TKP İzmir branch discussed the "No" option at the referandum

TKP İzmir branch discussed the "No" option at the referandum

People of Izmir, coming together in the ‘Not Enough, but No!’ meeting organised by İzmir branch of the TKP, discussed that just saying “no” would not be enough but that the “no” option would require a determination of struggle and organisation.

‘Not Enough, but No!’ meeting organised by Izmir Branch of The Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) took place in Tepekule Congress Center.

Ercümet Serpil, who gave the opening speech, said “we can organise such a “no” campaign that they will not dare to ask the question of  ‘how would you take your exploitation?’ again, let alone impose any kind of reactionary policy. They would leave with their entire reactionary, oppressive, anti-human institutions and representatives, never come back again. We will win, “no” will win.”


The first speaker of the meeting, TKP central committee member Erhan Nalçacı expressed that each group who will vote for “no” are preparing to say “no” with different goals:  “some segments of the bourgeoisie, even some international bourgeoisie can take a stance in favour of “no”. For this reason, it is important that working classes’ “no” be different and organised.


Summarising the chronology of the attacks of imperialism, cartels and world capital against the working classes, Nalçacı emphasised that “neoliberal policies spread to the world under the hegemony of American capitalism especially in the recent ten years with the falling rates of profits.” The destruction of legislative, executive, juridical and supervisory mechanisms was attempted in order to increase profit rates. The 24 January decrees, the fascism of September 12, and the ‘15 laws in 15 days’ policy of Kemal Dervis were all serving to this purpose. This program needed an executor. The capitalist class and imperialism needed collaborators. AKP was constructed to serve this need. AKP broke the organisational strength of the working class. A regime change took place. The economic base of this regime change was the transfer of property. Under the AKP rule, highly critical public properties were transferred to the bourgeoisie. The harbours, sugar and iron-steel plants, Tekel, Seka, Tupras, and mines were all transferred to the private capital. And now they have handed over whatever left to an executive board of five people under the name of sovereign wealth fund.


Nalçacı emphasised the need to oppose not only the one-man dictatorship but also the capitalist class’ arbitrariness, lawlessness and hostility against the working class as a whole in the referendum.

“Working classes should absolutely say no in this picture and their no should be different than the capitalist classes’ no. The working classes should form a network for themselves and act as a whole body with a central mind. How does this work in practice? First of all, this means being a member of TKP, leader of the working class. If that doesn’t work, it means to act with TKP, to turn their faces to TKP, to read its publications, to participate in its meetings, and to protect the ballots together in the referendum. Godspeed friends!” Nalçacı said.


TKP central committee member Aydemir Güler expressed that AKP is not a ruling party but a drifting party: “they have been dragged and dragging our country with themselves. AKP and Erdoğan’s road can only go to a more totalitarian regime. The reason why this is so can be found in Erdoğan’s speeches. The reason is not that Erdoğan is obsessed with the one-man regime. He is obsessed but the real reason is that his obsession serves to the needs of the current period and the capitalist class. Turkish capitalist class needs the unification of all power. They were going to find a figure suitable for this need and they could only find Erdoğan. But there is no exit here. This is the dead end of AKP’s road, actually the road of Turkish capitalism dependent on imperialism. The referendum should be a means to end this. “No” should be the result with the largest possible fraction and throw away AKP. Who else is going to be thrown away with AKP is not an issue of voting.”


Aydemir Güler who emphasised that the ‘peaceful’ no campaigns create a serious damage on Turkish progressivism, said the following:

“What are we going to do? Are we going to accept this serious damage? Are we going to say that we want Tayyip Erdoğan to stay as president as long as the number of “no” votes increases? To increase the “no” votes, are we going to say let’s normalise and forget about all the past crimes? There would not be any harm in this, if the ‘peaceful’ “no” campaigns were only increasing the “no” votes without any damage to the progressive forces. But there is serious damage. This is the question: After declaring their vote, yes or no, they are asking the Turkish people whether they would like to have their second republic with Tayyip or with National Consensus. We don’t want any form of the second republic. We want to have a republic better than the older one. We want social security, anti-imperialism, communitarianism and worker rights.  We are sincere in no but we see the next question that comes after. Ignoring this question means to be part of second republicanism and the essence of AKP while trying to repel Tayyip’s constitution.


Is Turkish People’s mind all about a yes or no answer? Don’t we have any right to choose something out of the menu? We think that Turkish progressivism is republican. I know the answer if we ask these questions to the voters of peaceful “no” campaigners. Do you want Tayyip Erdoğan to stay as president after the “no” votes win on the night of April 16th? Do you want a parliament where AKP is the majority and deputies are jailed? I don’t believe “no” voters would say yes to these questions. No voters in Turkey are republican and they have a sense of justice.


Aydemir Güler emphasised that AKP, representing darkness and lies, should go and added “to struggle with other darkness’s and lies that are likely to replace AKP, we have to discuss the content of “no”. The result of the referendum could be yes. There is also a high chance of “no” winning and that is of course what we want. But if that doesn’t happen, Turkish progressivism shouldn’t collapse. As members and friends of TKP, we should feel responsibility for avoiding a collapse in the case of yes winning on the night of April 16th. This means we should start thinking about how to struggle after the referendum. Turkey needs TKP no matter what the result is. Turkey needs a class based campaign and position. If the result is yes and Turkey is exploding, we need TKP to give a direction to the explosion and to stop provocations. If the result is no, we need TKP to stand against normalisation for the second republic. The best is “no” and at that stage when Turkish people say ‘we took a step and now we have to move forward’ there is going to be so much need for TKP…”

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