Another opinion

What Happened to Turkey?
The real working class demonstrations are on the 14th of April

Turkey once again witnessed mass demonstrations on Monday (11-04-2001). During the march and meeting organized in Ankara some 70 thousand people gathered and there was a fight between the police and some of the demonstrators. More than 120 people were taken to custody and around 200 were wounded including some policemen. Although activists from some leftists groups participated, the following facts openly characterizes the events as a reactionary middle-class attitude..

1. The demonstrations were organized by the chamber of shopkeepers in Ankara.
2. The leader of the chamber is a member the executive committee of the fascist party (MHP), which is also one of the coalition parties.
3. The main group who worked for gathering people for the demonstration is another fascist party (BBP) that is now outside the parliament. One of its leaders who was responsible for killing 400 people in Maras (many progressive people were killed in a massacre organized by the fascists) before 1980 military coupe, Okkes Sendiller led the marching.
4. The chamber's aim is to "speed" the so-called economic reforms! The reforms are, as you know, a full sale for Turkish economy to imperialist countries (privatization, laws for attracting foreign capital etc.). If we combine this with BBP's close relations with US, than every thing becomes more clear.
5. No working class organization or leftist, revolutionary group or party openly declared that it would participate the demonstration.
6. No banner or flag or any sign about a class-based demand was witnessed.
7. The crowd shouted islamic or fascist slogans.
8. The crowd attacked some women who were not wearing islamic clothes.
9. The crowd attacked a students hostel and chased girls.
10. There is clear evidence that the security forces "wanted" some action.
a) They did not search anybody who came for the demonstrations. In Turkey people are searched at least twice in every mass meeting.
b) Trucks full of people and stones were permitted to come inside the meeting area, which is impossible in other meetings. All the roads that are near to the meeting area are always closed to traffic.
c) Only 3200 police was following the 70 thousand marching. In 1st of May last year, 23 thousand policemen "escorted" 30 thousand demonstrators!
d) The chamber had decided to organize the demonstration on the 18th of April. But the police chief asked them to change the date to 11th of April.
11. Then, we have to ask why?
a) Because there will be demonstrations organized by the trade unions, other working-class organizations, left political parties on the 14th. Now they declared a ban on the demonstrations.
b) Because the big capital and the imperialist countries need a pressure on the government to speed up the "reforms" (and they succeeded, the laws which will have terrible consequences for the working classes is passing through the parliament quickly.)

Who are those people who marched and had a fight with the police? Most of them are shop-keepers and laborers who work for them. There are also jobless people among them. Fascist and radical islamic organizations did always have a strong support from these strata, which is not a surprise for the marxists. It is true that the communists should also work to organize the small shop-keepers especially who are becoming a part of the proletariat in crisis periods. However, Turkish left has a priority to establish a more clear class-basis, in order to attract those waving strata.
This is why, the demonstrations which we will organize (regardless of the decision of the ruling classes to ban it or not) on the 14th (Saturday) in many cities are very important. And the communists will take their banners, slogans to the streets saying: Down with IMF, stop the reforms", Yankee go home, No to EU, Down with Capitalism.

The Political Bureau of Party for Socialist Power-Communist Party (SIP)


Is this the correct estimation of the situation in Turkey?

Almost everything is signalling that the resistance against these IMF programs comes from the depth of the Turkish people itself. Alone from the fact that certain representatives of rightist or even fascist parties take part in certain leading bodies one cannot conclude that this is a characterizing element of these demonstrations. Therefore one must not describe these demonstrations as if they were staged in their essence by the persons mentioned. This is the impression as far as we have it from abroad.
What do other Turkish organisations think about this estimation?
Because of the position of the Turkish economy in the international context it is unavoidable and consequent that parts of the Turkish bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie take part in this struggle and also initially become vocal. Rightly some have pointed to the fact that in various struggles petty bourgeois people initially took seize of the question and later let the proletariat come to the fore as the real force which takes over the essential questions in its own way.
Ed. staff of Neue Einheit

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