This statement was published on 4 November, immediately after the police raids on the homes of the HDP MPs for the Turkish audience in Turkish. It was translated into English by several comrades.The footnotes are by editor.
On the night of 3 November into 4 November, the state took the will of 5 million Kurds under custody! This is the gist of what has happened. It is the freedom of 5 million predominantly Kurdish voters and the other pro-HDP segments of society, that was forcefully stolen when the HDP deputies, who entered parliament having surpassed the 10 percent threshold under arduous conditions one year ago almost to the day at the 1 November election, were grabbed from their homes as a result of a police raid in the middle of the night. It is not only the HDP deputies’ freedom, but also 5 million voters’ right to elect their parliamentary representatives that is being hijacked.
Why? Why are these deputies elected with millions of votes taken under custody? The explanation provided is senseless: It is because these deputies did not report to court to give their testimonies, it is said. Let us go back for a moment: it is not routine practice that deputies should be summoned by prosecutors to give their testimonies. How then does this happen? It is because the parliamentary immunity of these deputies was lifted. Let us then ask: why was the immunity of these deputies lifted?
The answer to this question is clear. Everyone in Turkey knows the answer yet can no longer speak out. The administration Tayyip Erdogan-AKP has intensified the war just because it lost the election of 7 June 2015. The answer is that simple. For Erdogan, the way out of this electoral loss was to terminate the so-called “peace negotiations” with the Kurds, to step up the war as well as trigger chauvinism among the Turks, and thus to get the votes of nationalist segments of society whilst forging a closer alliance with the MHP under the leadership of Devlet Bahceli. Since then thousands of youth and people of other ages have lost their lives from both sides; the reason for this is the need of the AKP government to increase its share of the vote and to acquire the majority of seats in parliament. Turkey is captive to the ambitions of one man and society as a whole is paying the price.
The concept of 1993 has been “revived” in the form of the concept of 2015
With this step taken, it is now more than obvious that despite the cosmetics of the so-called “peace,” or “opening,” or “solution process” Turkey has not advanced one step in the Kurdish question. On 4 March 1994, their immunity being lifted, some DEP deputies were taken away by police from parliament. This incident, especially the photo of a police officer grabbing one MP, Orhan Dogan, by the neck, has created a traumatic impact on political life in Turkey. Some of these deputies were cleared of blame and reentered parliament. 22 years later, however, the Turkish state is once again notoriously attacking the Kurdish deputies with exactly the same police methods!
4 March 1994 was the result of the ill-famed “concept of 1993.” This was a policy that targeted the Kurds engaged in civilian politics and resulted in the massacre of many at the time. The authors of this policy were Tansu Ciller, then prime minister, and Mehmet Agar, erstwhile police chief promoted to minister under Çiller. In 2015, when the AKP wanted to take the revenge of the 7 June election by shutting down the “solution process” in blind fury, The Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP) dubbed this turnaround as the “concept of 2015” precisely with reference to the similarities between 1993 and 2015. The persecution against the deputies that we are currently witnessing is a confirmation demonstrating the return to the aforementioned era.
We shall pay specific attention to the date: the night of 3 November into 4 November. 3 November is the 20th anniversary of the Susurluk incident, which has a prominent place in the politics of Turkey. The police raided the homes of the HDP deputies at night, not in the morning as they usually do so that mass protests would not erupt suddenly. That said, the raid was on 3 November!
This is no mere coincidence. The government of the AKP has already made a habit of putting its signature on symbolically important dates in the political history of Turkey. The 2010 (constitutional) referendum was held on 30th anniversary of the 12 September coup d'Etat. Tayyip Erdogan bid his time up until the last day the constitution accorded him in order to sign the constitutional change regarding the lift of parliamentary immunity on 7 June, i.e. the first anniversary of the 7 June elections. There are other examples as well. Through the detainment of the HDP’s co-leaders and deputies, the AKP government declares the triumph of the “deep state”, employing the previously used methods without hesitation. The detainment of HDP deputies on that very day could also be interpreted as a sign of victory celebration, given that the AKP first came to power in the elections of 3 November 2002.
Another meaning of the choice of date is to rehabilitate Mehmed Agar. Suleyman Soylu, a student of Mehmed Agar’s, was recently appointed as the Minister of Internal Affairs. Right after this appointment, Mehmed Agar, apparently a bone fide person for the government, was summoned to the Parliamentary Commission of Investigations on Military Interventions. There he said: “even a month of restoration of the security forces has resulted in the prevention of many suicide bombers.” Why does he particularly emphasize the “one month”? It is because he made the statement in October and Suleyman Soylu was appointed minister in September. Agar vouches for Soylu. It is not difficult to judge the political character of a person vouched for by Agar!
When it comes to the Kurdish question, Sözcü becomes the spokesperson of the AKP, Aydınlık radiates the light of the lightbulb!
To understand why the AKP escalated the war after the defeat of Erdogan and the AKP on 7 June 2015, it is not necessary to look at why Bahçeli (leader of the fascist party, MHP) holds Erdogan dear today, whereas he declared him a traitor yesterday. Vatan Partisi (Fatherland Party) and the newspaper Aydınlık,which yesterday declared Erdogan and the AKP their archenemy and themselves “soldiers of Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk]”, came around and aligned themselves with Erdogan when it came to the Kurdish question and the “deep state”. This ideological-poison-spilling, ex-generals’, supposedly left-wing organization’s purpose is to capture the “deep state” which had earlier fallen into the hands of Fethullah Gulen’s sect and to crush the liberation demands of the Kurdish people.
After all, the Fatherland Party and Aydınlık have now declared their support for Erdogan. But what about Sozcu? This newspaper is still bragging about its opposition to Erdogan here and there but when it comes to the Kurdish question, it is nothing less than Aydınlık. Yılmaz Ozdil’sKurd-bashing racism with his sharp-tongued style would make many an authors of YeniAkitblush.
That means clinging to Turkish nationalism on the Kurdish question is dividing the anti-AKP camp sorely. Whoever shows hostility toward the Kurds is aiding the success of Erdogan and the AKP’s Rabiist program with its horrible impending sectarian war and its dreams about dominating the Sunni world. Whoever positions themselves against the Kurds in the arena of the Middle East is helping US imperialism to tighten its teeth on Turkey’s neck!
CHP’s role is particularly reactionary in this context. On the one hand, they are supposedly carrying on a dialogue with the HDP. On the other hand, it participates in the National Consensus from which the HDP is excluded, a consensus helping stabilize the stock market and the rate of exchange; at its best, it mumbles imperceptibly that “the HDP, too, should have been invited to Yenikapi”. Even more disgraceful is that when the parliamentary immunity was being voted on, Kilicdaroglu (the leader of CHP) voted for under the excuse of “acting tactically”. If Demirtaş, Yuksekdag and their colleagues have been taken into custody in police raids, if the will of 5 million Kurds has been trampled upon, if the PMs elected by the Kurds have been handed to counterterrorism squads today, the shame of such acts goes with Kilicdaroglu as well! But if Erdogan ever wants to form a Kurd-basher “national government” with the aid of Bahceli, he will appoint Baykal (the ex-leader of CHP) as a minister to that government, not Kilicdaroglu!
For the vanguard workers, it is inadmissible that their Kurdish brothers’ and sisters’ political will is shackled!
The reason that the so-called opponents of Erdoğan and the AKP are closing the ranks with the government when it comes to the Kurdish question is because Turkish capital as a whole, that is to say not just the Albayrak family (i.e. the Islamist fraction of the Turkish bourgeoisie) but also the Koç family (i.e. the secular, pro-western fraction of the Turkish bourgeoisie) has an eye on the oil of the Kurdish region of Iraq. Therefore, there is a convergence in the ranks of the bourgeoisie regarding the Kurdish question. Massoud Barzani, who controls that Kurdish region, is cheek by jowl with the AKP government. The bourgeois state of Turkey cannot allow any force but Barzani to represent the Kurdish people. And Barzani within Kurdish society represents the interests of the Kurdish tribes and the newly burgeoning rentier bourgeoisie under the aegis of the US imperialism and Turkey under the AKP. Hence, Barzani has turned his back on the other forces of the Kurdish people.
It is for this reason that Turkey, under the guidance of the AKP, started to pursue an adventure in the Middle East, carrying out a policy which would result in Turkish and Kurdish youth spilling their blood in Iraq, Syria and possibly elsewhere. The price of the multiplying profits of capital thanks to oil would be the risk of losing their lives for the working class, poor peasants and urban poor, especially their younger strata. The result of this policy in the domestic politics of Turkey would be the exacerbation of the ongoing war based on the Kurdish question, which has been going on for more than thirty years. The detention of the Kurdish MPs is the result of this oil-based policy. The oil opening has triumphed over the Kurdish opening!
The working class has neither one life to spare nor one youth to sacrifice for the profits of others. This being the case, class-conscious vanguard workers will doubtless object to the violation of the political will of the Kurdish people, of the five million Kurds. The Kurdish people are a poor people, to whom we are tied with a fraternal bond. Just like our workers, they too have a right to speak their own language, listen to their own music, name their offspring as they please and be represented by the representatives chosen by them.
The government, which violates the rights of Kurdish people in the most abhorrent manner, is also attacking every single gain and right of the working class, depriving it from these. The miners of Zonguldak, and the toiling people of Zonguldak as a whole, are facing the onslaught of privatization, in all likelihood they will face the threat of losing their jobs or falling victim to corporate manslaughter after becoming subcontracted workers. What would they have against the Kurds? The main factor providing job security for the veteran workers was severance pay. If the payment is transferred to a central fund, their job security will vanish. A worker would lose his job at the first friction, and even if (s)he finds a new job, (s)he would be working without any job security. As Erdogan put it in his meeting with the bosses, even if they would not lay off the workers “manu militari” they would deprive them of any kind of job security. What do the Kurds have to do with this? Becoming a servile hand working without any rights will become the only way that an unemployed young person could achieve his or her dream of getting a job, via private employment agencies. Who could blame the Kurds for this?
But above all it is the state of emergency! The struggling workers and engineers of Zonguldak have just been laid off by a decree law. The purpose of this move is to hinder the struggle against privatization. Members of KESK, the most progressive trade-union confederation of public employees, are constantly being laid off by decree laws. The purpose lying behind this is to prevent a struggle while divesting the law providing job security for public employees of any positive content. Can we be sure that a new decree law will not transfer the severance payment into a central fund? Thus, we can conclude that the same state of emergency is affecting the workers, the toilers and the Kurds.
For these reasons, the working class should fight against war, the state of emergency which deprives them of their democratic rights and American imperialism, not against the Kurds. The Kurds are the brothers and sisters of the workers. Preserving this fraternity would serve the interest of the working class.
Let us then all raise our voices together:
No to the shackling of the will of five million Kurds!
Free the HDP MPs!
Not a single young man, not a drop of blood for the oil war!
Fight against the USA, and not the Kurds!
Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP)
A car accident near the town of Susurluk on 3 November 1996 laid bare the extent of atrocities against the Kurds and others and of the relations of the “deep state” with the mafia and the fascist cadre.
Supposedly a staunch defender of the republic against Erdogan and the AKP, now supporting the latter.
A columnist of the daily Sozcu.
A very reactionary pro-Erdogan daily.