Written by Hakan Gülseven – RED
Friday, 17 October 2014 11:50
It’s a bit cliché to say but we are really going through some difficult times because the government at the first opportunity is looking to remove all opposition.
It means all potential threats that could lead to another June uprising are a target. If their internal conflicts and the friction between the cleric Fethullah Gulen and his organisation are resolved, the onset of a deep attack on left-wing opposition is inevitable.
Why? Because against us is Prime Minister Erdoğan and his government which is riddled from head to toe with corruption cases. The survival of this group of profiteers that he created, as with himself, depends on staying together in power.
However, the AKP (Erdoğan’s party) came from the last presidential elections with a loss of power.Anyone with the ability to think is aware of this situation. People are dissatisfied with this government which has also lost imperialist support.
We are aware that the U.S. is continuing their search for an alternative party for power in Turkey. But society cannot always be controlled by social engineering plans. Imperialism could not get rid of Teyyip Erdoğan. The leadership of AKP is making a series of manoeuvres at an international level including searching for new alliances. At the same time, it knows that it has to suppress the anger that has accumulated in the country. So the weakening of the government does not automatically mean it becomes tame, rather it is becoming more dangerous.
These forces have created a ‘police army’. This ‘police army’ does not contain social diversity. It was constructed in a similar way to the Central American dictators’ ‘guards regiment’. It consists of fanatic supporters of the government. They see attacking oppositions as the way of remaining in power.
They can easily pacify the army. The ‘Kemalist’ army collectively is similar to someone who is hypnotised and can be controlled with finger movements. Currently the army is like a big carp fish that is contained in an aquarium. The AKP in order to take full control of the judiciary has launched a major offensive against it. If the combined force of the judiciary becomes integrated with the government and the police, that has become mercenary, join together it will not be hard to see what the opposition faces. In this case, the next step will be to break-up social resistance. This means a period of very strong pressure.
But not everything is limited to this possibility. We are facing the threat of ‘Islamic fascism’. The AKP attempted during the June uprising to create a ‘street power’ using civilians such as lumpen elements like ‘scimitars’, but it did not work. However, the ‘Jihadist’ forces that come from the southern borders of Turkey are now creating their own organisation inside Turkey. Thousands of youth cross the border and join these head cutting killers. We are talking about thousands of young militants that are gaining battle experience.
On the other hand, AKP’s tried to keep the civil war in Syria and created a no-go-area on the border. But two million Syrians are in Turkey. The external and internal area is in an turmoil. Inside and outside our border a civil war is accumulating.
The government in power is unconscious of this. It thought or thinks that it could control this power that in the end will destroy itself as well. However, they cannot control any process. How can it control forces that are used to corruption or follow perverse ideals and are full of anger and militants that declare ‘being a martyr is the way of God’? Yes, the foreign policy of AKP is being pushed from one side to the other, just like a painter controlled by the painting brush…
The developments in the South are not the only problem.
The AKP’s sectarian rhetoric, its creation of opportunities for religious organizations, its education policies, all this has prevented even the marginal structure for different Islamist organisations in Turkey.
Religious and other interests that backed the system have started to establish political structures. All political organisations create their own militants.
So, now the AKP has gone beyond its usual rough treatment the state made against leftists and the workers, we are facing a period of deep social cleavage. There are now threats against us in the neighbourhoods, at work, in town squares that exceeds the previous state repression. That is exactly what we call Islamic fascism.
It can be said that the conditions for the rise of mass fascism have not yet occurred. It’s true, classic fascism was born from lumpen masses and petty bourgeoisie mobilised on the side of the bosses against the strong working-class movement.
Western bosses, in order to prevent a possible uprising of the workers affected from the 1917 Russian Revolution, needed a street force against the workers organisations. Today, Turkey does not have a strong working-class movement. But we cannot say ‘then there is no fascist threat’. The Islamic fascism threat is born through masses that are desperate for a way out and that channels all the anger coming from bourgeois civilization. A bunch of bullies that keep power in order not to fall down, and who use these helpless ‘God Loving’ masses to fortify themselves. A very dangerous game is being played…
A Shabby Society
Of course we are only discussing the possibilities and the threats. However, the U.S. backed opposition, such as the CHP and MHP parties, will not avert the danger of an increasing social polarisation. To wait for a social break-through of these parties’ possible coalition would be as foolish as to expect a mule to give birth to a purebred Arab horse. Moreover, the disharmony that AKP has organised is every capitalist’s dream of a society fantasy. Therefore, a radical restoration in the system is not possible.
To cut a long story short, if a new opposition out of this system is not created, it will be inevitable to drift down to the bottom of the world’s social whirlpools and flounder in the dark.
I am talking about a society that is being changed into a highly polarised society dominated Bangladesh levels of work, women erased from social life, a repugnant religious culture that dominates the streets…
Create a barricade
So, what must we do? We must create a barricade. This barricade should rapidly gain a workers character. We are known as RED,which is also part of the United Opposition Movement and is an attempt to create this barricade. It is a genuine effort. However, our power is limited. This movement needs to expand.
At the end of last month a well-attended meeting was held in Ankara. This meeting brought together the major streams of Turkey’s left groups. In spite of different assessments, different identities, all the currents that attended the meeting are aware of the threats that we are all facing. Therefore, a second meeting was propsed to discuss the steps to be taken proposal was accepted without opposition. The second meeting will be even larger. [This meeting has taken place and major left parties and organizations agreed to build unified action.]
Nobody should see this development as a ‘Turkey left is finally merging’. The deep differences in the socialist movement in Turkey remain and may remain for a very long time. However, the opportunity to fight together has arisen and this opportunity should not be missed. Even if the left merges on the bases of ‘superstructure’, the work that needs to be done is permanent.
Then, once again, what must we do?
The socialist movement of Turkey is stuck in a very tight space. Our field is restricted to youth and public workers. This cannot mobilize a large audience. Working class is unorganised and the socialist left is out of this area. Currently, the socialist left can openly demonstrate a fighting unity, whose aim is to stop the reactionary attacks of AKP and to overthrow the government. Apermanent unity of action should be created. Institutions should be created.
The left should also determine a common attitude towards areas. We have dynamic youth in schools and neighbourhoods. No one should enter a race of radicalism. Our youth should tell of our collective work.Students, just like in 1980’s, while coming out of the dictatorship period, should build a common struggle organisations, set reasonable goals that will mobilise all student masses and take action. The youth that came out on the streets in June can come around these unified organisations rapidly. The period of ‘bargaining’ for leadership inside of KESK (civil servants trade unions) should be closed. Leaderships should not be based on bartering for positions but on proven struggle experience. A struggle line should be established that is clear, understandable, and that is against the bodies of power. KESK, established on Kızılay Square (Ankara) on a battlefield, if it can return to the basics of its formation it can create a great dynamism once again.
There are no shortcuts or miracle formulas. We cannot gain victory over bourgeoisie nor its government where the working-class is unorganised. The socialist left should be directed to the working class with a common will. The puppets created by government extortion that are at the head of the unions must be brought down from their positions. Not in order to bring new bureaucrats but to ensure workers’ control in trade unions and to develop trade union organisations. If created, positive examples will follow each other.
Socialists should not support the ‘expert’ cadres that are the guards of the bureaucrats. Entering a new era to improve unionisation should not be counted as unrealistic. Any person that thinks of themselves as revolutionary cadre has to move from Istanbul Istiklal Street (downtown) to Corlu and Gebze (workers regions). Revolutionary activities, should not be the ‘shows’ in town squares, but should be routinely carried out tedious but essential work for the organisation of the working-class.
All this can stop reactionaries and prepare the conditions for setting up a new country. There is a militant struggle tradition that cannot be underestimated. The majority of the power that we rely on lies with that tradition.
Kurdish national movement
So far, the Kurdish national movement has not been mentioned. That is because the leadership of the Kurdish movement is openly trying to create a solution with this government. Abdullah Öcalan said that in June he prevented Teyyip Erdoğan’s fall from power. The saddest part to this is that it is true. If the political forces that Öcalan represents, had fully joined the June Uprising, searched for the ‘solution’ on the streets with masses that resisted the government, we would be discussing different conditions at the moment.
Öcalan and his followers can of course search for their political fortune in the direction that they wish. However, we believe that this country is being dragged into the abyss and to get rid of the abyss the existing reactionary government must be demolished. The wide difference in perception will protect its existence for a while.
And during this time, everyone is obliged to act.
A historical task stands in front of us. In the present circumstances all society is being dragged into the abyss, we need to show courage to bend the rudder to the left and we will show the courage…
Translated by: Canan Sağar