A TURKISH REVOLUTIONARY SPEAKS ON THE CURRENT IMPASSE IN TURKISH REVOLUTIONARY POLITICS 

    For some time, parts of the Turkish revolutionary movement have utilised an 'active suicide' tactic - of death-fast - in an attempt to 'force' a publicity and humiliation upon the Turkish ruling fascists. This has taken place within the notorious F-Type prisons (See below). However, in this process many deaths of the bravest and most militant of the Turkish revolutionaries have occurred.     Our main article is drawn from the original Turkish document in:
                        "Bunaluntlan Devrimci Cikis Onerisi".     The so-called "F-Prisons" - are top security isolation cell dungeons, where the most brutal atrocities are perpetrated by the Turkish fascist state against militants, progressives and revolutionaries. These developed from the militant resistance to the more "ordinary" prison.
Comrade Garbis Altinoglu has written the most detailed history of these [His book is on the web (see below web-link) or in a soft-paperback printed copy, can be obtained from us -cost $6.00]. The prisons were, even before the move to the notorious F-Type - terrible. Even a brief description of conditions in the "ordinary prisons makes this clear:     The response in turn of the Turkish ruling class was vicious - the F-Type prisons:      Suicide by the death fast, has been a waste of huge human proportions for the Turkish revolutionary movement. The debate surrounding this has been heated, and a proportion of it can be followed through transcripts from two e-lists: ISML and Stalinist (See Appendix 3). It is important to note the shift in emphasis over the years, as it became increasingly clear how self-immolating the tactic really was.
    Of pertinence are writings such as those of Engels against Peter Nikitich Tkachov - a member of the Russian Narodniks. For underlying the bravery of the Turkish revolutionaries who have undergone (and are undergoing now) the death-fast, are attitudes close to anarchism and Bakuninism. This is not the place to re-discuss these matters, they are discussed in detail in Alliance Issue 36: Marx and Engels on Russia.
    The relevant portion from Engels' work, is extracted into Appendix One.  [The whole of this article by Engels, which also deals with the Russian peasant communes, or 'mir', is also on our web-site now at:                        ].Whereas the articles of Lenin on the question of terror and anarchist acts, are well known, the authority of Engels should also be brought to bear on this question. Not only does Engels castigate individual heroic acts, but he also points out how close Russia is to a revolutionary crisis. Both are points made by the Turkish writer of our main article in Alliance 50.  Lenin on Terrorism covers some of the same ground. An article on this is already on the web at: Marxist-Leninist attitude to Terror

    Although Marx wrote on Suicide, it was not in the context of revolutionary tactics. He wrote about it in relation to the profound, personal alienation and hopelessness, undergone by the masses under brutal capitalist rule. Why is this article relevant to our topic?
    Of course it can be asked, how much more brutal and 'alienating' can the regime of capital be than in the F-Type prison? Many would argue "not much". There is no doubt that this leads to an element of 'hopelessness", and perhaps also not seeing clearly as to how other than such a personal sacrifice, can the struggle proceed. The article by Marx is appended as Appendix Two.
 


The article talks about the "Turkish Revolutionary Movement", in a non-sectarian manner.
By this is meant the array of Marxist-Leninist groupings, in part listed below, that constitutes part of the Turkish Revolutionary Movement:
PKK                                  Workers' Party of Kurdistan
Devrimci Yol                      Revolutionary Road
TKP/M-L Hareketi             Communist Party of Turkey (Marxist-Leninist) Movement
TKP/M-L                          Communist Party of Turkey (Marxist-Leninist)
THKP-C/M-L                     People's Liberation Party-Front of Turkey (Marxist-Leninist)
MLKP                               Marxist Leninist Communist Party
DHKP-C                            Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front
TDKP                                Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey
TIKB                                 Revolutionary Communist League of Turkey
EKIM                                October

The individual politics of these organisations is discussed in the issue of Alliance number 35 entitled: History of MLCP And the Revolutionary Movement (please click).


A PROPOSAL FOR A REVOLUTIONARY WAY OUT OF THE CRISIS

(Slightly abridged translation of the original Turkish document "Bunaluntlan Devrimci Cikis Onerisi")

All who take an objective look at the Turkish revolutionary movement in the context of the general circumstances that prevail in our country, region and the world, shall concede the presence of an extremely grave situation, which not to mince words can be called - a crisis. At least the main body of the Turkish revolutionary movement, has more than proved itself ready to make the necessary sacrifices to advance file struggle (1). The problem facing the Turkish revolutionary movement does not stem from a lack of determination on that front. It stems from the further weakening of its already weak political reflexes, limited mass ties and ability to transform the circumstances in a revolutionary manner.

    The result of all these, has been the growing erosion of the already small influence of the Turkish revolutionary movement over the advanced sections of workers and toilers and what is even worse, its own political base and self-confidence. By focusing almost all its attention and efforts on the longrunning death fast and hunger strike action in the prisons, the Turkish revolutionary movement has reinforced the tendency to turn inward and conduct a political struggle still more centered on the vanguard (2). It is absolutely necessary to stop this process of self-destruction and bleeding, which can only be done through a very conscious effort. Furthermore, to be able to do this, the Turkish revolutionary movement needs to make an assessment of its direction and whereabouts. This, first of all is a task, which falls upon the Turkish revolutionary movement itself or upon the organizations constituting it. Though this article shall refer from time to time to this basic question, this article does not attempt to analyze the overall state of the Turkish revolutionary movement. It will mainly deal with the question of how to extricate the Turkish revolutionary movement from its present predicament, and on the ways through which it can intervene in the burning problems facing the masses.

    Over the last one and a half years, several events have transpired, which have directly affected the workers and toilers of Turkey. By rights therefore, they should have taken their prominent place in the agenda of the Turkish revolutionary movement. Among these are;

The terrible pressure of the economic crisis on toilers;
The growing intensity of the aggression of Turkish fascism on Kurdish people and its democratic institutions, despite the capitulation and treason of PKK leadership;
The escalation of the white terror of US imperialism in the wake of 11th September and its threat and aggression targeting Arab and Islamic peoples, the flowing of Palestinian blood, especially over the last 19 months and approaching US aggression against Iraq.
    All these developments certainly interest the Turkish revolutionary movement directly, and, moreover they fall into its’ sphere of responsibility. Yet, apart from dealing with these questions in its press by way of agitation, propaganda and analysis, the Turkish revolutionary movement has not really addressed them and put them on its action agenda. According to Lenin:
  "Politics begin where the masses are; not where there are thousands, but where there are millions, that is where serious politics begin."
(Quoted by E. H. Carr, What is History?, London, 1998, p. 50).
 
In his pamphlet "Left-Wing" Communism, An Infantile Disorder, he also had criticized such revolutionaries and said:
  "... we must not regard what is obsolete for us as being obsolete for the class, as being obsolete for the masses."
(Selected Works, London, 1938, Vol. 10, p. 99).
 
    Unfortunately, it is difficult to state that the Turkish revolutionary movement has learned from the criticism of Lenin or even from its own experience.

    If they want to deserve the title of the vanguard, revolutionary parties have to learn to march in front of the masses, without severing their ties to them. This, however, obliges them to take into account the present level of consciousness and spontaneous struggle of the masses. Those revolutionary organizations, who fail to draw the masses along with them are, in practice, in a rear-guard position, irrespective of their own self-assessment (3).

This, of course, cannot be taken as an exhortation for the Turkish revolutionary movement to adopt itself to the prejudices and backward tendencies of the masses. But, all honest and conscientious observers would have to accept the fact that, one of main problems facing the Turkish revolutionary movement has been the failure to close distance between its own agenda and tile agenda of the masses.

    There exists a consensus in the ranks of Turkish revolutionary movement to the effect that the F-type prison attack aims at destroying the movement.
This is a correct assessment.
This observation, however, does not justify the pursuit of a revolutionary tactic centered on the struggle against F-type prison attack; it does not justify the assumption that workers and toilers can be mobilized through a propaganda and agitation against the oppression in prisons.

    The Turkish revolutionary movement has failed to develop the correct tactics, methods and means to resist against the general economic and political assault of the ruling classes; it has perceived this struggle almost something like a duel between the vanguard forces and the fascist regime and therefore has itself, though unintentionally, contributed to the isolation of the revolutionary vanguard by the class enemy. This line has denied the masses the chance to be educated through their own experiences, which is the only way for them to join forces with the revolutionary vanguard and follow its dictums. Lenin told us:
 

"The real education of the masses can never be separated from their independent political, and especially revolutionary, struggle. Only struggle educates the exploited class. Only struggle discloses to it the magnitude of its own power, widens its horizon, enhances its abilities, clarifies its mind, forges its will."
("Lecture on the 1905 Revolution", Collected Works. Moscow, 1974, Vol., p. 241).
 
    To support the revolutionary demands of the masses and to intervene in their spontaneous struggle in an active and united manner and to elevate the level of that struggle; and, in this manner to expand the sphere of influence and revolutionary legitimacy of the Turkish revolutionary movement – This is the only way to uphold and support the political captives, whom the regime aims to condemn to a silent death.

    There is a great revolutionary potential. Today, in our country:

The great majority of the population is in the throes of an economic crisis and even of semi-hunger; despite the capitulation and treason of the PKK leadership;
The Kurdish people continue to harbor a great amount of revolutionary potential;
The bourgeois parties, whether in power or in opposition have squandered almost all of their prestige;
The bourgeoisie and its armed forces, who have reduced the status of the country almost to that of a colony dominated by imperialism, are also making preparations to shed the blood of the peoples of tile Middle East and Central Asia.
 
    If the revolutionary forces of our country are not able to expand their sphere of influence and revolutionary legitimacy, under such circumstances, they need to take a good look at themselves and question their own way of conducting political struggle. It is high time to remember Lenin's following words in his pamphlet "Left-Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder": "The attitude of a political party towards its mistakes is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is, and how it in practice fulfils its obligations towards its class and the toiling masses. Frankly admitting a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analyzing the conditions which led to it, and thoroughly discussing the means of correcting it - that is the earmark of a serious party, that is the way it should perform its duties, that is the way it should educate and train the class and then the masses."
(Quoted by Stalin, Problems of Leninism, Moscow, 1940, p. 13).
 
    As in all periods of crisis, along with extraordinary difficulties, there are great possibilities. We have outlined the Turkish situation. Internationally also there are new developments. The post-11th September period, characterized by the aggression of US imperialism on all the peoples of the world, but, especially on the Arab and Islamic peoples, presents significant opportunities for the advancement of the struggle against the capitalist-imperialist system and its arrogant chief, the US. Despite being burdened with its extremely grave weaknesses and problems and its critical conditions, 35 year-old Turkish revolutionary movement embodies a considerable amount of revolutionary potential.

    The Turkish revolutionary movement rests on the significant revolutionary traditions of workers and toilers of Turkey. On the other hand, it has firm allies, in the personality of the workers and toilers of the world. Therefore, notwithstanding its own difficulties, the Turkish revolutionary movement can break out of this vicious circle in the course of the struggle of the workers and peoples of Turkey, region and the world against imperialist aggression and its vassal, Turkish fascism (4). If it can face the present period with a revolutionary prognosis, a correct tactic and a real united front, and if it can contribute to the provision of a practical response to the repression and terror of Turkish fascism and to the US aggression on Arab and Islamic peoples, theTurkish revolutionary movement will begin to deliver itself from its crisis.

    To keep the workers and toilers away from the influence of revolution and socialism, the Turkish ruling classes, have for decades, portrayed all leftist movements as pawns of foreign powers and especially of the USSR and branded them as anti-Muslim. The present period however, presents the Turkish revolutionary movement with an opportunity to neutralize these propaganda themes of Turkish fascism. Firstly, in view of their relationships with US imperialism on the one hand and with the IMF and the World Bank on the other, the ruling classes are not capable of utilizing the weapon of' "patriotism" and "nationalism" against the Turkish revolutionary movement. Secondly, in view of their complicity with US imperialism in its struggle against the peoples of the Middle East and Central Asia, christened with the name of "war on Islamic terrorism", they are not able to use the weapon of "religion" against the Turkish revolutionary movement (5).

    Besides, at present, our country is passing through a deep economic crisis that has further exacerbated the social earthquake it has been undergoing. Under these circumstances, apart from expanding its influence among its traditional social base in the ranks of workers all toilers, the Turkish revolutionary movement can reach to toilers under the influence of Islam and even extend its influence among the lower echelons of the bourgeois army. It can and should try to mobilize (the patriotic and anti-imperialist feelings of the masses filled with hatred against the crusade of US neo-fascists against Arab and Islamic peoples, without giving any concession to Turkish nationalism and religious reaction. If the Turkish revolutionary movement, introduces itself upon the Turkish political scene as a united and serious force, if it opposes the depreciation of Turkey into a colonial status, and if it opposes the imperialist terror that is targeting the Arab and Islamic peoples - All in a straightforward manner, the Turkish revolutionary movement will be able to strengthen its ties to the masses and expand its sphere of influence and revolutionary legitimacy, and thereby repel the multi-faceted aggression of Turkish fascism and US imperialism.

    The determining factor of the present period is the Third World War that is and has been, unleashed against the peoples of the world by American neo-fascists, who are following the tracks of Hitler fascism. In this phase, the US imperialists aim to subordinate the peoples of the Middle East and Central Asia, to strengthen their hold on energy sources, to gain advantage over their Chinese, Russian, European and Japanese imperialist rivals, and, to promote the "security" of Zionist Israel.

    The US has been living through a relative regression in line with the law of the uneven development of capitalism. This, however, does not prevent it from being the greatest economic and military power on earth, which enjoys and shall continue to enjoy, considerable superiority over its imperialist rivals in the foreseeable future. Besides, US imperialism has consolidated its superiority through its near monopoly position in the fields of visual media, popular culture and entertainment industry. But, the tactical superiority of the Yankee imperialists, who continue their militarization drive [including now the arming of the space and the development of new military technologies, such as pilotless planes, robots etc] does not make them invincible nor can it conceal the extremely decadent nature of the contradiction-ridden American society. The terrorist monopoly capitalist class of the US has been surrounded by the anger and hate of the workers and peoples of the world, and will ultimately prove unable to ward off their resistance in even the medium-term.

    In this context, the Turkish revolutionary movement should not content itself with condemning the coming US aggression against Iraq led by the fascist Saddam Hussein clique; but it should also treat this question as a topic of actual political struggle and should openly and actively oppose the present and future imperialist war and terror against Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq and other Islamic countries and their peoples.

    By taking an active stand against:
            Turkish military presence in Afghanistan,

the on-going use of NATO bases in Turkey for the bombardment of Iraq for years,     the use of Turkish and Kurdish youth as cannon fodder in the approaching Iraqi campaign
and the shedding of the Palestinian people's blood by Zionist Israel,
the Turkish revolutionary movement would enhance its prestige in the eyes of the peoples of Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia and especially among sections of the population under the influence of Islam.

    Nobody should try to find an advocacy of Saddam Hussein regime in such all opposition to the US aggression against Iraq. This regime, whose hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of thousands of Kurdish, Shiite and Sunnite toilers, deserves to be overthrown times and again. That however is the task of the Iraqi people of various nationalities. Moreover, it is very well known that, imperialists and especially US and British imperialists have armed to the teeth this Iraqi regime, against Iran during the First Gulf War. The imperialists protected the Iraqi regime in the face of Kurdish and Shiite rebellions in the wake of the Second Gulf War, were responsible for the death of more than one million Iraqi toilers through the UN embargo they have maintained for the last 11 years.

    In the meantime, the political tensions between the US and EU imperialists, who had come somewhat closer to each other in the post-11th September period, are once again surfacing. This is due both to the continuation of the world economic recession and the efforts of the US to establish their full spectrum dominance. The sharpening of these inter-imperialist contradictions coincides with the sharpening of contradictions among the pro-US and pro-EU sections of Turkish ruling classes. The Turkish revolutionary movement should continue to reject the illusions spread by the PKK and reformist groups concerning the EU imperialists, who are much weaker politically and militarily than the US. However, it should turn its attention mainly at the US, the principal enemy of workers and peoples of the world, without forgetting the fact that the struggle for hegemony between these two gangs of brigands might function as an indirect reserve for revolution.
 

What, then, is to be done in Turkey today?     One of the preconditions for the Turkish revolutionary movement, allowing it to begin to organize joint work, is to initiate a genuinely honest and fruitful internal dialogue on the joint tasks, responsibilities and opportunities facing the movement, ignoring and surpassing the relatively weak prior tradition in regards to united action.

    In this context, it is extremely important to be mindful of the level and style of the discussions and criticisms over the death fast and hunger strike, which are conducted and shall be conducted. Such discussion and criticism should not distance the Turkish revolutionary movement from the tackling of the burning tasks waiting to be addressed and should not further weaken the already weak tradition of united action. The tensions and erosion of mutual trust due to the quarrels following the partially victorious death fast action of 1996 may serve as a caution in this regard. What is more, one must take account of the fact that, since 1996 the Turkish revolutionary movement has lost a considerable amount of strength, following, self-confidence and prestige. The death fast action of 2000-2002, has lasted much longer than that of the 1996 death-fast, and it has taken a much larger toll. Taking into account the habits of the Turkish revolutionary movement, we may rightly predict the eruption of a spate of vicious sectarian quarrels following the end of the present death fast and hunger strike action. However, the Turkish revolutionary movement must prove itself capable of focusing its attention on the burning questions of the present and the future, without neglecting the task of critically assessing the mistakes and the experience of the past, including the above mentioned action. At a time, when it is called upon to perform significant tasks, with regard to revolution in Turkey and moreover in the region and the world, the Turkish revolutionary movement should and can avoid a "civil war", which cannot but result in the formation of deep wounds in its collective structure.

    In conclusion, it can be stated that, it is imperative for the revolutionary forces in Turkey to learn to listen to each other, discuss in a fruitful manner and act together in other fields too, as they have been doing in prisons. Class-conscious workers and advanced sections of toilers have the right to question the stands of revolutionary parties and groups, who while succeeding in acting together in dungeons, despite their differences, fail to do the same in other fields.

    Under the present conditions of our country, by entering the political arena as a united front pulling forward the vital and burning demands of the masses, the Turkish revolutionary movement can deliver itself from the trap of liquidation and destruction, that Turkish fascism and imperialism has forced it into. Nobody could assert that such an initiative would provide it with a mass base in the short run, and end the long running rupture between the masses of workers and toilers on the one hand and the revolutionary movement on the other. But, there is no other force, apart from the Turkish revolutionary movement that can solve the intractable problems of our country. If it can act boldly, think big and prove itself capable and determined to exploit the opportunities provided by the course of events, Turkish revolutionary movement can close this period with a significant leap forward. This, however, cannot be done unless the Turkish revolutionary movement subjects itself to a revolutionary self-criticism, and learns to hold the pulse of the masses - through modifying its way of conducting political struggle and assumes a genuinely transformative role for itself.

    If it decided to follow such a path, the Turkish revolutionary movement would be well advised to prepare a clear, straightforward and relatively short platform, comprising the actual and vital demands of the masses of workers and toilers. This should form a basis for its daily propaganda and agitation This would not be a platform for revolution per se.

It should address, at least the following questions.

a) Poverty, unemployment and hunger adversely affecting great majority of the population,
b) Imperialist plunder of Turkey in line with IMF and World Bank directives,
c) Plunder of public resources by the criminal bourgeoisie, rentiers and their collaborators,
d) Preparations for the use of Turkish and Kurdish workers and toilers as cannon fodder in the US aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and other Islamic countries,
e) Violation of national and democratic rights of Kurdish people,
f) Repression of political captives and their isolation,
h) Fascist terror targeting whole sections of the people and especially the Kurdish people.

    This platform should demand a democratic and popular solution to these questions. But, what is more important, is the way these demands are to be realized. Therefore, one of the most important planks of this platform should be the understanding that all these demands shall be realized only through the strength of workers and toilers, through their determined struggles in factories, streets and toiling people's districts and not through the "goodwill" of the ruling classes or of one section of them or of Western European imperialists.

    Such a platform may not be considered sufficiently "radical", or "revolutionary", by the Turkish revolutionary movement (or by important segments of it), whose style of political struggle focuses its attention not on the masses, as it should be, but on the vanguard.

    It may even be condemned as a reformist and liquidationist attempt.

    Such an objection or criticism, however, would not be correct.

Firstly, it would not be taking into account the present level of consciousness and struggle of the masses of workers and toilers.
Secondly, it would not be taking into account the vital need for the Turkish revolutionary movement to free itself from the extremely narrow space it has been confined to and gain some revolutionary legitimacy in the eyes of the masses. The Turkish revolutionary movement must understand the fact that it cannot continue its mission in this manner.
    Besides, adopting such a platform for daily propaganda, agitation and organization, is neither in contradiction with the defense of a revolutionary and socialist perspective, nor is it in contradiction with the independent existence and activity of revolutionary organizations. Under the present circumstances, where the Turkish revolutionary movement is facing a common threat (of extinction), an emphasis in the direction of the defense of vital and burning dernands of the masses is absolutely necessary.

    It should be added that, reformist parties and groups do not stand a real chance in our country. This is due to the weakness of material basis for the growth of reformism, the sharpness of contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and the other social contradictions and the repressive and terrorist style of government of the ruling classes. There are no reformist parties in our country, like Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries, who had a significant following among Russian workers and peasants. Therefore, the Turkish revolutionary movement also needs to tone down its somewhat exaggerated political struggle against reformist parties and groups. The real danger of reformism and liquidationism resides mainly inside the Turkish revolutionary movement and its components themselves, especially during such periods of decline and crisis. The recent history of the Turkish revolutionary movement has witnessed several cases of evolution from revolutionary-democracy into reformism and liquidationism.

    It is true that, the demands to be included in the above mentioned platform are in the nature of reforms. But, there is nothing wrong for revolutionary parties to fight for reforms, as long as they do not lose sight of their revolutionary perspectives. Stalin stated:
 

"To a reformist, reforms are everything, while revolutionary work is something incidental, something just to talk about, mere eyewash. That is why, with reformist tactics hinder the bourgeois regime, reforms are inevitably transformed into an instrument for strengthening that regime, an instrument for disintegrating the revolution.
"To a revolutionary, on the contrary, the main thing is revolutionary work and not reforms; to him reforms are by-products of the revolution. That is why, with revolutionary tactics under the bourgeois regime, reforms are naturally transformed into instruments for disintegrating this regime, into instruments for strengthening the revolution... "
(Problems of Leninism, Moscow, 1940, p. 70).
 
    It is evident that, by conducting a joint struggle on the basis of such a platform, the Turkish revolutionary movement shall strengthen its ties to the masses, weaken the fascist dictatorship, deal blows at imperialism, dispel the liquidationist mood and therefore bring our country closer to revolution.
    So, with such a revolutionary perspective, the struggle for reforms shall be, in Stalin's words, "naturally transformed into instruments for disintegrating this regime, into instruments for strengthening the revolution":

    Lastly, taking into account its liquidationist and capitulationist line, the Turkish revolutionary movement should categorically reject the PKK's proposal on "the way out of the crisis."
    The PKK has pinned its hopes on the capitalist-imperialist system and its economic-political aggression dubbed as globalization, which allegedly will "democratize" our region (the Middle East) and the world! The PKK's loud proclamations to the effect that it will act as a hit man in the coming US aggression against Iraq and its proposals aiming to destroy the Turkish revolutionary movement, as well as the Kurdish national movement, must have served as sufficient warning for those, who up to now have failed to concede the real nature of the PKK leadership (6). It is beyond any doubt that, at least during the period following the capture of Abdullah Ocalan (in February 1999), the PKK's policy has been part of the overall liquidationist strategy designed and carried out by the Turkish general staff and imperialism.
3-8 March 2002

NOTES

(1) Here, the phrase: "the Turkish revolutionary movement", is used in such a way as to include only the radical revolutionary groups and exclude reformist ones. Even then, the Turkish revolutionary movement does not refer to a homogenous movement, but a collection of various organizations, who, to a greater or lesser extent differ from each other ideologically and politically. For the purpose of this article, however, these differences do not carry much weight. This approach finds even more justification in the fact that over the last 16 months, many organizations making up the Turkish revolutionary movement, have focused their efforts mainly on the death fast and hunger strike action.

(2) The hunger strike action of political prisoners had begun on 20 October 2000, and was transformed into a death fast in the wake of the fascist aggression of Turkish military on scores of prisons on 19 December 2000, which left 30 people dead. At the time of the writing, the death fast and hunger strike action has become almost 16 months-old and led to the death of further 60 odd political captives and mental and physical infirmity of hundreds of others.

(3) On this topic Stalin had said the following:

"The whole truth is that the Party must not only go forward, but must also secure the following of the vast masses. To go forward without securing the following of the vast masses means in fact to break away from the movement. To go forward, breaking away from the rear-guard, without being able to secure the following the rear-guard, means to make a leap ahead that can prevent the advance of the masses for some time."
("The International Situation and the Defence of the USSR", Works, Moscow, 1954, Vol. 10, pp. 29-30).
(4) There is no real basis for pessimism with regard to the prospects of the anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of the world against US terrorism. Yankee imperialists, who have deployed their troops in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Kirgizia, Kosova, Kuwait, the Philippines, Colombia. Georgia. Qatar; and who now plan to attack Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, North Korea, Libya, Iran, the Sudan, Venezuela have already been sucked into the mire. They may kill millions of workers and toilers more with "weapons of mass destruction" at their disposal; but they will be defeated as a result of the growing struggles of the peoples of semicolonial countries, who have very little to lose on the one hand and of the struggle of their "own" working classes on the other. The last skirmishes in Afghanistan testify to the growing plight of US imperialists, who will be thrashed more and more.

(5) In the course of discussions over the transfer of command of the so-called International Security Assistance Force (in Afghanistan) to Turkey, Turkish authorities, including Prime Minister Bulevent Ecevit tried to utilize the occasion to beg for money arms from their imperialist masters. A press report informs us that:

"Ecevit stated that Turkey will assume the responsibility following the acceptance of conditions it has put forward and will provide security not only in Afghanistan, but also in all of Central Asia and thereby liberate the whole region from the threat of terrorism and fundamentalism."
(Hurriyet, I March 2002)
 
(6) For some time, Abdullah Ocalan and other leaders of the PKK have been pressing for the formation of a "united left party" or of a "democratic bloc", which will comprise apart from the PKK, components of the Turkish revolutionary movement, and various reformist parties. For instance, Cemil Baylk, a member of the Presidential Council of the PKK stated: "... PKK is for the establishment of such a party, which is urgently needed in Turkey; it wants to accomplish this task together with all left and democratic forces... "
(Ozgur Politika, 3 February 2002).
 
On the other hand, Murat Karayilan, another member of the Presidential Council, had made the following statement some time after the action of 11th September: "It now has become clear that, the US is promoting a new concept in the wake of this event. It wants to make a rearrangement in several countries and regions of the world, especially in the Middle East and Caucasia... Therefore, Kurds have to follow these new developments carefully and seize a place for themselves. This is our approach....
"If a plan is put forward with regard to Iraq, this new step shall have its impact on Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). Now there are two alternatives: In the operation against Iraq, who shall be assigned the main task, Kurds of the South or the Turkish arm),?"
(Ozgur Politika, 2 October 2001, italics mine).
 
Reiterating its support for the US intervention in and coming aggression against Iraq, the declaration of the 5. Plenum of the Party Assembly of the PKK (held in late January) told us:
  "The struggle for the nature of the system in Iraq shall determine that of the Middle East and that in turn shall determine the basic criteria and features- of the international system. We can clearly see the fact that the struggle waging on Iraq has a regional and international character and this struggle is a one between the old system and the new system, between the old status quo and the new status quo. During the coming period, the struggle shall continue to sharpen even more both on political and military planes and no doubt our Party and our people shall side with the front for change which aims to establish a new system, not with that of old status quo, which reject the Kurds and want to destroy them. And our Party and people shall not side with the front for repression, division and terror, but with that of democracy, peace and free union. They will do so, because the interests of both Kurdish people and those of the peoples of the region and of the democratic forces of the world lie in this state of affairs."
(Ozgur Politika, 6 February 2002, italics mine).
END


   APPENDIX ONE Extract:
    "Refugee Literature" by Frederick Engels 1874: "V On Social Relations in Russia";
    Collected Works Marx and Engels: Volume 24: Moscow 1989; p. 39;
    Written: between mid-May 1874 and April 1875;
 
       "Mr. Tkachov treats the political revolution just as lightly as he does the economic one. The Russian people, he relates, “protests incessantly” against its enslavement, now in the form of “religious sects ... refusal to pay taxes ... robber bands” (the German workers will be glad to know that, accordingly, Schinderhannes [the nickname of Johann Buckler, a notorious German robber-publisher] is the father of German Social-Democracy) “... incendiarism ... revolts ... and hence the Russian people may be termed an instinctive revolutionist”. Therefore, Mr. Tkachov is convinced that “it is only  necessary to evoke an outburst in a number of places at the same time of all the accumulated bitterness and discontent, which ... is always seething in the breast of our people”. Then “the union of the revolutionary forces will come about of itself, and the fight ... must end favourably for the people’s cause. Practical necessity, the instinct of self-preservation”, will then achieve, quite of themselves, “a firm and indissoluble alliance among the protesting village communities”.
    It is impossible to conceive of a revolution on easier and more pleasant terms. One starts shooting, at three or four places simultaneously, and the “instinctive revolutionise”, “practical necessity” and the “instinct of self-preservation” do the rest “of themselves”. Being so dead easy, it is simply incomprehensible why the revolution has not been carried out long ago, the people liberated and Russia transformed into the model socialist country.
       Actually, matters are quite different. The Russian people, this instinctive revolutionise, has, true enough, made numerous isolated peasant revolts against the nobility and against individual officials, but never against the tsar, except when a false tsar put himself at its head and claimed the throne. The last great peasant rising, [Engels is referring to the Peasant War (1773-75) headed by Yemelyan Pugachov] under Catherine II, was only possible because Yemelyan Pugachov claimed to be her husband, Peter III, who allegedly had not been murdered by his wife, but dethroned and clapped in prison, and had now escaped. The tsar is, on the contrary, the earthly god of the Russian peasant: Bog vysok Car daljok — God is on high and the tsar far away, is his cry in hour of need. There is no doubt that the mass of the peasant population, especially since the redemption of the corvée, has been reduced to a condition that increasingly forces on it a fight also against the government and the tsar; but Mr. Tkachov will have to try to sell his fairy-tale of the “instinctive revolutionise” elsewhere.
    Then again, even if the mass of the Russian peasants were ever so instinctively revolutionary, even if we imagined that revolutions could be made to order, just as one makes a piece of flowered calico or a teakettle — even then I ask, is it permissible for anyone over twelve years of age to imagine the course of a revolution in such an utterly childish manner as is the case here? And remember, further, that this was written after the first revolution made on this Bakuninist model [Engels is referring to the uprising which was launched in July 1873 by petty-bourgeois republicans and the Bakuninists in Andalusia and Valencia., it undermined the position of the left-republican government of Francisco Pi y Margall which came into office in 1873 as a result of the declaration of the first republic in Spain during the revolution of 1868-74 - See Collected works: The bakuninists at Work; Volume 23; pp.585-95]— the Spanish one of 1873 — had so brilliantly failed. There, too, they let loose at several places simultaneously. There, too, it was calculated that practical necessity and the instinct of self-preservation would, of  themselves, bring about a firm and indissoluble alliance between the protesting communities. And what happened? Every village community, every town defended only itself; there was no question of mutual assistance and, with only 3,000 men, Pavia overcame one town after another in a fortnight and put an end to the entire anarchist glory (cf. my Bakuninists at Work, where this is described in detail).
    Russia undoubtedly is on the eve of a revolution. Her financial affairs are in extreme disorder. Taxes cannot be screwed any higher, the interest on old state loans is paid by means of new loans, and every new loan meets with greater difficulties; money can now be raised only on the pretext of building railways! The administration, corrupt from top to bottom as of old, the officials living more from theft, bribery and extortion than on their salaries. The entire agricultural production — by far the most essential for Russia — completely dislocated by the redemption settlement of 1861; the big landowners, without sufficient labour power; the peasants without sufficient land, oppressed by taxation and sucked dry by usurers; agricultural production declining by the year. The whole held      together with great difficulty and only outwardly by an oriental despotism the arbitrariness of which we in the West simply cannot imagine; a despotism that, from day to day, not only comes into more glaring contradiction with the views of the enlightened classes and, in particular, with those of the rapidly developing bourgeoisie of the capital, but, in the person of its present bearer, has lost its head, one day making concessions to liberalism and the next, frightened, cancelling them again and thus bringing itself more and more into disrepute. With all that, a growing recognition among the enlightened strata of the nation concentrated in the capital that this position is untenable, that a evolution is impending, and the illusion that it will be possible to guide this revolution along a smooth,  constitutional channel. Here all the conditions of a revolution are combined, of a revolution that, started by the upper classes of the capital, perhaps even by the government itself, must be rapidly carried further, beyond the first constitutional phase, by the peasants; of a revolution that will be of the greatest importance for the whole of Europe, if only because it will destroy at one blow the last, so far intact, reserve of the entire European reaction. This revolution is surely approaching. Only two events could still delay it: a successful war against Turkey or Austria, for which money and firm
alliances are necessary, or — a premature attempt at insurrection, which would drive the possessing classes back into the arms of the government. "
                                                    END

            page 597          page 605



Full text: "Refugee Literature" by Frederick Engels 1874: "V On Social Relations in Russia";
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