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Turkey

Against the Military and Erdoğan’s Coups Let’s Organize the Democratic Front and Build Class Politics

Sunday 17 July 2016, by Sosyalist Demokrasi icin Yeniyol

This statement was issued by Sosyalist Demokrasi için Yeniyol - Turkish Section of the 4th International after the attempted coup on 15th July.

We have witnessed a coup process second by second on 15th July evening with all its uncertainties, hesitations, countermoves of opposing sides and ferocities. This bloody night, which will be remembered with the clashes between the soldiers and the police, occupations in the media channels, images of massacred civilians and lynched soldiers and bombing of the National Assembly as a peak point, appear as one of the last scenes of the power struggle between the old partners inside the state that AKP and Gülen congregation built in cooperation. Based on the fact that Erdoğan regime does not hesitate to have resort to chaos and civil war atmosphere in order to maintain his hegemony since the elections on 7th June 2015, following the push down of the coup attempt in a very short time and reappearances of the government members on the media channels with refreshed images, many conspirative evaluations, that this attempt was designed for Erdoğan’s dictatorial lust to be actualized, had broad repercussion. Under the circumstances where the regime was consolidated with almost 50 percent of the votes in the last elections, a more reasonable interpretation is that Gülen supporters, who faced a huge discharge operation, and some sections in the army they are in cooperation with, have drawn the coup plan forth in a hurry.

Although it is necessary to wait in order to have a detailed information about the motivations, agents of the movement, and the level of information the intelligence services have, it is obvious that the objective result this process will bring is consolidation of the Islamic-autocratic character of Erdoğan regime.

The first signs of the fact that there will be a new and maybe a final purge in the state apparatus are thousands of layoffs among the judges and prosecutors and detentions among the higher judicial bodies on the morning of 16th July, right the day after the regime supporters saved the democracy with the slogans of “Allahu ekber”, (Allah is great), “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan”, and “We want death penalty”. The fact that the calls made from the state institutions and all the mosques to urge people to the streets to defend the regime against the coup turned into attacks against Syrian population and tensions in Alevi neighborhoods clearly shows how the multi-dimensional polarization within Turkish society ran rampant to an extremely dangerous level. And we have no doubt that the Erdoğan’s Palace and the government, who declared academics, journalists, public workers, Kurdish activists and socialists as pro-coup and administered their arrests by associating every word against the regime with terrorism, will take the 15th July coup attempt as the justification of a severer attack against all sorts of opposition. And in the medium term, we can be sure that the 15th July attempt will be the first of the founding myths of Erdoğan regime and make history, not as a failed coup attempt without the base, staff and external support, but as a coup the people climbing on the tanks resisted and stopped.

All of the organizations in the radical left and all parties represented in the parliament declared that they’re against the coup. It is a principal task for us, too, to take a stand against the coup keeping in our consciousness that workers and oppressed people can never gain anything from the military interventions that suspend democratic rights and freedoms to start with. In addition to that, we declare that we also stand and will stand against the coups of the Palace which repudiated the election results to maintain its hegemony, demolished Kurdistan to get the votes of the nationalists, prohibited mass strikes by declaring them “national threats”, strove to abolish Kurdish people’s right to representation. An anti-coup position that cannot be rid of the “coup or Erdoğan” dilemma in which AKP trapped the politics, will play into the hands of the regime that will suppress not only the coup attempts but also every section of the opposition bloodily on behalf of “national will” and will not hesitate to use the İslamic-fascistic forces we saw at work on 15th July.

The way to barricade against the attacks of dictatorial regime, which seeks an absolute power in political, legal, military, economic spheres through self-victimization due to the coup, against workers, ethnic-religious minorities, women, LGBTI individuals and oppositional elements is to build a unified front of the existing democracy and peace forces. The way to throw both the Islamist-capitalist power block and a bloody military dictatorship possibility into the dustbin of history permanently is the way ignored up until now; patiently constructing the social opposition from below with working class in its heart.

The path is dark; let hope and resistance be our light!