Between 1917-1924, not only in Anatolia, but also in many parts of the world, revolutions shook the old empires and brought them down, struggles for independence against the imperialist invaders intensified, the working class either overthrew the capitalists or was on the brink of overthrowing them.
1923 was one of the important leaps of this period, when the wheels of history turned forward in this region.
The Republic of Turkey was founded.
A hundred years have passed since then.
Today, Turkey is under the occupation of a small minority that is as unscrupulous, unintelligent, barbaric, selfish, completely alien to the people and our country as much as it is exploitative. This small minority does not care about the poverty, hunger, and the suffering of millions of people. They are not interested in any of that because they are getting rich thanks to the poor millions, adding profit to their profit.
We are talking about the capitalist class, in other words, the bosses.
The capitalist class has no country, no homeland. Wherever there is profit, wherever there is natural wealth to be plundered, wherever there is value to be plundered, wherever there is cheap labor, wherever there is a market for the sale of goods and services, there is capital.
It has become almost impossible to distinguish between domestic and foreign bosses who exploit the working people in Turkey. This parasitic class, which is intertwined and enters into complex relations with each other, is like the plague for our country.
The most important feature of the capitalist class is that it has an insatiable appetite and greed for profit. The drive for constant growth, expansion and spreading is the most important characteristic of the capitalist class. This class, which approaches everything that comes its way with a movie for profit motive, is a destructive and corrosive force for humanity.
This class, which destroys nature, history, culture and art, has the potential to destroy all of humanity as well. The main cause of wars is international polarization, which is the product of the rivalry between the exploiting classes. Concepts such as national interest or national security are used hypocritically to hide the interests of the exploiting classes and the bloody rivalry between them.
We repeat, the capitalist class has no country, no homeland; what they mean by the security of the country is the security of their own coffers.
This capitalist class, together with all its elements, has destroyed Turkey. Names such as “the Gang of five”, “the green capital”, “Anatolian capital”, “TÜSİAD capital” are used as a means of laundering of one or another capital segment in relation to this collective crime.
The interests of domestic and foreign capital lie behind all events and phenomena that can be described as a “tragedy” in the history of the Republic of Turkey and that harmed large segments of society.
The Turkish bourgeoisie, which was economically weak but dominated the country politically, immediately began to chip away at the independence and the Republic that was established after the National Struggle. It is the same thief-exploiting class that grew fatter and stronger as the people became poorer. Afterwards, it is the same capitalist class that aligned our country to follow the dictates of the USA, and by making it a member of NATO, it not only destroyed its sovereignty but also its security, and sent our soldiers to their deaths for imperialist interests in Korea.
All governments and military juntas, from the CHP to the Democrat Party, have served the capital class. Unfortunately, not the will of the people, but the preferences of the capitalist class were behind the change of any government when they became useless to the bosses for one reason or the other. NATO as well as the large capital of Turkey, primarily TÜSİAD, were behind the September 12, 1980 coup. Politicians such as Süleyman Demirel, Turgut Özal, and Tansu Çiller not only got along well with the imperialist centers, but also implemented policies favoring the rich and the bosses. What kept them in the administration of this country was not the will of the people, as claimed, but the power of the bosses.
The same is true for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and AKP.
Before coming to power in 2002, the AKP had the support of imperialist centers both in the US and Europe, and the bosses in Turkey.
This support was given to AKP for the removal of all roadblocks, legal regulations and corporate control channels that were in place to restrict the movement of international companies and the capital class in general in Turkey.
This support was given to ensure the transfer of state-owned factories and enterprises, the country’s underground and above-ground wealth, mines, streams, coasts to the private sector for free or almost free.
This support was given for the transition to a more expansionist foreign policy in order to satisfy the growing ambitions of large Turkish capital groups that are better aligned with the regional projects of imperialism.
This support was given for the complete liquidation of the already devalued secularism and to force the working class of Turkey (which had mobilized for its own interests in the past) into a reactionary camp, to keep our youth away from progressive and scientific thinking, and to destroy the public culture.
This support was given in order for a neo-Ottoman reaction to dominate against the progressive ideas and values of the Republic etched in our people’s collective memory, and against the legacy of patriotism and enlightenment.
The AKP government has fulfilled to the letter the task assigned to it.
However, they could not completely defeat the pro-Republic resistance in Turkish society. While the government won the power struggle within the state, it could not declare its victory in the social arena. The June/Gezi Resistance was the clearest evidence of this.
The failure of Erdogan and AKP to pacify and suppress the discontent that has arisen in society has triggered the imperialist countries and the capitalist class to take action. The imperialist circles, who thought that the discontent was due to some of the government’s choices in domestic and foreign policy, made various attempts to bring the AKP in line or prepare alternatives to replace AKP.
The operations carried out by the Gülen Movement, which had unlimited freedom as part of the AKP government for years, and the July 15 coup attempt are the products of these attempts. Today’s opposition to the order, in which there are many overt and covert political parties or movements, has emerged with the same mission.
Thus, a status emerged in which domestic and foreign capital ensured its own future in Turkey. Faced for the first time during his 20-year rule with a strong opposition that has the potential to win elections, Erdogan, although he is a strong bargainer, knows that he has to give assurances to the bourgeoisie of western countries and Turkey to stay in power. To the opposition, on the other hand, it has been clear from the very beginning that the key to their success lies in winning over the US and EU administration and the Turkish bourgeoisie, especially TÜSİAD.
In summary, the People’s and Nation Alliances, which are presented as alternatives to one another in Turkish politics today, depend on the same forces.
To state this does not mean that these two alliances are no different from each other. What is being stated is the following: These two alliances, which seem to be in opposition to each other, cannot solve any of Turkey’s dire problems. Because the interests of capital and imperialist centers are in the genes of both alliances.
The distinctions between the People’s Alliance and the Nation Alliance are such that they will distract our people and waste their time.
This fact emerges immediately when we look at the background of the Presidential system, which is seen as the most important distinction between these two alliances today. The weakening of the Parliament and the strengthening of the executive power against the Parliament, that is, the legislative power, are not the product of Erdogan’s longing for a one-man rule. The transition to the Presidential system has been enabled by bosses who were not happy about the slow functioning of the system, judicial review, bureaucracy and demanding strong governments for years. The ideological-political preferences of the AKP, which yearns for the Ottoman Empire and the sultanate, have been facilitated by this demand.
The Parliamentary System, which those who do not question the dictatorship of capital and imperialist domination claim they will transition back to, will again be shaped in line with the interests of the capitalist class, and there will be no significant difference in terms of democracy and freedoms.
The best proof that the government and the opposition serve the same forces, not the people, is their attitude towards the economic crisis that has condemned our people to unprecedented levels of poverty.
It is obvious that the economic crisis, which makes itself felt especially with the high inflation rate, has international dimensions. It is unthinkable that the new problems and imbalances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine will not affect Turkey. However, none of the establishment parties, from government to opposition, speaks out about the fact that today’s imperialist-capitalist system has utterly failed all over the world.
Even in the most developed countries, large masses of people are impoverished while monopoly capital continues to rake in profits. Moreover, in developed capitalist countries, the capitalist class exploits not only the workers in their own countries, but also the peoples of the less developed countries of the world, especially in Africa and Asia, and transfers resources, including young educated labor force, from many regions. Despite this fact, all parties from the AKP to the CHP, from the MHP to the İYİP maintain the rhetoric that “we will lift our country to the level of developed countries”.
However, the USA, which cannot provide a solution to the millions of homeless, the UK, where tens of thousands of citizens have to feed themselves off the garbage, and the “civilized” Europe, which imprisons migrant workers in facilities surrounded by barbed wire and work them for 12-13 hours a day, have nothing to offer humanity. The only reason these countries have relatively better living conditions is that they plunder the rest of the world.
The imperialist world is in a moribund state and threatening all of humanity. However, in the final analysis, the source of Turkey’s problems lies in Turkey. How domestic and foreign monopolies can continue making high profits while the majority of the people are getting poorer in today’s economic crisis is a question that only us, communists, can raise. The establishment parties will not raise this question as they create the impression that inflation affects everyone, all social classes in the same way.
In reality, inflation is a resource transfer mechanism from the working people to the capital class. Those who suffer from this process are the working class, small shopkeepers, poor peasants, the retired and the unemployed, who are becoming more and more vulnerable. It is also true that some companies go bankrupt as a result of this process. In fact, this is a process of monopolization and is one of the most important and unavoidable features of today’s capitalist order. But there is no need to shed tears for the big companies that “failed”, their owners continue their business in other areas and move on, while they leave the burden of their bankruptcy on the backs of the workers.
This is the truth that the government and opposition can not speak about. Bosses and workers are not in the same boat. Times of crisis turn into an opportunity for the capitalist class and a nightmare for the majority of the people.
This order cannot be rehabilitated or improved.
This order, which condemns billions of people in the world to poverty, hunger and ignorance, which drags Turkey into the darkness of the Middle Ages, and causes problems from all sides, must be destroyed.
We do not owe anything to the owners of this order and its politicians. On the contrary, there is a country that we will take back from them for the labor they stole, the values they plundered, the culture they destroyed, the women they killed, the children they abused.
We will liberate the country from this parasitic, exploiting class and its ignorant, selfish, arrogant and brazen representatives.
We will bring Turkey back up on its feet. We are ready for this task.
When we say “2023 once again”, we do not mean to go back to the past, we are emphasizing that this country needs a new revolutionary leap, this time led by the working class. We trust this land, our working people, our patriotic intellectuals, the revolutionary experience of the country and our party TKP.
No problem can be solved in today’s social order, where the economy and all the riches of the country are seized by a handful of capitalists. From the housing problem to the increase in food prices, from electricity and natural gas bills to the transportation problem, from the collapse in the education and health system to the justice system becoming a source of injustice on its own, from discrimination and violence against women to crimes against children, from the fragility and dependency of the country’s economy to the foreign policies that threaten the security of our people. No problem can be truly resolved until the order that is the source of that problem is changed. The Communist Party of Turkey emphasizes this truth in the first place and issues a challenge to all parties that lie to the public and claim that they will solve the cost of living, unemployment, ignorance and injustice without changing this order. This order will be destroyed and a welfare society will be established in which everyone will live in equality and freedom.
Turkey, with its large lands suitable for agriculture and housing, its long sea coast, its young and educated population, its significant history and experience in the fields of science, culture and art despite all the destructive and corrosive efforts of the governments, its economic potential that can be revived in a short time with planned and socialist policies, can easily become a truly self-sufficient, independent and sovereign country.
A planned and socialist economy will soon eliminate foreign dependency on energy, which is one of the most important problems of our country, and an energy policy that protects the people, the country and the environment will be replaced by the profit-driven plunder by the domestic and foreign monopolies. This way, heating and electricity, which are the most basic needs of the society, will also be free of charge for the public.
Turkey has the resources to provide not only electricity and heating, but also a humanely livable housing, which is one of the most basic needs of the people, and to provide education and health services free of charge. If these resources are currently usurped by the capitalists, our duty is to ensure that Turkey’s economic wealth is given back to the working people who created it.
We will stop the invasion of international monopolies in agriculture and end the dominance of large food companies. We will eliminate all external dependence on seeds, fertilizers, medicine and agricultural machinery. With the cooperative movement that protects the social interests and the farmers, we will move on to a planned agricultural economy, and make the country completely self-sufficient in terms of food.
When the capitalist order, which always needs a sector of the population to stay unemployed, is destroyed and a planned socialist economy is constructed in its place, full employment will be achieved in Turkey and unemployment will be eliminated.
In Turkey, the communists have the necessary formation and experience to rule with the people and for the people and to put the country back on its feet. The greatest assurance of the working people is their own organization. As this organization develops and strengthens, there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome in Turkey. The TKP will return to its values the leftist accumulation that has been lost in the dark depths of the politics of today’s order due to despair or frustration for many years. Experts in our Party, labor leaders, patriotic scientists, intellectuals ponder about how to solve the main issues of Turkey, drawing lessons from the experiments of socialism of the past and present and preparing for the power of the working people.
Those who claim that Turkey will sink if it is not integrated into the imperialist world are exploiters, collaborators and mandateists. Our country will be an independent and sovereign country that is self-sufficient but not isolated from the world. It is the imperialist world itself that will sink.
Exploiters, collaborators and mandateists are the ones who claim that Turkey will collapse if it does not integrate into the imperialist world. Our country will be an independent and sovereign country that is self-sufficient but not isolated from the world. It is the imperialist world itself that will collapse. Under the rule of workers, laborers, farmers, honorable people who do not acquire wealth at the expense of others, where international monopolies have been expelled, Turkey will become a country that humanity looks up to and takes as an example.will be left alone in power, humanity will envy and take an example.
According to some who argue that membership in the NATO alliance provides Turkey with security, NATO is an international organization that guarantees democracy and freedoms. This is a big lie. NATO is the offensive tool of imperialism, a huge terrorist organization. NATO, which plans murders, massacres, military coups and invasions, is a threat to Turkey as well as to all humanity. Some of those who argue that Turkey should not leave NATO know what NATO is, but put forward the thesis that if Turkey were to withdraw its membership, NATO would attack us immediately.
When Turkey leaves NATO, when all foreign bases on our soil are closed, when all foreign soldiers are sent home, and the domination of international monopolies in this country is terminated, Turkey will be liberated from occupation. The organized power of the people and the implementation of defense policies based on the interests of the people will be Turkey’s greatest guarantee. After being completely nationalized, the weapons industry will serve to protect the socialist order in line with national and social interests, and our country will gain the ability to defeat all overt or covert attacks.
Just as NATO poses a threat to Turkey’s security, the European Union is also a great threat, both economically and politically. The European Union, which is the weapon of the powerful imperialist countries of Europe, especially Germany, caused both the impoverishment of the peoples of the member countries and the further restriction of freedoms, and the candidate member states such as Turkey had to implement destructive policies under the name of the transition process.
While declaring that Turkey will leave NATO, that we will withdraw from all international agreements including ones with EU and institutions that are against the independence and sovereignty of the country and the interests of our people, TKP also clearly states that Turkey’s military presence in foreign countries will also be terminated in accordance with the principle of non-interference in the territorial integrity, sovereignty and internal affairs of other countries.
Those who have for years been rationalizing Turkey’s cross-border military presence with the security as the pretext talk about “national security” just like the imperialist states that have invaded other countries. Turkey’s security cannot be determined by the interests of domestic and foreign companies operating in construction, food, weapons, automotive and other sectors. Turkey’s security is the security of our people. Those who disregard the sovereignty of other countries also disregard the sovereignty of their own country. Those who have sold this country to the imperialists, especially the USA, for years are the same ones who pretend to care for our homeland.
To ensure the security and territorial integrity of Turkey, what is needed is an order founded on equality, an order based on the participation of the people, an order in which people have confidence and one in which no one exploits anyone, no nation or ethnic group is considered superior to another, where people can receive education in their mother tongue. The aim of the communists is to establish an industrialized and prosperous Turkey in unity and solidarity, in total contrast to those who stand for inequality and injustice, undermine fraternal relations between our people and therefore sow the seeds of disintegration and division.
Socialist Turkey will be a secular country. People’s freedom of belief, worship and disbelief will be considered as a fundamental right. Religion in politics and state affairs will also be absolutely prevented, and all public spaces, especially education and law, will be purged of religious references. Secularism, which has been destroyed by not only the AKP but almost all parties in Turkey today, will be one of the leading values of the new republic that will rise on a social order based on equality. Without secularism, it is not possible to establish an advanced democracy and a socialist country.
We are determined. We will establish a secular, egalitarian, independent, sovereign and prosperous country.
2023 is the centennial of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. In the foundation of this republic, there is also the effort, struggle and blood of the communists. The world’s first socialist state, the Soviet Union, lent economic, military and political support for the establishment of this republic. A century ago, a great epic was written in this region against imperialism and the Palace.
The bourgeoisie and Turkish reactionary elements trampled on that epic, and the imperialists invaded all over the country thanks to the capitalist class and its politicians who, as the loyal servants of imperialists, opened the doors to them that had been closed by the Anatolian peasant. We have not been able to talk about a secular, independent country for a long time. A social system that considers the people as a subject of exploitation, that sees the Kurdish people as its enemy, could not be expected to maintain values such as the Republic, secularism, enlightenment, and independence.
Now we will do it again. A hundred years ago, the industry of this country was almost non-existent, the working class was not developed, the necessary conditions for the socialist revolution and socialist establishment in the country were not fully ripe, and the material foundations were not strong enough. Today, we have all the resources to establish a Socialist Republic in Turkey and to sustain it, as long as we believe that this is possible.
TKP believes in this. We are reviewing our organizational structure and working style once again with this conference and completely restructuring it in line with this goal. We continue our journey with the determination to enter every workplace, every neighborhood of the country, to win every revolutionary and patriot who says “I believe in the Socialist Republic” to our ranks, and to make every member and volunteer feel energized and the will to establish a liveable country. The slogan “2023, once again” is the slogan of this belief and determination.
A planned, socialist economy!
A developed democracy where the people are organized at every level, where there is no power over the legislature, where the workers participate in the administration starting from their workplaces, where secularism is fully upheld!
An independent and sovereign country!
This is what we believe in. “2023 Again” is a loud and clear call for the opening of a period in which this belief turns into a hope, a mobilization, a rebellion, and the people who refuse to bow to the exploiters will indeed subdue the exploiters, imperialists and reactionaries.