Because We Know That We Have to Get Rid of People’s Alliance. We are aware that not even the simplest problems of toilers and the oppressed can be solved without getting rid of the People’s Alliance.
Because We Are Not Naive. We do not harbour parliamentarist delusions. We are against those who repeated the elections not to give up Istanbul Municipality, who attack Kurdistan with trustee appointments, who hold Demirtaş hostage. For those who disregard their own laws, who want to centralize their power by trampling state mechanisms, the elections exist only when they win.
Because We Are Not Part of Pro-US Opposition. The strategy of getting rid of People’s Alliance through a comprehensive electoral alliance that will win over 50 percent of the votes is in fact a strategy of class collaboration imposed by USA and its extensions in Turkey. Waiting for the elections means putting Nation Alliance at the forefront of the struggle.
Because Democracy Struggle Cannot Be Waged Alongside Certified Fascists and Capitalist Contractors. The democracy front of the Nation Alliance includes fascist like Meral Akşener, Mansur Yavaş, Felicity Party members who consider Sivas Massacre as a “sad incident”. İmamoğlu, on the other hand, is not only a boss who goes on a skiing vacation at the time of an earthquake. He does not only provide mentoring for socialists in trade union general assemblies. He reminds us that he is the friend of fascist in every occasion.
Because The Power of the Toilers Lie in Their Struggle. Those who want to get rid of People’s Alliance via elections delay all forms of struggle after 2023. The most revolutionary action they can take is to call for an early election. Moreover, those who tag behind Nation Alliance during elections reject all anti-government militant action. Their reasoning is always the same: “Let’s not get provoked by Erdoğan. Let’s not play into the hands of Erdoğan!” Waiting for the elections today means playing dead against the government.
Because We Have to Raise the Voice of the Kurds. Nobody in Turkey can be free as long as Kurds are chained. However, those who want to get rid of Erdoğan via elections don’t talk about the chains or oppression of the Kurds. They have to disregard the Kurds. The continuity of the alliance of fascists and counter-revolutionaries depend on the invisibility of Kurds.
Because We Have to Stand Against Chauvinist Policies in Syria. Two occupying nation states are fighting over the lands of an oppressed nation. However, those who want to beat Erdoğan in an election have to start their statements by saying “Let there be no harm to our soldiers”.
Because Syrian Migrants Are Not Our Enemies, They Are Our Class Brothers and Sisters. The liberation of toilers of Turkey can only be possible through a struggle with migrant workers. However, enmity towards Syrians wins votes because it appeals to the most backwards sections of the toilers and their most backwards emotions. This is why hatred towards Syrians is one of the key election strategies of the pro-US opposition. Hangers-on of the Nation Alliance have to be a part of hostile policies towards Syrians or have to stomach these policies.
Because a Democratic Constitution Is as Vital as Water and Bread. The question of Erdoğan is in fact a question of regime. Tayyip Erdoğan is standing because 12 September regime is in crisis. As long as 12 September regime is not replaced by another one, it will not be possible to get rid of People’s Alliance that sustains that regime. However, those who rely on elections do not have a new and democratic regime on their agenda. They propose returning 12 September Constitution to its pre-2017 or pre-2007 version.
Because a Constituent Assembly Is Needed For a New Constitution. Constituent assemblies are not formed in compliance with the laws of the former regime. Constituent assemblies are formed by disregarding the laws of the old regime. Counter-revolutionaries form constituent assemblies via coups. Toilers and the oppressed can only form their own constituent assemblies through a wave of protests, a mass mobilization that sweep away governments.
The Path of Liberation Through Independent and Mass Mobilization Against the People’s Alliance. Those who make their plans according to the 2023 elections, those who reduce the opposition against government to calls for early elections cannot clear the path for the struggle of the toilers. As direct or indirect extensions of the pro-US opposition, they can only hinder this struggle.
Let Us Raise the Independent Political Struggle Against the People’s Alliance!
Let Us Organize the Mobilization of the Toilers Rather Than Forming Alliances with Fascists and Bosses!
An independent and revolutionary line not a tailist one
In the last local elections, almost the whole leftist movement, especially the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), have supported Nation Alliance in key locales to “weaken Erdoğan”. Despite the maneuvers of People’s Alliance, Nation Alliance won the elections in Istanbul as well as in many important cities.
Contrary to the expectations of the hangers-on of the Nation Alliance, the defeat in the elections did not further weaken Justice and Development Party (AKP). More precisely, Erdoğan, who was already weakening independently of the elections and who had to rely on Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) because of that weakening, did not show any signs of losing his power that he tries to sustain via constitutional amendments.
Especially in Kurdistan, most of the municipalities that were taken back from the trustees were again handed over to the appointed trustees. Provided with unconditional support, Nation Alliance did not show any significant signs of resistance against the attacks to the left and HDP despite owing the victory to their support. Republican People’s Party (CHP) have (voluntarily) complied with the conditions put forward by İyi Party (İP), a party that exists due to the support of CHP. CHP still keeps the distance from those who have shown it unconditional support.
Without a doubt, this attitude is rooted in the nature and mission of CHP, an enemy of the left and one of the chief representatives of chauvinism. What is more important, however, is that the complacency of CHP is because of the unconditional support given by the left.
If this was all about a erroneous election tactic, this mistake that has not caused a major change in political situation would have lost its significance after the end of the elections. However, we are faced with a long-term election tactic that will last until the next elections. What is worse is that for the first time in a while the next elections are in a distant future. Moreover, all indications are that a new election will not decrease but rather increase the dependency of Erdoğan to MHP, which means the probability of an early elections is low. Therefore, the attitude of submitting to CHP in elections will continue to be a hindrance in every significant step in this period.
In every critical hurdle, CHP stresses that People’s Alliance and Erdoğan will answer for it in the ballot box, thereby blocking all forms of action and opposition except for elections. HDP, on the other hand, do not go beyond calling for an early election. In other words, they share the delusion of getting rid of Erdoğan via elections. This is a clear evidence of reformist/parliamentarist opportunism.
The mask that was used during Rojava Revolution is now removed. Various leftist movements that found “revolutionary” excuses for their tailist policies are left completely empty-handed. In other words, the way is clear for all liquidationist/reformist “union” traps that started to appear.
Cross-border operations do not go beyond complaining about “martyrs” and arise a wave of chauvinism that Erdoğan expects. Especially now, an adventure that will mean outright war is prone to causing more negative consequences. That is, the chauvinism that will be instigated via a state of war in the short term will not help the makeshift People’s Alliance. Besides, under these circumstances, Syrians have replaced Kurds as the target of chauvinism and a potential war of occupation in Syria will reinforce this.
Indeed, the statements made by İlker Başbuğ and the fact that Abdullah Gül is finally starting to speak again are clear signs that Erdoğan’s rivals are about to make a move.
It would be delusional to think that Nation Alliance, the auxiliary of the People’s Alliance, will behave differently. They are already trying to garner nationalist/chauvinist reactions against the wave of Syrian immigration caused by the “wrong policies in Syria”. They are trying to force People’s Alliance into a corner by doing so. On the other hand, they will of course stand behind the state and the army and “look out for the martyrs” as much as the government. Without a doubt enmity towards Kurds, although not always at the forefront, is and will remain to be among the key pillars of both camps.
On the other hand, although not replacing revolutionary movements and PKK as primary targets, a nondescript bogeyman called FETO has come into prominence within the context of “fight against terrorism” after the 17/25 December and especially 15 July events. After 15 July, the government is trying to categorize all opposition as within the FETO abstraction. Without protesting this stigmatization, the so-called opposition of Nation Alliance is reduced to distancing themselves by stressing that AKP/Erdoğan paved the way for that movement.
Under these circumstances, even though an election is not on the horizon, most within the leftist movement tag behind CHP as if they are obligated to continue this forced election tactic. Therefore, the need arises to distance oneself from this diversion that defers all struggle to the “ballot box”.
Having supported communist worker candidates in local elections because nobody else made a move to broke off with Nation Alliance, KöZ will continue to expose the the tailing of CHP/İP, an attitude that is presented as an election tactic despite the inexistence of any elections.
The main aim of this expose is to shed a light on the nature of the liquidationist/opportunist line that subjugates all opposition movements to the attitude of CHP/İP with parliamentarist delusions.
Until this day, we have advocated for the broadest unity of action of those who claim to uphold the interests of toilers. We have distanced ourselves from proposals and projects that narrowed down this unity of action via initiatives for a legal party. We will continue to insist on following this line in the upcoming period.
Whether others join in or not, we will continue calling for united actions independent from CHP and its reactionary allies with all movements who claim to uphold the interests of toilers and the oppressed. As a prerequisite of our claim to uphold Bolshevism and 71/72 revolutionary split, we will not abandon this line if we are left alone.
In this period, it is critical to expose CHP tailism as well as liquidationist opportunist who want to obstruct independent unity of action via legalist unity/party projects, which will lead to the same result in the end. That is because CHP tailism is the swamp that will inevitably trap the opportunists who cannot see any other path other than parliamentarism. The best conditions to warn the militants that they want to drag behind themselves and to unmask these opportunist by putting forwards the slogans “Revolution Is the Only Way!” and “Revolutionary Party for the Revolution!” arise at this juncture.
We are going through the most favorable period to unmask all opportunists and centrists. This is also a period, which will crystallize the claim to uphold Bolshevism and the revolutionary line of Communist International.
At this period, we will put forward the strategic aims of those who support the Union of Communists. We will mobilize all our forces to unite with the communists, who show the will to get out of the swamp of opportunism.
People’s Alliance Is the Product of Regime Crisis
Constituent Assembly for a New Regime
Erdoğan Is the Linchpin. There is no problem in Turkey that is not related to Erdoğan. Trustee appointments, adventurous moves in Syria and Libya, Osman Kavala’s arrest due to 15 July Coup Attempt the same day he was acquitted in Gezi Park protests trial are all related to Erdoğan. The sell-out agreement of Turkish Metal Union, the state of Fenerbahçe in the league with its supporters chanting “Son-in-Law Resign”, the ban on the statue in Taksim are all closely tied to Erdoğan’s fight for his political future.
The Question of Erdoğan Is the Question of Regime. Many talk about a regime question by claiming that Erdoğan has changed the regime. However, the fact that Erdoğan is trying to seize the authority of state institutions and to tie all of these institutions to himself via appointments and investigations is the clearest evidence that he is struggling within the old regime. We are not faced with someone who is progressing, gaining strength and consolidating his power over the state. On the contrary, Erdoğan is incapable of controlling his own party or the judges and the commanders he appoints. Politically, he has surrendered to Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of MHP, and dug himself into a hole in his Syrian adventure, losing room to maneuver. The real question is how does Erdoğan manage to remain standing despite the decline and erosion. The answer is obvious: Regime is in a worse state than Erdoğan. Its courtrooms, army, political parties, newspapers and televisions, none of the institutions of the regime is working. That is why Erdoğan is standing. The reason Erdoğan has stood for so many years is that ruling classes cannot rule Turkey the old way. The reason is the regime crisis in Turkey.
12 SEPTEMBER REGIME IS IN CRISIS
Because It Failed to Put the Straitjacket on Kurds. 12 September aimed for complete denial of Kurds and annihilation of the revolutionary movement as a whole. Contrary to all the whining, 12 September did not fulfill its aim, it could not subdue the Kurds. The strengthening of revolutionary dynamics in Kurdistan prevented the integration of all of the leftist movements to the system. The unending uprising of the Kurds strengthened revolutionary dynamics and forced a change of 12 September Constitution.
Because Military and Civilian Bureaucracy Was Disabled. The main support of the regime was the military and civilian bureaucracy. For 12 September Regime to work, National Security Council had to design the politics, jurisdiction had to intervene constantly and the president had to selected among the names approved by the soldiers. However, after mid 1990s, the priorities of US imperialism in particular has changed. USA, who had used Turkey as an outpost against the Soviet Union, wanted to insert Turkey into European Union as a Trojan horse and use it as a springboard in the Middle East. This meant that the privileges of the military and civilian bureaucracy had to be curtailed, they had to be taken out of politics and their power needed to be taken away. The operations starting in late 1990s and lasting over a decade have served this purpose. This way, the reform demands of USA weakened the support structure of the 12 September regime one by one.
Because Reforms Have Made Things Even Messier. Different parties have made contradictory regulations one after the other. Far from liquidating the Kurdish movement, the reforms made to appease the Kurds somewhat, led to the Kurdish movement spreading all over Turkey and becoming a stronger force in the politics of Turkey. Taking the military and civilian bureaucracy out of the picture made it impossible to retire worn-out Erdoğan. The purge that started as FETO Operation, tore the state bureaucracy to shreds. In the end, the constitutional amendment made by the encouragement of Bahçeli has made Erdoğan even more dependent to MHP, let alone forming a new regime. The rag tag constitution has irreversibly become impossible contradictory.
Broken Regime Keeps Erdoğan Afloat. Erdoğan’s efforts to survive are deepening the break down of the regime. For that very reason, the question of getting rid of Erdoğan has been inseparably intertwined with the question of the liquidation of the in-crisis 12 September Regime and the foundation of a new regime.
A New Constitution Cannot Be Created Within the Boundaries of the Old Regime. All changes made to the constitution since 1987 has increased the need for a new constitution. The activities of the committee for establishing a new constitution between 2011 and 2015 have objectively shown the impossibility of creating a new constitution based on the current assembly and political parties. A new constitution can only be created with a constituent assembly that is not bound by any laws. Such a constituent assembly can only be formed through a coup, like it has happened in Turkey so far, or a revolution, at least a people’s uprising that will overthrow the government.
Since 2007, KöZ Has Stressed the Need For A Constituent Assembly for a Democratic Constitution. The question of a new constitution first arose with the draft constitution prepared by TÜSİAD (Turkish Industry & Business Association) and Ergun Özbudun at the behest of AKP. Contrary to those who spread delusions of a new constitution, KöZ has stressed that the constitution cannot be changed in this manner.
The Fear of Revolution Is an Impasse for the Pro-US Opposition. Pro-US opposition, led by CHP, want to get rid of Erdoğan but they are scared to death of the revolutionary dynamics. Therefore, they attach the condition of opposing Erdoğan within the parliamentary boundaries for every movement that wants to collaborate with them. That is why the idea of a new and sovereign assembly that do not recognize the laws of the current Constitution is a distant one for the pro-US opposition. Those who are afraid of provoking revolutionary dynamics dream about getting rid of Erdoğan via parliamentary means. Talking about a return to the parliamentary system, the opposition is feeding into the delusion that return to the parliamentary system is possible by annulling changes made in 2017.
Pro-US Opposition Is Dreaming. It is not possible to get rid of Erdoğan via parliamentary means. It would be an unequaled naivety to think that those who use every trick in the book to reverse the local election results in İstanbul and Diyarbakır and those who appoint trustee after trustee would just give up the power if they lose Presidential elections. It is even more naive to think that a return to a so-called parliamentary regime is possible through elections. Leaving aside that Erdoğan would resist against that with all his power and that pro-US opposition would never reach the 360 representatives needed to make a constitutional amendment, it is also unclear which articles have to be reversed for a “return to the parliamentary system”. For example, is it possible to return to the old regime without touching the change in 2007 regarding the election of President via public vote, which was at the time approved by the likes of Akşener and Felicity Party? Not choosing the option of a Constituent Assembly because of their fear of revolutionary dynamics, Pro-US Opposition is dragging toilers to a dead end once again.
To Breathe a Sigh of Relief… This is the most common phrase used by the hangers-on of the pro-US opposition. They supported İmamoğlu and Nation Alliance to breathe a sigh of relief. They adopted CHP’s strategy of putting all eggs into the basket of elections to breathe a sigh of relief. However, workers, toilers, Kurds, women, Alawites can only breathe a sigh of relief with a constitution, a new regime that guarantees their rights and freedoms. The only way to get rid of Erdoğan, who is using the weaknesses and cracks of the regime, is through a new regime and a new constitution. Without a constituent assembly, such a constitution cannot be written, without sweeping away the People’s Alliance via mass mobilization, such a Constituent Assembly cannot be formed.
The revolutionary duty today is to organize the mass mobilization that will form the constituent assembly against the People’s Alliance.
Of course, such a mobilization cannot be organized without adopting a political line of the toilers and oppressed that is independent from the pro-US opposition centred around CHP. Without forming the revolutionary party, such an independent political line cannot be secured. Because of this reason, the urgent task of the communists who stand behind KöZ has not changed: To form the revolutionary party that will lead the workers and the oppressed. The reason KöZ stresses time and time again that the question of Erdoğan will be resolved through a constituent assembly formed as a result of mass mobilization is to underline the task of forming the revolutionary party that will lead this mobilization.
From a Call for a United Opposition Centred Around HDP to Independent Campaigns
Since the start of its political struggle in 1999, KöZ has uphold the united mass struggle of toilers and the oppressed. With the aim of enabling the broadest mass mobilization, KöZ has constantly repeated the mottos of “Long Live Revolutionary Solidarity!” and “Stand Apart! Strike Together!”.
Between 1999-2004, despite their completely different content and form of struggle, we took part in actions supporting the resistance in the dungeons and the press releases against the occupation of Iraq without dwelling on the main slogans of these actions. We stood against the split of 8 March demonstrations for non-political reasons. We have stood for the broadest opposition centred around DTP/BDP/HDP/HDP. We called for voting for the candidates of this movement.
It is not hard to see that we are acting differently in this period, more specifically the last year. We have supported independent candidates in 2019 elections and then ran a boycott campaign with the same candidates. Today, based on our own forces, we are conducting the “We Will Not Wait for the Elections” campaign within the left.
Needless to say, this does not mean we are now capable of independently leading the masses. On the contrary, it is clear that both in material and technical terms and in terms of the number of militants, other movements in the left are far ahead of KöZ.
The change in attitude of KöZ lies in the change in surrounding objective conditions rather than an increase in its own capabilities. In the last two years, the position of leftist movement has objectively changed. Liquidationists have succeeded in enacting their long-desired tailist project in the name of “building the broadests democratic front to weaken the autocrat”.
In the period between 1999 and 2018, there existed a weak but independent leftist movement. Today, there is not. There are now those who say “Erdoğan wanted to provoke a second Gezi Uprising but we did not allow him”. There is a leftist movement that announce complete inaction to “avoid hurting CHP and playing in the hands of Erdoğan”. Since leftists movements do not attempt any independent action against the government, the protest window between March and May has lost its meaning. Now, the actions are only organized in support of issues raised by CHP such as Istanbul Canal or to support Osman Kavala and Canan Kaftancıoğlu in the name of upholding Gezi Uprising. The spouses of CHP and HDP politicians drinking tea and going to the theater together is now regarded as the most important political action of this period. What is worse is that İmamoğlu, the Mayor of Nation Alliance since 2019 is attending May 1 events and congresses DİSK (Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey) as if he was the host.
Under these conditions, it is clear that there is no independent action to support or a common front to build. Leftist movements want to build a unity of action alongside CHP, in a manner that CHP approves of and in a way that will not hurt CHP. Those who propose these projects can only build shackles that will tie the hands of toilers. There is no basis of building a joint anti-government campaign under these conditions.
When it comes to the elections, we would of course prefer to support candidates of a leftist movement that stands independently against the government, rather than naming our own candidates. However, the left, chiefly HDP, has taken a different course starting in 2019. They have boarded the Nation Alliance train in order to get rid of Erdoğan. Getting off this train will not be easy.
In other words, KöZ, a movement that would be the last to think about running an independent campaign due to its lack of material means, set out to show that an anti-government campaign among toilers can be run. That was done because of the overt and covert CHP tailism in the left that has ended independent action. What differs KöZ from other movements is not its capacity for action, it is that KöZ shows the determination to explain the political truth to toilers and the revolutionaries without fear of isolation.