Kurdish nationalism – another pawn in imperialist conflicts

In order to understand the significance of the escalation of events following the September 2017 referendum about Kurdish independence on the territory of the present Iraqi State and the reactions of the governments in the region and worldwide, we have to go back to historical developments that took place more than a century ago. This article is published at the same time as "Erdogan’s ‘New Turkey’: a prime illustration of capitalism’s senility" and we recommend reading the two articles together.

Erdogan's "New Turkey": a prime illustration of capitalism's senility

The history of Turkey, particularly its relatively recent history, is a complex one and we can't possibly cover all of it in one article. For example, we will produce a separate piece to look at the intimately-related "Kurdish Question", in which the demand for national self-determination was already an anachronism at the turn of last century. But in looking at some significant examples of the operations of the Turkish state from its inception, and particularly since the 1990's, we can clearly identify the global developments of economic crisis, repression, militarism and irrationality that have marked the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. We can ask the questions of what global components of the decadence of capitalism, and what specific elements of Turkey's past, affect and direct the present situation of a totalitarian, militarised and increasingly Islamicised state; and we can also ask to what extent this dire situation is the result of the unbridled ambition of one man and his "vision" or whether it represents the latest twists of Turkish imperialism in the increasing chaos in the Middle East imposed on it by a generalised capitalist decomposition.

The “New Turkey” brings new problems for the country, the Middle East and beyond

The internal response to the July 15/16 attempted coup was, according to Turkish President Erdogan, a “Gift from God”. He insisted that the “cleansing” would continue and the “virus would be eradicated” along with terrorists wherever they were. Sure enough, a Stalinist-like purge, with lists of names already drawn-up, was implemented with force and the war against the Kurds in south-east Turkey immediately stepped up.


Turkey: The cure for state terror isn't democracy

The article that follows was written by the comrades of our section in Turkey – a young section, both in the history of the ICC and in the age of its members. Both as revolutionaries and as part of the generation that has led the revolt, these comrades have been actively involved in the movement on the streets and this represents a first report ‘on the spot’ and a first attempt to analyse the significance of the movement.

Internationalism is the only response to the Kurdish issue

In early August 2012, an international anarchist meeting was held in the commune of St Imier (Swiss Jura). One of the speakers was the spokesperson of Fekar. The initiative to let this person speak at the meeting was taken by the Swiss group of the Forum of German-speaking Anarchists, which aims to bring together Turkish/Kurdish anarchists in a single federation.

After the 1908 mutiny: mass strikes and the socialist movement

The event that bears the closest similarities to the 1908 revolt, is the Russian Revolution of 1905. The most obvious similarity is the fact that in both cases, faced with massive opposition, absolutist monarchies granted constitutional regimes and parliaments. The difference was that the Ottoman Meclis-i Mebusan was considerably stronger than the Russian Duma, and the Ottoman bourgeoisie was determined not to hand power back to the monarchy.

The development of the Left Wing of Armenian and Macedonian socialism

After three years organizing and six years of intense activity, by 1896 two clear factions had appeared within the Revolutionary Hunchak Party. One was led by Avetis Nazarbekian and his wife Maro Vardanian, who controlled the party center. The other was formed by their opponents. However this split within the Party was far from being simply about the personalities of Nazarbekian and Vardanian. The dissidents were opposing a very basic and integral part of the party line, namely that it was socialist.

Socialism and the workers’ movement in the Ottoman Empire

The article published here is the first part of The Left Wing of the Turkish Communist Party, beginning a new edition of this pamphet. 

In 1889 the Second International was founded as a result of the attempts of the socialist parties of Western European countries such as Germany, France and Belgium to bring together different social democratic parties of the time. For the most part, the world communist movement of the future would emerge from this organization. While the Second International remained focused on Western Europe from its foundation to its collapse, and while it was designed from the start as a federation of national parties rather than a centralized structure, it was nevertheless to become a magnet for all the socialist movements of the time, from North and South America to the Far East.

The choice is imperialist war or class war

Over and over again, we have been told that in any military conflict there is no choice but to take sides for one or the other party in the conflict: for democracy against dictatorship, for "the people" against "imperialism". This article proposes an in-depth analysis of the tensions between the different imperialist states in the Middle East and in doing demonstrates clearly that the workers can expect nothing, no improvement in their lot, from any of the regimes in place or from any of the so-called "revolutions" of the Arab spring.

Turkey, Syria and war

Recently, the Turkish agenda has been shaken by the possibility of war with Syria; a situation which is still, more or less, intact. Following the deaths of five civilians as a result of the shelling of a town called Akçakale, near the city of Urfa, the government rapidly included Syria in the new bill it was preparing, giving it the right to militarily intervene in Iraq. It was altered to give the government the authority to militarily intervene abroad in general. It was also declared that Turkey had started shelling Syria. As the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and members of his Justice and Development Party started openly expressing the possibility of the war option, death dealers quickly appeared among the Turkish bourgeois press, going as far as accusing those opposed to war of cowardice.

Turkish Airlines Strike: workers up against bosses and union

The transportation sector is one of the life veins of capitalism. Because of this, the air transportation has an immense significance. So when the Turkish Minister of Economy Ali Babacan said “No offense to anyone, strikes will be banned in strategic sectors such as this one!”, he was clearly expressing not only the significance of this sector but also what was to come.

Internationalism is the only solution to the Kurdish Question!

We are publishing below a resolution adopted on the developments in Kurdistan, adopted by the recent territorial conference of the ICC section in Turkey. Our resolution, aims to explain clearly who the millions of people encircled by this imperialist war are being forced to give their lives for. It is founded on our position that the only solution for the working class which is being forced into butchering its class brothers and sisters for the sake of the imperialist interests of different nations is class war on the basis of internationalism.

Tekel- Turkey: Passing on the experience of the class struggle

At the end of 2009 a workers’ struggle began in Turkey, which became known far beyond its borders, not least because a delegation of the strikers visited Western Europe in June and July 2010. It came to report on its experiences and to draw lessons together with those interested in doing so.


Gaza blockade: From Israel to Turkey all states are warmongers

On 31 May, Israeli troops raided a flotilla of ships, backed by Turkey to bring ‘humanitarian aid' to the Gaza strip. The results were extremely shocking: marines from one of the best equipped and most highly trained armies in the world killed a number of unarmed members of the flotilla, most of them Turks. The Israeli authorities, as cynical as ever, claimed that they acted in self-defence.

Tekel strike: How to organise outside the unions?

In the first article we published on the Tekel struggle, we gave an account of the developments until January 20th. In this article, we will continue from where we left off, and try to give an account of what went on from the erection of the Tekel workers' camp in the centre of Ankara to March 2nd, when the workers left Ankara.  What will be told is the story of the entire working class...

Turkey: Solidarity call for the "Platform of struggling workers"

Militant workers from recent workers' struggles in Turkey, including National Tobacco and Alcohol Monopoly (TEKEL) workers, Istanbul Water and Sewers Department (ISKI) workers, firemen, Sinter metal workers, Esenyurt municipality workers, Marmaray building workers, dustmen, workers from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and workers from the ATV-Sabah News Corporation, have come together and established a workers' group called the Platform of Struggling Workers. The ICC is calling on comrades to support the workers' group through the Paypal button to the right.

Pan Asian Conference of the ICC

In the middle of Feb 2010, ICC held a conference of its sections in Asia. The Conference was attended by delegates from the ICC's sections in the Philippines and Turkey, as well as by the sections in India. We were glad to welcome the delegate of an internationalist group in Australia and many sympathizers of our section in India. Two internationalist groups from Korea who took part in the ICC's last international congress were invited, but at the last minute were unable to come. These comrades sent solidarity and greetings to the Pan Asian Conference and also sent a brief account of the situation of the class struggle in Korea.

Turkey: Solidarity with Tekel workers' resistance against government and unions!

We reproduce below the account of the Tekel tobacco-workers' strike, published by the ICC's section in Turkey.
On December 14th 2009, thousands of workers of Tekel enterprises from dozens of cities in Turkey left their homes and families in order to travel to Ankara. The workers of Tekel took this journey with the aim of struggling against the horrible conditions forced upon them by the capitalist order. This honorable struggle of the Tekel workers which has been going on for more than a month now, carried the idea of a strike in which all workers would participate. By doing so, the workers of Tekel started leading and carrying forward the working class movement in the whole country. What we will try to give the account of here is the story of what happened so far in the Tekel struggle. It should not be forgotten that what this account concerns not just the Tekel workers, but the workers of the whole world. We owe our warm thanks to the Tekel workers for making the writing of this article possible by pushing the struggles of our class forward, by their determined struggle and by explaining to us what they went through, their experiences and thoughts.

Welcome to the ICC’s new sections in Turkey and the Philippines

Our last international congress, for the first time in a quarter century, was able to welcome the delegations of different groups that stood clearly on internationalist class position. Since then, the discussions with the comrades of EKS and Internasyonalismo led them to pose their candidature to join the ICC, given their growing agreement with our positions.

EKS: Debate on the strike at Türk Telekom

We are publishing below a series of four articles translated from the Turkish by the comrades of Enternasyonalist Komünist Sol, all dealing with the recent strike at Türk Telekom. Readers will remember that we have already published an article on this subject (the second in this series), entitled "Victory at Türk Telekom" which covered the end of the 44-day strike by 26,000 workers, which ended with a 10% wage increase. We are now able to publish the complete series of the articles published on the subject by EKS: the first was written at the beginning of the strike and analysed briefly the forces in the conflict, while the second covered the end of the strike which it considered as a victory for the workers.

EKS: Turkish ımperialism’s latest adventure in northern Iraq

We are publishing here an article from the Turkish group Enternasyonalist Komünist Sol (EKS), which analyses the different imperialist interests and rivalries underlying the Turkish army's recent incursions into northern Iraq. We consider it important for several reasons: first and foremost, by offering a clear analysis on an internationalist basis, it strikes a blow against both Turkish and Kurdish nationalism, in a region where the propaganda campaigns of all the competing bourgeois factions are doing their utmost to stoke nationalist hatreds so as to use the workers and poor masses as cannon fodder in their own sordid struggles for power and influence; second, it gives a voice to the feelings of indignation and revolt among the workers in Turkey who have been conscripted into this bloody conflict, and gives the lie to the bourgeoisie's claims, in Turkey and elsewhere, about universal popular support for the war.


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