Turkey is now a dictatorship. With the arrest of democratic elected members of parliament, the Turkish government has shown its true colors. Revolutionary socialists knew that Turkey is not a liberal democracy, but in fact a illiberal democracy. Only a democracy as long as you don’t criticize state dogma’s. These dogma’s are brutally enforced and many who rejected them have been jailed. The Kurdish people know this as the Turks have shown to be intolerant and oppressive towards this minority group. Now dictator Erdogan has stated to crack down on the only party that rejects Turkish nationalism, the People’s Democratic Party or HDP!
We knew it would come. The Turkish state has blamed all anti-nationalists to be ”supporters of the PKK”. This game of blaming opponents to be supportive of the illegal; Kurdistan Workers Party has led to the banning of numerous political parties. Here we publish a list with parties, who supported cultural and democratic rights for minorities and were banned for it:
- People’s Labor Party, founded in 1990 and banned for promoting Kurdish cultural rights!
- Freedom and Democracy Party, founded in 1992 and banned for supporting self-determination for the Kurdish people!
- Democracy Party, founded in 1993 and banned for supporting the Kurdish people. Six members of parliament from this party were sentenced to 15 years in jail!
- People’s Democracy Party, founded in 1993 and banned in 2003, on the grounds that it allegedly supported the PKK!
- Democratic People’s Party, founded in 1997 and banned in 2005, for allegedly supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party!
All these political parties were banned for either promoting cultural and democratic rights for minorities or supporting the PKK, which the Turkish state claims. Supporting cultural rights for the Kurds has always been equaled with ”supporting the PKK”. Therefore the Turkish police can arrest anybody who stands for equal rights. The current People’s Democratic Party is the lasted product of leftist anti-nationalism in Turkey. This party is not liked by the Ankara government, because it rejects Turkish nationalism and cultural imperialism!
Now that dictator Erdogan has ordered the arrest of HDP members and leaders, it is time that Europeans understand how undemocratic this country always has been. The Turks will claim that they ”fight terrorism” and use their conflict with the Islamic State and the PKK as excuse to attack anybody who criticizes the authoritarian dictatorship. Revolutionary Socialist Media has now enough reasons to demand that Turkey be thrown out of NATO. But will this happen? NO, the Americans and Europeans need Turkey and will turn a blind eye to the massive human rights abuses!
What is a illiberal democracy? It is in fact a society that holds free elections but were citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties. Turkey has many political parties, from the right to the left. But there is not genuine opposition to the core of the Turkish Republic. Because you are not allowed to reject the founding nationalist dogma’s of the state. Founding father: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is holy and rejecting his legacy is punishable. Turks are not allowed to reject his face, their flag and the nationalist values of the republic. Turkey has a nationalist problem, a problem America is also familiar with. Just look at those Republican politicians who are dogmatic patriotic and demand harsh punishments, for those who reject American nationalism!
Revolutionary socialists in Turkey call for unity of workers against the Turkish state. We reject the dictatorship of Erdogan and his conservative nationalist party. At the same time we critize the terror attacks of those Kurdish nationalists who use car bombs to attack the Turkish state. Resistance to dictatorship is allowed, but individual terrorism will only drive the Turkish working class into the arms of the dictator. Fear for Kurdish terror attacks will only strengthen the Erdogan regime and his crack down of democratic elected officials. Many HDP mayors in south east Turkey have already been removed and replaced by unelected officials loyal to Ankara!
The latest terror attack was directed by the TAK or Freedom Falcons of Kurdistan. This splinter-group has broken with the PKK. But Ankara does not matter who did it. For them, the PKK is always responsible. Therefore dictator Erdogan blames the Kurds and now goes after the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) which is very popular with ethnic minorities in south east Turkey. The brutal arrests of Kurds and opposition politicians must have led to frustration and anger among the Kurdish people. Hatred for Turks and the desire to fight back are not uncommon. We understand these feelings, but at the same time we call for class unity and common struggle. Turkish workers are also victims of Erdogan’s government. Those soldiers send by Ankara to fight the PKK, are made up of working class boys. Forced by the government to join the army, many young male Turks have no choice or saying!
Therefore any murdered soldier by PKK forces will not harm the government. Erdogan will use their deaths as a propaganda weapon against the Kurds. The terror tactics of TAK must be rejected by the Kurdistan Workers Party and their allies. Because TAK’s counter-productive methods will not harm the regime of Erdogan. Worse, they will only strengthen it. Our socialist alternative is based on solidarity with both Turkish and Kurdish workers. To remove Erdogan from power, Kurdish workers need their Turkish comrades. Not by guerrilla struggle or individual terrorism, but by massive protests and class struggle can the AK regime be destroyed!
- Free all HDP MP’s and leaders immediately
- Reinstate the democratically-elected mayors
- End the state of emergency and all persecutions against dissenting voices
- For full democratic rights, including the right to organize and protest
- For freedom of expression, of the press and media
- No to new wars and occupations, bring the troops home
- For united protests across Turkey and internationally, as a starting point to build the fightback against Erdogan’s rule
- Down with Erdogan and the capitalist AKP regime