A Blueprint for a People’s constitution in Turkey

This draft is for no ordinary constitution. It was not created by the rulers, but was instead discussed and formulated by members of the oppressed classes.

After the Susurluk accident in November last year , the way Turkey is ruled by the contra-guerrillas became obvious to everybody. All confidence has been lost in the system which is going into deeper and deeper crisis. None of the bourgeois parties and no part of the military possess the capability of overcoming this crisis. Their efforts to defuse the crisis by talking of ‘democratisation’ have been exposed as mere window dressing.

At this point it is important to unite and broaden the struggle against this system on all fronts. In all spheres the alternative posed by people’s power must be put forward. In this sense, the draft for a people’s constitution we are putting forward is a programme for revolution in Turkey. It was not written as a constitution for the system which will come about from revolution. Rather, it is a political framework for the demands of all opposition forces. Discussion by millions of Turks, Kurds, Laz, Cherke ss, people of all nationalities and confessional allegiance, is to ‘gather together the broadest democratic forces around this constitutional draft and together to raise the demand for independence, democracy and people’s power among the masses’.

The discussion of a new constitution to unite the masses against the contra-guerrilla state begins at a time when the people in Turkey is conscious of its own power and creativity. Starting with the slum quarters of the major cities, more and more people’s councils are being set up, including in agricultural areas. Developing these structures created the need for a manifesto of demands by the oppressed peoples in Turkey. The draft we are putting forward, from the ‘Platform for Rights and Freedom’, is such a manifesto.

The people itself is putting on the agenda the demand for independence, democracy, freedom and justice, for an alternative to the corrupt system of domination in Turkey which is full of contempt for human beings. Of course the rulers will not voluntarily g ive in to a single one of these demands. This is because a state with such a constitution would not serve them but instead would further the supremacy of the people. Consequently, our information is that the constitutional draft has been banned. Even so, o f the first draft alone 200,000 copies were printed and distributed. Everywhere, in all sections of the people in Turkey, organised or unorganised, men and women, old and young, workers, civil servants, housewives and students, this constitutional draft is being discussed. In Turkey and in Europe, several hundred thousand copies of a survey have been distributed. It is not a matter of writing the most perfect constitution possible for the period after the revolution, but rather to give expression to the dem ands of the people, for which the struggle is being fought, and to put these into a political framework. The people is not making a request to the rulers or petitioning them, but knows that it must fight step by step for the fulfilment of these demands. Th is draft is not a document existing solely on paper but a programme for revolution in Turkey.

The support and solidarity of international revolutionary and progressive forces will strengthen the fight of our peoples in Turkey. Our friends from all nations of the earth are free to express their opinions and make suggestions about this draft constitu tion. Constructive criticism is as welcome as approval.

We look forward to taking on board your opinions on this draft constitution, which has arisen from the people’s opposition forces.