A Turkish Spring?

Turkey in Turmoil

[Following is a slightly abridged version of a statement issued by the Labour Party (EMEP), Turkey in the wake of recent mass upheal in Turkey]

How can anyone interpret the ongoing widespread massive demonstrations in Turkey? A Turkish Spring? A public upheaval? Or a coup attempt ignited by the nationalists?

To make a realistic interpretation,one must consider the latest political incidents in Turkey. Definitely, it is not just one spark which glinted the fire. AKP Government,the most loyal ally of US and Western Imperialism in Middle East, an important actor of the Greater Middle East Initiative and the most devoted executor of Neo-liberal politics;and its policies were found extensive protests for years. The policies such as disposal of public property to multinational institutions and to local tycoons,massive dismissals, the reorganization of the working life against workers outsourcing, union-busting, restriction of social rights, lower wages, increased exploitation of labor in the name of increasing performance evoked insurgency everyday in factories and institutions.

On the other hand, the ignorance and the assimilative policies on Kurdish people, massive detentions caused tremendous repercussions.

The urbanite bourgeoisie were disturbed by the religious based practices and the statements of the AKP Govemment. lmplementation of compulsory religious education in secondary schools, re-arrangement of the education system according to religious references requested, the increase in the number of religious schools, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which employs a huge army of clerics to arbitration, restrictions for the sale of alcoholic beverages and smoking, replenish of the bureaucratic cadre by the religious sections called the pro-AKP.

AKP, by creating high interest rates and selling the public domain to foreign capital at very low rates, provided a flow of hot money and tried to attract the share capital which refrain from investing their money in the Middle East or in the Western banks and companies. So that the AKP government was more successfull so far as Europe and US in slurring over the world economic crises.

But, lately, the hot money flow from abroad has been decreased. AKP government tried to avoid the economical predicament by implementing a construction campaign so called "Urban transformation".
The Syrian policy of AKP government unplugged a great dissatisfaction amongst people. The monetary aid supporting the radical Islamic organisations and groups and deploying these groups on Syria border caused lots of issues. The radical islamists became a menacing power for the Alawite majority on the border, harbouring the radical islamists impaired the trade and the economy in the area.

In these circumstances, Prime minister Erdogan announced that a Shopping mall would be built in Taksim Park.The Shopping mall would be constructed as a caserne. Artillery Barracks during the bourgeois revolution in 1908,known as the headquarters of reactionary forces,and the centre of the uprising AKP,resuscitating the barracks,is advocating the March 31, 1908 reactionary uprising and also wanted to take revenge of the 1908 Revolution.

Business machines,taking action to demolish Taksim Park attracted thousands of people to Taksim Gezi Park. Late at night,after the main mass had left the park,the police forces attacked a small group sleeping in tents.The tents were burned by the police, the activists were beaten and exposed to pepper gas. A all too familiar scenario of Arab spring.

This latest attack,exasperated a very wide range of masses and tens of thousands of people departed to Taksim. When the working hours ended,the number of the masses accumulated in Taksim reached one hundred thousand. Dense gas and water cannons were used in the police attack.Despite the censorship promoted by the bourgeois media,by the efforts of social media and a few revolutionary and democratic organs the events has been transferred to the public. Actions spread to Ankara and Izmir. People dpn’t leave the streets until dawn. Inzmir, Ankara and Istanbul the clashes between the police and the activists had become tough. Barricades been built. During the clashes,some youngsters died in Ankara, Istanbul and Hatay.Tens of thousands of people have been injured and been arrested. Labour Party's youth branch administrator in Ankara has also been injured and arrested.

Most of the protesters were composed of youngsters and women.The football team supporters also participated in the demonstrations by putting off the challenges between them.The most used slogans of the actions were "Resignate Government" and "Resignate Tayyip". The masses participated in the demonstrations were often unorganised.

Labour Party, all revolutionary and democratic parties, greens, environmentalists, chambers of physicians, engineers and architects’ rooms, public sector workers’ unions, the Alawite, intellectuals and artists, lawyers,nationalist groups all composed the secular sections which agree that the AKP government was slowly building a religious law system.

Labour Party [EMEP] participating in the demonstrations with all its cadre and organisations, tried to attract the labour, proletarian and the unions to the action.

Summoned for the Kurdish problem’s democratic and populist solution, abolition of restrictions on freedom of press, expression and association, the rights of the Alewite, for return of usurped rights of the working class and labourers, removal of the election threshold, to determine and punish those responsible for the massacres at Roboski and Reyhanli, providing the police for gas-spraying of demonstrators, for the prohibition of dismissal of cities, prohibition of destruction of green spaces for rent by looting and an end to logging.  The Labour Party called for general strike and resistance.

Public Labourer Union (KESK) and Revolutionary Labourer Unions Confederation are installing a general strike. The event in Turkey this week, has similar and different aspects from the processes experienced in Tunisia, Egypt or other Arabian countries.The similarities are wide masses saying ‘‘This is enough’’.

It is clear that the people revolting against the ruling class for their own rights and freedom will be strengthened by the international solidarity and unity.

Vol. 45, No. 51, June 30 -Jul 6, 2013

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