Long Live Turkey’s Revolutionary Mass Movement

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Turkey, the “island of stability” in the Middle East, has been engulfed by a storm. While almost all Arab countries in Asia and north Africa were inundated by the “Arab Spring”, Turkey not only seemed stable, but its regime was viewed as a model of a “moderate and democratic” Islamic state worth replicating by the Islamists in Arab countries––particularly in Egypt and Tunisia.

The reactionaries in Arab countries and the American and European imperialists raised this model of Islamism in opposition to the Islamism of the al-Qaeda variety, as well as in opposition to the revolutionary movements in Arab countries, in order to mix the religious sentiments of the masses in these countries in a blend of feudal-bourgeois compradorism dependent on, and in the service of, the interests of America and the west. The series of ongoing mass movements in Turkey began with a small spark. On May 28 a small collective of environmentalists peacefully protested the plans of the government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to demolish part of the Gezi park situated in Taksim square in Istanbul and transform it into a shopping-mall.

However, the repressive police force of the so-called democratic Islamist government of the AKP heavy-handedly suppressed this small and peaceful protest and on the night of June 1, attacking and burning the tents of the protesters. The masses in Istanbul from June 1 stood against this “democratic repression” and started a widespread protest movement. The repressive police force again cracked down on the demonstrators, wounding hundreds and maybe thousands of people. However, the series of demonstrations not only did not subside but spread to other cities in Turkey; several big trade unions, teachers, artists and many others have joined the movement.

Now the demands of the demonstrators has gone beyond the demands of the initial demonstration. Now they are demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister and the trail of the repressive police officers; even the apologies of the deputy Prime Minister has not been enough to calm down the protests. The obvious difference between the mass protest movement in Turkey and the protest movements in other Middle Eastern and North African countries is that the movement in Turkey is leftist and secular and the Islamist forces do not play a signficant role.

This movement has been ignited by environmentalists and supporters of the leftist movement in Turkey. Therefore, this movement can and should protect, even expand and deepen, its leftist and secular orientation, but on the condition that the leftist and communist forces, while struggling to preserve the movement’s unity, should not forget their independent demands and slogans; they should strive for the further radicalization of the protest movement. This movement has the potential capacity to prepare the ground for a revolutionary movement capable of overthrowing the entire reactionary system in Turkey.

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However, transforming this potential capacity into revolutionary activity is the duty and responsibility of concious revolutionary proletarians. Revolution will not materialize spontaneously without hard and continuous struggles and fights. The AKP has been in power in Turkey for a decade; it is an Islamist party that acts in alliance and unity with (or, more accurately, in dependency and servitude to) western imperialists, particularly the American imperialists. The current government in Turkey not only acted in unity with NATO’s onslaught in Libya, but it is also the main supporter of the insurgents dependent on the western imperialists in Syria.

This government has also participated in the imperialist invasion of Afghanistan: the Turkish presence in Afghanistan is not only the largest force of an “Islamic country” engaged in imperialist occupation, it also plays an important role in training the puppet regime’s repressive police. Therefore, we view and welcome the current mass protest movement in Turkey, even at its current level, a movement towards weakening the regional gendarme of the western imperialists and one of the foreign occupying countries in Afghanistan. Moreover, in light of the current role of the Turkish forces in Afghanistan and the political and economic role of Turkey in Afghanistan, the ongoing revolutionary struggle in the two countries, objectively and subjectively, are very closely interlinked.

Therefore, the advancement of every revolutionary movement in Turkey will have immediate and direct repercussions in Afghanistan, further stimulating the revolutionary movement in this country. The Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan therefore welcomes the participation of the Turkish Maoist forces in the ongoing protests in that country, applauds the struggles of these comrades to give the movement a revolutionary direction, and wishes increasing success for these comrades.

Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan June 8, 2013

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