‘After Gezi: Erdoğan and political struggle in Turkey’ chronicles a year of uprisings, resistance and repression since the Gezi uprising in Turkey.
Political struggles over the future of Turkey have left the country profoundly divided. Former prime minister, now president, Tayyip Erdogan, has fuelled the growing polarization through his authoritarian response to protests, his large-scale urban development projects, his religious social conservatism, and most recently, through his complicity in the Islamic State’s war against the Kurdish people in Northern Syria.
US, UK and French imperialist powers raised, fed and armed the reactionary groups such as Al Nusra Front and ISIS in order that they would fight the Assad regime on their behalf. Only when they realised that these groups are not capable of overthrowing the Assad regime, they began to distance themselves from them until their interests in Iraq were threatened. Now they wish to be seen as standing against ISIS.
US imperialism created al-Qaeda to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, but then when al-Qaeda started contradicting with US interests, they turned on them. Following the capture of Mosul by ISIS, having realised that their imperialist dominance is threatened by ISIS they have now, through NATO, started an international coalition against ISIS.
The only reason why the Turkish state did not want to be part of the international coalition is because of its close relations with ISIS. The whole world should know that the resolution passed on October 2, 2014 by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, is not against ISIS. This official resolution that allows Turkish soldiers to be sent to Syria and Iraq is in fact directed against the Kurdish people in Kobani and Rojava (section of Kurdish homeland in Syria) who declared autonomy in the region. This official resolution allows Turkish state to set up a buffer zone on the border of Syria and declare a no-fly zone. The resolution further emphasises that in Syria, the PKK poses a serious threat, clearly revealing the main purpose of the resolution and the intentions of the Turkish state. Continue reading
Hundreds of Miners Die, Turkish Government Sides with Company
May 20, 2014 / Emre Eren Korkmaz, Labor Notes
Coal miners in Soma waited for news from rescuers after the biggest workplace disaster in Turkey’s history. The prime minister has sparked renewed protests by defending the company, which had boasted of its cost-cutting business model. Photo: Hilmi Hacaloğlu (VOA).
People in Turkey are sad and angry.
At least 300 workers lost their lives in the May 13 mine accident in Soma, a small town 300 miles from Istanbul. It was the biggest workplace disaster in Turkish history.
But instead of punishing management and promising to improve safety, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has openly defended the company.
Not just in Soma but in all parts of the country, people are angry and mobilizing against the government. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has reacted with police violence, pepper gas, and water cannons.
A May 15 general strike called by several union federations was one of the biggest strikes in years. Last summer, protesters defending Istanbul’s Gezi Park against bulldozers touched off national protests against the Erdoğan regime and its pro-business agenda, with significant union participation. Continue reading
“We Are All Turkish Democrats”: a Statement of Solidarity with the Turkish
Abahlali baseMjondolo is a democratic, membership based movement of shack dwellers and other poor people in South Africa. In 2005 our experience of suffering and injustice led us to decided to organize ourselves and to represent ourselves. We are struggling for land and housing as a vital step towards the restoration of our dignity and the recognition of our equality. We have been severely punished by those who want to keep us in our place and we have faced serious repression.
When we have come under attack we have received solidarity from across the world – from Auckland to Istanbul, Nairobi, London and New York. We have stood with comrades facing repression in places like Haiti and Palestine. Today we stand with our comrades in Turkey and with all Turkish democrats.
We keep over movement strong by making sure that it always remains in the hands of its members and that we take forward the struggles that affect people’s everyday lives. We call this a living politics. But we take very seriously the fact that the system that has marginalized and oppressed us here in South Africa is the very system that marginalizes and oppresses the people of Turkey. And we have not forgotten that the first people to be in solidarity with our struggle outside of South Africa were the comrades at Sendika and People’s House in Turkey. Continue reading
Some, within hours, will call it a revolution. But it is not a revolution. If it deepens and grows, some will say it is phony, “another Velvet Revolution” instigated by the US, Assad. or
Israel, or al Qaeda. But they had nothing to do with it. The
sparks have long been bursting from many quarters wherever
the sting of Erdogan’s fascist rule has been felt, among
women, workers, students, among Kurds. Now the kindling
is dry, and rebellion is in the air. Does it threaten the regime?
No, not now, not yet. Does it threaten the role of US and the
EU andNATO and especially Germany, as dominant
imperialists? No, not now, not yet. Is it a dependable force
for Kurdish people? No, not now, not yet. But can it become
a force that changes the country and the region? None can
say,not yet. But unlike Egypt, or Tunisia, or Libya or Syria,
there is a significant and organized revolutionary force in
Turkey. While they may have had no role in the beginning
of the Taksim Gezi park rebellion, proletarian revolutionaries
may move the events in a direction beyond where other
Springs could go. Time will tell. — Frontlines ed.]
Istanbul park protests sow the seeds of a Turkish spring
A protest in a small Istanbul park has become a lightning rod for grievances against the government, and it could be explosive
guardian.co.uk, Friday 31 May 2013
This morning, Turkish police surrounded protesters in Taksim Gezi park, the central square in Istanbul, blocked all exits and attacked them with chemical sprays and teargas.
An Occupy-style movement has taken off in Istanbul. The ostensible issue of conflict is modest. Protesters started gathering in the park on 27 May, to oppose its demolition as part of a redevelopment plan. But this is more than an environmental protest. It has become a lightning conductor for all the grievances accumulated against the government.
Police have waited until the early hours of each morning to attack, just as police in the US did when dealing with Occupy protesters. They set fire to the tents in which protesters were sleeping and showered them with pepper spray and teargas. A student had to undergo surgery after injuries to his genitals.
The occupiers adapted and started to wear homemade gas masks. More importantly, they called for solidarity. In response to yesterday’s assault, thousands of protesters turned up, including opposition politicians. But this morning’s attack allowed no defence or escape. The park, and the area around it, is still closed, and still under clouds of gas. Continue reading
“This is an unprecedented, abrupt and unplanned public movement that has not been manipulated by any political party. It is a big surprise,” he told AFP.
Critics say that Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan’s rule has left Turkish society more polarised than ever, with opponents of the AKP government openly voicing concerns that Turkey is moving toward conservative Islam.
The ruling party has passed a series of reforms which have outraged many citizens who complain of a “fait accompli” and say it shows a slide toward an authoritarian and conservative agenda.
In 2004, the party attempted to submit a controversial amendment on banning adultery but had to back down amid criticism from opposition parties and women’s groups.
Last year, Erdogan provoked outrage when he likened abortion to murder, and his contentious education reform allowing clerical schools for the raising of what he described a “pious generation” was approved by the parliament in 2012, spreading fears among secularists.
More recently, Turkey’s parliament passed legislation curbing alcohol sales and advertising, which would be the toughest in the republic’s history if the president, a former AKP member, signs it into law.
In April, an Istanbul court ordered a retrial for world-renowned pianist Fazil Say, who was convicted earlier to 10 months in prison for blasphemy over a series of social media posts. The 43-year-old virtuoso has accused the AKP of being behind the case against him.
Critics accuse Erdogan’s government of using courts to silence dissenting voices.
Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists worldwide, imprisoning even more than China or Iran, according to rights groups.
Hundreds of military officers, academics and lawyers are also in detention — most of them accused of plotting against the government. Continue reading
36-year-old Taylan Çintay, a seriously ill cancer patient, has been in prison for 15 years. He underwent five medical operations due to bladder cancer during that period.
Çintay was transferred to Sincan Prison in Ankara from Diyarbakır Prison where he had been held and underwent an operation at Ankara Numune Hospital on May 19. He was discharged from the hospital on May 20 and taken back to Sincan Prison. Continue reading
ATIK | 15.01.2013 | In the evening of the 9th January 2013 was a barbaric attack on the Kurdish Information Bureau in Paris, capital of France, by people that have still not been identified. Through this cold-blooded murder, the co-founder of the PKK Sakine Cansiz, the Paris representative of the KNK Dogan Fidan and the youth activist Leyla Söylemez were executed. This attack Sakine Cansiz and Dogan Fidan were killed by head shots and Leyla Söylemez with shots to the head and abdomen.
This attack was discovered on 10 January 2013. A journalist of Kurdish newspaper Özgür Politika could not reach Dogan Fidan, so he and some other people decided to go to the Kurdish Information Office. On entering the office, they were confronted with the bodies of three Kurds. As the office is located in a busy street, this murder was unnoticed, which could be a sign that this attack was planned and carried out by professionals.
Sakineh Cansiz the women who was murdered in Paris, was born in 1957 in Dersim. In her youth, she was active in the pupils and students movement of Elazig. She is also one of the founders and a cadre of the PKK. She was arrested during the 1980 military coup in Turkey in Amed, severely tortured and imprisoned for years in prisons in the fascist Turkish state. Since her first day of participation in the political struggle, she always led a revolutionary life and was therefore one of the first women cadres of the Kurdish national liberation struggle.
Dogan Fidan, was born in 1982 in Maras-Elbistan, emigrated in childhood with her family to Europe. Since 1999, she was active in the revolutionary struggle in Europe. Dogan had long been active as a Parisian representative in the National Congress of Kurdistan. Also murdered in the attack, Leyla Söylemez was an active member within the Kurdish youth movement.
It is well known that in the past many times such murders were carried out by the fascist Turkey. That the fascist Turkish government and its representatives, the current AKP try to portray this as an internal party dispute, is no coincidence. As long as the real perpetrators of this massacre are not found, France will have to bear the responsibility for it.
We as ATIK abhor this massacre and press the Kurdish national movement, its sympathizers and relatives of the victims of our sympathy. We call upon all democratic-minded people and our members to be on the side of the victims. The people will one day bring the murderer to justice.
Sakineh Cansiz, Dogan Fidan, and Leyla Söylemez are immortal!
ATIK-Confederation of Workers from Turkey in Europe
10th 01. 2013
By Kurd Net, Ekurd.net, 06 November, 2012
ANKARA— Shortly after the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) announced that thousands of more prisoners were to join a collective hunger strike, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç made an open call to all prisoners to end the strike.
On Sunday BDP deputy Sabahat Tuncel said 10,000 more prisoners currently held in the country’s prisons for various crimes, including membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Iranian offshoot, the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), would join the hunger strike on Monday.
Around 700 Kurdish prisoners began the hunger strike on September 12, with a host of demands including the release of the Kurdish (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan and demanding the right to receive an education in their mother tongue, Kurdish, and the right to address courts in Kurdish.
Tuncel said on Sunday during a press conference she called after attending an Istanbul demonstration by pro-BDP protestors in support of prisoners on hunger strike, “Ten thousand more prisoners are going to join the hunger strike on Monday [Nov. 5] without a time limit or the possibility of backpedaling [before their demands are met by the government].” Continue reading
by DENIS O’HEARN
When people ask me, “what is the most important thing you learned about Bobby Sands?” I tell them one simple thing. The most important thing about Bobby Sands is not how he died on hunger strike, it is how he lived.
The hunger strikes of 1980/1981, in which ten men including Bobby Sands died, are the most famous use of that political weapon. Yet hunger striking has a long history in Irish political culture. It is said that the ancient Celts practiced a form of hunger strike called Troscadh or Cealachan, where someone who had been wronged by a man of wealth fasted on his doorstep. Some historians claim that this was a death fast, which usually achieved justice because of the shame one would incur from allowing someone to die on their doorstep. Others say it was a token act that was never carried out to the death – it was simply meant to publicly shame the offender. In any case, both forms of protest have been used quite regularly as a political weapon in modern Ireland.
The history of Irish resistance to British colonialism is full of heroes who died on hunger strike. Some of the best-known include Thomas Ashe, a veteran of the 1916 “Easter Rising”, who died after he was force-fed by the British in Dublin’s Mountjoy Jail. In 1920, three men including the mayor of Cork City Terence MacSwiney died on hunger strike in England’s Brixton Prison. In October 1923 two men died when up to 8,000 IRA prisoners went on hunger strike to protest their imprisonment by the new “Irish Free State” (formed after the partition of Ireland in 1921). Three men died on hunger strike against the Irish government in the 1940s. After the IRA was reformed in the 1970s, hunger strikes became common once again. IRA man Michael Gaughan died after being force-fed in a British prison in 1974. And Frank Stagg died in a British jail after a 62-day hunger strike in 1976.
Unlike in Turkey, the Irish make no distinction between a “hunger strike” and a “death fast,” although many hunger strikes have started without the intention of anyone dying. In 1972, IRA prisoners successfully won status as political prisoners after a hunger strike in which no one died. They were then moved to Long Kesh prison camp, where they lived in dormitory-style huts and self-organized their education (including guerrilla training), work (including cooperative handicrafts production), recreation, and attempts to escape and rejoin the conflict. The prisoners used their relative freedom to raise their collective and individual consciousness about their struggle against British occupation of Ireland. They read international revolutionaries like Che Guevara and Irish socialists such as James Connolly. This was, in turn, a foundation for rebuilding the IRA on a basis that included a less hierarchical and more participative structure, with a higher emphasis on community politics as a part of armed struggle.
As the IRA rebuilt their organization in prison the British government also changed strategy. The main pillar of the new strategy was a “conveyor belt” of security operations that included widespread arrests of young Catholic males, heavy interrogation including torture, and juryless courts in which a single judge pronounced guilt often on the sole basis of verbal or written statements under interrogation. Continue reading
[As part of our ongoing coverage of people’s struggles against reactionary and oppressive regimes in the middle east, we are posting this new statement from Partizan, a revolutionary periodical from Turkey, which analyzes the current struggles in the middle east, focused on Syria, Turkey, borders, and Kurdish areas. — Frontlines ed.]
AGAINST IMPERIALISM, FASCISM, COMPRADOR CAPITALISM AND ALL KINDS OF REACTIONARIES
The Arab uprisings and the opposition against Assad in Syria -- The correct position in the light of a class analysis!
In North Africa and the Middle East a period, also expressed as the “Arab spring”, arised and still continues. In many occasions we have expressed our approach about the situation in these areas and towards the people’s movement. Current Syria based agenda is advancing fast with an inclusion of and shaping in direct relation with our country.
Hence, from the ruling classe front to the front of the revolutionaries, democrats and patriots all express their views, formulations and evaluations on this issue. Also the Marxist‐-Leninist-‐Maoists have shared their views with the public about Syria in the context of the Assa d government, the oppositional movement and the triangle of the imperialist occupation together with its subcontractors. Nevertheless, as Maoists from our country we feel the need that we must once more state our comments on this issue in a period in which many facts become interlocked with each other.
…There cannot be any just reason for such an intervention, and reasons given from imperialism are definitely not convincing nor can they be accepted…
After expressing this aim, we can start with some general definitions on the specifics of the topic: to have a country that faces an attack from the outside and which has been designed by the imperialist states, needs without a doubt, an open and clear opposition from all revolutionaries, democrats and patriots. Besides this, there cannot be any just reasons for such a intervention, reasons given from imperialism are definitely not convincing nor can they be accepted. We would like to begin with stressing that this is unquestionable. Furthermore, in a situation of an imperialist occupation, in standing firm in concern of the characteristic of the aspiration and the struggle for independence, in a national front policy’ it becomes a fundamental task to form an alliance of anti-‐occupation forces. The position behind this is the fundamental principal that all people and every nation have a right to determine their own future.
Together with this, the main point of the discussion of many problems we are facing is that such a situation isn’t there. We can say that the interventions of imperialism, their effort to cover the reality of what really happens, makes it complicated for us to understand the essence of what happens. “Anti-‐imperialism” could be a strut to underestimate the revolts of the people against the tyrannical powers. Thus it is beneficial to look at the current developments in Syria from that perspective. Continue reading
Avrupa Türkiyeli İşçiler Konfederasyonu
Konfederasyona Karkerên ji Tirkîye li Ewropa
Konföderation der Arbeiter aus der Türkei in Europa
Confederation of Workers from Turkey in Europe
La Confédération des Travailleurs de Turquie en Europe
Confederatie van Arbeiders uit Turkÿe in Europa
To Press and Public!
US imperialism and other imperialist forces have intensified their administrative policies on the Middle- East and the recent developments in Syria. In order for the imperialists to practice such policies they gave/give an important role to the fascist Turkish state. The Turkish state has mobilized an “opposition against the human rights violations in Syria” and PM R.T. Erdogan tries to show himself in public as an advocate of human rights. The fascist AKP government applies on every provocation in order to open a war against Syria.
The recent incident is an open example for this in the border village Akçakale five people were killed by a rocket coming from the Syria borders and now Turkey uses this to complete its war mongering policies which are designed by imperialism. There is a great possibility that this bomb was thrown by the imperialists themselves or an anti-Syria opposition in Turkey, which was nourished by the AKP government, and now the state is calling upon the UN and the NATO. It is very clear that Turkey and the imperialists try to use the incident in Akçakale to initiate an open war against Syria. We all know that a war against Syria is only going to affect the oppressed Syrian people, instead of freedom this war will bring blood and exploitation. The main purpose of the fascist Turkish state is it to march into Syria and for this it shows the Esad fascism as a excuse but we all know that Esad and Erdogan used to be close friends initiating common policies against the progressive revolutionary movements in both countries and against the Kurdish national movement. Continue reading
17 July 2012
ATIK – YDG | 17 – 07 – 2012 | There are currently 771 students kept in prisons because they claimed their right to equal, free, scientific education and lessons to be in their mother tongue. They faced disciplinary actions, suspensions, repression, violence and imprisonment due to their opposing stance. This, once again proves that the ruler have no forbearance to any kind of opposing and demand for rights.
Those students who fight for their rights are seen as “a head to axe before it grows”. Universities are no longer institutions of science, wisdom and intellectualism where students research, debate and develop their knowledge in social and political matters; they are instead turned into private factories with rote, competitive, non-scientific, unqualified education to create its homogenised human type. The fascist TC State continues all its attacks on those who oppose, stand against and speak up to its brutal doings. The ruling fascist mentality doubles the force of its attacks when revolutionary or Kurdish students are involved. People’s youth, particularly the Kurdish youth are targeted and arrested without any evidence. They arrest these young people for reading legal books and papers, attending press conferences, and as in the example of Cihal Kirmizigul, they get arrested for wearing a “pusi” which is a traditional middle eastern scarf which became a very trendy fashion item all around the world and was worn by all off the large party leaders in Turkey during their visits to the east.
AHM-ATİK News Center
TURKEY | 27 – 06 – 2012 | A specially authorized court in the eastern province of Malatya sentenced Kurdish-Alevi singer Ferhat Tunç to two years in prison on terrorism related charges due to his invocation of the names of deceased Turkish leftists during a speech on May 1, 2011.
The Malatya specially authorized Third Court for Serious Crimes sentenced Kurdish-Alevi singer and composer Ferhat Tunç to two years behind bars on the charge of “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” due to his invocation of the names of deceased Turkish leftists Deniz Gezmiş, Mahir Çayan and İbrahim Kaypakkaya during a speech he gave on May 1, 2011 in the eastern province of Dersim (Tunceli.)
“I greet you all in the revolutionary spirit of Deniz Gezmiş, Mahir Çayan and İbrahim Kaypakkaya,” Ferhat Tunç had said during the May 1st celebrations in Dersim in 2011.
The decision was unexpected and politically motivated, Tunç told bianet.
Lawyer Ercan Kanar, who represents Tunç in court, also said the court had convicted his client on the claim that he was making propaganda on behalf of the Maoist Communist Party (MKP) because of his reference to İbrahim Kaypakkaya during the speech. Continue reading