'The wheel and hammer of TKP to fly all around Turkey'

Interview with Kemal Okuyan on 13th Congress of TKP
'The wheel and hammer of TKP to fly all around Turkey'

soL news interviewed Kemal Okuyan, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey, just after the 13th Congress of TKP convened under the slogan, “Revolutionary Party, Party for Revolution, on her 100th Anniversary”

The 13th Ordinary Congress of TKP was held on August 9 in Turkey’s western city of İzmir as the Party celebrates her 100th anniversary this year. Okuyan answered the questions of soL news after the congress. 

In answer to a question about the two significant congress decisions regarding the foundation of the “Unity Trade Union” and the “Solidarity Assembly”, Okuyan shared his opinions. 


Talking about the TKP-led workers’ solidarity network PE ("We Breathe Down the Bosses' Neck"), Okuyan said that this network had played a very specific role including some trade union tasks around Turkey. “Now, we are putting this experience into the practice of trade union,” Okuyan said about the “Unity”, the new  trade union that will be established under the initiative of TKP. 

Okuyan noted that the PE network will not be shut down; contrarily, the workers’ solidarity network will continue to operate in coordination with the new trade union “Unity” in order to strengthen the tools of the working class in its fight against capital. 

“This trade union will not be established as an alternative to the existing unions in Turkey. ‘Unity’ will literally be based on the unity of the working class, it will have a different structure unlike the traditional union patterns”, Okuyan said, adding that the mission of “Unity” is to re-establish the collective identity of the working class in the country. 

soL news asked Okuyan whether TKP is establishing “a Party-led trade union”. He said that most of the unions in Turkey are largely under the control of the bourgeois political parties, adding that TKP, as a working class party, will do its part in order to meet the needs of the workers in their struggle. 

“However, ‘Unity’ will not belong to TKP, which is impossible. It will stand on its own dynamics as a developing experience. TKP only helps its birth,” Okuyan said about the relations of the Party and the new union. 


In answer to a question on another congress decision regarding the foundation of the “Solidarity Assembly, Okuyan said that this assembly is aiming at the collective action of Turkey’s patriotic, pro-enlightenment and socialist accumulation. According to Okuyan, the Assembly will be the voice of secularist, pro-Republican and socialist values in Turkey. 

“An assembly that has a voice about Turkey’s all issues, actual or historical, that immediately responds to the moves of the political rule,” Okuyan said, adding that the Solidarity Assembly will also create a collectivist and participative culture in a principled way. 


Okuyan also talked about the challenging conditions of convening a congress amidst the coronavirus pandemic. A limited number of delegations attended the 13th Congress of TKP in Turkey’s western city of İzmir due to the pandemic. Still, the congress process was completed successfully.  

As Okuyan pointed out, the 13th Congress of TKP coincides with the 100th anniversary of TKP's foundation in Baku in 1920, a year after the foundation of the Communist International and just following the Baku Congress of the Peoples of the East.

Okuyan said that the TKP had planned to organize a huge event on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Party with the participation of tens of thousands of people, including international participants. However, the pandemic did not allow such large events. 

Okuyan said that TKP will hold some events and meetings in Turkey’s three biggest cities (İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir) for the 100th anniversary of the Party. 

“Now TKP is growing and having new volunteers with the energy of her 100th anniversary. Soon we will see the Party flag wave all around Turkey,” Okuyan concluded.