Red Youth member Dan Interviews a young member of the TKP, the Communist Party of Turkey, on the impact of the Gezi Park uprising, on the party and wider Turkish society.
The uprisings and mass protests sparked by the attacks of the Turkish State and the sustained reactionary policies of the AKP government have politicised a great mass of Turkish workers, more than 10 million of whom took part in the 6 week demonstrations.
Membership of the TKP doubled during the uprisings, and the Party’s prestige, having taken on and defeated the reactionary Turkish state, has been greatly enhanced.
We wish our comrades every success in the coming period, strengthening and deepening their links with the widest section of the Turkish Masses. Gezi was just the beginning of this new phase in the struggle. Revolutionary change is yet to come.
For more information, see the following article form Proletarian (August 2013:
Turkish workers set a militant example
Red Youth and cpgb-ml comrades helped out with a loud PA and plenty of enthusiasm at a demonstration in support of the Turkish people who have come out in defense of their democratic rights in the face of a brutal onslaught by the AKP-led government. In solidarity with the Communist Party TKP we publish below some photographs from our demonstration, the statement of the TKP and the details of a public meeting organised for Friday 7 June.
Public Meeting: Understanding Gezi Park, the AKP, and the Turkish protest movement
Main speaker: Turkish journalist and NUJ activist Oz Shengulun
Friday 7 June 2013
6.45pm – 8.15pm
274 Moseley Road, Highgate, Birmingham, B12 0BS
This meeting is kindly hosted by community advocacy service United We Stand [Served by the Number 50 bus from town every 5 minutes: stop outside Birmingham Car Auctions opposite Old Fire Station]
With the unprecedented wave of violence unleashed upon demonstrators in Istanbul and around Turkey, many are now asking “why the bloodshed?” Oz Shengulun is a freelance Turkish journalist based in Birmingham where she is an active member of Birmingham NUJ. She is speaking in a personal capacity. The presentation will be followed by Q&A and general discussion.
DECLARATION BY THE CC OF TKP:
THE CHOICE FOR THE WORKING CLASS WILL CERTAINLY BE CREATED
1. For days now Turkey is witnessing a genuine popular movement. The actions and protests, which have started in Istanbul and spread all over Turkey have a massive, legitimate and historic character. The most important of all is the striking change in the mood of people. The fear and apathy has been overcome and people gained self-confidence.
2. The Communist Party of Turkey has been part of the popular movement beginning from the first day and mobilized all its forces, tried to embolden the proletarian and revolutionary character of the movement, endeavored to pervade a mature attitude of discipline, organized numerous actions and demonstrations. In this process, the police forces carried out a heavy assault on our party headquarters in Ankara. All over Turkey, several party members have been injured and arrested. There have been some attempts of abduction of our party cadres. But the attempts of provocations against our party defeated.
3. Our emphasis on the role of the TKP does not aim to underestimate the spontaneous nature of the movement or contribution of the other political actors. On the contrary, the TKP stressed that this movement has an aspect that is beyond the impact of any political actor or any kind of political opportunism.
4. The call of the masses for the government to resign is an absolute truth of this movement. Although it is obvious that a leftist alternative cannot be built ‘right now’, this demand should be expressed loudly. This option for the working people can be generated only through benefitting from the energy that came out at this historical moment. The TKP will focus on this and expose the real meaning of alternatives like “the formation of a national government”, which will most likely be put forward to deceive the working masses into thinking that the crisis can be overcome that way.
5. Without a doubt, the holders of political power will try to calm the people down, institute control and even attempt to use the situation to their advantage. They can have temporary achievements. Even in that case the popular movement would not be wasted. The TKP is ready for a period of stubborn but intense struggle.
6. In order to act in concert, different branches of the socialist movement sharing similar goals and concerns need to evaluate the rise of this popular movement immediately. The TKP, without interrupting its daily missions and activities, is going to act responsibly regarding this issue and endeavor for the creation of a common ground in line with the urgent demands below.
7. In order to nullify the plans of the government to classify and divide the popular movement as legitimate and illegitimate, all forces need to avoid the steps that might cause damage to the legitimacy of the movement. It is the political power that attacks. The people should defend themselves as well as their rightful action but never fall into the provocation trap of the government.
8. While the masses are chanting the slogan “government, resign”, the negotiations limited to the future of the Taksim-Gezi Park are meaningless. The government pretends not to understand the fact that the old balances has been upset fundamentally and cannot be restored. Everybody knows that the popular movement is not the product of susceptibility towards the trees in the Gezi Park. The anger of the people is over the urban transformation projects, the terror of the market, open direct interventions in different lifestyles, the Americanism and the subordination to the US, the reactionary policies, the enmity towards the Syrian people. The AKP cannot deceive the people with a discourse of “we will plant more trees than the ones that we will chop down.”
9. While rolling up our sleeves in order to create an alternative of the working people, the movement needs to lean on certain concrete demands. These demands are valid in the in the case of the resignation of the government or of Erdogan:
a) The government must announce that the projects that involve the demolishment of the Gezi Park and of the Ataturk Cultural Center are terminated.
b) Those who were taken in custody during the resistance must be released and all charges against them must be dropped immediately.
c) All officials whose crimes against the people are proven by the reports of the commissions that are formed by the Union of Bar Associations and local bar associations must be relieved of their duties.
d) The attempts that hinder the right of the people to get true news on the developments must be stopped.
e) All prohibitions regarding meetings, demonstrations and marches must be repealed.
f) All de facto or de jure obstacles that lock the political participation of the people, including the 10 per cent election threshold and the anti-democratic articles of the ‘law on political parties’, must be abolished.
g) All initiatives that attempt to impose a monotype life style to all people must be stopped.
10. These urgent demands will in no case affect our right and duty to continue the opposition against the political power. The People’s reaction to the government must be reinforced, and efforts must be concentrated to bring about a real alternative in the political scene.
11. The star and the crescent Turkish flag that was intended to be used to provide a shield for reactionary and chauvinist attacks against laborers, leftists, Kurdish people after the fascist military coup of September 12, 1980, has now been grasped by the People from the hands of fascism, and given to the honorable hands of Deniz Gezmiş and his comrades, as a flag in the hands of patriotic people.
12. The People’s movement, ever since the beginning, has persistently let down the sinister strategy to play one community against another in Turkey. This attitude must carefully be maintained, leaving no room for chauvinism or vulgar nationalism.
13. Appealing to our Kurdish brothers and sisters, we had already declared that “There can be no peace agreement with AKP”. There can be no deal with a political power to which its own People have turned their back, and the true face of which has been revealed. Kurdish politics must give up “cherishing hopes of proceeding further with AKP”, and become a strong constituent of a united, patriotic and enlightened laborer People’s movement.
14. Our citizens who have lost their lives through the hands of the police force of the political power, have sacrificed their lives in the name of a just and historical struggle. The People are never going to forget their names, and those who are responsible for their death will pay the price before law.
Communist Party of Turkey
4 June 2013
As thousands demonstrate regularly across Turkey, follow the stories on the youtube site of the TKP and the daily newspaper Sol.
The TKP (Communist Party of Turkey) has organised a series of militant demonstrations opposing the arrival of patriot missiles and the escalation of Turkey’s aggressive stance towards Syria these last few weeks. The photograph above shows workers at the port of Iskenderun where patriot missiles were arriving over the weekend. The first video which we post below is from one of the first major demonstrations which was reported by Iran’s PressTv and the subsequent video’s are of TKP activists rallying in Istanbul and other places.
After Syria comes Iran
In 2007, retired US general Wesley Clarke revealed details of a secret Pentagon ‘Redirection strategy’ document, which proposed using 9/11 to justify launching unprovoked wars (the highest international crime) on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Iran and Lebanon – all countries seen as obstacles to US world domination and obstacles to the raking in of maximum profits by British and US corporations.
It is clear that if the Syrian government is toppled, the attacks against Iran will be escalated into a full war – and the inevitable endgame if the juggernaut is not stopped will be a catastrophic conflagration against Russia and China. Meanwhile, those who tell us to support the Syrian ‘opposition’ are blocking our ability to effectively mobilise and sabotage the war effort, which means objectively (whether or not they mean to) they are weakening not only Syria’s chances of survival but also Iran’s.
For imperialism, Syria is a stepping stone, a gateway to Iran. And so the best defence for Iran will naturally be a victory for the Syrian government. Which means the most urgent question for the British anti-war movement today is the defence of Syria.
Iran’s envoy, Saeed Jalili, says that Iran and Syria are part of an unbreakable “axis of resistance”. We workers in Britain need to join this ‘axis of resistance’ by refusing to cooperate with the criminal war against Syria. We must refuse to fight; refuse to make or transport arms and supplies; refuse to create or broadcast war propaganda that demonises Syria’s leaders and justifies the war. And we must give full support to the Syrian and Iranian governments in defending their people against imperialism.
“Imperialists and traitors – fear us!” was one slogan made at a demonstration by members of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) as thousands rallied to oppose the preparations being made by imperialism for war on Syria. On the road to Hatay in southern Turkey, protesters were stopped and arrested in Adana by police and state forces who were desperate to prevent the voice of the workers and oppressed from being heard. Members of the TKP unrolled a banner bearing the words “Hands off Syria!” and proceeded with an impromptu demonstration.
It is absolutely imperative that we in Britain step up our efforts to avoid the same horrendous fate befalling Syria as that which was inflicted on Libya. The workers parties and anti-war activists need to clear their heads of all the muddled thinking and get straight one single truth – “imperialism strives for domination, not democracy!”