Contribution of CP, Turkey [En]
No doubt that the social and political circumstances in Turkey and the intervention of communists to those circumstances hold idiosyncrasies. However, Turkey’s recent history bears all the features of the deep crisis of imperialist system and capitalism. For this reason, it would be helpful to mention what goes on in Turkey within this brief speech.
Capitalism in Turkey, especially after the 1990s, has started to transform in accordance with a new capital accumulation model, which we define as “the integration with the imperialist system.” Much the same as in many places over the world, social state policies has been terminated to a great extent and the labor regime was deregulated in a way to oblige workers to high exploitation rates. Large resources were transferred to the capitalist class by means of privatization. The legal barriers limiting the move of the international capital were cleared.
Against the awakening experience of the proletariat before the 1990s, backing reactionary religious ideologies became a favored policy by the capitalist class. Regardless of the lifestyles of capitalist class members, a full-scale attack aiming at the class-consciousness of the proletariat was a general strategy of the capitalist class. Within the last 15 years, secularist features of the regime in Turkey were heavily destroyed.
But these changes regarding the regime should not prompt us to overlook the changes in the structure of Turkey’s capitalist class, caused by the new capital accumulation model.
Turkey’s capitalist class gathered a significant accumulation through the spoils of privatization, and the Turkey-based monopolies started exporting capital to all neighboring regions. The fact that neighboring countries were going through a similar integration process with the imperialist system made Turkey-based monopolies’ work easier. They made important investments within a zone determined by a range of four hours of flight in order to benefit from unprotected labor power and market opportunities.
Those Turkey-based monopolies, which had been protected by custom walls and had been producing commodities or services for the domestic market until 1990s, then started to act based on an expansionist reasoning. For instance, Turkey’s establishing a military base in Somalia, or its attempt to create its own hegemonic domain in Syria, can only be explained with regard to this expansionist ambition.
These changes in Turkish capitalist class also led to new pursuits regarding Turkey’s position within the imperialist system. The loyalty of Turkish capitalist class to the USA carried an absolute characteristic until 1990s due to its fear against the presence of the Soviet Union. After 1990s, they developed a tendency to act in a relatively free way, without heading for a fundamental transformation in the imperialist hegemonic crisis as a result of the consolidation of China and Russia.
The reactionary capitalist class of Turkey had no problem with NATO, the bloody invasive organization of imperialism. They were also wired into the financial institutions of the Western imperialism. On the other hand, for example, they wanted to build a multi-directional relationship Russia and Iran based on self-interest. Considering the alliance of those capitalist states as rival, the USA acted in order to establish an economic or military blockade around them.
Accordingly, the imperialist hegemonic crisis started to influence Turkey consistently and turned into a crisis dynamic for the country. The USA began to discharge those political actors in Turkey who were pursuing an expansionist policy while contradicting with US interests.
Especially between 2007 and 2009, those army officers who acted as a separate bourgeois party in Turkey were discharged through an AKP conspiracy.
However, the objective conditions, that is, the hypocritical and dishonest relations of Turkish capitalist class based on self-interest, once again brought the same contradictions to surface. The AKP, which was installed at the beginning of 2000s in order to execute a regime change, was composed of 1) the Gulenist sect, 2) the other main wing of Turkish reactionary movement, and 3) liberals. After a while, the Gulenist sect, having organic relationships with USA, pressed the button to discharge Erdogan and his team who started following a more pragmatic line amidst the imperialist hegemonic crisis. The desire was to create a Turkish bourgeois politics, which would obey the USA without any bargaining. During this period, both social democrats and Kurdish movement preferred to play by the rules of the game.
This is how we ended up in the coup on July 15. The crisis continues and new waves of discharges are expected to arrive.
As the Communist Party, we have never compromised on our basic principles under these conditions.
First of all, we have never singled out any fraction among the bourgeois actors, which could have carried better and progressive qualities or which could have been an ally. We regarded the capitalist class as a reactionary class as a whole.
In relation to that, we did not identify the revolution as successive stages and we claimed that the socialist revolution in Turkey is an immediate possibility. When we fought for the rights of the proletariat, we linked it to the wider context of the socialist revolution.
We assessed the coup on July 15 as a coup of the USA, and stood against it. However, at the same time, we continued our struggle against AKP and Erdogan, considering them as products of the same capitalist order. Today, we continue this struggle.
We are aware of the fact that there is no progressive side of the imperialistic hegemonic crisis, and that this tension precedes a global imperialist war. On the other hand, this crisis, makes way for a growing legitimacy crisis, as seen in Turkey, and weakens the system. Sectarianization of the state, its weakening as a result of splitting into two parts, and its proceeding towards bigger disasters load the pioneer political party of the proletariat with crucial charges. Among the most primary charges are creating a revolutionary class out of workers and to ambitiously pursue for the socialist revolution.
At the beginning of my speech, I said that these conditions are particular to Turkey, whereas they also carry a universal characteristic. This loads us with greater internationalist responsibilities.
CP, Turkey, much the same in the 17th IMCWP meeting, attaches importance to the co-existence of the parties and to sharing of different political experiences they have been through. It continues to undertake a positive and constructive role in order this coexistence to proceed. CP, Turkey does not evaluate any party in a static way and it realizes that changes will come through in some way or the other, including us, under the light of new experiences.
Lastly, CP thinks that the larger capitalist crisis, which also is the main reason behind the hegemonic crisis of the imperialist system, cannot continue as it does now, and that the world is approaching rapidly to a time of upheaval. In the approaching storm, some of the parties among us will step forward to achieve the revolution.
Long live the socialist revolution!
Long live internationalism!
Member of the Central Committee, CP, Turkey,
Responsible for International Relations