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Contribution of the Communist Party of Turkey

Dear comrades,

We are passing through an utterly critical period for the region in which Turkey is located, and for the entire world as well. This period is critical not because a new revolutionary era has started due to the developments in North Africa and the Middle East as certain intellectuals, “left-wing forces” or even communist parties claim. If we were in a position to actually claim that a new revolutionary era has started, then we would be seeing toiling masses rising up against the wicked aggression against Libya all around the region, all over the world, rather than NATO jets daftly opening a new front. If we were in a position to claim that the doors of a new revolutionary era has been opened, the most important determinant of the international developments would not be the interests, pursuits, internal conflicts and rivalries of imperialism.

The character of this period is not that it is revolutionary. The character of the period is the rampant aggression of imperialism which, in view of the deep crisis it has been going through, is aware of the fact that it can overcome this crisis by shedding even more blood, by eliminating whatever remained from the world in which Soviet Union existed, and by re-organizing the international sphere according to its current needs. They have decided to establish new balances in the “Greater Middle East”; knowing that the balances in this region deeply affect the balances of the entire international sphere, they are shedding blood there once again. We may call this as a new attempt of imperialist restoration.

We observe that this large-scale thrust has coincided with the legitimate and fair demands of change of the popular uprisings in the region. Even though the character of the period is a new imperialist restoration, this by no means reduces the legitimacy of the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, which certainly played a role in the unfolding of events. There is no doubt that in the root of the popular uprisings, deep capitalist exploitation in the region and collaboration with imperialism has an important share. For sure, we do not deem the demand of the people who rallied for overthrowing reactionary accomplices of imperialism such as Bin Ali or Mubarak from power illegitimate.

However, dear comrades, we are Leninists; when we say “revolution”, we take the principles of Leninism and the Great October Revolution accomplished in light of these principles as our guideline. Marxist-Leninists act on the premise that it is not sufficient for a popular uprising to have a revolutionary character simply because it develops on a legitimate and rightful basis. Because a revolution in the Marxist-Leninist sense is the shift of political power from the hands of one social class to another.

Now we shall ask: in which country where popular uprisings occurred we observe such a change of political power or in which of them we can say that such a change can be seen on the horizon?

What we see, and what is most likely to be materialized in the near future, is the establishment of Islamist regimes that are compatible with the interests of imperialism in the region. By whom? By the remainders of imperialist accomplices that belong to the old regimes, by the army as in the case of Egypt, by the liberals and Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. And, of course, by the clear and overt inducement of imperialism… There is no doubt that the crowds that gathered in the Tahrir Square for weeks were glorious. Yet, it was Hillary Clinton who said “the task is accomplished, the glory is ours” in the very same Square. What immediately followed this figurative declaration was to charge NATO jets, battle ships and soldiers with a new “mission”, the mission to conquer Libya.

Dear comrades,

We should also admit that the imperialist restoration attempt in the region does not solely consist of building Islamist regimes in compliance with the interests of imperialism and providing pretexts for new imperialist invasions. They have launched a large-scale ideological assault as well. One of the main targets of this assault, which is also among the themes of our meeting today, is “the sense”, “the reason” of the left.

When we look at the more than hundred years old history of imperialism, we see that whenever it makes a big move to shake the international balances, it also plans how to overpower the left, how to transfigure it. In 1914, they tried to do this through the social democratic parties affiliated with the Second International. Indeed, in developed capitalist countries the left was subjugated by the bourgeoisie long before 1914, but the intensity of 1914 caused their betrayal to become explicit. The force of this betrayal could be deferred by the revolutionary communist movement as the October Revolution shook the world and changed the entire ground, and hence the communist movement could break away from the bourgeois left. After this moment, social democracy embraced its role as the “left-wing of the capitalist system” and became the mainstream of the bourgeois left. Breaking the ties with the bourgeois left due to the vaccine injected by the October Revolution had remained as a reality which had a relatively long-lasting effect. Although the bourgeoisie had always sought for the ways of nibbling the revolutionary left from within, the authority of the Revolution had continued to be the main pillar to rule out the attempts to have the communist movement in tow.

As soon as the authority of the October Revolution could be shaken and as soon as it finally ceased to be a solid fact, both social democracy and the “new left”, which pursued the role of nibbling the revolutionary movement from within, started to provide answers for the needs the capitalist class under these new circumstances by closing their distance with liberalism entirely. In order to paralyze the revolutionary left, step-by-step, they thrived to seize the ideological ammunitions of the revolutionary left by attributing them liberal contents. The weak, unfirm sections of the left failed to resist this pressure and hailed the new hegemonic force in the left.

The demise of real socialism and the disintegration of Yugoslavia were saluted with a “liberty” discourse by this new hegemonic force in the left. The crimes committed by imperialism during the split of Yugoslavia into pieces were being overlooked in the name of reckoning with the so-called “war criminal” Milosevic. This new hegemonic force was not challenging the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and with that stance, it was providing a timid support to the imperialist operation.

As the tension between Washington and European capitals escalated during the invasion of Iraq, the “bourgeois left” was influenced by the imperialist rivalry. The pro-American wing, which pursued the view that everything is okay against Saddam and the “anti-war” European wing had temporarily separated their ways. Certain fractions of the Iraqi left, which undisputedly betrayed their people in the midst of the unfolding events, were left holding the bag. Their support to the imperialist intruders proved how far things could go, and the inspiration they gave to the “new left” proved how much certain forces of the “new left” are ready to do for imperialism.

In Turkey, we have witnessed the “left” that takes Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) endeavor to build an Islamist regime kindly under the pretext of “taking issue with military tutelage”; we have even seen the “left” which went beyond this by explicitly supporting these endeavors. For sure, the AKP had an active role in designing a left that is compatible with what it seeks to achieve. While blending the well-established anti-communism of their Islamist tradition with Americanism and a pro-market discourse, the AKP has never stopped its attempts to design a new, “compatible left” with its targets. What I said for the Yugoslavian war is valid for this case as well: not challenging, not opposing imply support. Some of these forces that support the endeavors of the AKP did that deliberately, while some other were dragged into this course and became part of the process to design a “compatible left” as they lack the will to resist.

Dear comrades,

With the developments in the Middle East, this process of designing a new left compatible with the changing needs of imperialism has accelerated drastically. Unfortunately, the Latin American left provides a volatile stance, the European Union tries every way to strengthen its own “left design”, and the United States seems to be in love with the so-called “new movements” organized through online social networks… Observing these facts, we cannot deem it a mere slip of the tongue for instance when we see Obama praising the political power in Brazil, which happens to have close relations with the Brazilian left.

The confusion in the left on the developments in North Africa not only points to the level of capitalists’ attempts to design the left, but also encourages them. The stance of the world left vis-à-vis the imperialist aggression in Libya is just an example of this situation. We see the so-called leftists supporting this aggression on “humanitarian pretexts”; we see leftists that abstain from protesting the aggression; we see left forces that condemn the aggression for weird reasons! We even see those “leftists” who voted for a motion that instigates an imperialist intervention to Libya in this very building!

They are trying to design a leftism without socialism, without revolution.

In early 20th century, imperialism tried to design a new left as well. The leftists of the capitalist system who voted for the war budgets in 1914 in their parliaments experienced an historical defeat three years later. Because against the left-as-a-design, there stood the left-as-a-reality, the Revolution as a reality, which proved that the genuine left is the voice of enlightenment, patriotism and revolution.

It is true that the world after the Soviet Union resembles the world before the Soviet Union in many respects. The capitalist system was in a severe crisis back then, and it is in a severe crisis now marked by the intensification of inter-imperialist rivalries and tour de forces. While the impacts of the recent crisis affect the United States and especially Europe deeply, we could not expect that these blunders have no significant and widespread reflections in the Middle East, a region that is so critical for imperialism. While these blunders are transmitted to the Middle East, they try to design a left which deems these events as a total progression; a left which stand by the initiative developed by imperialism in the name of human rights. They raise a false question, which is should we oppose the re-organization of the region by imperialism or should we applaud the collapse of outdated regimes? This question, these so-called choices, are false, because the left which hesitates to strongly oppose the imperialist interventions for having a feeling such as “but, anti-democratic regimes are falling” would fail to resist imperialism’s attempt to liquidate the revolutionary movement. The path taken by those who remained shy and silent against the disintegration of Yugoslavia was paved by such false questions and hesitations.

Similarly, in Turkey, it is necessary not to allow such false, fabricated questions to define the path to be taken by the left. We have many examples of such false questions, which provide pretexts for designing a compatible left with the ambitions of the bourgeoisie. For instance, they ask, do you want the old Republic that is apparently against the will of the people in many respects to be changed or do you defend the status quo? This is a false question once again.

Yes, the communists in Turkey, Communist Party of Turkey, want a new Republic, a socialist republic that will be established by the socialist revolution. That is what we call for, that is why we call the peoples of our country not to bow their heads down before the reactionaries, the Islamo-fascist oppression, capitalist exploitation, imperialism. This is what we say to our peoples for the general election to be held on June 12. We call for the toiling masses to resist the reactionary transformation of our country, to challenge all the bourgeois parties that seek for a role within this reactionary transformation including not only the AKP, but the Republican Peoples Party as well. Because, only if the number of those who resist this transformation increase and only if their force can be brought together, we can march forward towards a socialist Republic.

Communist Party of Turkey recognizes that there are vast opportunities to strengthen such resistance. One prerequisite for increasing the number of those who do not submit to the new, Islamic regime is to oppose the AKP’s attempts to design its own compatible left. Yet, it is clear that this is not sufficient per se. Despite the AKP plays the lead in this process of regime change, it is not only the pursuit of this reactionary party but also the pursuit of the Turkish bourgeoisie with all other bourgeois parties included; it is a pursuit of imperialism as well, as we see in many articles in the Western press referring to Turkey as the “model”. Hence, our role is to challenge the entire social and political forces with all its variants that stand behind this transformation, which is the basis of our electoral campaign.

For the last time, allow me to underline that they are pushing for designing a left without socialism, without revolution. The future of the genuine left lies in our ability to counteract this design. Because the real left cannot be designed, it is a fact, a reality; it is the voice of the labor, enlightenment and the revolution.

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