A murderous attack against Young Socialists of Turkey
Tens of thousands of Turkish refugees live in exile; thousands of labour or Kurdish militants lie in prisons of Turkey led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP, an islamist bourgeois party). The AKP is confronted with the slowing of growth, with labour strikes (in particular at Oyak-Renault in May) and with an electoral setback (less than 41% of votes in the legislative elections of June the 7th, against more than 46% in 2011), President Erdogan still negociates the forming of a coalition government with Turkish nationalist bourgeois parties.
Despite diplomatic constraints, French justice established that a Turkish spying service, the MIT, is implicated in the assassination, on January the 6th, 2013 in Paris, of three militants of the Party of Workers of Kurdistan (PKK, the main Kurdish nationalist party of Turkey, of Stalino-Maoist origin, banned in Turkey).
After two and a half years of enquiry, the Paris public prosecutor’s department brought in on July the 9th its definitive indictment … for the first time, French justice evokes the possible implication of the MIT, the Turkish equivalent of the DGSI … directed by someone close to the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Le Monde, 24th July, 2015)
On June the 5th, a rally of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP, close to the PKK) was attacked during the electoral campaign for the legislative elections in Diyarbakır, two explosions causing 3 deaths and 402 wounded. The HDP declared that the police had atttacked the first aid. Nevertheless, it obtained 13% of votes.
In July, the Federation of Associations of Young Socialists of Turkey (SGDF) had organized a brigade (mixed, despite the weight of patriarchy in Turkey, including among the Kurds) to reconstruct Kobane in the Rojava (Syria) after its destruction by Daesh. The Turkish islamist government of the AKP multiplied annoyances and arrests against Young Socialists. Only 20 of them obtained the authorization to cross the border in order to enter into Kobane. On the other hand, the Erdogan goernment was always permissive towards oil exported by the IS-Daesh and the djihadists who cross the border between Syria and Turkey in both directions.
In their haste to see Bashar Al-Assad quit power, the Turkish authorities closed their eyes on the crossing of weapons and fighters at the Turkish-Syrian border. (Le Monde, 21st July, 2015)
On July the 20th, the youth organization invited the press and its supporters to the Suruç cultural centre, on the Turkish side. A bomb explosed there, killing 32 militants and wounding 70 others. The victims were members of the SGDF, the HDP and the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP, close to the MLKP, banned Marxist-Leninist Communist Party); many of them had participated to the mobilizations of the Gezi Park in Istanbul in 2013. The atttack was perpetrated by a Kurdish kamikaze of the IS-Daesh.
In any case, the Turkish police attacked violently demonstrations protesting against the attack of Suruç and threw into prison a thousand of opponents.
Some 590 people—radical islamists, sympathisers of the PKK, militants of the DHKP-C (radical left)—were arrested in 22 regions of the country … A demonstration for peace, arranged for Sunday the 26th and called by left-wing organizations, was forbidden by the prefect of Istanbul. (Le Monde, 28th July, 2015)
The attempt at a demonstration for peace can be explained by the resumption of military operations against the Kurdish people. As for themselves, the HPG (armed wing of the PKK) resumed attacks against the army and the police in Turkey, also blowing up a pipeline between the Iraqi Kurdistan administered by the PDK and Turkey.
Bombings by the Turkish army against Kurdish bases
The Turkish army bombed Kurdish villages in Syria and Kurdish bases in Iraq.
Mr Erdogan has used bombing IS as a cover for much heavier air strikes against the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. Peace talks launched over two years ago have in effect ended. (The Economist, 8th August, 2015)
Officially, the Turkish government intensified its collaboration with the American army against the Islamic State, the caliphate proclaimed on the ruins of Syria and Iraq. But, as those of Israel and Saudi Arabia, the other allies of the United States in Western Asia, and as the one of Iran, the former enemy of the US “Great Satan” in the region, the Turkish bourgeoisie has its own objectives. The priority of the islamist AKP government is to stop the formation of an autonomous Kurdish territory of Syria at its border.
In the eyes of high-level French military sources …, the number one enemy of Turkey remains the Kurds. (Le Monde, 26th July, 2015)
Moreover, if American imperialism now mainly aims the IS in Syria and accomodates itself to the survival of the Assad government, the Turkish state joins its efforts with those of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to support Jaich Al-Islam, Ahar Al-Cham and Nosra (the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda).
The bringing together of Washington and Tehran has particularly scalded its Sunni allies in the region. As a reaction, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey decided, at the beginning of 2015, to put aside their divergences in order to coordinate their support—in training and armament—to the Syrian opposition. These efforts towards unification resulted in raising the Army of Conquest—a coalition including islamist factions and the Al-Nosra Front—that inflicted a serious setback to the army of Assad in Idlib, during an offensive launched in April without American endorsement. On the southern front, around Deraa, forces suported by Saudi Arabia also made the regime retreat. (Le Monde, 23rd July, 2015)
These djihadist gangs combine banditism and fanatism as much as their rival IS-Daesh.
Qatar acts as a footbridge towards Al-Nosra … the most juicy transaction, the one that led Al-Nosra to release in the month of March 2014 the nuns of the Maaloula convent, to the north of Damas, brought in not less than 16 millions dollars (14.5 millions euros) in its coffers … During autumn 2014 and winter 2015, Al-Nosra had annihilated two groups linked to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the moderate branch of the rebellion, armed by the United States and Saudi Arabia. Around Idlib, its men started to impose Sharia by force, forcing shops to close during prayer and tracking down infidel couples. (Le Monde, 2nd August, 2015)
These armed troops, financed, trained, informed by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, aim mainly the Baas regime and the Party of Democratic Union (PYD), the Kurdish petty-bourgeois nationalist (and secular) party of Syria. The latter had negociated a kind of “non-aggression pact” with the Assad regime. It has victoriously fought against the IS-Daech, notably in Kobane.
Above all, Ankara looks very unfavourably on the recent territorial gains garnered by the Kurdish militias of the Units for the Protection of the People (YPG, the arm of the Party of Democratic Union PYD, affiliated to the Party of Workers of Kurdistan, the PKK). By taking Tal Abyad, a stronghold of the IS to the east of Kobane, the Syrian Kurds look as though they will put in concrete form the dream of a territorial continuity between the three Kurdish districts of Syria (Afrin, Kobane, Djezireh). (Le Monde, 1st August, 2015)
This new situation constitutes an explosive threat for the Turkish, Syrian and Iranian bourgeoisies, for it objectively raises the question of the creation of a Kurdish State. Moreover, it is a threat against the new reactionary balance that imperialism attempts to constitute in the region.
The White House, NATO and Barzani support the Turkish government
Taking into account the agreement of the UNO Security Council with the (islamist) Rohani government of Iran that continues to execute Kurdish political prisoners, the Erdogan government has concluded an agreement with the Obama government (Democratic Party). Turkey obtained the creation on its border of a zone to attempt to prevent the formation of an autonomous Kurdistan in Syria.
Although the details of the deal remain sketchy, Turkey has agreed to two long-standing demands from Washington. The first is to allow American airplanes to fly strike missions against IS position from the big NATO airbase at Incirlik … The second demand was that Turkish F-16 bombers would now join the coalition effort against IS. In return, the Americans agreed to help establish a 65-mile IS-free zone along the western section of the Turkish-Syrian border … As well as making this an IS-free zone, the Turks would like to make it a Syrian Kurd-free zone as well. (The Economist, 1st August, 2015)
The American government supported its Turkish counterpart.
The White House recognized on Sunday the right of Turks to “conduct actions against terrorist targets”, according to the deputy adviser for national security of President Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes. (Le Monde, 28th July, 2015)
This complicity between imperialism and the Turkish government shows that the goal of the bourgeoisies of dominant countries is under no circumstances democratic rights. Their military or diplomatic interventions are always dictated by their interests. The nationalist or centrist organizations that supported military interventions in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria under the pretext of a “humanitarian help” sided in the camp of imperialism.
If the nationalist party PKK of Turkey has always kept links with Syria, in Iraq, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (UPK) had counted on Iran while its rival the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (PDK) allied itself with the United States and Turkey. After confrontations from 1994 to 1996, the PDK took control of the “Autonomous Region of of Kurdistan”, to the north-east of Iraq, formed in 2003 with the acquiescence of the United States. This little State became a provider of oil and gas to Turkey and a customer of Turkish capitalist groups in construction and civil engineering.
But it is the PKK that has, one year ago, protected the Kurds of Iraq abandoned to the IS-Daesh by the retreat of the troops of the Barzani government (PDK) of Iraqi Kurdistan.
By going through the Syrian territory to give assistance to the Yezidis (Iraqi Kurds followers of a worship inherited from Zoroastrism), abandoned to their fate by the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmergas, then trapped by the Islamic State on Mount Sinjar from August the 9th, 2014, the PKK took position in an unexpected way in the influence zones of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (PDK) of Mr Barzani. (Le Monde, 4th August, 2015)
Facing bombings by the Turkish army of PKK camps in Irak, the PDK government, instead of condamning the Erdogan government, asked the PKK to clear out.
The presidency of Iraqi Kurdistan, a region pounded by the raids of the Turkish air force since July the 24th, asked, Saturday August the 1st, the departure of the members of the Party of Workers of Kurdistan (PKK). “The PKK must move its battlefield away from the region of Iraqi Kurdistan in order for civilians not to become victims of this war”, indicated the office of the President of the region, Massoud Barzani, in a communiqué. (Le Monde, 4th August, 2015)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, military alliance between the United States and most capitalist countries of Europe, among which Turkey) approved the Turkish military interventions in Syria and in Iraq.
The emergency session of the North Atlantic Council, requested by Turkey, came out to a strong support for Ankara on the part of ambassadors to NATO, on Wednesday July the 28th. “Terrorism, under all its forms, can never be tolerated nor justified”, claims the Alliance, manifesting its “strong solidarity” with Turkey. “The agreement is total, unanimous, flawless”, indicated the Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg … The authorities of Ankara place in the same plane the IS and the PKK, as, apparently, Mr Stoltenberg, forced to first look after the internal cohesion of his organism and to deal tactfully with a country that possesses the second army of the Alliance. (Le Monde, 23rd July 2015)
Against Western imperialist governments that bomb Syria and Iraq with the islamist monarchies of the Arabo-Persian Gulf, the responsibility of the parties and trade unions of the countries concerned is to call for the withdrawal of troops, for the closing of military bases, for the cancellation of all armament contracts, for the opening of borders to immigrants from the Middle East.
The solution for all peoples of the region to live in peace goes through the defeat of Zionism and imperialism. Capitalism is dominated by a few hundred big capitalist groups and by a few big powers that lead the whole world to ruin: war, economic crises, ecological crisis … A handful of states plunder and dirty the rest of the world, blackmail the governments of dominated countries, attempt to overthrow them when it suits them, set up despotic governments such as the one of Marshall Sissi, support a colonialism like Israel or monarchic and fundamentalist regimes like Saudi Arabia, stimulate with the latter djihadism. In order to eradicate world imperialism, workers of Western Europe, of China, of Russia, of Japan and the United States have the duty to struggle to defeat their own government.
Every serious struggle of the proletariat of dominant countries weakens imperialist domination, encourages workers of dominated countries, women and oppressed peoples to confront its local relays, to demand democratic freedoms, to attack private property, to take power. Every victory in the Middle East, like the beginning of revolution in Tunisia and in Egypt in 2011, stimulates revolution in imperialist centres.
Against the oppression of Kurds, for socialist revolution
Kurds are today oppressed in Turkey and in Iran by the islamist fractions of the Turkish and Persian bourgeoisies. They are also threatened in Syria and in Iraq by the islamo-fascist gangs of the IS-Daesh and by the Turkish army.
Kurdish nationalists reveal themselves unable, by their petty-bourgeois (PKK-PYD-PJAK, Komala) or bourgeois (UPK, PDK, PDKI …) nature to appeal to the proletarians of the imperialist countries and of those of the Middle East to lead a social revolution that would definitively bring down all oppressor regimes. They prefer to attempt to obtain from existing regimes or from imperialism a minimum right to a reduced existence. Kurdish nationalists are unable to reach the objective that they assign themselves officially, an independent and united Kurdistan. Indeed, the mobilization of workers, of employees, of poor peasants would also attack Kurdish landlords and capitalists.
Present-day Kurdish organizations are reduced to make allegiance to various regional powers (Iran, Turkey, Israel …), or even to Western imperialist powers. Yet European and American bourgeoisies have colonized the region during the 19th century, have carved it artificially during the 20th, have decreed blockades or even overthrown regimes that displeased them, have supported the Zionist colonization, have contributed to the birth of political islamism, remain allied to the Gulf monarchies that aid always salafism and djihadism on a world scale … The support of such or such of these imperialist bourgeoisies to such or such Kurdish organization is limited and reversible, for subject to right-about turns of their policy and of their egoistic interests.
The Kurdish nationalist cliques resort to methods foreign to the revolutionary labour movement: aggressions towards other currents, authoritarian internal regime, racket of exiles, cult of the leader, immolations, suicide attacks…
Internationalist communists defend, in particular in Turkey, in Iraq, in Iran and in Syria, national rights of Kurds.
The proletariat cannot but fight against the forcible retention of the oppressed nations within the boundaries of a given state, and this is exactly what the struggle for the right of self-determination means. (Lenin, The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination, February 1916, Thesis 4)
Internationalist communists do not for all that advocate the multiplication of tiny States (such as Iraqi Kurdistan), doomed to domination by foreign countries.
The more closely the democratic system of state approximates to complete freedom of secession, the rarer and weaker will the striving for secession be in practice … The aim of socialism is not only to abolish the present division of mankind into small states and all national isolation; not only to bring the nations closer to each other, but also to merge them. (Lenin, The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination, Thesis 3)
Internationalist communists are resolute opponents of nationalist currents that exploit politically Kurds and lead them from defeat to defeat.
The bourgeoisie of the oppressed nations always converts the slogan of national liberation into a means for deceiving the workers; in internal politics it utilizes these slogans as a means for conduding reactionary agreements with the bourgeoisie of the ruling nation … in the realm of foreign politics it strives to enter into pacts with one of the rival imperialist powers … (Lenin, The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination, Thesis 4)
The Kurdish people has the fundamental right to constitute its State. But, against mystifying and powerless nationalism, against class collaboration with Kurdish capitalists, Kurdish workers and students of the whole world must unite with their sisters and brothers, Arabs, Turks, Persians, Jews … to lead the struggle against their common exploiters and oppressors. The Kurdish workers and employees must withdraw any support to the Kurdish bourgeoisie that exploits and deceives them, all the more so to the Turkish, Arab and Persian bourgeoisies that oppress them. They neeed to build with other conscious workers, in each State, a revolutionary workers’ party. These parties will be linked together and with those of North Africa, of the rest of Asia, of the imperialist countries through the Communist International that one must reconstruct on the basis of marxism.
- Freedom of movement and establishment of Kurdish, Palestinian, Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the whole European Union, in the United States and elsewhere! Withdrawal of Turkey (and Greece) from NATO! Lifting of the anti-Kurdish blockade at the Syrian border by the Turkish army! End the bombings in Syria and in Iraq by the Turkish army and the Western imperialist armies!
- Solidarity of workers’ organizations of the whole world with the Kurdish people! Liberation of all Kurdish political prisoners in the Middle East and in Europe!
- Right of Kurds to speak their languages! Right to self-determination of Kurds and to create, if they wish it, their own State!
- For a workers’ and farmers’ government in Syria, in Iraq, in Turkey, in Iran! For the Socialist Federation of the Middle East! For world socialism!
Permanent Revolution Collective
Movement towards Socialism
AKP: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, Party of Justice and Development, islamist bourgeois party (Turkey)
DHKP-C: Devrimci Halk Kurtuluş Partisi-Cephesi, Revolutionary Party-Front for the Liberation of the People, Stalino-Maoist guerilla organization, banned (Turkey)
ESP: Ezilenlerin Sosyalist Partisi, Socialist Party of the Oppressed, legal Stalino-Maoist organization, close to the banned MLKP (Turkey)
HDP : Halkların Demokratik Partisi, Democratic Party of the Peoples, close to the banned PKK, present at the Grand National Assembly (Turkey)
HPG : Hêzên, Parastina Gel, Forces for the Defense of the People, armed branch of the PKK (Turkey, Iraq, Syria)
IS: ad-dawla al-islāmiyya, Islamic State, islamo-fascist party that governs a caliphate not recognized by other States (Iraq, Syria)
Komala: Komala-ye Shoreshgari-ye Zahmat Keshan-e Kordestan-e Iran, Comittee of Revolutionaries of Iranian Kurdistan, banned Kurdish nationalist organization of Stalino-Maoist origin, which presently requests its affiliation to the Socialist International (Iran)
PDK: Partîya Demokrata Kurdistan, Democratic Party of Kurdistan, Kurdish nationalist party in power in autonomous Kurdistan, not recognized as a State (Irak)
PDKI: Partîya Demokrata Kurdistan — Iran, Democratic Party of Kurdistan — Iran, banned Kurdish nationalist party (Iran)
PJAK: Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistanê, Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, banned Kurdish nationalist party linked to the PKK (Iran)
PKK : Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, Party of Workers of Kurdistan, banned Kurdish nationalist party of Stalino-Maoist origin (Turkey)
PYD: Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat, Parti of Democratic Union, pro-PKK Kurdish nationalist party, controls the Rojava (Syria)
SGDF: Sosyalist Gençlik Dernekleri Federasyonu, Federation of Associations of Young Socialists, close to the ESP and the HDP (Turkey)
UPK (or YNK): Yekîtîya Niştimanîya Kurdistan, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdish nationalist party (Iraq)
YPG: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, Units for the Defense of the People, armed branch of the PYD (Syria)