Last months, workers have witnessed a strange phenomenon: bourgeois governments in Turkey and central Europa, under the pretext of defending democracy, have attacked basic democratic rights.
The pretext of the AKP government is a failed coup d’état of a tiny part of the Turkish army, inspired by a former ally, now a rival Islamist faction, the Gülen movement. Since, thousands of workers militants, trade unionists, Kurds, journalists, teachers… are arrested, fired or jailed. President Erdogan launched a referendum the 16th April to legitimate his own Islamist coup. Erdogan called ludicrously Merkel a Nazi to foster Turkish nationalism.
The pretext of the German (CDU-SPD), Dutch (VVD-PvdA) and Austrian (SPÖ-ÖVP) governments is the attempt by the Turkish government to “bring the campaign for the referendum”, with which Erdogan wants to become the all-powerful president of his country, “to Europe”. All these are coalition between Christian parties and social-democrats. Actually, they are making concessions to the fascistic and islamophobic movements of their own countries: AfD in Germany, PVV in Holland, FPÖ in Austria. In the same way, the British LP supports now the Brexit obtained by the UKIP and led by the Conservative government, the French PS government sends thousands of migrants away every year under pressure of the FN and the LR.
In 1999, Turkey was officially recognised by the EU as a candidate for full membership. In 2004, given the “war against terror”, the US-government under George Bush openly backed the “modernist” clerical tendencies in Turkey. Even if Turkey is a member of NATO and is “third associate country” with regard to the European Union (EU), problems of the European and American imperialists with successive Turkish governments are growing.
But the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt (2010-2011) changed the situation. The failure of the Muslim Brotherhood of both countries to copy the “Turkish model” of Islamist stabilisation of capitalism, led to strong tensions in the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois classes in Turkey and inside the former AKP-Hizmet block. Erdogan and his followers relied more on the “deep state” (army, political police, courts) and became highly sceptical that the democratic grip on power could be successful.
Given the original plan of the occidental imperialist powers to oust the Assad regime in Syria, they tolerated Erdogan’s support to all Jihadists in Syria since 2012, repressive politics against Taksim rebellion in Istanbul in 2013 and the return to war against the Kurds in 2015 in the East of the country. EU negotiated in 2014 an agreement with Turkish state against an elementary liberty, the right of refugees to flee towards safer places as Western and Northern Europe through Greece.
Trump, Merkel, May and Hollande worry only about the Erdogan’s alliance with Putin and clashes with their Kurdish auxiliary militias in Syria. The late crocodile tears about the “lack of democracy” in Turkey is therefore pure eye washing. Where are sanctions against reactionary governments like the Orban-administration in Hungary or the Polish PIS-government? Where are demands for entry bans when Le Pen (FN) speaks in Austria at rallies of the FPÖ or FPÖ-leader Strache speaks in Germany at rallies of the AfD? While nationalist and Mao-Stalinist organizations are put on the US and EU-list of terrorist organizations, the fascist MHP “Grey Wolves” can expand their network all over Europe and North America. And we bet that the same measures as against the AKP would be applied of speakers of the HDP or workers organizations from Turkey who would try to speak out abroad against the Islamic regime in Ankara.
For years, under the impact of the last world capitalist crisis and of the political crisis of bourgeois governance, all over North America and Europe democratic freedoms are slashed and secret services, police forces and armies strengthened. And the division of the working class, by means of xenophobia, the spreading of distrust and warnings against minorities (as Pakistanis and Polish people in Great-Britain; Jews, Roms, Arabs, Turks and Muslims in all West Europe; atheists, Kurds and Alevi in Turkey…) deepened. In fact, what the “democratic” governments propose now as measures to restrict “unrest” among migrant workers are generalized attacks against the right of all workers to free speech and to assemble and to demonstrate.
Erdogan will not be stopped by travel bans in the European imperialist countries; he will be stopped by the class struggle of the Turkish and Kurdish masses, in Turkey itself and abroad. The mass workers organizations, parties and trade-unions, must break with jingoism and have to fight these reactionary plans. In spite of may discriminations– male and female, migrants or native – workers of whole Europe and of the world have to stand together to defend their rights and conquer new ones. The best way to stop reactionaries, either western European or Turkish, is to save and broaden the democratic rights of the workers, to give them the opportunity to express their disgust and resistance against bourgeois governments, xenophobic and fascist movements.
The main enemy is in our own country. To eradicate racism and sectarianism, workers vanguard must build a revolutionary International to smash imperialism, as they began to do with the Bolshevik Party and Communist International before the Stalinist counter-revolution.
- Break with the NATO! Stop to the US, Russian, British, French, Turkish, Iranian, Saudi military interventions in Syria, Iraq and Yemen!
- Free movement of refugees, student and workers! Lifting of all xenophobic measures!
- The workers organisations must form a united front against racist propaganda, against police, Islamist or fascist gangs!
- No to special laws that restrict the religious freedom! Complete separation of state and religion! No public funds to any clergy or clerical institutions! Complete equality of women and men!
- Workers government in each country! United Socialist States of Europe! World communism!