The Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP) of Turkey sent out an appeal to the rest of the Turkish left to intervene in the profound political crisis in Turkey actively as a united front so as to overcome the crisis in a direction consonant with the interests of the exploited and oppressed majority of society. This appeal was sent to over 20 socialist parties and circles and the Kurdish movement and its socialist allies, as well as all the left-wing members of parliament.
Today Turkey is going through one of the deepest political crises in its history. The road map drawn by the socialist movements and the forces struggling for the liberation of the Kurdish people is going to play a key role in the developments in this geography in the short and medium run. We, the Revolutionary Workers Party (DIP), are writing this open letter to you because we think that socialist movements in Turkey as well as the political movement of the Kurdish people have currently not adopted a path that is suitable to today’s exigencies.
We trust that nobody will deny the immense depth of the crisis that Turkey is going through at present. The Turkish bourgeoisie is facing a profound political crisis. Regardless of the future outcome of today’s developments, the bourgeoisie is going to have difficulties for a long time in finding a trustworthy administration that is capable of restoring economic and political stability. The ongoing political crisis is drifting the already very fragile economy towards a severe crisis. But beyond all that, what Turkey is going through now is a crisis of the state. All the organs of the state are currently at each other’s throats. Some organs of the state (the judiciary in general and the High Board of Judges and Prosecutors in particular, as well as the entire police apparatus) are deeply divided. Corruption, lies, and threats have thoroughly shaken the people’s confidence in the state.
None of the political forces of the bourgeoisie (the ruling AKP, Fethullah Gülen’s religious network, the CHP of the secular bourgeoisie, the secular nationalists, the fascist MHP, and the military) has the capacity to overcome this crisis. The fall of the AKP government under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become a possibility for the first time. Nobody can propose a formula for an alternative government that can replace the AKP government.
Since the power bloc that has ruled Turkey for 11 years has recently split right in the middle, everybody is searching for new alliances. The people, on the other hand, are ready to lend an ear to all voices. The youth is eagerly trying to understand the situation. One cannot rule out a powerful mobilization in the ranks of the working should economic crisis set in.
In short, Turkey is going through a process of soul-searching. And this search is happening here and now, not on 30 March, the day of the local elections. Instead of focusing on the elections, we should focus our whole attention on finding a way out of the upheaval that Turkey is going through at the moment. However, both the socialist movement and the Kurdish movement have focused on the coming elections, ignoring the seriousness of what is happening at this very moment. The socialist movement and the Kurdish movement should simply stop following the current events as if they were watching a tennis match! We have to move immediately in order to become real actors in the events rather than merely looking on.
Other forces are engaging in politics without waiting for the elections. In order to obtain the rehabilitation of the putschists and the notorious murderers of the counter-insurgency service, the secular nationalists, supposedly of the left, have volunteered to become buttresses for Tayyip Erdoğan, whom they have accused of treason for 11 years! The CHP, on the other hand, has chosen to ally with Fethullah Gülen’s network in order to defeat Erdoğan. We are not condemned to abandon the people to be caught between a rock and a hard place, between these equally unpleasant choices!
We are not, because Turkey went through a popular rebellion only six months ago, in which (according to the official statistics of the Ministry of Interior) more than 3 million people took to the streets in 80 out of Turkey’s 81 provinces. The military, the judiciary, universities, and other bourgeois institutions could not budge Tayyip Erdoğan’s government for a whole decade, but the popular rebellion that started in Gezi Park shook it to its very bones. It drove a wedge between Erdoğan and his former allies, who, following the crisis, realized that he is no longer capable of ruling the country in stability. The popular rebellion has paved the way for the current crisis. It is necessary to see the power of the people and act accordingly.
Socialist and Kurdish comrades, no good will come to us from the CHP! We cannot achieve anything serious by putting forward our own candidates only when the CHP refuses an electoral alliance with us or puts forward openly rightist candidates. Today the CHP is moving forward on the basis of the combination of the interests of the United States, the TÜSİAD, the TUSKON, Fethullah Gülen’s network, and Mustafa Sarıgül. It turns its face toward the conventional right-wing of the political spectrum and even toward the fascist movement and seeks to enlist the current president Abdullah Gül and other figures within the AKP who have disagreements with Erdoğan into a platform of alliance. The CHP therefore will not bring anything positive to the working class and the oppressed Kurdish people!
Kurdish comrades, no good will come to you from the AKP! Is not the recent verdict on the Roboskî case, announced in the midst of the current crisis, the latest stage of the AKP government’s attempts to cover up the case and therefore an insult to the Kurdish people? Is not the same government responsible for three lives that we lost recently in Yüksekova (Gewer)? Has not the fact that the Turkish state is behind the assassinations in Paris become clearer with new evidence coming to the surface each day? More importantly, is not Erdoğan trying to find a safe haven in the arms of the National Security Council, the Turkish military, and the counter-insurgency forces of the Ergenekon organization? No good will come to the Kurdish people from the so-called “peace process” of an AKP that seeks an agreement with the Ergenekon!
We should be the ones leading the way out of the current crisis. Let all of them go! We should stay. We should look to the people, not to the elections. We should embrace the demands of the different sections of the people involved in the popular rebellion, defend the interests of the workers, laborers, and oppressed people (including the Kurds, the Alawis, women, gays and lesbians, and the youth) and tell them that these demands can only be realized as a result of the joint struggle of the working masses of Turkey and the Kurdish people. Uniting the masses of the popular rebellion around the demands of the popular rebellion: this should be our way forward! If we start walking on this path today by establishing a front of the forces of the rebellion, overcoming the current crisis of the state in favor of the laborers and the oppressed would become possible.
Let us not leave the fate of this geography in the hands of the ones who have done nothing but infamy. Let us not forgo the burning tasks of the day by getting stuck on their election game. This open letter is a call to set together a policy for the present moment. Let us unite our forces. Let us rock and overthrow Erdoğan ourselves!
Revolutionary Workers Party (DIP)
15 January 2014