SEP-G ESTABLISHMENT NOTES: ANALYZE OF TURKEY! WE CAN DO IT!
Socialist Laborers Party Initiative Notes: Analyze of Turkey: We can do it!
Extraordinary Period Goes On In Its Own Evolution
- Turkey proceeds in an extraordinary period for quite some time. Whilst the neighboring and peripheral countries are facing war and civil war, Turkey is in a painful period as well within its own dynamics. Social fabric is getting considerably tense around identity polarization. Kurdish cities are in the middle of a civil war, an authoritarian one man regime is enforced upon the society, people are slaughtered in the city centers by bombs and society feels suffocated by the forced conservatism… Having big contradictions, this social fabric possesses enormous sources of conflict. In a setting where socialists are weak and working class is not organized, organized parties (AKP, Kurdish Movement, TÜSİAD1, Turkish Armed Forces, Gülen Sect, USA and other imperialist powers) goes on fighting with each other to run the show and change the structure to suit themselves. At this point it is obvious that Gülen Sect and Turkish Armed Forces have become weak. As for TÜSİAD, it does not have the capacity to have an independent role since they are at the same side with AKP even if they don’t like it.
- Turkey is evolving in to a one man regime. Materializing the state apparatus around himself and his inner circle, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s clear aim is to become the Putin of Turkey. State’s governors, police, prosecutors, judges and the army are at RTE’s service completely. Bourgeois media has a huge impact on shaping public opinion, however its status is no different than the others. On the other hand, during AKP’s rule for many years, arbitrary regime have become common just as corruption, rape and discrimination. AKP’s regime is now a production center for nastiness, tyranny and theft. As all of these are becoming common, social corrosion is becoming widespread, social values are rotting.
- Since 2002, AKP rule tries to create a heaven for exploitation where conservatism and Islamism prevail, public opposition is muted and workers are not organized. However Turkey’s conditions are becoming more and more similar to that of Pakistan. As Islamism become more influential its Salafi and other fanatic interpretations are gaining power. These fanatic elements became militarized with the Syria politics of AKP and they pose a serious threat for the society. Patriot Kurds, Alawites, Shiites, bars, clubs, touristic zone, beaches, entertainment centers and malls are threatened by these fanatic elements. The places and tendencies contradicting with the conservatism have become targets. People are forced to be stuck at their home. As a result, a part of the society feels the threat of not being able to live as they want. This perception of threat is not mere paranoia. Because of AKP’s Syria policy Turkey is now at a point where ISIS can organize huge attacks easily. In the context of Syria and Kurdish politics, ISIS supported by the government and AKP power has a huge margin. Consequently, we have lost hundreds of people in the massacres. Except ISIS, the fanatic organizations like El- Nusra and Ahrur-u Şam have lots of supporters and cells in Turkey. Salafism which supported by the darkest and shameful point of middle east Saudi Arabia finds a ground and raises as a danger for the future.
- On the other side of becoming Pakistan, the civil war in Kurdish cities and the bombs in western cities exists. AKP and Erdogan proved their aggressive nationalism and far from solving Kurdish issue, they implement a state terror much worse than 1990s. All in all, the war politics of AKP’s Turkish- Islamic, ethnic and religious hatred is raising and the social fabric is being destructed.
Working Class and the Conditions of Public Opposition
- Unfortunately, Turkish working class’ recent past is full of defeats. September 12 1980 (military coup) defeat, defeat against neoliberalism, defeat against economic crises… As a consequence, a major part of the working class is unorganized: contract and lawless labour is widespread, wages are low, working hours are long, union laws are as reactionary as possible, unions are pretty much dysfunctional…
- That being the case, it wasn’t really hard for AKP to downgrade workers’ rights. Besides, working class couldn’t participate as an organized element in Gezi Park protests, a turning point in Turkey’s history. Without the organized intervention of the working class, Gezi Park protests couldn’t step out of certain political boundaries and since the power from production couldn’t come into play, street protests were repelled by state terrorism easily.
- When we look back, there are two major resistance in terms of class struggle: TEKEL strike and Steel Workers’ strike. Since it had an anti-AKP character, TEKEL strike gained widespread support from the whole country. Steel Workers’ resistance occurred in private sector not in a state economic enterprise like TEKEL. That’s why it represents the future of the class struggle. It influenced the most important industry center in Turkey and showed the potential of the working class to everyone.
- The problem with the Steel Workers’ Strike was that there weren’t any political element that possess working class politics. There is no political representation that would make this strike the primary agenda of all workers. Without political representation, even big events like Steel Workers’ strike only had temporary effects. SEP’s main mission today is to solve the representation problem and increase the decisiveness of the class struggle in Turkey.
- There are vast grounds of opposition that socialists can use it to carry out labour politics. Worker homicides, corruption, high cost of living, jobless graduates, unemployed teachers, low wages, the growing gap between rich and poor… If they are used efficiently, all of these problems can resonate around the working class. SEP has to do efficient campaigns around these subjects and has to win workers for the revolution cause.
Public Opposition is Fertile Enough for Socialist Reconstruction!
- One of the most significant features of this period is the intense anti-AKP energy which can shape the public opposition. Although this energy bursted with Gezi Park protests, it didn’t vanish in the air. The people in Gezi protests may feel pessimist, angry and desperate however at the same time they are still against AKP with the same intensity. The problem here is the absence of a socialist alternative that will give them the opportunity to become actors of the history, not victims of it. Once they see the development of a socialist alternative that shows its difference, then the most dynamic and wise elements of this vast majority will not hesitate to become part of the struggle. SEP aspires for this hard duty.
A torrid time has its own potential revolutionary solutions, raptures and opportunities in crisis. The anti-AKP energy; the raising anxiety of women and Alevi laborers, the energy of Kurdish youth keen on to socialism, the fertile revolutionary tradition of this area, the dynamic of the young workers who suffer from exploitation and the student youths’ energy who is sentenced to futurelessness can be united. This energy should be seen as an opportunity in the sense of socialist construction.
- The public struggle dynamic involve millions of workers, students and middle class member from different fractions and attitudes. In terms of socialist reconstruction all these people are waiting for to join the organized struggle and socialism.
- Due to the stress AKP rule creates, the social fabric is politicized intensely. This is a great opportunity for socialist reconstruction. But for this socialist alternative should show its difference in practice and should have a success story. SEP is aspired to lead this duty with mutual campaigns and collaborations and thus breathe new life into socialist left.
- The main reason of Gezi defeat was the absence of a left movement that will lead the mass movement. Since there wasn’t any actor to follow, masses with no perspective, coordination and organization retreated against the state terror.
Today, the public struggle dynamic brought up in Gezi is still alive. Because of the burden of the civil war ongoing in Kurdish cities, this dynamic is stand by and one step back politically. Yet, at the first occasion, this dynamic come to light again. The people who is nervous, angry, pessimist wouldn’t hesitate when they are given a chance to be active in politics. Before that these masses would be kept desperate. It is an obligation to overcome the polarization of identity and life style.
In the struggle of socialist construction, besides the traditional opposition sources, we should use anti- AKP dynamics. But the critic point is not to fall into trap of identity and life style polarization and to be able to canalize the energy to class struggle as a way of creating labor front.
The vulnerable point of anti- AKP energy is the political perspective they have. The polarization of life style and identity is a dead end for public opposition. The polarization surrendered the country Turkish- Kurdish, Alevi- Sunni, Secular- religious creates the atmosphere revives AKP. The reality which caused the victory of AKP in the elections over and over again despite everything. Erdogan keep deepen to be able to make permanent his support and the so called opposition parties which nothing to say have become a part of this polarization.
The thing done is to change the way of politic separation. Coming to the forefront of labor- capital clashes would cause the urban poor who votes for AKP change their side. Also, therefore, the socialist construction with the perspective of class and internationalism is the only progressive way of getting free from AKP.
The intellection which sees the only way out as a new right party and hope from Gul and Arınç should be condemned. The alternative to Erdogan wanted to bring out from AKP which doesn’t have clashes with imperialist and capital. Therefore, the bourgeoisie pattern is wanted to “normalize” in the context of imperialist capitalist balance.
Except imperialist powers crack expectation in AKP, some others discusses on military coup. The ones who creates a military coup expectations and imagine the army as a way out from AKP show a conservatism example. Let’s assume the military coup become possible. All in all, military power would do what AKP desired but couldn’t do and revolutionary- socialist figures and Kurdish will be targeted easily.
It is not a secret that AKP tries to raise the effect of religion in state mechanism and social life. With this kind of effect, the pressure on women, Alevi, seculars, homosexuals and the life styles which is not conservative. In this point, secular should be defended from a different point of view than Kemalism and with class perspective. So, secularism should be evaluated in the context of defense of freedom not to be mentioned in Republic history and Turkish state tradition. The main issues of this struggle is women rights, the forced conservative education, the pressure on Alevis and the raising Salafi fanaticism. In AKP rulership, religion and sectarian separation reach to the endpoint and we will struggle against every kind of separation and exclusion. In AKP period, women are wanted to be imprisoned at homes, be excluded from social life and their freedoms are wanted to be taken away including laughing loudly; we will struggle for women rights and their freedom.
We will struggle against the projects like the children go to school 4 days a week and to mosque once in a week and while doing this we will defend Kurdish children’s rights of education in native language. We will point out that religion is an issue of private life and choses against the religious imposition in social life and in state. On the other hand, if the main issue is to beat political Islam like AKP, party, fraction, organizations and cult, in this struggle the determinant is urban poor and other laborers’ organization and take part in class struggle. In this case, the ground of political Islam would collapse. Therefore, as class struggle and socialist alternative raise, after the terrible rulership of AKP, political Islam would be back so fast. Because political Islamist abuses the defenseless people’s poorness and by using them both they become rich and step forward. When we bring out that how the big boys of Islamıc capital become rich and on the other hand what they deem proper nonunion, uninsured worker and how they exploited the workers once in the struggle both bourgeoisie and Islamist crumble up. The most effective and consistent way to struggle for freedom and secularity against political Islam.
THE EXISTING PARTIES CANNOT BE REMEDY !
The borders of CHP who seek a way out with imperialist powers and TUSIAD against AKP. The masses have been seeing the borders of CHP which is full of careerist politicians and far from being successful and do things inside of the bourgeoisie pattern. The only thing that CHP which exist thanks to the %10 election threshold implemented after military coup offers to the laborers is voting in 4-5 years and to elect CHP members who are elite politicians or riches again.
HDP, like CHP, is a canvass machine. It is inadequate to create active participation of masses. Also, its political perspective is identity centered and far from labor agenda. Thus, except the Kurdish dynamics the potential of HDP is minimum. Also, like CHP, HDP’s reference is market system and not independent from imperialism and TUSIAD.
The socialist left figures are not able to carry through the defeat of military coup. In the intervening time, left would heal itself but the defeat wasn’t only physical the ideological failure is the biggest obstacle against healing. The left which couldn’t get rid of the burden of Stalinism couldn’t settle with past and couldn’t update itself. The Turkey socialist left is far away from satisfying the expectation of the needs of the period. Today, socialist left relatively has a mass yet socialist left can’t use the opportunity because of not having a solid position and being ineffective. Also, socialist left is articulated to either Kemalist or Kurdish movement by breaking away from its independent politic identity. So, there is an identity depression. The socialist who doesn’t have his own identity can’t embrace the future. One of the historical mission of SEP is to be pioneer of the changing shell in socialist left.
During the rulership of AKP, Turkish economy missed the fertile years for constructive changes to reach qualified production capacity. In the time of the following years of economic crisis in 2001, the atmosphere was quite fertile, in world economy there were a lot of money and borrowing is easy, interest rate was low yet AKP didn’t lead to the high accretion value production and technologic spurt, they lead to save the day and tried to create unreal prosperity raising by encouraging consumerism. Common value put into ground with TOKI (housing development administration), with the tales of miraculous growth, everything attributed to AKP’s victory in elections. All in all, Turkish economy can’t be more than small income country as an economy based on a light and middle industry and cheap labor. That means the laborer people’s income is not in a raising line but to down and horizontal.
Thus it is the end of cash abundance. Although the pampering of consuming and the public expenditure, %4 and less growth rates which means recession is a reality for the period. To sum up, even in official figures which doesn’t reflect the real number the unemployment rate is %10 and the youth unemployed rates %19. The natural result of consuming encouragement is reaching the top on dept. This loan circle will be turned harder and harder upcoming period. Against the unreal growth of AKP, there are realities: non-productivity, non- industrialization, raising loan, raising unemployment and the unqualified workers and low wages.
The experience of AKP proved that the moderate- reformist Kurdish politics of AKP is entirely insincere, tactical and distraction-aimed. While they purge Kemalist- Nationalist wing, the image of democratic- reformist was needed for the sake of alliance that time. While the capital represented by TUSIAD and liberal intellectuals were a part of this alliances, Kurdish movement evaluate AKP as practical power. After the taming of capital and purged of Kemalists and sectarians AKP and Kurdish issue faced each other first in elections than armed forces. Erdogan who sees Kurdish movement as the strongest site and on the one side he tried to destruct Kurdish movement on the other side the nationalism comes with the war against Kurdish movement, he deepens his authority and tries to build his new authoritarian regime.
AKP like the previous rulers doesn’t have a chance to beat Kurdish movement. Kurdish issue can’t be solved armed. Therefore, we defend the acceptance of the demands of Kurdish people after an open and clear the negotiation process. Today, if Kurdish people demands autonomy, this is their natural right. In the same way, in Rojava which is Syrian Kurdish region, Kurdish people get their autonomy as a historical acquisition. This is a natural right of .kudish people, and usurp of AKP can’t be accepted. As a result, laborers should support the national self-determination of Kurdish people both in Turkey and Syria and step forward with this perspective.
One of the most important mission of SEP in this case is against the raising nationalism and ethnic hatred to step forward the line of brotherhood of people and unity of laborers. Minimum conditions of brotherhood is to improve consciousness of the right of national self-determination of Kurdish people. If Turkish laborers and Kurdish laborers can’t trust each other and make each other “other”, the class struggle can’t be possible. Therefore, SEP will struggle for internationalist attitude on Kurdish issue among working class. To take an international position on Kurdish issue doesn’t mean to drag on Kurdish movement. All in all, Kurdish movement is a national project and doesn’t have a problem with bourgeoisie essentially, rather they have connections with both inside and outside of the country. Therefore, we have protect the independent line of working class and create socialist construction.
1 Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association