and a cease-fire must be declared and the Kurdish question must be solved as a democratic and political problem. All the mistreatment of the people of the region stemming from the Kurdish question must cease and they must be compensated for their damages. Industry, agriculture and stockbreeding must be supported. The Southeast Anatolian Project (GAP) must be rearranged to the benefit of the people and it must be put to their service. All the enterprises within the scope of privatisation must be removed from such a plan, all the workplaces that have been privatised and closed down must be reopened and work must be provided for the unemployed. The right to education in the mother tongue must be recognized and chairs for the Kurdish language must be opened at the universities. Publishing and broadcasting in Kurdish must be backed up and all relevant bans must be abolished. The system of the rural guard (which completely serve to inform on the Kurdish people) must be eradicated and all special organisations in the region, including the special teams, must be dissolved. A commission to investigate the murders by ‘unknown perpetrators’ must be established and those responsible must be judged and punished. The September 12 Constitution, acting as an cover for the Political Parties Act, the 10% election quota and all other antidemocratic laws must be annulled and the Kurdish people must achieve an equal and free status.

Source

Labour Party (EMEP): State terror in Turkey

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17th June 2013

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has, once again, tried to suppress the people’s demand for freedom and democracy expressed in Gezi Park demonstrations with the attack towards Gezi Park on the evening of 15 June. Absolute state terror is being directed at the people manifesting their demands through democratic and peaceful demonstrations.

While the extent of the attacks have reached such a point as to carry the intention of killing people, similar to junta periods, it has not been possible to receive any news from those taken under police custody. Police forces have been reinforced with military units and the country is faced with an unnamed martial law, declaration of a state of emergency.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan is hanging on to such rhetoric as; “these events are a result of external forces conspiring against me and my government, those concocting games, interest lobbies, illegal marginal organisations etc. etc.” as though they were life savers. Yet they are all words adding up to a demagogy constructed in order to slander the legitimate protests of the people and find a cover for fascistic actions.

The attack began while (a series of) meetings organised by the Taksim Solidarity Platform in order to determine the tendencies regarding Gezi Park were continuing and as a result of the personal command issued by Prime Minister Erdoğan during his Ankara rally and under the control both of the Governor of Istanbul and Chief of Police. This fact on its own is enough to demonstrate that Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP government has no intention or desire to solve the issue through peaceful methods and dialogue; that, on the contrary, there is an inclination to collect new political gain from the “chaos” by escalating conflicts and tension.

Nevertheless; the “victim” role acted out very successfully by Tayyip Erdoğan during the last 12 years will not serve this time around. With these last events; our people have fully grasped that what they are faced with is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Like every dictator enthusiast Tayyip Erdoğan is advancing towards the inevitable end at full speed.

No force can stand in front of the will of the people… Hence neither will Tayyip Erdoğan or his government be able to.

Attacks towards the people must cease immediately. The police force must withdraw from the streets and those responsible must be removed from office in order to stand trial. The political responsibility of these events falls on Prime Minister Erdoğan and the AKP government. The Prime Minister and his government must apologise to the people and declare that they accept the demands of the people.

I call on the labour and democracy forces of our country and all our citizens to unite and struggle in order to end this state terror directed at the legitimate, democratic demands of our people.

Selma GÜRKAN

President

Source

Political Declaration of the PCMLE on the Events in Turkey

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The Eurasian country is now experiencing a violent storm created by the massive struggle of various popular sectors of workers, young students, women, school teachers, doctors and other professionals who, with the movement in the streets, are confronting the neoliberal, repressive and sell-out government of the AKP (party of “justice” and “development”), headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In recent years the AKP government has developed a policy of “bended knee” towards the United States of America and has become one of the pillars for the building of the “Greater Middle East,” an economic, political and military fortress of imperialism, as well as being the most obedient executor of all the neoliberal policies in favor of the foreign monopolies and the big bourgeoisie, to whom they have cynically handed over the public properties and resources of the country.

The anti-popular policy of the Erdogan government is also expressed in mass layoffs, the reorganization of working life against the workers and public employees, it has carried out the so-called outsourcing of services in order to proceed to a regime of trade union repression, restriction of social rights, low wages, increased exploitation of the workers in the name of greater efficiency and competitiveness, etc., all of which has led to daily protests in the factories and institutions in various cities of the country.

The indignation of the workers and youth of Turkey rejects outright Erdogan’s policy of intervention in the conflict in Syria.

There is much indignation, discontent and opposition to the neoliberal government, to these policies and also because, trying to ease the crisis, it has put up for auction all the public properties and even historical sites to foreign companies. In the last two weeks a massive uprising of the big popular sectors broke out, when Erdogan proposed carrying out a giant architectural project of concrete and iron in Gezi Park of the traditional Taksin Square in the heart of Istanbul, to be allocated to the large multinational corporations, banks and shops of the great powers, sacrificing the public space, destroying the ecology and depriving the people of a place of rest and relaxation.

It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. When the demolition machines entered the park, hundreds of people, especially youth, took over the park to prevent them from destroying it. The police came, using water cannons and tear gas; they destroyed the tents and violently assaulted the occupants to allow the work of destruction to continue. However, the next day, tens of thousands of workers, students, employees, teachers and professionals retook Gezi Park, making it the symbol of the wrath of the people, tired of the disastrous policy of the defense of capitalism by the government in office.

The fighting has intensified in these last days and extended to other big cities such as Ankara, Smyrna, Hatay, and others. Erdogan has sent large police contingents to stop the human tide and has accused the protesters of being “looters” and pushing a process of destabilization and an attempted “coup.The police forces have beaten thousands of people and arrested hundreds. The workers and youth, who are major players in this uprising, are calling for the cessation of construction of the Gezi complex, but also for the AKP government to resign in order to put an end to its policies affecting Turkey and all its peoples.

The powerful union of public sector workers (KESK) and the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions have called a general strike. The left parties including Emek Party have also been together with the struggling people, pushing forward the fighting and leading the indignation of sectors of the Turkish people.

In the last three days Erdogan has been visiting the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania) and in each of those places he has been rejected by the people because of his repressive actions and pro-imperialist policies. On his return he stated that he will not let up on the conspirators, who use social networks and twitter to “make calls for destabilization,” social networks that, according to the Prime Minister, are the “greatest threat to society.”

He further stated that these actions were carried out by those “bitter” people who “lost the elections” and who wanted to stop the “development” in this manner…

In the middle of this situation, the government is also threatening the media who are together with the fighters. Many progressive newspapers and TV channels have been warned. Hayat TV channel, which has been covering the events and showing the protests, their character and extent, has recently received a closure order from the “High Commission of Radio and Television,” the government body that controls the media. This is a fact of grave violation of the right to information against which the voices of protest should rise around the world and by all means.

The Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador makes the banners of combat of the peoples of Turkey its own, it gives its solidarity with all its might to the struggle of the workers, youth, women and people against the neoliberal, repressive and anti-popular government of the AKP and of Prime Minister Erdogan. It unites its forces with EMEK Party and the popular organizations.

We Communists of Ecuador call on all organizations, institutions and individuals of the left, revolutionaries and progressives to support this struggle, to denounce the government’s actions and above all to raise their voice against the intended closure of Hayat TV, a channel at the service of the workers, youth and women and the progressive intellectuals.

Long live the valiant struggle of the workers, youth, women and peoples of Turkey.

Down with the neoliberal AKP government and Prime Minister Recep Erdogan Tayyis.

MARXIST-LENINIST COMMUNIST PARTY OF ECUADOR
Central Committee

June 15, 2013

Source

We Have Won! Hayat TV Is Not Being Silenced!

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As a result of the meetings held with the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), the Council has withdrawn its decision to cease our broadcast. RTÜK has also stated that it will resolve the licence issue at the soonest possible date. Hayat Television has eliminated the threat of a blackout with intensive support from the workers, labourers, youth, women, impoverished masses, intellectuals, artists and the people as a whole who have deemed it to be their own channel as of the moment it has initiated its establishment.

The reaction of all the different sections of society struggling for democracy has produced this result and a grave mistake was avoided. The voice of the people defending their freedom of information and raised through the slogans of tens of thousands from the streets and both through the messages and actions from their houses, workplaces, Gezi Park, from each and every corner of their living domains has reinforced our voice.

Today Hayat Television is stronger than it was yesterday and will continue its broadcasting with the consciousness that its responsibility has increased and on the basis of all its former broadcasting accumulation.

We extend our endless gratitude to all the masses of people who, claiming their channel, have given their support for it to overcome the danger it faced and who have always found a place for themselves in our screen! We will continue our path, stronger each day due to your support and contributions…

Gökhan Çetin 
General Manager of Hayat TV 
http://www.hayattv.net 
posta@hayattv.net

Source

URGENT: Hayat TV to close down

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Hayat TV, a progressive Turkish TV channel of the working people, the youth, women and the intellectuals is facing closure.

We believe this is a blow to people’s freedom of information.

The decision for the closure is made by the broadcasting regulator RTUK, Radio & Television High Commission with the pretext that Hayat TV has no licence.

This is not true. Hayat TV has been broadcasting since 21 March 2007 by ofcom licence via TURKSAT satellite. But a recent change in broadcasting rules via TURKSAT requires broadcasters to obtain a RTUK licence to be able to broadcast via satellite.

Our application for a RTUK licence has been submitted and pending for a decision. We have taken all the necessary steps and RTUK agreed that we could carry on broadcasting as it is until a RTUK licence is granted.

However, RTUK is now making an arbitrary decision to close down our channel because of, we believe, our broadcast of recent protests in Istanbul and across Turkey.

RTUK says they investigated “the complaints received for our coverage of the Gezi Park protests” and made a decision for the closure.

We believe this closure is part of the overall repression on the media in Turkey during the more than two-week-long Gezi Park protests. Four other TV channels have been given a fine by RTUK because of their coverage of the recent events.

RTUK sent a letter to TURKSAT to put an end to Hayat TV broadcast at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, 14th June 2013.

We believe this arbitrary and unlawful decision should be reversed.

We call on all democratically minded people to show solidarity with Hayat TV.

Mustafa Kara

Hayat TV Broadcast Coordinator

Source

Selma Gurkan: Gezi resistance needs to grow

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Labour Party (EMEP) Leader Selma Gürkan stated that the resistance started at Gezi Park widened to become an opposition to AKP government policies. Regarding the Prime Minister’s stance she said, “This is not simply insistence on the Barracks. The PM knows that if he takes a back step now others will follow”. Gürkan answered our questions, stating that widening of the resistance is the immediate responsibility of all labour and democratic forces.

What are your thoughts on the people’s movement started by the defence of trees in Gezi Park?

The will and resistance shown by the people to the fluctuating intervention and attacks have not developed overnight. It is a manifestation of the reaction built up by the policies of the government that victimises its own population. It is a reflex against political attacks.

The movement seems to be against the PM. The masses walk to the PM’s office rather than the Parliament. The slogans calling for the PM to resign are the most common…

The reason is the PM’s stance and his statements; aggressive, separatist and provocative. Hence the PM is the visible face of the government’s policies and the target of the protests. In both in his speeches in Tunisia and on his return to Istanbul, as well as his public addresses in Mersin, Adana and Ankara; his mildest definition of the protesters has been looters, plunderers, scoundrels… Since the beginning, he has used similar language against all that has opposed or resisted him. Such as telling the farmers to “take your mum and go”, branding the protests of citizens as “ideological, agitation”, etc. Now he is using definitions against the Gezi Resistance that are untrue. The public has witnessed the dose of violence displayed by the police and their civil companions brandishing sticks. Of course any movement that is just about vandalising cannot be accepted and will damage itself. But what shell the public do faced with gas bombs, police panzers and plastic bullets. They rightfully resist. We are talking about advertising boards and stops that people use as shields being targeted in attacks. These unprovoked attacks are the reason for this resistance to be so popular among the public.

As well as “agitation by outside influences” the PM is also talking internally about the interest lobby, Ergenekon and those favouring a coup. Is there any truth in this?

History is repeating. They are a repeat of government lies I used to hear in my childhood. If we need to draw attention to any agitation it should be the mindset that blocks the eyes, ears and hearts of the public, which oppresses them, gasses, bludgeons and kills them. If an interest lobby exists then the government should look at its own financial relations. It is not the Gezi protesters that exchange money with international financial institutions. To see this movement as an attempted coup is utter carelessness. The PM thinks that his portrayal as the victim of a coup will increase his political reputation. On the contrary it is well known that to bring into line the public, the opposition, the media, the judiciary, the universities, etc. Erdoğan uses tactics that differ not much from a coup. These classic methods to discredit the people’s just resistance do not work anymore.

The PM’s stance was tough before going to Tunisia. The expectation of a softening in his stance on his return was also futile. There was a very strong intervention in Taksim on 11 June.

Yes, he does constantly mention his determination to rebuild the Topçu Barracks but this is not an insistence on the barracks. The PM knows that if he takes a step back now others will follow. This is the emphasis of all of his politics. As a result a reckless attack has been staged on 11 June under the pretext of ensuring security in Taksim.

The level of participation among the youth surprised everyone. Youth in central and women in local actions have been prominent. What has brought them to the fore?

The government policies mostly affect youth and women. The youth, due to its character, do not give in to the traditional; do not appreciate intervention on their lives. They are fed up of the changes in the education system, problems in further education and universities, unemployment and uncertain futures, and women of intervention in their lives, violence and poverty.

What about the Gezi protests spreading to 70 cities around the country?

What we said for the youth and women could be widened to all sections of the society. Everyone is going out on the streets in line with their own local issues. The government’s policies affect all sections of society adversely.

What would the influence of the current period of negotiations and ceasefire be on Gezi resistance or the impact of Gezi on the peace process?

We can definitely talk about a mutual positive affect. The ceasefire of the last five months weakened racist, chauvinist influences and supported the rise of this movement. On the other hand, the Gezi protests have also exposed the public’s yearning and demand for democracy, rights and freedoms. We can confidently say that nothing will be the same again. During the peace process, it was said of the Kurdish struggle that it is a point of no return; the genie is out of the bottle. We could now say the same about the desire and energy shown by the public on the streets in fighting for rights and freedoms. Governments need to realise that you cannot govern without recognising the will of the public.

Along with the call for constraint – aimed mainly at the protesters – by TÜRK-İŞ (Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions), TZOB (Turkish Chambers of Agriculture), TOBB (The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey), Hak-İş and Memur-Sen (Pro-government trade union confederations), weren’t the other unions late in their reaction?

A call for constraint among the public after their sufferings from attacks, injuries, deaths and violence will not find a response. The calls for restraint must be addressed at the government, the Department for Internal Affairs, governors and the police. It should also be noted that the support from opposing unions within TMMOB (The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects), TTB (Turkish Medical Association) and DİSK (Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey) and some opposition unions in Türk-İş to the initial strike decision by KESK and the strike and street protests, taking place in the early stages of the protests is important and meaningful, regardless of their weakness. But this unity has not been developed further. Local platforms, committees and unions must be set up immediately for unity of power.

What kind of lessons should be learnt from the struggle by the unionists and advanced workers and labourers?

Unions should quickly advance the organisation for unity among workers and public workers to develop class unity. Organisation should not be limited to this; all sections of the public involved in the struggle, mukhtars, neighbourhood associations, community centres, religious centres, etc. that defended their rights and freedoms in the streets and neighbourhoods should develop and strengthen their own organisation. To develop this struggle and turn it into a real people’s opposition, spread the struggle for democracy in the country, to create the widest unity of equality, democracy and peace movements; these are the immediate tasks facing labour, peace and democracy organisations as well as our party.

The reaction to Erdoğan’s statement of “I’m hardly keeping the 50% at home” has led him to point at the elections in seven months time and took decisions for big rallies in major cities. What does this mean?

This has never been seen in history. The government has the opportunity to communicate with the population at any time they want. Everything he says is in all forms of media. He had thrown the same threat at students protesting against exam irregularities. He is now organising rallies that will put people against each other. The AKP government-calling people out for these rallies are a call to arms. Furthermore, he is abusing the power of his office, blackmailing public sector workers to welcome him in the streets, and abusing public utilities such as using public transport vehicles. Where is the equality, justice democracy in this? Kenan Evren had staged rallies like this after 12 September to make the public feel the force and effect of the coup. You are the government in office, how are these different from the rallies of a coup?

Even if the PM got 70% of the votes, does this justify oppression of the other 30%?

We have to look at this 50% issue from different perspectives. Firstly, what reality does it represent? Once the system, election threshold, non-voting has been taken into account his share drops to 49.5%. Hence it is not clear to what degree he represents the public’s desires. Let us assume he got 50%, even 90% of the votes. Does this mean the government can do what it wants? Let’s look at AKP’s election manifesto. Did he go to the public saying “We’ll fix minimum wage at the hunger threshold? Increase the price of petrol, electricity and water. We’ll ban alcohol and cigarettes. We’ll evict you from your houses through ‘urban transformation’. We’ll open mines that will poison your lands and water and ruin the environment with new dams. We’ll reduce your children’s opportunity for employment through our work policies. You’ll pay extra for education and health services. Vote for these policies?” What has been promised and exercised is different. At what stage of these implementations is the public consulted? He is talking about a 50% as if he kept his promises. Second issue is the lie that the minority is ruling the majority. Gezi protestors aren’t complaining about this or that aspect of the majority. Besides, he is talking about majority and minority according to what criteria? What is important is that the rights of the majority and the minority are secured. He is trying to split society into them and us, but the Gezi protesters are giving his politics the best response with variety and colour.

Could the Gezi demands be seen as democratic demands? How can a link between those and other be established?

They are the most democratic demands. What is not democratic is the PM’s stance, policies, and government. A call to “Give up on building the Topçu Barracks, demolishing the AKM, and building a third bridge” means give up on all policies such as building dams, power plants, urban transformation and privatisation of forests and protect your history, nature and environment.

The investigation, removal and prosecution of the governors, police chiefs and secretaries of state responsible for the attacks is a call to the government to not wave a stick in the faces of its citizens, investigate those that do and not use chemicals on your own people.

Furthermore, photos of the police officer that killed Ethem Sarısülük in Ankara had been shared in social media for days and finally shown by national media. The irresponsible actions and hostility of this officer, who jumped in among the workers and just shot the young worker, cannot be accepted. Internal Affairs and police should immediately hand this individual over to the law.

To demand the release of those in custody means; you cannot investigate, prosecute and imprison people just because they are against the dominant policies and critical of them, you should review these policies. The demand to open squares to the people means remove any barriers against the public’s rights to gather, demonstrate, march and those against media and freedom of speech, make open spaces available to the masses.

Formulized for equality, solidarity and freedom, the Gezi protests summarise the country’s need for more democracy. It represents the demands for justice and freedom by all sections of the society; equality between Turkish and Kurdish, solidarity among all minorities whether Laz, Caucasian, Arab and Armenians and equality between all beliefs whether Alevi, Sunni, Christian, Assyrian.

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Labour Party (EMEP): Turkey: Police entered Taksim Square

denizli-emep

Riot police have taken partial control of Taksim Square after entering the site around 7.30 a.m. today and surrounded the Atatürk Statue following use of tear gas and pressurized water on the protesters. It was the first time the police entered the square since they retreated from the venue on June 1.

The police removed the banners and flags hanging on the AKM cultural center and the Atatürk statue. Only a Turkish flag and an Atatürk poster remained on the AKM.

Police forces have also removed the barricades that had been built by protesters on the streets entering the Taksim area.

AT LEAST TWO INJURED

At least two people have been wounded in the clashes. One of the injured was unconscious, possibly passed out. A group of protesters attempted to build a buffer zone between the police and the clashing crowds to prevent either side from violence. An unidentified protester threw a Molotov cocktail at the buffer zone, however, a large number of protesters at the site claimed the Molotov-throwing protester was in fact an undercover cop.

Similar claims of undercover policemen inciting violence disguised as protesters have been surfacing all morning, with social media posts heavily accusing the government of attempting to delegitimize the protests.

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS WERE ON THE SQUARE FOR FREEDOM

Hundreds of thousands of people flooded Taksim Square on Sunday, in response to the call of Taksim Solidarity, leading the 15 days old resistance in Gezi Park. Workers, supporters of life, artists, intellectuals, the religious, Turks, Kurds, Alevis, Armenians, socialists, women, men, LGBTs, youth, children, elderly, all sections of the population in opposition came to Taksim Square.

In response to the police attacks in Ankara, slogans of “Resist Ankara, Taksim is with you” were chanted during the rally. Cries of “resisting” followed the name of each town where protests were held. “Only slept for five hours in days. Subjected to pepper gas numerous times! They ask me whether I will save the country. Even if cannot save it, we’ll die trying”; the last post on social media by Abdullah Cömert – killed in a police attack – was also read to the rally.

The agreed statement read to the rally by architect Mücella Yapıcı said, “Not every word of the Prime Minister will be law. As the people who have managed this, we realise that we’ll stop those policies that serve the few that are driven by financial greed, that are anti-labour, anti-democratic, against arts and science”.

DEMANDS OF TAKSIM SOLIDARITY

These are the clear demands expressed by Taksim Solidarity:

– That Gezi Park stays as a park. That an official statement guaranteeing no planned development – whether called Topçu Kışlası or not – will be built on the park site is released and that the planned demolition o the Atatürk Kültür Merkezi (AKM) is cancelled

– That all those responsible, starting with Taksim Gezi park, for preventing people’s democratic right to protest, that ordered the violent crack-down, that enforced and carried these orders, caused thousands of casualties and two fatalities are removed; primarily the Governors and Chief Constables in Istanbul, Ankara and Hatay

– That the use of pepper gas and the like are banned

– That all citizens taken into custody across the country are released immediately and given a guarantee that they will not be prosecuted

– That all squares – primarily the May-Day arenas of Taksim and Kızılay squares – and public spaces are again opened to meetings, rallies and activities and any barriers on freedom of speech are removed

ERDOĞAN HAS BRANDED THOSE ON THE STREETS ‘TERRORİSTS’

Prime Minister Erdoğan held rallies in Adana, Mersin and Ankara while hundreds of thousands were calling for the government’s resignation in Taksim. Erdoğan said “the interest lobby should sort itself out. This lobby has exploited my people’s hard work. They won’t be able to do it anymore. We have been patient. I’m talking to those banks and others that keep this lobby alive. You’ll pay heavily for starting this struggle against us. Those who shamelessly try to make the stock exchange collapse, Tayyip Erdoğan have no money in the stock market. Only you will be ruined. We never gave speculators a chance, and we won’t again. If we find you speculating we’ll throttle you. You will not be able to exploit this country any more. Those days are gone”.

ERDOĞAN DEFENDED THE POLICE VIOLENCE

Erdoğan also talked about the police violence that killed two and caused five thousand casualties. He defended the police thus: “This is the police of the people; they are from among the people. They struggle for order and safety among the people. Were we supposed to abandon the squares to anarchists? What are they fighting for? The police are fighting to defend us”.

Labour Party (EMEP), Turkey:

Millet Cd. Gulsen Apt. No:19/1

Yusufpasa – Fatih/ISTANBUL – TURKEY

Tel: +90 212 5880300

Mobile: +90 539 3281323

Web: en.emep.org (English) E-Mail: international@emep.org

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Labour Party (EMEP): About the developments in Turkey

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How can anyone interpret the ongoing widespread massive demonstrations launched on previous week? The Turkish Spring? A public upheaval? Or a coup attempt ignited by the nationalists?

To make a realistic interpretation,one must consider the latest political incidents in Turkey. Definitely, it is not just one spark which glinted the fire.

AKP Government,the most loyal ally of US and Western Imperialism in Middle East ,an important actor of the Greater Middle East Initiative and the most devoted executor of Neo-liberal politics;and its policies were found extensive protests for years.  

The policies such as disposal of public property to multinational institutions and to local tycoons,massive dismissals, the reorganization of the working life  against workers outsourcing, union-busting, restriction of social rights, lower wages,increased exploitation of labor in the name of increasing performance evoked insurgency everyday in factories and institutions.

On the other hand,the ignorance and the assimilative policies on Kurdish people, massive detentions caused tremendous repercussions .

The urbanite bourgeoisie were disturbed by the religious based practices and the statements of the AKP Government.Implementation of compulsory religious education in secondary schools,re-arrangement of the education system  according to religious references requested,the increase in the number of religious schools,the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which employs a huge army of clerics to arbitration,restrictions for  the sale of alcoholic beverages and smoking,replenish of the  bureaucratic cadre by the religious sections called the pro-AKP.

AKP, by creating high interest rates and selling the public domain to foreign capital at very low rates,provided a flow of hot money and tried to attract the share capital which refrain from investing their money in the Middle East or in the Western banks and companies.So that the AKP government was more successfull so far as Europe and US in slurring over the wolrd economic crises.  

But,lately, the hot money money flow from abroad has been decreased.AKP government tried to avoid the economical predicament  by implementing a construction campaign so called “Urban transformation”.The most valuable areas in big cities were expropriated,multi-storey  structures builded on public domains and sold for extreme prices.Growing traffic problem, destroying of green spaces and the prejudiced policies in  which AKP followers filled their pockets,lead to a widespread discontent. 

The Syrian policy of AKP government unplugged a great dissatisfaction amongst people.The monetary aid supporting the radical islamic organisations and groups and deploying these groups on Syria border caused lots of issues.The radical islamists became a menacing power for the Alawite majority on the border.harboring the radical islamists impaired the trade and the economy in the area.

The bankruptcies and the unemployment has increased.Besides,the negative effects of 5 million dollars spent on Esad opposers has become to emerge.

In these circumstances, Prime minister Erdoğan announced that a Shopping mall would be builded in Taksim Park.The Shopping mall would be constructed as a caserne. Artillery Barracks during the bourgeois revolution in 1908,known as the headquarters of reactionary forces,and the center of the uprising AKP,resuscitating the barracks,is advocating the March 31, 1908 reactionary uprising and also wanted to take revenge of the 1908 Revolution. Barracks project revealed as such for a substantial portion of the population.In addition, Taksim environmental sectors also disturbed about the fact that almost no green space would be left in the shopping center. Erdoğan’s intention to change the city landscape without the consent of such majority,led the way to an uprising to his dictator-like policies.

A month ago, on May 1st demonstration in Taksim AKP government banned a distance of twenty miles from the entrance to thwart  and  mass transport to the zone is stopped, they cut off the access to the city’s Asian and European parts the whole day, and the masses were subjected to attack, gas and water cannons.The precautions taken by the AKP government has aggrieved all the people in İstanbul and the tourists.  Taksim Gezi Park,resistance began.Business machines,taking action to demolish Taksim Park attracted thousands of people to Taksim Gezi Park. Late at night,after the main mass had left the park,the police forces attacked a small group sleeping in tents.The tents were burned by the police, the activists were beaten and exposed to pepper gas.

Now, again, the same method is used  to terminate  the action in Gezi Park.This latest attack,exasperated  a very wide range of masses and tens of thousands of people departed to Taksim. When the working hours ended,the number of  the masses accumulated in Taksim reached one hundred thousand. Dense gas and water cannons used in  the police attack.Despite the censorship promoted by the bourgeois media,by the efforts of social media and a few revolutionary and democratic organ the events  has  been transferred to the public. Actions spread to Ankara and Izmir. People not leave the streets until dawn.In İzmir, Ankara and İstanbul the clashes between the police and the activists had become tough.Baricades have been built.During the clashes,some youngsters have died in Ankara, İstanbul and Hatay.Tens of thousands of people have been injured and been arrested. Our Party’s youth branch administrator in Ankara have also been injured and arrested. 

Most of the protesters were composed of youngsters and women.The football team supporters also participated the demonstrations by putting off the challenges between them.The most used slogans of the actions were “Resignate Government” and “Resignate Tayyip”. The masses participated to the demonstrations were often unorganized.

Our party,all revolutionary and democratic parties, greens, environmentalists, chambers of physicians, engineers and architects rooms, public sector workers’ unions, the Alawite, intellectuals and artists, lawyers,nationalist groups all composed the secular sections which agree that the AKP government was slowly building a religious law system.

Our Party, participating the demonstrations with all its cadre and organizations,tried to attract the labour, proletarian and the unions to the action. Fasten on the formation of  the administrative instruments of the actions and to refine the targets.

Summoned for the Kurdish problem ‘s democratic and populist solution,abolition of restrictions on freedom of press,expression and association,the rights of the  Alewite,for return of usurped rights of the working class and laborers, removal of the election  threshold, to determine and  punish those responsible for the massacres as Roboski and Reyhanlı, providing the police from gas-spraying of demonstrators,for the prohibition of dismissal of cities,prohibition of  destruction of green spaces for rent by looting and an end to logging. Called for general strike and resistance.

Summoned to the people to organize and struggle.Today, Public Laborer Union (KESK) and Revolutionary  Labourer Unions Confederation are installing a general strike. The events in Turkey this week, has similar and different aspects from the processes experienced in Tunisia, Egypt or other Arabian countries.The similarities are; wide masses saying” This is enough” and invading the streets and the  resolution for struggle.The differences are the organisational level for the masses and the demands.For the last five years, similar actions took place not only in Arabian countries or in Turkey,also in European countries like Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain,France and England; and in some Latin American countries.Common ground for all is masses rebelling against the repression and the  exploitation of capitalism.

It is clear that the people revolting against the ruling class for their own rights and freedom will be strengthen by the international solidarity and the unity.

Labour Party (EMEP)

Turkey,

4 June 2013

www.emep.org

en.emep.org (English)

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Labour Party (EMEP): Three dilemmas of Turkey in Syria problem

EMEK-PARTISI-EMEP-LOGO

It is being alleged that CIA and MOSSAD agents swarmed in tent camps that house Syrian refugees, There are also news that the camps where Syrian soldiers and police -who reportedly go to Syria for protests and come back- are staying a “beaten track” for the CIA and MOSSAD. On the other hand, it is known that these various groups referred as the “Syrian opposition” negotiate publicly with Turkish officials “out of the blue”, especially with Davutoğlu. It is also said that these refugees in tent camps don’t stop fighting with each other about ethnic and sectarian issues. It is obviously visible that they are bothered by Turkish management style in the camps.

Even though the Syrian regime is weakening; Turkey faced with an adverse situation rather than getting closer to its targets.

In short, “Turkey’s Syrian problem” is getting bigger. Though, this is not a result of Assad regime’s gaining strength but Turkey’s contribution to drag Syria into terror, weakening Assad’s authority. This is because the weakened regime has withdrawn its soldiers from some regions. For instance, the Assad regime seems to have abandoned 3-4 km cordon surrounding the Syrian-Turkey border to the “opponents” temporarily. Yet, this abandonment also unveiled the characteristics of the so-called opposition groups. Consequently it is now understood that these unclarified opposition groups are another pro-sharia groups in the same line with Al Qaeda or the Taleban. This means, Turkey is sharing borders with Al Qaeda. Their first accomplishment was plundering and burning Turkish tracks!

This is not the only problem. A balkanised Syria is a scenario being discussed. Besides, there are numerous comments indicating that, Western imperialists and Israel would not suffer but be pleased to see a divided Syria. Of course, these comments are not very objective. As a matter of fact, handing administration of six cities in north Syria to the Kurds, and Assad’s withdrawal to the West Syria, Damascus-Latakia cordon indicates this scenario could become a reality in the long term if not in short term.

However, it is pretty obvious that this is a nightmare scenario for Turkey. A divided Syria would drag important border towns of Turkey into a chaotic position, cities such as Hatay, Adana and Mersin, with nearly 2 million Nusayri Arab minorities. Thus, the most crucial condition for AKP government would be the emergence of Kurdistan in northern Syria.

Of course, the right of the Syrian Kurds to self-determination shouldn’t be a business of the Turkish government. However, AKP government have come to a pretty pass with Syria because of its known habit of “importing regime” to the neighbouring countries. It won’t be a surprise if AKP would have serious conflicts with Syrian Kurds because of its interference to the Kurdish government and we already see the signs of this. Shortly, today Turkey is confronting with three impasses: pro-sharia Al Qeada and Taleban in its borders, Arab-Nusayri reactions on Hatay-Mersin line, and finally, possible self-determination orientation of Syrian Kurds. This is the final situation of Turkish foreign policy that was conducted by Erdoğan –Davutoğlu, and finding a way out of this labyrinth won’t be so easy. Above all, given that Russian insistence on the region’s politics will maintain even after a possible overthrow of the Syrian regime, Turkish foreign policy has become completely open to any kind of crisis and provocation.

As emerging three grand issues have been indicating themselves even before a Syrian disintegration, Turkey’s unrealistic foreign policy will be more obvious along with the potential foreign interference in the region.

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