On the Presidency, the orientation of the capitalism in Turkey and the contradictions within the imperialist world.
THESIS and TASKS of the COMMUNIST PARTY of TURKEY
1. It should be mentioned as the issue of Erdogan rather than the issue of executive presidency. So far the presidency agenda in Turkey has gone beyond the capitalist class’s search for power and stability. The concept of presidency has contracted into just one leader, whose file has been filling up every single day he stays in power, and the interests of a gang which has been dragged after him.
2. In addition to this, the infrastructure of the constitution proposal which has been formed for transition to presidency, is full of regulations which lead to the lessening of the control over the governments and the degrading of the role of the general assembly after the 12th September 1980 coup, and the political parties in general. All of these regulations have been realised with the guidance of the imperialist countries and the monopoly capital. The legal and actual extortion of the rights of the labouring classes, the plundering of the national sources, and the continuous privatizations have been eased by those regulations. Therefore, Erdogan has been working hard to fully open the gate, which the capitalists of Turkey have already left ajar.
3. In actual fact, using the process of “state of emergency”, which is constantly being lengthened, Erdogan is already using every opportunity which he tries to achieve with the constitutional amendment. Currently there is no institution or mechanism which actually controls or limits the President of the Republic of Turkey now. The problem is with Erdogan, who cannot feel safe and is in constant search for a legal pledge for removing his fragility. It was the same worry which was present in 2014, when he transferred from being Prime Minister to President of the Republic. The Presidency wouldn’t clear away Erdogan’s worries, but would provide a better security.
4.That security should not be considered only in legal terms. Being a leader who has poll support, Erdogan is quite sure about using his presidency for the political moves. Although he has been confined deeply, Erdogan would not leave his ideological references and keep a moderate line. Moreover, the need to keep the social support behind him, necessitates an aggressive manner ideologically and culturally.
5. Yet, the biggest deadlock for Erdogan is the additional threat generated by the goal of presidency, even if it is achieved. Every step Erdogan takes to secure or reinforce his position, intensifies the attacks towards him. What is more, those attacks are not generated from an effective single center in USA, as many might assume. Some, who do not prefer Erdogan’s purge and who had helped him in critical moments, would not prefer an Erdogan equipped with presidency but an Erdogan who is doomed. No matter how Erdogan showed off as a leader resisting in the aftermath of the 15th July coup attempt, he was actually someone who was weakened from inside, had lost his existence references and left alone. That is why the presidency would empower Erdogan against the ones who are currently looking after him.
6. Even so, Erdogan has concerns in two issues. The first one is about the attacks coming from the USA, which previously supported Erdogan in his political career, and the other NATO countries. After appearing in 2011 for the first time, these attacks have been escalated gradually. The coup attempt at 15th July proved the extend to which those USA centred operations could expand. The fact that the terrorist attacks, the political siege an the economic operations towards Turkey have been originated from imperialist centers, is now apparent.
7. Erdogan’s other concern is the existence of the opposition with in the society, which seems to be crouched down for now, yet accumulating anger and rage incrementally. The making up of this sectors of the society with Erdogan is almost impossible. Besides, Erdogan is a politician who knows well the methods of the imperialists to manipulate and guide the opponent social groups. Although the June Movement in 2013 proved the limits of this ability and the fact that he can be desperate against the smallest indication of the revolutionary forces’ ideological and physical weight, it is apparent that Turkey has become open to the intervention of the imperialist centers. On the one hand, Erdogan fears that the “left” lead the opposition in the society, on the other hand, he is concerned about the same groups to be drawn into the scope of influence of the international forces.
8. At this very point the motives from which the international actors are inspired when they first intended to control and then when became unsuccessful to overthrow Erdogan, should be clarified. The factors which took the USA from the point of supporting Erdogan unconditionally to leaving him alone with a coup attempt are as follows:
- It is always possible that the polarising style of Erdogan to cause uncontrollable consequences. The June Movement in 2013 is the best example of how the international monopoly capital cannot trust its ability to manipulate the people of Turkey for its interest easily. We know that the capitalist class, leading imperialist countries and some groups within the State in Turkey have intervened in various ways to pull the people’s movement into a liberal axis but did not succeed during the June Movement. This was the reason why they tried to reach the conclusion by pacifying the people through burying their anger to the tape recordings and the polls immediately after the resistance.
- Considering that an Islamist political party was deployed in line with the regional plans of the imperialists, the Arab Spring started from Turkey in a sense and ended up with the failure of Turkey. The sudden failure of an operation upon which the USA had had expectations and had taken risks, removed Erdogan’s trustworthiness substantially. Erdogan not only miscalculated things in Syria but also ended with something which the USA would never wanted; which caused Russia to gain more significance.
- Erdogan’s personal style, which did not bother anyone much when everything was fine, started to be a serious issue when the imperialist system is in crisis and the contradictions are intensifying. The USA and the other imperialist countries are battling to bear a “leader” who performs unforeseeable acts and behaviours and never loses his trustworthiness on the side of his supporters.
- The contradictions within the imperialist system provides extra room for Erdogan. The increasing possibility of the rapprochement between Russia and Turkey, is not only the consequence of the emerging weakness in the NATO alliance but also the chaos which destroys and reconstructs the existing alliances globally. In those circumstances it is inevitable that Erdogan to annoy the USA whose hegemony is at stake.
- The project of moderate Islam, has faced the deadlock we have been telling since the beginning. The politicization of Islam cannot follow a moderate path. It is absurd to believe that the “moderate” and “radical” components, which were unearthed by the USA and NATO by help of Turkey, would be easily controlled, when the international system has been shaken this much. Today, although the USA and the others still have their influence on a significant part of those components, it is impossible that the rapidly politicized Islam not to cause extra trouble in the USA and the EU.
- From the perspective of the USA and NATO, an actor who does not obey and what’s worse who resist the interventions, in a country, which is an ally and a candidate for the EU, shows as a negative example and also ruins the hierarchy identified with the USA. The idea, which indicates the limits of both economic and political autonomy of a NATO ally, has been destroyed seriously.
9. The expectation that international pressure over Erdogan would lessen with the election of Trump undoubtedly had warranty. The USA’s outlook on political government in Ankara underwent a negative transformation during Obama period and nobody expected Hillary Clinton to reverse the trend of worsening relationships in case of her election. Let alone, the relationship between Clinton’s team and Gulen organization, which is used in covert operations not only in Turkey but also in many countries, was strong. All the same, developments in USA to relieve Erdogan does not seem possible in short range. Above all, it is unthinkable for the new USA administration to let go of NATO or to be a mere spectator of the axial dislocation which will strengthen Russia’s hand. In this sense, Erdogan will not be a dependable actor from the point of NATO. Additionally, presidential election did not annihilate uncertainty in USA, on the contrary, it sharpened a struggle within USA which has international dimensions as well. The harsh fight between Trump who in order to overcome the worsening problems of USA capitalism took the support of monopolies feeling discomfort with those problems even more and the capitalist groups which uses the military hegemony of USA for enormous profits depending on an irrational economic model and their extensions among civil-military bureaucracy may reverberate over Turkey in forms that are never predicted by Erdogan. Lastly, the close relations of Fethullah supporters to some critical names from Trump’s team is disappointing in the sense of a mentality searching for a “FETO” (Fethullah Organization) scorpion under every stone.
10. This harsh struggle in USA cannot be thought independently from the internal contradictions in the imperialist system and the ongoing hegemonic crisis. The instability in the USA economy has intensified the movements inevitably enforced by the uneven development law within the hierarchy which this country institutionalized in capitalist world after World War II. This is one of the factors that extend Erdogan’s political life. The USA has difficulty in maintaining its hegemony but neither the European Union centered in Germany nor Russia is in position to solve this hegemony problem yet. It is quite suspicious even for the People’s Republic of China which is evaluated as closest to challenge the USA hegemony to carry such a claim right now. This situation results in changes one after another within the current alliance systems. Right now, on the one hand, the way Erdogan pursuits while seeking for an individual outlet coincides in some aspects with Turkey’s bourgeoisie chasing for new possibilities in an environment of ongoing sharing fight, on the other hand, the bourgeois class feels the need to put on the brakes in some examples worrying about the incalculable moves of this unlicensed team of Erdogan.
11. It should be known that there are restrictions to the help presented by Russian Federation to Erdogan in such an atmosphere. It is not easy for Turkish capitalism to disengage from NATO alliance economically or politically and settle into Eurasia axis.
- The contradictions among the countries that are said to create the Eurasia axis are not less in density than the contradictions within the NATO alliance. It is obvious that collaboration between Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China is not dependent on friendship and trust. It is observed that Trump is going to develop a strategy to destroy this collaboration. Iran’s relationships to Russian Federation as an important country for Turkey is also becoming more and more problematic. When it comes to BRICS (Brasil, Russia, India, People’s Republic of China, and South African Republic) presented as the global reflection of Eurasia mechanics, it has turned into a phenomenon whose reality is questioned with the last developments in Brazil.
- There are restrictions to what can economically be presented by Russian Federation to Turkish capitalism. What is at issue here is not a country that is at the starting point of its capitalist development. We have to speak about an advanced capitalist class and a economic substructure in Turkey. Only one part of the external source dimension of needs that result from current structure of the economy can be met by the economy of Russian Federation which cannot get rid of imbalances.
- The relationship of Turkish bourgeoisie to the NATO countries like Germany, the USA, France, Britain has passed beyond being economic, political or cultural and reached the kinship level by means of “planned” marriages all through generations. It is hard for Erdogan’s desire to save from enclosure and intervention addressed to him and new possibilities whetting the appetite of Turkish bourgeoisie to sever those strong connections.
- The pan-Islamism, which Erdogan do not and cannot give up, does not overlap with Russia’s own understanding of security. What can be caused by an ideologic center of attraction that can have effects on millions of Muslims living in Russian Federation and its neighbouring countries is apparent. Nobody should expect Moscow to open endless credit to a religious government in Turkey after the things experienced in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Syria.
12. The Arab Spring, which we can define as paving the way for an organization that have always had organic relations to Islamic movements in Turkey in one dimension like Muslim Brothers and including it to the USA’s alliance had an absolute rapport with political-ideological climate created via AKP in Turkey. Before movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, AKP policy which was defined by Communist Party of Turkey as neo-ottomanism faces a serious deadlock at this point today. Neo-ottomanism, which is clearly seen as being doomed to failure with the Syrian people’s resistance against external intervention and religious terror, completely collapsed when AKP had to turn adrift Islamic organizations which gave itself the chance to snuggle to Syria and Iraq in some aspects. In Turkey, which turned to the rhetoric of “security” and struggle with PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) while explaining its existence in the two mentioned countries, regional claims that had been made perseveringly up until last year was took off the agenda personally by Erdogan. Turkish bourgeoisie and its power which it has encouraged for regional expansionism and finding new markets call for concentration on economic possibilities which will come in sight after the decrease in the intensity of war in highly devastated region and warns about not losing everything while pushing for unrealistic aims.
13. Kurdish politics, which is once more sent into “enemy” definition after degrading to a “security” problem today, had tried to open space for itself within the neo-ottoman perspective for a long time. The essence of the matter, AKP was also asserting at each moment when “resolution process” came up the fore that the resolution could shape in flesh and bones if and only if an Islamic regional arrangement was made. In this way, there was a mutual struggle for the Kurdish movement to settle onto Americanist, pro-market and religious policies which are the trivets of AKP politics. But for these efforts to have a result depended on the neo-ottoman philosophy to proceed on every platform. After Erdogan’s failure in Syria and his cuddling of the nationalist discourse which he always kept alive to balance inappreciativeness reflected on the streets collectively, PKK has once again converted into a “terror organization” from a “resolution partner” for AKP.
14. Kurdish politics today gets involved in USA’s operations in the region and in Turkey in dirty and bloody ways in order not to lose the opportunities it gained in relations to this country, on the other hand, it follows a multi-faceted strategy to not to be in the “losing” side in continuously changing equilibrium in Iraq and Syria. It is explicit that the “left” which asserts that the Kurdish politics joining and burying equality and freedom requests of Kurdish people to international capital and strategic calculations of imperialist centers is a ally of Turkey’s proletariat movement is a part of the same joining. Kurdish national movement is not a component of Turkey’s revolution not only because it stands behind the terrorist actions, but also because it settles onto a pro-market, reactionary and pro-American line, in contradiction to its own poor peasantry and working class base.
15. For this reason, it is not true in any sense that Erdogan, losing some of his old allies in the competition and conflict environment in the imperialist world and getting alone, is a defender of “national interests”. After all, there is no such a thing of “national interest” involving the whole society, in this sense the concept of “national interest” is a trick. It claims that the exploiter and the exploited are on the same ship. In other respects, it is apparent that the capitalist system justifies inequalities, unfairness, injustices in the international level, as it is built on inequalities. No capitalist country is innocent in a world of wolves, everyone gets into a share fight in proportion to its power and there is no such thing as fair position in this fight.
16. On the other hand, for many years, Turkish bourgeoisie willingly entered alliances and institutions that are under control of strong imperialist countries both to integrate to the world’s capitalist system and to overcome the its weakness in the class fight it conducted against the people in the region, particularly against Turkish working people. There are obvious class interests behind this preference which increases the weight of imperialist countries on Turkey’s economic, politic, ideologic dynamics. Those interests turned Turkey into an arena of CIA operations, it made Turkey’s economy embrittle, destroyed the industry and agriculture, opened ways to periodical coups, provided Turkish Armed Forces to play a role in armed conflicts outside the country. While all those happen, who suffers is the working people, who wins is the common interest of domestic-foreign monopolies.
17. Today it may be asserted that the assaults on the existence of Turkey has been intensified, that Republic of Turkey is at hazard, and that Erdogan is intended to be overthrown because he has become a barrier for imperialist countries. These assertions, which are made by Erdogan’s supporters and Erdogan, who pledged loyalty to the USA and European Union ruling classes in order to ingratiate himself with them for years and who overtly rejects the founding philosophy of Turkish Republic, are exact opposite of the truth because;
- Republic of Turkey, which was founded in 1923, has been liquidated by the bourgeoisie in Turkey, which is the hegemonic class of Turkey, since this republic no longer was sufficient to serve for its interests anymore. This liquidation was actualized by AKP and with the encouragement of the USA and the EU. The abolishment of secularism, the destruction of public sector and public culture, and the participation in the military actions for the change of the borders in the region and the split of the countries are the policies which started prior to AKP government and which have continuity. The bourgeois Turkish Republic, which was born in a revolutionary atmosphere characterised by the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917, has been cleansed by all of its components which constitute an impediment for the capitalist class. Who has been attacked in reality is the working class in Turkey. What has been attacked is the values which can be adopted by working class in Turkey, which belong to it.
- It is true that today Erdoğan and AKP government are placed in target board by some imperialist countries. They are targeted not because they represent the interests of peoples but because they are no more to the benefits of their heretofore allies in the imperialist world of which internal conflicts are getting deepened. What Erdogan advocates is his own interests and he is trying to be backed by the interests of Turkish bourgeoisie in its share-based struggle. There is no connection between these interests and working class in Turkey; on the contrary, Erdogan and those around him are assaulting to the working people every day and every hour. These assaults are in harmony with the attacks by international monopolies.
- The partition or fragmentation of Turkey, or its being dragged into a civil war are the possibilities which have emerged as a result of the international dynamics of capitalism. It is insane to think that these threats can be eliminated within the limits of capitalism. Capitalism in the phase of imperialism cannot exist without share-based struggle and the wars, occupations, and coups which set a ground for share holding. Turkey, which is always one of the major actors of internal struggles within the imperialist system, cannot secure itself totally without breaking its bonds with imperialist system. It should not be forgotten that in the past Turkey secured itself thanks to the status quo resulting from the existence of the Soviet Union which was a class enemy of the bourgeoisie in Turkey.
- The argument that the assaulting to Erdogan mean automatically attacking Turkey are based on the fallacy that everyone living in Turkey have common benefits which Erdogan concretized and the fallacy that a peaceful foreign politics is possible under the conditions of capitalism. However, we know that the conflict of interests between Erdogan and the people has totally different foundations comparing to the conflict of interest between Erdogan and some imperialist countries or the capital in Turkey. TKP, as the party of working class in Turkey, never comes side by side or never has any temporary or permanent strategical cooperation with Erdogan, any imperialist country, any capital group or any bourgeois party.
18. The violent operation against Erdogan by Fethullah Gülen movement which was created by the USA in the course of fight with communism started a harsh operation against their old ally or the campaign against Erdogan carried out by some imperialist centers can not change our stance against the ruling class and the government in Turkey. Yet, this situation makes us face to face with the mission of intensifying the struggle against the rule of capital, imperialist countries and institutions which made Turkey such vulnerable and open to foreign interventions and struggle against their activities in our country.
19. The problem of Erdogan is not the unique or major problem. Communist Party of Turkey rejects all class compromised strategies cooperating with Erdogan for the entity and “independence” of Turkey and with everyone (and of course imperialist centers) against Erdogan for freedoms and democracy. Turkey is being dragged into darkness in the hands of capitalists and their political cadres. Any strategy being produced on this stream is a betrayal to working people. In this context;
20. Communist Party of Turkey will stay away from any position and attitude which curtain the irreconcilable conflicts between the capitalists and working class and unconditionally rejects any camp around Erdogan. Concepts such as independence, national sovereignty, freedom, and democracy do not have general and abstract meanings which are separate from class perspective. The struggle against imperialism, reactionary forces, tyranny, and fascism and the struggle against exploitation, inequalities, and social injustice cannot separated from one another. When these struggles are separated or divided into steps, working class gets weakened and therefore plays into the hands of capitalists, imperialism and international reaction.
21. Communist Party of Turkey believes that the struggle against current political power is an irrecusable and top-priority mission. This struggle undoubtedly includes the struggle against Erdogan’s ambition and claim of being the executive president. However, “Executive Presidency” cannot be handled as a the-end-of-the-world type matter. In this reductionist approach, who will lose will be the people at all events.
22. The struggle against the political power requires the raise of the struggle against the US imperialism, NATO, and European Union. TKP, will continue to be meticulous and vigilant so as to get rid of the damper as a “cooperator” on progressive traditions in Turkey. This meticulousness and vigilance also includes the struggle against any group and platform that consider “liberal-looking” components of the capital as a “friend”. Furthermore, TKP will reveal and object to any steps that will be taken by foreign powers for the reconstruction of the area of politics in Turkey and will not allow the fake heroes of democracy to deceive the people.
23. The enlightenment struggle against Islamic fundamentalism becomes more important under these circumstances in order to increase the influence of the working class and orient it to the goal of socialism. The relation between the assaults of the capital against labour and governing the society and the state under the religious acts and escalating the influence of religion on certain areas like education, culture and law is becoming more evident day by day. The laicism of the bourgeoisie is not persuasive anymore; furthermore, alleging that political Islam provided a recipe for emancipation for the oppressed has heavily lost legitimacy after years of incautious and vulgar pro-market policies of AKP. The struggle of enlightenment is putting down its roots more onto the class struggle day by day. The Enlightenment Movement (a movement that was founded by a call from TKP in 2016) is gaining more importance and presenting unique opportunities for the above-mentioned struggle.
24. Struggle against Erdogan’s move for executive presidency is doomed to fail if it is confined to a parliamentary basis within the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Today the Assembly is not an institution which balances or inspects the political power but a dazzler which legitimizes its violator actions. A deliberate endeavour has been initiated so as to make the society rely on pro-establishment institutions, mechanisms and actors since the popular uprising in 2013, thus the people has lost its self-confidence yet again. The people should be organized in every street, neighbourhood, and work place, this attack should be wholly evaluated as a part of a frame on what has happened in Turkey, and independent movement and resistance of the working class should be escalated. On condition that a referendum for constitutional amendments is organized, it should be tried hard to increase the number of “NO” votes and organise so as to prevent electoral fraud. It is meaningless to boycott the referendum on executive presidency on the agenda.
25. But TKP shall not waste time squeezing itself in the debate around the Presidential system. Every ‘agenda’ separated from its general context and class essence is increasing the losses of the working class in Turkey. The Party has the ability to act in accordance with its historical responsibilities without avoiding the current tasks and in no condition whatsoever shall make these two confront one another.
26. The liberal attack against TKP, which came to a head in 2014 and created a deep crisis in the party, has been defeated. The liberal operation extending with open and disguised interventions, intensifying and reshaping since 2012, in order to break the patriotic, enlightened and revolutionary position of the left, together with the June Movement, has taken advantage of the organizational weaknesses of our party and it was not possible to prevent the group which had become part of this operation, from dragging the party into this crisis. The dedicated militants of the Party showed no succumb to this operation, the attempt to liquidate the party was hindered, and today the liberal attack against our party eventually has been defeated.
27. The legacy of TKP is primarily the political line of TKP. TKP, in the last fifteen years of complex developments in the country, the region and the world, has taken position in accordance with its programme and the historical interests of the class that is representing and has intervened with the appropriate means to the agenda. The liberal operation desiring to show TKP as a story of failure, aimed to purge the existence and the effect of TKP in the political arena of Turkey was not successful.
28. The political line of TKP cannot continue its existence without an advanced political culture. The communists cannot legitimize each and every method and instrument in the revolutionary struggle. Lying, exaggerating, gossiping, vulgarity, hypocrisy, spinelessness are features of the bourgeoisie which is appealing to the rottenness. The Party is leading the working class to the politics with an urban, modern and collective identity and is representing the good, the beautiful and the true virtues. The task of TKP is ensuring the internalizing of the communist politics’ culture to the socialist struggle and to the Party living as a whole.
29. TKP has risen on a rich and authentic organizational tradition. We have experienced more than once with heavy costs the results of a deficiency and diverge in this tradition. The optimistic idea that the party politics is pulling forward the organization in every condition is openly falsified. The fact that assigning the organizational problems to the political breakthroughs is not possible, has been recorded in the party congress and conferences made after 2014. In the coming period new steps shall be added to configure the internal party life into a revolutionary perspective. The Party as an instrument of socialist struggle will be enriched with strong and trustworthy leadership; with alerted and qualified cadres; with advanced and ensured continuity of the organizational structure from its members to its friends; with maturity and the channels to struggle in every condition.
30. TKP, is the party of the working class. The thesis that a communist party is the composition of the social dynamics was the suggestion that revealed the most the liberal operation made against the party in the past. TKP, is not the composition of the social dynamics. The vanguard party intervenes in the social dynamics, in the name of the historical interests of the working class. The essential precondition of shaping this intervention in flesh and bones is the organizational work done in the workplaces. TKP, when taking into account primarily the workplace units in the organizational and political agenda, at the same time is attacking against the middle class ideology that is harming the enlightened and patriotic elements in the society and is going out of the balances of the existing system that are seizing the so called “left”.
31. The structural problems of the capitalism in Turkey together with the manipulative economic experiments accompanying the engineering political attempts of the imperialist centres cannot be separated anyhow from one another. From the view of TKP the task shall not change: We shall oppose in every condition billing the working people. In the final analysis, the AKP government using the opportunities and making regulations in the interest of the capital owners after the military coup attempt in 15th July, and the external forces that played with the Turkish economy and impoverished the people even more, are in the same rank. TKP shall spoil the game of “nationalism” of the bourgeoisie in Turkey or its real political cadres and shall rise up the working class.
32. Turkey is squeezed among the dictator that is seeking his own salvation, the greedy bourgeoisie that is trying by every means to protect its class interests with or without the dictator and the imperialist forces that are in a tough battle with one another. There is no emancipation recipe that accepts this squeeze. The abandonment of Erdogan by some sectors of the bourgeoisie, being thrown aside by this or that imperialist country can be the expectation of a desperate citizen but cannot be the ground of a strategy shaped by the communists. The “left” forces of Turkey do not have the courage to break with the ones that appeal to the USA or the EU, the ones that accept an open or veiled cooperation with the religious sects, the ones that are waiting for the day that the bourgeoisie in Turkey will protect the secularism or democracy, the ones that think that the Russia-China axis will lead to the emancipation of the working class in Turkey. TKP, shall put its signature under this break.
33. The place of the communists is within the ranks of TKP. The picture in Turkey shows that disorganization causes the loss not only of the future but also of the present. The prescription for despair, pessimism and fear is the organized struggle within the ranks of a party. TKP, does not belong to any individual, team, or group. TKP with its programme, political culture and organizational existence is the party of the working class. The country is calling TKP and TKP is calling the communists. The rest is just details; TAKE OVER YOUR DUTY!
Central Committee of Communist Party of Turkey (TKP)