FROM AN INDEPENDENT KURDISTAN TO “BELONGING TO TURKEY”
For a national movement to take on a revolutionary character and strengthen the common struggle of the peoples means progress for the liberation of all peoples. That is a development which strengthens the revolution in Turkey. The opposite is also the case. That a national movement which is dealing blows to the oligarchy is looking for compromises also has an unfavourable effect on the revolution, at least in the short term. It is here that the essence of the revolutionary movement’s criticisms and warnings also applies.
We see the search for compromises as an inevitable feature of the nationalist line. But not absolutely inevitable, a revolutionary attitude could prevent it.
What does the PKK understand by belonging to Turkey”?
From all declarations and writings by the PKK, we can glean the following:
From the beginning, the revolution in Kurdistan was the aim. This revolution has a nationalist character and aims to achieve national liberation. The PKK views revolution in its history as the revolution in Turkey and restricts the question to the liberation of Kurdistan. Everything is formulated correspondingly.
The cause of all problems confronting them can be found here first of all. The basis is the nationalist viewpoint. How will those who say: “We owe Turkey a revolution” be able to “lead” a revolution in Turkey while holding a nationalist viewpoint? Undoubtedly it is impossible. For the PKK’s ideological and strategic line does not correspond to reality in Turkey.
The PKK, which arose as a national liberation movement, also concretised this goal with the aim of an “independent Kurdistan”. After years of fighting for this goal, it was put to one side and not mentioned anymore. Instead they began to speak of a federation, autonomy, peace and political solutions. Most recently the catchphrase of the moment has been “revolution in Turkey”.
IS “BELONGING TO TURKEY” A POLITICAL LINE OF ACTION?
“… Moreover, one must stress here that since 1997 the PKK has been a party of Turkey. That means we exist as a party of Turkey and will fufil all corresponding requirements.” (Abdullah Öcalan, MED TV, December 23, 1996.)
One and a half years have passed since this statement was made. We want to cast a glance at what is steps have been taken towards “belonging to Turkey”, whether the PKK has altered its views, what it has done at all to comprehend what “belonging to Turkey” means within this framework.
First of all, “belonging to Turkey” means deviating from the PKK’s own line.
In short, today life and the reality of the war is pushing the PKK to accept common organisation and a common struggle of the peoples. But this is not openly said and so the requirements for it are not fulfilled. Instead as always they claim, not looking at results and ignoring the mistakes of the past, that they have “produced a good analysis of the situation”. In some writings they spell out what they mean by “belonging to Turkey”. “The greatest source of income for Turkey is tourism, above all in the Amanos and Akduiz areas (in southern Turkey). We cannot remain silent while they reap these sources of income without any problems.” (Ö. “Yurtsever Genclik”, page 7, 1997)
Efforts to make a strategic entry into Turkey and what is said here are fundamentally different from one another. What the PKK is doing in southern Turkey is much more like military action which seeks to strike blows against the tourist trade. At this point, the politics of “belonging to Turkey” are reduced to a military line of action. It is obvious that the requirements of “belonging to Turkey” cannot be fulfilled.
BECAUSE THE TURKISH LEFT “HAS NOT FULFILLED ITS TASKS”, THEY WANT TO BELONG TO TURKEY
One of the reasons given for the policy of “belonging to Turkey”, according to the PKK, is that “the Turkish left has not fulfilled its tasks”. “…These leaders (Mahir Cayan and the others) had already established that the national question had to be dealt with seriously. But they did not live long enough to do it. The ones who were left behind did not have enough consciousness and remained partly in the grip of the official ideology. We were able to observe this close up. Therefore, solving the national question remained an important task for us. The PKK was founded to fulfil this task. For us the Turkish left remained in the background. We though that the very strong Turkish revolutionary movement could fulfil this task. The revolutionary movement in Turkey in our view was very strong with regard to cadres and possibilities.” (Abdullah Öcalan, “Selected Works Number 6″). First of all we must say that these statements are themselves a product of nationalistic conceptions. Secondly, we canot take seriously the following declaration:
” We left this task to the Turkish left: we wanted them to do it, since they were not able to do it, it became inevitable for us to take on the task.” This contradicts the logic of developing the revolution.
At this point it has become clear that the patriotic movement could not remove its handicaps by seeking the reasons for them externally. The PKK went from claims about colonialism and demanding an independent Kurdistan to claiming to “belong to Turkey” and being a “party of Turkey”. The dead end of nationalist politics and its solutions which are far removed from life brought the PKK to this point. All theories which are nurtured by nationalism obviously carry within themselves handicaps which are all too visible.
According to the PKK, the Turkish left is a “destroyed structure”, “ideologically and politically at an end”, it has “no personality”, it is “terrorist”, “thieving”, “deceiving” etc, and all that is political is monopolised by the PKK. They do not believe that any developments can arise without them being responsible for them. If something comes into being, the PKK was responsible. So according to this logic, developing the revolution in Turkey is also the PKK’s responsibility. The first step in this direction was the PKK’s founding of the DHP (Revolutionary People’s Party).
Abdullah Öcalan said the following about this in the magazine Serxwebun of December 1991:
“We wish the revolutionaries in Turkey would do it. But it seems that they are not able to. They are in crisis, theoretically and practically. So it is inevitable that we must contribute and move into Turkey with a Revolutionary People’s Party.”
Who was moving into what?
It is also not correct to say that the PKK waited for the “revolutionaries of Turkey” to be successful. The PKK, which from the beginning sought to organise separately, spoke from time to time about the strength of the revolutionaries in Turkey in order to legitimise its own politics. But a revolutionary movement under all circumstances seeks to defend the unity and the common struggle of the peoples. In this phase the PKK cannot overcome its political crisis, so it makes the “Turkish left” responsible for it by reproaching it for not having fulfilled its tasks. Has it discovered that just now? What are the criteria for saying that the revolutionaries of Turkey have not fulfilled their tasks? Is fulfilling this task remaining silent when imperialism in the Gulf War attacked the peoples of the Middle East, or is it fighting against imperialism?
INSTEAD OF “SHOPPING CENTRES”, THE “AMANOS MOUNTAINS” OR THE “BLACK SEA MOUNTAINS”
If one remembers earlier actions outside Kurdistan, for the PKK they were much more than a means of “making a threat”. They said: “We will also spread the war to the major cities of Turkey.” They threatened the oligarchy, saying they would carry out actions against shopping centres. Apart from the fact that this kind of action is wrong, it illustrated what the PKK means when it talks about action in Turkey.
It was a tactic supposed to force the enemy to stop certain actions or force him into “dialogue”. The same also applies to the PKK spreading to the Black Sea Region or the Mediterranean (southern Turkey).
As long as the question of “belonging to Turkey” was not seen as strategic, it is possible at any time to go towards this or that area of land and carry out military actions. Guerrillas can also target the economy. That is a requirement of guerrilla warfare, nobody can say anything against it. But if all this is simply to bring the oligarchy to the negotiating table, this may have something to do with “belonging to Turkey” but has nothing to do with the perspective of liberating Kurdistan.
As long as the guerrillas are used as a means of pressure to bring about dialogue, it will not be possible to achieve a result. Certainly there are guerrillas in the mountains. But with what programme and what conceptions are they there? And are they in the mountains because they have a perspective of seizing power, or are they just there as part of negotiations with the oligarchy?
Practice has shown that we are mainly talking about a military line rather than a change in essentials. It is clear that what “belonging to Turkey” means is not a common organising and struggle of the peoples leading to revolution. The PKK restricts “belonging to Turkey” to its military line as a consequence of its need to extend militarily beyond the boundaries of Kurdistan. One of these is to save the guerrillas who have been driven into a corner in Kurdistan, even if they do not want to say this.
They say all this is the result of a strategy. If this is so, where were they for the previous 19 years? The PKK talks in terms like “narrowing” and “expansion” when it talks about the war in Kurdistan, the situation of the guerrillas and the tactics of the state. The enemy of the peoples of our land is the same and liberation from the enemy is in the hands of people’s power. On the other hand, peace and negotiations will lead to a swamp. As a result of its experiences the PKK has seen that it is not possible to liberate the Kurdish people without smashing the state apparatus. So they have come to the point where they want to “belong to Turkey”. But on the other hand, Kurdish nationalism is the reason why they exist. They think they will not exist any more as a force if they let this slip from their hands. Consequently they are unable to fulfil the requirements of belonging to Turkey in the political sense.
These political requirements can be concretised around two points:
Firstly, the common liberation of the peoples must be the aim. But that means a common form of organisation and a common struggle. Secondly, a common solution and common liberation cannot be achieved within the system. An imperialist solution, having a conception of armed struggle as a subject for negotiations and trusting in proposals from the employers and entrepreneurs’ federation TÜSIAD (on democratising the constitution) cannot bring liberation to the peoples.
THE “ALTERNATIVE” THE TURKISH PEOPLE ARE HAVING FOISTED ON THEM
If the PKK calls itself a ”party of Turkey” today, this is a declaration that fundamentally it is acting for revolution in Turkey. What programme will it use to realise this? How will it lead the revolution? With what demands will it bring it about? What form of organisation does it propose and what concrete steps is it taking in order to win? These are the questions which must now be answered by those acting for revolution. But apart from that, the PKK previously had itself founded the DHP (Revolutionary People’s Party) so that this could lead the revolution in Turkey. But now it seems that the DHP cannot lead the revolution in Turkey. Now the PKK wants to take over the leadership of the revolution itself. So why did the DHP fail?
The reason the PKK is disappointed by the DHP experience and wants to replace it today to lead the revolution in Turkey is again a manifestation of the nationalist line. As with “belonging to Turkey”, their approach here is distorted. Thr claim to lead the revolution of the peoples in our land is stillborn, like the DHP itself.
“… While they call those they could not subdue ‘henchmen of the colonialists and the contra-guerillas’, they gave an organisation like the DHP, an organisation they themselves had formed, as if from a test tube, the permission to represent the left in Turkey. This concept and the attempts made such as this are the results of a lack of principle and the dominance of pragmatism, both features of nationalism.” (DHKP, Founding Congress Resolutions). The DHP is an experience which contributed nothing to the struggle. Why did the PKK undergo such a negative experience? We can answer some of these questions. Who is the DHP? What role does it play in the struggle? What has it done? Where does it stand in the struggle? What traditions has it created?Above all, one must point to the fact that the DHP has no political identity and personality that can be defined. Its existence is like a co-worker on a periodical who has no other role than to act as a PKK spokesman. It defends the PKK’s views more than the PKK does itself.
How was the DHP formed? How did it arise? These questions have no meaning at all. For the PKK founded this party on the drawing board through orders and instructions and created an alternative to the left in Turkey. That is, the DHP is an organisation the PKK set up for the “Western Front”. No political party, no serious revolutionary party can be formed in such a way. A party can exist through its identity, its personality and independence with a serious programme, traditions and struggle, and develop itself through these. Otherwise it would be possible to form dozens of such parties. The DHP is the attempt of the PKK to lead the revolution in Turkey. They wanted to do it through the DHP rather than openly through the PKK itself. With its nationalist mentality, the PKK wanted to organise the Kurds and the DHP was supposed to organise the Turks and other peoples. With them coming together, the unity in struggle of the Turkish and Kurdish people is achieved. That is the plan but it was not fulfilled. For the basis of the plan is nationalism. Firstly, organising by nationality and then the attempt to artificially create unity. The PKK thought that creating the DHP would achieve this so easily. With the DHP it sought to win the Turkish people, carry out actions in the west and support the guerrillas. According to the PKK, that means the project of common organisation is also the expansion of the guerrillas.
THE ALTERNATIVE THEY TRIED TO FOIST DID NOT EVEN SUCCEED IN BECOMING A FORCE
They thought that with the DHP they could organise the Turkish people more easily and with fewer problems. That was what the PKK thought – the DHP could carry out actions and the masses would join it. Everything was supposed to function easily and smoothly. But it did not. An organisation could not even be created that could carry out military actions. It could send no concrete message to the Turkish people and the activities it said it would do beforehand were not carried out. The things that made the PKK found the DHP yesterday, and those that make it today propagate “belonging to Turkey”, are in reality its handicaps. It gave the DHP the task of “leading” the revolution in Turkey. The same reasons which stopped the DHP from functioning are also those that will render fruitless the PKK’s claims to lead the revolution in Turkey. As long as the PKK does not accept common organisation and a common struggle as a strategy and does not fulfil the requirements that will lead our peoples to revolution, efforts such as this will not meet with success.
The reason the PKK came up with the line of “an alliance with the Turkish people”, “extending the war to Turkey” and “forming common opposition organisations” is the objective reality of the war. When its own experiences made the PKK recognise this reality, it turned to artificial solutions like the DHP. Now it sees that the DHP does not correspond to the objective reality of the war. Consequently it now proclaims that the PKK is a party of Turkey. So the PKK began to recognise reality, even if too late.
But it drew back from this reality even while pushing its own aims and objectives to one side. Its aims are now acceptable to the forces inside the regime. For with a nationalist line and a war restricted to Kurdistan, it is not possible to achieve Kurdistan’s independence, this is what the PKK sees from its own experiences. In such a situation, either the strategic line will be altered or the demands and aims will be narrowed down in such a way that the oligarchy can find them acceptable. So one persists because of the obstacles in the way of achieving peace. The PKK wants to send the following message to the oligarchy: “If you don’t sit down with me at the negotiating table, I will spread the war to the west.” One of the missions, a false and distorted one, that the PKK entrusted the DHP with was to use military actions to “frighten” the oligarchy. Another reason why the PKK preferred the DHP was that it always does what the PKK desires and can practice no independent politics. On the basis of its character, petit bourgeois nationalism is against independent politics, the nationalist line can tolerate no independent force and politics. For the PKK wants to win and use other forces for its policy of seeking peace. Of course the forces that resist this policy will be confronted with all kinds of smear campaigns.
The DHP was finally founded by the PKK, received its mission from it and and is seen as its partner in discussions. Its mission was said to be the “leadership” of revolution in Turkey. But the DHP could not and cannot be the alternative for the left in Turkey. The DHP went into history as an unsuccessful attempt by those who call themselves the “Kurdish left” to create a “Turkish left”. As long as this mentality and the dilemma resulting from it persists, “belonging to Turkey” will achieve nothing. Despite all “pressure” from the PKK, the DHP did not suit the reality of our country and our peoples. It was stillborn. The DHP, founded by PKK militants of Turkish ancestry, could not become a serious force, for all that it is called the “vanguard party of the revolution in Turkey”. All it did was praise the PKK and insult revolutionary movements. Meral Kider said the following in the name of the DHP:
“All who do not stand on the same platform as the PKK, however anti-imperialist and socialist they claim to be, are elements in the counterrevolutionary front and serve no other aim than to act as servants and agents of imperialism and colonialism.” (Özgür Halk, September 1997, Issue 80)
This ideological and political line, which so shamelessly insults revolutionary movements, has no other mission than to defend the PKK in a rough and coarse way. It has no personality and identity. And despite all that, it still could not fulfil the PKK’s expectations of it.
The PKK can also not conceal this failure. In the resolutions of the 5th Congress, the following was said about the DHP: “The DHP, which in the past suffered setbacks because of various mistakes, is being supported by receiving the necessary strengthening to create a correct ideological, political, organisational and activist line and having its practical activities directed…”
Although the PKK failed with the DHP, it is saying here that its efforts will continue in this direction. For the DHP forms an element of the policy of “belonging to Turkey”. The expansion to the Black Sea Region, which has recently been advocated, is also a part of this politics.
“There are guerrillas who will soon come to Kizildere. There are also guerrillas who will come from Nurhak to Antalya. Now the youth and the revolutionary forces of Turkey should wake up and support these steps.” (“Ö. Yurtsever Genclik”, Issue 4, October 1997, interview with Abdullah Öcalan)
The PKK’s expansion to the Black Sea Region is, as Abdullah Öcalan indicates, merely symbolic. Despite everything that has been said, under the pretext of “belonging to Turkey” the purpose is to put pressure to create a peace policy.
However, to realise the current claim of the PKK about the “revolution in Turkey”, the PKK has not adopted a ideological-political line that corresponds to it. The PKK, which restricts itself to the national struggle as a consequence of its narrow nationalist viewpoint, never had the aim of conducting a struggle in the whole of Turkey, in order to take power. And in the current phase the PKK never talks about overthrowing the state, but about concluding an agreement with it under certain conditions. While for years the PKK was standing for separate organisation, the revolutionary movement held the view that power would be won through the joint struggle of the peoples. Now the question must be asked, who is responsible for the PKK’s present dilemma? Is it the “left in Turkey which did not fulfil its tasks” or the nationalist viewpoint which prevents the common struggle of the peoples?…
If the PKK wants to “belong to Turkey”, it must above all acknowledge its own ideological mistakes. Apart from the fact that the PKK policies carried out up to now have not served the development of a joint struggle by our peoples, its false line of action and policies have also done damage to the peoples’ unity in struggle. Without condemning the petit bourgeois viewpoint it is not possible to talk of “belonging to Turkey”.
What the PKK now says about “belonging to Turkey”, even if is only propaganda, is a confirmation of the views the revolutionary movement has held for years. The PKK now has a choice: either to strive for a correct line, condemn its mistakes and pursue a revolutionary line, or to say “that won’t work” and enter into compromises with imperialism and the oligarchy…
“BELONGING TO TURKEY” AND ALLIANCES
The PKK, which today talks of “belonging to Turkey”, of common struggle, of the “unity in struggle of the peoples”, claims to have held these viewpoints since its foundation, but at that time there was no sign of attempts to form the alliances it talks about.
“The secondary alliances of the revolution in Kurdistan consist of three branches. Firstly, the alliance with patriotic movements in other parts of Kurdistan, secondly, alliances with the revolutionary movements in the country which colonise Kurdistan, thirdly, the socialist countries, national liberation movements, the workers’ movement in the imperialist lands and the whole of progressive humanity.” (“The Road To Revolution in Kurdistan”)
There is a big difference between the alliance policies the PKK has defined over years and the current “belonging to Turkey” phase. The revolutionary movement they call the Turkish left is seen as a secondary branch of the secondary alliances, less significant than the nationalist organisations in other parts of Kurdistan, that is, even the collaborationist Kurdish national movements like Barzani and Talabani are more important than the revolutionary movements in Turkey. If the PKK today claims that the revolutions in Turkey and Kurdistan are connected, their policy of alliances and practice stands in contradiction to that.
One could say that this was all said years ago and is no longer important. But firstly, this was all laid down in a basic document, secondly it shows that they did not think of “belonging to Turkey” from the start, as they claim, and thirdly, the policy of “belonging to Turkey” has not brought with it any corrections or changes. The “belonging to Turkey” policy springs from the handicaps they have experienced. In reality, the PKK’s viewpoint, of seeing the revolutionaries who want a common struggle as “Kemalists” and “supporters of the Misak-i-Milli” (an agreement of the 1920s fixing Turkey’s borders), has not changed.
“BELONGING TO TURKEY” IS ONLY POSSIBLE ON A CLASS BASIS
The theoretical conceptions of the PKK are shot through with a thoroughly nationalist approach. This is concretised in the expression “Turkish colonialism”, then in “separate organisation and revolution”. Since the PKK defined itself at its foundation as a Marxist-Leninist party, it could not openly defend organising on a nationalist basis. Only in later years did it start to defend nationalist modes of organisation:
“I would just like to point out that when modern society arose, classes came into being based on their interests, and parties came about as a consequence. That is not a distorted development, but a correct one. Essentially it is right for a party to be a class organisation… We can even say the following: parties arose as class organisations, moreover they bear national colours. A side of every party is to play a national role, and to defend national interests. If the interests of nations are tied to each other, and in a state of chaos the rights of some nations are infringed, the parties of this nation will take appropriate positions.” (“4th National Congress of the PKK, Political Report”, Abdullah Öcalan, page 70)
Here, in the name of the Leninist conception of the party, an unclear definition of nationalism and national organisation is defended. In multinational states, Marxism-Leninism rejects organising on the basis of nationalities. If somebody wants to do that it should at least not be done under the name of Marxism-Leninism. For on this subject, leaders of Marxism-Leninism have been very open and clear and have not permitted any misunderstandings:
“We must still decide how the proletariat of different nations should be organised in a party common to them all. According to one plan, the workers should be organised by nationality: so many nations, so many parties. This plan was rejected by social democracy. Practice has shown that organising the proletariat of a particular state by nationality only leads to the undermining of the idea of class solidarity. All proletarians of all nations in a given state organise themselves in an indivisible proletarian collective. Our standpoint on the national question is thus summarised in the following sentences: … for the proletariat of all nations in a given state – a unitary, indivisible proletarian collective, a unitary party.” (Stalin, “Marxism and the Colonial and National Question”)
The nationalist organisations which support the “colonialism theory” do not want to acknowledge the fact that the Turkish and Kurdish nations and the other minorities live under the power of the same state. It is obvious that in a multinational state, defending separate organisation means defending nationalism under the pretext of Marxism (however, the PKK no longer has need of that).
At this point one may ask, hasn’t every nation the right to organise separately? Yes, but that is not the subject of our discussion. In connection with that, one may not claim that every right is being claimed. The question is how far the use of these rights accords with objective reality and the final interests of the peoples, or not. Which of these rights strengthens the workers and the people? In conclusion we would like to quote a few words from Lenin:
“On the other hand, socialists in oppressed nations particularly insist on the complete, unconditional and organisational unity of the workers of the oppressed nation with those of the oppressing nation and turn this into a living reality. Without this it is impossible to insist on an independent policy for the proletariat or upon class solidarity with the proletariat of other lands amid the tricks, betrayals and criminality of the bourgeoisie.” (Lenin, Selected Works, 4, “The Proletarian, Revolutionary Way of Posing the Right of Nations to Self-Detemination”, page 174)
Defending separate organisation means dividing the workers of all nations in every area, city, firm, in every area of life according to nationality. This viewpoint means creating artificial barriers among the masses of the people, and causing deep splits. From this, bourgeois ideology objectively creates a monopoly for itself.
Here we come upon another “peculiarity”. As a logical result of it, the PKK could not create the same nationalist mode of organisation among the workers and government employees. Not because it did not want to but because conditions made this impossible. Here the nationalist mode of organising came up against objective limitations and handicaps.
SEPARATE IN TURKEY – TOGETHER IN IRAN!
To understand the pragmatic and nationalist conception of the PKK in its organisation, we must examine their analysis of the other parts of Kurdistan. What the PKK, which stands for separate organisation and a separate revolution for Turkish Kurdistan, has to say about Iran is very interesting:
“… The fundamental tasks of the Kurds in Eastern Kurdistan (Iran) are to unite their struggle for national independence and democracy with the struggles of other peoples in one front. The Kurds’ fight for national independence and democracy against treacherous major landowners, imperialism and its servant, the Shah monarchy, is in unity with the struggle of the Azerbaijanis, Persians and Baluchis. The first task is to overthrow the Shah’s monarchy.” (“The Road to Revolution in Kurdistan”) On the one hand, the PKK in relation to Iran stands for common organisation, a common struggle and a common revolution and advocates uniting the peoples “in one front”, but on the other hand there is no answer to the question why it favours a separate organisation, separate struggle and separate revolution in Turkey.
The result of these things is the political pragmatism and lack of consistency shown by the PKK. It is inevitable that the PKK, which is not Marxist-Leninist and tries to force the reality of the country and the Middle East into its own nationalist framework, is bound to fall into such inconsistencies and utter such remarks. In colonial states containing many peoples in which these peoples are exploited and subjected to national oppression, the common organisation of the peoples, the common struggle and overthrow of the power of imperialism’s collaborators is, under all conditions, the only road to liberation for the working people of all nations and nationalities. That is the road to true liberation. Of course, this is possible with a conception of class relationships and struggle,but not if one possesses a nationalist mentality. But since it came into being, the PKK has been very far from having the former conception. If we examine history we see that the rulers have always employed the technique of “divide and rule”, to stir up the peoples against each other on religious and national lines, and thus keep themselves in power. If one puts forward the theory of the “colony” and the demand for “separate states”, the only way is organising a common struggle for an anti-imperialist, anti-oligarchic people’s revolution. “Colony” or not, under no circumstances can we see as legitimate the separation of the peoples’ struggles and the elevation of national interests over the common interests of the peoples, least of all by those who call themselves Marxist-Leninist. Marxist-Leninists do not restrict themselves to the national question. Their struggle proceeds from the common interests of the peoples. In this sense, the only obtacle to liberation is not national oppression but imperialism and the oligarchy. For both the Turkish and the Kurdish people, the obstacle is the same.
“BELONGING TO TURKEY” AND THE TURKISH AND KURDISH LEFT
Designating the left as “Kurdish” and “Turkish” is not new. The Kurdish nationalists have coined such concepts. From their viewpoint it is logical to use concepts like that. Those who restrict themselves to the liberation of the Kurdish people and who have founded Kurdish associations and Kurdish parties and have turned their backs on the revolution and people of Turkey have naturally seen themselves as the “Kurdish” left. Since they are only interested in Kurdistan and the Kurds and have organised on the basis of nationalism and not on the basis of class, this designation is also understandable.
According to their logic, the Turkish people and revolutionaries are superfluous. They are also the “Turkish” left. A narrow nationalist viewpoint is what nourishes this conception. If this is taken as the starting point it is also possible to talk of concepts like “the Laz left”, “the Arab left”, the “Georgian”, “Cherkess” and “Bosnian” left. This would be quite in keeping with the PKK’s logic.
That is reflected in the mentality of petit bourgeois nationalism, which talks of separating working people by nationality, proposing “every nation should have its own party”, and thus seeking to legitimise propaganda for separate organisations and a separate revolution. But the Marxist-Leninist conception of organisation in a multinational state is not based on nationalities. One attempts to organise the working people of all nationalities and unite them under one roof. Marxist-Leninists reject separate organising which splits people along national lines.
Concepts like “the Turkish left” are essentially the products of conceptions that Marxist-Leninists reject. Nationalist conceptions. By holding such conceptions, the PKK proceeds from the need to keep secret the existence of organisations that reject organising on the basis of nationality and achieve joint organisation of the peoples.
But today, this concept presents a contradiction from the viewpoint of the PKK. For if one favours “belonging to Turkey”, what does that mean to the “Kurdish left”?
For example, are we now talking of a “Kurdish left which belongs to Turkey?” But what we have seen so far is that the demands posed by “belonging to Turkey” are not even properly fulfilled as far as defining concepts is concerned. The same old concepts are being used.