Date: July 13, 2002 DHKP Bulletin: 21
THE OPERATIONS OF THE COLONIALISTS IN NEO-COLONIAL TURKEY
While the will of the people and the people’s say in decision-making is ignored, war has been continuing and growing ever worse between the bourgeois classes. Not being included in this war, the people have no interest in it either. However, the powers that be want us to think the opposite.
They want us to believe that their fight is over the national interest, stabilisation and democracy. A fake scenario has been put in place to support this. As it seems, even if this fight is between Turkey’s political parties and bourgeois politicians, it is all a matter of operations by colonialists. From the IMF to the EU to the USA, all the imperialist powers have reached the position where they are able to do anything they wish in our country, following a 50-year period of colonialism.
The last 50 years of our history have been a time of dependency. The agreements that were signed from the second half of the 1940s onwards have strengthened with every passing day and placed our country completely under the economic, political, military and cultural sway of imperialism. We can state that none of our economic, political and military policies have been independent from imperialism over the last 50 years. Even if, sometimes, there have been conflicts between imperialism, the collaborationist oligarchy and the military, and the oligarchy has made moves of its own, all such contradictions have been resolved to the benefit of imperialism in the end. Starting with the September 12, 1980 military junta and continuing under Ozal *, the politics of dependency have reached a peak. The last four years have become the period of greatest dependency, in which policies are blended with imperialist globalisation, and are restructured within the framework of imperialism’s global programmes. This has proceeded along with a continual but secret occupation by imperialism, an occupation that has become gradually more overt in the sphere of politics and the economy. Along with this process, colonialism has taken on the characteristics of complete submission. The submission is no longer a matter of classic relations going on behind closed doors, it has now been replaced by direct commands issued to the Republic of Turkey’s government by the IMF, World Bank and EU. It is the kind of submission that leads to everything being given away blindly to the imperialists, in return for being accepted as strategically valuable on a world scale. It is the kind of submission that means the IMF has the audacity to appoint Turkey’s ministers. Now imperialist forces are going a stage further and attempting to form a government of their own choosing. And it is at this point that the internal conflicts of the oligarchy have come to light. We are faced with two apparent fronts: 1. The so-called defenders of democracy; TUSIAD, ANAP, the Dogan-Bilgin media groups, and an IMF-EU group led by the trio of Cem-Ozkan-Dervis, as well as some other sections. 2. The so-called nationalist group led by the military and MHP (note: Nationalist Movement Party or Grey Wolves). The DSP (Democratic Left Party, headed by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit) is also included in this group.
WHY ARE THEY FIGHTING?
The common ground of all the groups in conflict is that none of them oppose the IMF. Without taking note of this common ground, it will not be possible to make a judgement of why they are clashing and at what level they are failing to reach agreement. The DSP-ANAP-MHP coalition government, which stems from both the General Staff-MHP and the IMF-EU fronts, has worked really hard for three years to serve the monopolies and collaborate with imperialism. As both they and IMF bureaucrats have pointed out, they passed all legislation demanded of them by the IMF and EU with the sort of incredible zeal shown by few countries. They have privatised, devalued, dismissed from work, put prices up continuously and passed one new law after another. The nationalist military has been both the founder and the guardian of this government. They have not raised even minor objections to IMF programmes. On the other hand, the so-called pro-democratic group has supported the passing of legislation demanded by the EU, saying it is for the sake of democracy; for many years it has not been worried about murders, executions, tortures, F-Type prisons **, prohibitions and anti-democratic legislation. In short, none of these groups cited above are either nationalist or democratic. If this is the case, then what is the problem? What is it that they cannot share? Why are they confrontational with each other? The problem is the oligarchy and internal conflict. Neither side has opposed the military and economic policies of colonialism. The reason they are confronting each other now is entirely a matter of who will form the next government.
WHAT HAS CAUSED SUCH OBSTRUCTIONS?
The IMF and the EU have put hundreds of new regulations and laws before the government and demanded that they be enacted as soon as possible. As was revealed to the public, those laws are not limited to abolishing the death penalty and giving freedom to native languages. Those are the subjects that have been put at the top of the agenda by the allies of the EU and IMF. Furthermore, there are hundreds of new pieces of legislation, from a new mining law to a law on foreign capital, and these will cause imperialist looting in our country to surpass all bounds. On the other hand, early elections have become inevitable. The coalition parties DSP and MHP have realised that, if they continue to meet the demands of the EU and IMF, they will not be re-elected. At this point, the DSP and MHP have started coming into conflict with imperialist demands. The military has always adopted the policy of spreading its demands on the EU over time, so in order to strengthen its power it has made common cause with the MHP. At the same time, imperialist monopolies and their collaborators have made decisions on the government’s future. This government should go and a new one should be formed to meet imperialist demands to the last dot and comma. That is why the imperialists and their collaborators have begun polarising and separating. A vital mistake that could be made in a neo-colonial country like ours is to think that polarisation occurs between pro-democrats and anti-democrats or nationalists and non-nationalists. Unfortunately, an important section of our trade unionists, intellectuals and the left have fallen into this trap.
THE TWO FRONTS ARE ACTUALLY ONE. THE LEAD ACTORS IN BOTH HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH DEMOCRACY AND THE NATION! THE MILITARY ARE THE SECURITY GUARDS OF IMPERIALISM AND THE EXECUTIONERS OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE!
Since the 1950s, the military has been completely under the supervision and direction of NATO, US generals and CIA experts. Since then, the military has been backing US imperialism in various world affairs. They have been the security guard of US imperialism, opposing the USSR and the struggles of the peoples of the Middle East. While this is the case in the international sphere, they have always been against the people and have suppressed their struggles in the domestic sphere. The armies of colonised countries have not been structured against external enemies, but for use against their own people. This is also how the Turkish Armed Forces have been structured. As a result of this mission, since the end of 1960s, when the struggle of the people reached its peak in organisational and revolutionary terms, and up to the present, they have been conducting policies of suppression and repression. They are the main source of March 12, September 12 and February 28. These coups were not carried out for the security of the people, but for the monopolies, and not for the regional interests of Turkey but for US imperialism. We can briefly give examples of the generals’ attitude from their last two important operations: 1. The massacres in the prisons on December 19-22, 2000. 2. They have been in charge of guarding imperialist interests and ISAF forces in Afghanistan. These two operations are crucial proof of the military being guards of imperialism who see their own people as the enemy. Is it possible that this military can be the defender of national interests against imperialism? WHERE WAS the military in the last 50 years (especially the last four or five years), while imperialism was looting our country, throwing our workers on the streets, commanding parliament to produce new dependency laws? Obviously, all these happened under their supervision. Military and political forces can be identified by actions not by words. When something has to be proved, this can be done by practice. Our message to the military is very clear: If you believe in a national and independent country, you have got to cancel all the economic, political, and military treaties with the EU, IMF and USA. You also have to cancel all the agreements that made our country into a colony. You have to refuse to join all the military actions of EU and US imperialism. You have to declare that you are not going to let them use military bases in our country and provide any other logistic support to their conduct of military operations. They are not going to do any of these because imperialism has chained Turkey’s army so that it can take no such steps. The generals are the main link in this chain.
MHP: COLLABORATOR WITH IMPERIALISM DISGUISED BY TURANISM ***, ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE AND MURDERER DISGUISED WITH THE MASK OF NATIONALISM.
One of the major deceptions in Turkey’s political history has been the MHP, which was founded as a contra-guerrilla organisation by the CIA but using nationalist slogans. Having been close to CIA and German imperialism (note: the MHP founder, the late Alparslan Turkes, wanted Turkey to enter the Second World War on the side of Nazi Germany. After Germany’s defeat he joined the anti-Soviet bandwagon during the Cold War), the MHP has been designed as part of the anti-USSR drive by imperialism and converted into a domestic political party with nationalist slogans. MHP first posed as a civilian fascist movement. In reality it has been a militarist organisation. It played an undeniable role before the 1980s in terms of spilling the people’s blood. This has been the case since then. It posed as a civilian organisation, but its cadres were given positions in military and police departments in the first half of the 1980s. As a political party, the MHP secured itself a place with the increasing trend towards nationalism. As a consequence of the oligarchy’s demands, the MHP has embarked on new duties at the end of the 1990s as a collaborator of imperialism by playing down its murderous side. However, on this point, the demands of imperialism have been so enormous that the MHP has been inhibited from exploiting its nationalist slogans. The MHP has either got to give up its nationalist policies (this means liquidating itself as a political party) or develop an anti-EU image. This situation is the main source of conflict between the EU and the MHP.
DSP: A FASCIST PARTY DISGUISED UNDER A DEMOCRATIC-LEFT MASK
Ecevit has been presented to the political arena as a left-winger for a long time, and used by the oligarchy to channel public reactions in support of the system. Even if he has had some friction with both imperialism and the oligarchy, he has always been an advocate of the existing system. He has held government power because of trust between the General Staff, imperialism collaborator monopolies and himself; while ANAP (Motherland Party, a conservative party), DYP (True Path Party, another conservative party) and SHP (Socialist People’s Party) have lost ground both because of fraud and their brutality which has been exposed on numerous occasions to the people. The DSP has implemented all imperialist demands and practised large-scale state terror against the people and revolutionaries, whereas other collaborationist parties have never been able to do so in the same way. When Ecevit passed IMF laws at the time of the August 17 earthquake, put into practice regulations demanded by the EU and ordered the December 19-22 massacre, he was honoured by the bourgeois media. Despite all his service, his dismissal from the prime minister’s office under very dishonourable circumstances is on the cards now. Let’s take a look at the pro-EUparties.
ANAP: PURELY AN IMPERIALIST PARTY
Since it was established, ANAP or the Motherland Party has worked as a branch of US and European imperialism. ANAP is the main source of establishing imperialism and extending its culture to every field of daily life over the last two decades. With its slogans We should recognise all demands of the EU as soon as possible, and Remove the obstacles to Turkey, ANAP has been a signatory to almost all undemocratic regulations and legislation. During their time in government, there occurred countless massacres, executions and disappearances. The State Emergency Law, setting villages on fire and forcing people to leave their villages were all the brainchild of this party. Despite being one of the main parties that would not speak of democracy, ANAP has now begun advocating democratisation. ANAP has nothing left to promote and has completed its life cycle in the political arena. It is now trying to renew its image with pro-EU policies.
TUSIAD AND TISK ARE NEITHER DEMOCRATIC NOR MODERN, BUT THEY DO LIKE THE DOLLAR ****
If prices are increased constantly, workers are sacked, tens of millions are impoverished, labour, civil servants, small businessmen, shantytown dwellers, the unemployed and the retired are being beaten in the public squares, and people who demand independence, democracy, justice and equality are being murdered, it is all so that the collaborator monopolies that organise under the aegis of TUSIAD are able to make more money. Tragically, this naked truth has been obscured with the help of the reformist left and the Kurdish nationalists. Those responsible for exploitation and repression have found a way of appearing progressive. TUSIAD bosses postulate that we should act faster to take our place in the EU. Their aim is so obvious and nothing has been left secret and mysterious. TUSIAD spokesmen state that if we don’t apply these regulations, foreign capital is not going to come into our country. It is so clear why they want these regulations. They demand those alterations as well as some limited democracy in order to stabilise their exploitation. It is clear that the collaborationist monopolies are not worried about the national interest. On the other hand, it should be known that they have not worried about democratisation either. If they are able to earn more from coup d’etats, they support them, and the same applies to their relations with the EU and USA. That is how they have behaved up to now. Now they are the promoters of globalisation. Whether globalisation condemns millions to hunger or oppressive policies is not their problem.
THE CEM-DERVIS-OZKAN TRIO: THEIR POLITICAL CAREERS WERE MADE THROUGH COLLABORATION, SIPHONING OFF PUBLIC FUNDS AND MURDER.
Having been able to offer nothing to its people, the ruling class continues to have difficulties maintaining its legitimacy. The system has had problems creating parties and leaders to deceive the masses. Despite trying to straighten up the system parties by General Staff methods on February 28, the DSP-ANAP-MHP government has been the culmination of this attempt. There is a strong possibility of parties coming to power that the oligarchy and the military do not favour. Composing a new government alternative that is going to make all sections of the oligarchy happy and overcome obstacles the EU and IMF was the main theme for TUSIAD and the military. From Baykal to M. Ali Bayar, numerous names have been offered; but none of them have managed to satisfy the oligarchy. With the help of the EU and IMF, TUSIAD has tried to tackle this problem. It has tried to get the Cem-Dervis-Ozkan trio accepted both in terms of passing cooperative and speedy legislation and as a group able to have an effect on the masses one way or another at a time when the oligarchy has troubles coming up with new leaders and parties. The Cem-Dervis-Ozkan trio has been responsible for everything created by this government. While the bourgeois media was trying to put them on display, it also wanted to save them from being held responsible for what happened in the past. There is nothing new about them. They raised no objection to millions of workers being dismissed, price rises or the murder and wounding of hundreds of political prisoners. On the contrary, Dervis and Ozkan have been responsible for the economy, while Ismail Cem has had a key role in the government’s decision-making position for the last four years. What they might do tomorrow is not going to be much different from what they have done already. On the contrary, as long as EU-IMF operations go as planned and these cadres keep their position, they will aggravate Turkey’s situation. The political and economic consequences will parallel the experience elsewhere in the world: more poverty and more oppression. If anybody thinks the opposite from the point of view of democracy or economic welfare, then they are committing an error of historic proportions.
COLONIALISM IS ALTERING ITS RULING CLASS. THE CONFLIST IS A CONFLICT WITHIN THE RULING CLASS. THE CRISIS AND THE OLIGARCHY’S CIVIL WAR WILL CONTINUE
This has always been the political identity of the system powers, whether pro-EU or anti-EU. In fact, there is no difference between them in terms of collaboration, murdering and oppressive policies, increasing prices and backing US attacks. In other words, the pro-EU front has nothing to do with democracy, while the military and the MHP have nothing to do with the nation. Their conception of democracy and the nation does not differ; one is the same as the other. Their different stance in terms of democracy and the nation has always been the same in reality. Their artificial stance is about trying to charm different sections of society. The oligarchy’s civil war is being continued and is going to continue. It is not possible for the oligarchy to save itself from political crisis. As long as imperialist looting increases, the oligarchy’s share is going to decrease and this is going to aggravate their conflict. Hence, the people’s struggle is going to grow, therefore, the crisis of the oligarchy is going to deepen. The future is not going to be a period in which the political crisis will be resolved, but it will become far more complicated. Short-term stabilising manoeuvres cannot change this truth.
HOW ARE THE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE GOING TO BE DEFENDED IN NEO-COLONIAL TURKEY AND HOW WILL THE CHAINS OF DEPENDENCY BE BROKEN?
Many treaties and regulations with the demands of imperialism have been made, so it is impossible for any party to do anything different from imperialist demands, even if it were legal. With the power that stems from restructuring, imperialism imposes all the ruling or candidate parties; if they become the government they have to do what has been imposed on them. All system parties are in this situation. In the South Korean elections, the IMF asked all the parties to issue a letter guaranteeing that they would pursue the IMF’s programme in government. They state that the same thing is going to apply to our country. The IMF determines that if do not sign such undertakings, you will not be able to enter government. Does this then imply that people are no longer electing their own government? We have established that within this existing system there is no solution or way out. The first reason is because imperialism did not quietly leak into our country’s political, economic and military policies, but rather grasped hold of them firmly and completely. Secondly, the system forces are not partially collaborationist but are completely so. In this kind of situation, it is not possible for the masses to resolve problems without fighting imperialism and oligarchy. Today, it has become more obvious that the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party’s road of liberation is correct and obligatory in Turkey, a country ruled by fascism and a neo-colony of imperialism. It is not possible for any of the system parties to state that problems might be solved in this or that way. So-called left-wing parties are included in this category as well; simply because they produce politics in terms of meeting the demands of the monopolist bourgeoisie. Globalisation is monopolist bourgeois politics. It is support for the IMF and World Bank. All politics in this framework are imperialist politics. The interests of Turkey’s people rest with an independent and democratic country. The only way to create this in Turkey is to fight against imperialism and the oligarchy. It is not possible to gain independence by doing as the military and MHP have done, opposing the EU but bowing to the IMF, nor is it possible to obtain democracy via the EU. Being national is not about objecting to EU-IMF policies while at the same time being held by the USA in a close embrace. Opposing the brutal and oppressive policies of fascism does not mean supporting the EU. There is no progress or national interest being defended by either side. We do not have to choose one of the fronts in the oligarchy. On the contrary, there should be our own front of patriots and democrats. The People’s Front is an anti-imperialist, anti-oligarchy, pro-independence and democratic front. It is progressive and national, but also anti-imperialist and anti-fascist. Independence means getting rid of imperialism and destroying fascism. It would be a lie to tell the masses that independence and democracy existed under these conditions, while fascism and colonialist imperialism reign. All the pro-independence and pro-democratic forces have to take a step to fight fascism. The ones are not be able to do that cannot win this war. Our people, trade unions, intellectuals, patriots and democrats have to realise that there is not any democracy and independence to talk about and there will not be. Perhaps it is a bit difficult, but the only way to gain democracy and independence lies with the solutions of our Party and People’s Liberation Front. We call on everybody who struggles on behalf of national interests, the people and the country to fight alongside us. Whoever supports independence and democracy, we call them into our anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchy revolutionary front. The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party reveals its programme for independence, democracy and socialism and continues its fight. Those who can courageously fight for democracy and independence should meet here.
Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi
(Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party)
* Turgut Ozal was the first civilian head of Turkey’s government following the 1980 military coup. He was in power until the early 1990s.
** The F-Type prisons are isolation cell prisons built in Turkey with the encouragement of imperialism. The police and army introduced these prisons into service in December 2000, massacring many prisoners. The resistance of political prisoners to these prisons through Death Fasts is continuing.
*** Turanism is a pan-Turkic concept envisaging a Greater Turkish Reich stretching from Turkey to Central Asia. It is a cornerstone of Turkish fascist ideology.
**** TUSIAD is the employers’ federation in Turkey, while TISK is a collaborationist trade union federation.