Editor’s note: This paper is an unofficial translation for the declaration of the new communism collective in Turkey regarding the upcoming elections that will take place in two weeks. The translation has been done by a supporter of new communism from Turkish to English. We would like to remind that this is an unofficial and a voluntary translation, any mistakes or misunderstanding occurring from the text is not in direct responsibility of the collective. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Additionally we decided to add a glossary to the translation by explaining the main actors and some specificities regarding the politics of Turkey/Northern Kurdistan.
AKP: Justice and Development Party. The ruling party of Turkey for 21 years, is led by Erdogan. Following an openly Islamist/Turkist fascist line after 2016. The leading party in the People’s Alliance.
CHP: Main opposition party for two decades, is led by Kilicdaroglu. Founder party of the nation-state of Turkey in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The leading party in the Nation Alliance.
MHP (National Movement Party) Among the oldest Turkist fascist party which sided with the AKP after 2018 and took even a more reactionary and fascist line.
İYİP(Good Party) A Turkist fascist party that broke away from the MHP because of its leading line in very simple terms. Second strongest party in the Nation Alliance.
TİP: Workers Party of Turkey which is slightly getting popular in recent years.
HDP (People’s Democratic Party) Pro-Kurdish party, while having a social democratic line, also consists of many different sub-groups. Has a strong base and an actor for the elections.
DEVA (Party for Leap and Democracy) A party that has been founded by Ali Babacan who broke away from AKP in recent years after the fall in economy and non-liberal policies increasing. Defending neoliberal policies and implementation of the so called free-market.
GP (Future Party) A party that also broke away from the AKP and was directly created by the former prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Davutoglu was one of the main responsibilities of the bloody suppression of Kurds in the 2015 uprisings whilst his strategic implementations only created more and more chaos within Syria.
HÜDAPAR: A party that is a component of the People’s Alliance, blatant misogynist, so called legal version of Hezbollah. Supported actively by the state in the 1990’s for repressing the Kurdish National Movement and revolutionaries in Kurdistan. Killed many Kurds, scholars and revolutionaries with torture, bombs and targeted assassinations during the 90’s and early 2000’s
Millet İttifakı (Nation Alliance): Formed by; CHP, İYİP, SAADET, DP, DEVA and GP.
Cumhur İttifakı (People’s Alliance): Formed by; AKP, MHP, BBP, YENİDEN REFAH. There are also other Islamist fascist groups and so-called center right parties who legally support the alliance.
Emek ve Özgürlük İttifakı (Labor and Freedom Alliance) formed by; HDP, TİP, EMEP, EHP, TÖP, YSP and SMF. Did not present any candidate of their own, decided to support Kilicdaroglu in order to defeat Erdogan. Led by the pro-Kurdish party HDP and formed by social democratic, progressive, claimed socialist parties and organizations.
Grace of god (Allah’ın lütfu in Turkish): Meaning the grace of god and has a political meaning in Turkey. It has been used by Erdogan after the failed military coup in 2016 and opened the path for the AKP to consolidate its fascist regime. The failed coup meant the grace of God for the opportunity that it brought to AKP. In fact, Erdogan admits this several times in the parliament.
Asking for blessings (Helallik in Turkish): Has a religious meaning as receiving one’s blessings and asking for them. In political terms, it turned to a means of mutual forgiveness, and it has been used several times by Kilicdaroglu. His aim was to ask for forgiveness and give forgiveness to embrace all the different sects of Turkey.
Yes, but not enough (yetmez ama evet): It’s a political decision made by some of the progressives, some liberals and Kurds in the 2010 plebiscite. It was about voting yes to a series of laws that also have democratic rights brought by the AKP, even though the progressives did not find it enough. Plebiscite results helped Erdogan to further consolidate his regime. After the AKP became even more oppressive and brutal, some people regretted their decision. People who voted in the plebiscite as ‘’yes, but not enough’’ were faced with criticisms about strengthening Erdogan and AKP rule.
The world is currently undergoing very harsh and heavy conditions; the current conflict in Ukraine that went beyond proxy war by the imperialist powers of the USA on the one hand, and Russia on the other, not officially declared but are de facto and actively involved and have the strong dynamic and potential of an imperialist world war, the worldwide rise of fascist movements and the phenomenon of the tendency to shift to the right of political spectrum as a whole, the forced migration of thousands of people as a result of proxy wars, economic, political and ecological reasons. Continuous worsening of the climate crisis which has led to the extinction of thousands of species and deaths of tens of thousands of people as a result of drought, floods and rising temperatures… The rise of fundamentalist movements on the one hand and the demonization, devaluation, humiliation and commoditization of women and LGTQ individuals who are trapped into the capitalist relations of productions on the other hand. Exploitation of hundreds of millions of people in sweatshops as a result of the deepening global imperialism and aggravation of exploitation, and the fact that all of this finds expression on the basis of the imperialist countries and oppressed countries -oppressed nations- of the world; offers us only a summary and a general picture of the heavy conditions we are going through.
Turkey/Northern Kurdistan is going through elections as part of these conditions- both affected by and as an influencer of these elements- we have summarized above. Even though the elections officially started with Erdogan’s announcement that they would be held on May 14th, in reality, the country had fallen into an endless debate on elections and setting all the clocks to the election when AKP came out once again as the first party in 2019 local government elections, but lost the metropolises of Turkey such as Istanbul and Ankara to the so called opposition, and furthermore objecting to the results of the elections in Istanbul which led to an even bigger lost in the second time around, and as a result of strengthening of the possibility of the opposition wings of the bourgeoisie and the progressives in society at large to remove Erdogan through elections. Yes, there has always been a ‘’wind of elections’’ in this country, elections were discussed, but the situation is different now. The possibility – not certainty, but the possibility – that Erdogan, who has been in power for 21 years and has consolidated the Islamist Turkist fascist regime since 2016, will be sent through elections for the first time, has a strong impact on the whole society beyond the “oppositions”and progressive forces, it mobilizes sections of society that hate and have anger towards what AKP represents.
Some Fundamental Truths:
Elections are explained as “conditions in which the people represent their own will, bring the ruling class under their own influence and determine the next ruling line for the next period.” Elections are not insignificant in the sense that they are a process through which masses of people could join in politically at various levels. This process also allows to create a certain “consent” and societal base and gives “legitimacy” after the elections. Nevertheless, any fundamental problem of the masses could not be solved through elections. For example, you cannot put an end to exploitation, or private property through elections. The truth that you cannot solve the fundamental problems of the masses through elections, applies not only to capitalist societies but also to socialist societies as well. President Mao, neither went through elections, nor had the support of his own party, for which he was the leader of, to start the Cultural Revolution in order to maintain the dictatorship of the proletariat. He initiated the Cultural Revolution, and with leading revolutionary cadres, continuously reorganized this process. That is why the imperialist thugs accused Mao of staging a “coup” and kept describing the Cultural Revolution as a purge of anti-Maoists, and this black propaganda still goes on.
Bob Avakian’s words on the nature and character of elections in the capitalist system are important: “To put it in one sentence, elections are controlled by the bourgeoisie; in no case they are the means of making fundamental decisions, and indeed their primary purpose is to legitimize the system and the policies and actions of the ruling class, to put on the mantle of “people’s authority”, and to divert, limit and control the political activities of the masses of the people.
Although the electoral process does not represent the popular exercise of sovereignty in bourgeois society, it plays an important role in maintaining the rule- dictatorship- of the bourgeoisie and maintaining capitalist society in general. This electoral process itself tends to obscure basic class relations—class antagonisms—in society and serves to give a formal, institutionalized expression to the political participation of atomized individuals in perpetuating the status quo.”(Translator’s note: this translation took place from a text of Bob Avakian from Turkish, unfortunately the translator could not be able to find the original text in English therefore has to do his own translation. Any mistakes or misconceptions that might occur from the translation is in our responsibility and any correction will be welcomed) 
It is a huge lie that elections are held “freely,” and everyone reflects “their own will.” Also, this is not just a “fiction” in which the ruling class keeps a part of society- which is segregated and demonized- under oppression. These elections, in which Erdogan recklessly used all the means of state, the state turned television channels into a “propaganda ministry” apparatus, and the masses of people constantly tried to influence in favor of the AKP and Erdogan, by emphasizing the personality of Erdogan even in “PSAs,” even among the ruling classes. It is not “free,” it’s completely biased. Again, Kilicdaroglu’s Kurdish and Alevi origin and the fact that he is being held to constant “blows” over his identity -even though he does not claim these identities- in fact, it also reveals very well the “us and our enemies” character of the society in which the elections took place. What is known as “freedom” in this system is the ability of this system and its regime criteria, which depends on the period, to be able to come to life, sometimes through partial bourgeois democratic norms and oftentimes without the recognition of any norms at all.
Cracks Within the Ruling Classes and the Failure of the “Glue”
In the early 2000’s, when Turkey was going through a major political and economic crisis, the AKP came into power and in the process; took control of very critical positions in the state, made amendments to the constitution, and was able to consolidate its regime through the “grace of Allah” after the 2016 coup attempt. Undoubtedly, AKP has also underwent an evolution, even though Turkish chauvinism and Islamist fundamentalism are in their “grassroots,” they did not put up an Islamist/Turkist vision from the beginning but adapted, based on the changing conditions in Turkey, depending on changing conditions of the world, and ultimately reached to the point it has reached today. Nowadays, AKP, and Erdogan in particular has grown to have a very strong base; however, the economic crisis that has been going on for the last 4-5 years, which has only deepened continuously, the growing anger amongst the urban middle class and the new generation being generally inclined to be anti-regime due to the fact that they had to grow up under continuous economic and political crisis in the recent years, constant terrorization of women and the LGBTQ individuals done so that they could implement their own fundamentalist norms and the continuous increase in femicides on the basis of misogyny, has led to a growing anger within women and the LGBTQ individuals against the regime, to the point where even women from the ranks of AKP have reacted to a certain extent. In general those conditions pushed the vast majority of the masses of women to oppose the regime.
Turkish chauvinism built on the basis of absolute suppression of the Kurdish nation -which also includes other minorities- has led to Kurdish masses breaking apart from the AKP -one must keep in mind the influence of the shaikh system and heavy religion- and the 2 major earthquakes on top of this political and social picture has diminished, and still continues to diminish AKP’s influence on the masses. Unless there is a major change in the international arena or the bourgeois “opposition” factions will give Erdogan a new “Allah’s favor,” Erdogan’s declining influence among the masses is likely to continue on this course.
Erdogan and the regime he represents have resorted to increasing violence and oppression ever since Gezi movements and has polarized society more towards an Islamist/Turkist basis. We have previously referred to this as “fuite en avant’’ in our articles. It seems as though in the aftermath of the earthquake, when the system came to a complete halt, when not only no precautions were made against the earthquake, but also no preparations made against a possible disaster, when thousands of people died due to cold while desperately waiting for help, under the debris, and under the conditions where not even the most basic needs of the hundreds and thousands of victims could not be met, Erdogan never lets go of the apparatus of oppression and violence even when pretending to ask for blessings and continuing to Islamize and polarize the society under the name of “divine plan.” Erdogan believes and acts on the logic of “if there is an exit, it could only be reached by breaking the circle.” Also, this move of “breaking the circle” could possibly bring his end and could lead to the destruction of the forces he has been holding together -the same forces he has been leading- as much as it could save him. It should not be forgotten that Erdogan is the one who holds all the strings in what he represents, and his defeat may break the threads.
The parties that have come together to oppose Erdogan, built on the basis of the political arena that Erdogan has continuously polarized. This opposition is including some of the founding cadres of the National Vision Movement (an ideological union of Islamic parties in Turkey led by Necmettin Erbakan) and the AKP, the Democratic Party which stands in the so called “right of the middle” in the political spectrum and the fierce defender of Turkish chauvinism and a fascist party İYİP, together with the CHP, which for a long time have tried to act on the basis of a relatively “left and liberal” view -we cannot say that they truly have been one-, declared their loyalty to the founding ideologue and leader of this country, Mustafa Kemal, and have done so, based on “today’s conditions” –a “hybrid,” a little bit of Islamist and a little bit of “left” like an open buffet- but in any case as the representative of the Turkish ruling classes. CHP’s “left-wing” response to the anger of the masses in big cities, has especially allowed the integration of the Kurdish and Alevi population to this system and even though this seems to look as if CHP has leaned to a “left liberal” view; the fact that CHP’s Turkish chauvinist organizations run very deep in Central Anatolia, Black Sea, Mediterranean and Aegean regions, and that a significant portion of the masses within these regions have a tendency of switching to İYİP, and that the CHP seems to maneuver in favor of the far right and even fascist forces while practicing “left liberalism” are the difficulties that CHP is facing. This is why Kilicdaroglu, on the one hand, calls for a “table of Halil İbrahim” (a symbol of a dinner table that aims to include everyone) while on the other hand, calls on to “destroy Qandil” (base of the Kurdish National Movement, PKK) continues the Kurdish hostility and calls for migrants to be shot at the borders. This is the basis of Kilicdaroglu’s “pluralist leftism” that finds expression in his “table of Halil İbrahim.”
The organization that calls itself the “Nation Alliance (Millet İttifakı)” has basically come together on the basis of opposing Erdogan and has ideological and political differences within its own bosom. These differences are essentially about the place of Turkey and, as a whole, what the place of the Turkish ruling classes will be in a capitalist-imperialist world system. As we have said previously, this can be seen in the form of a train. Even if CHP pulls the train as the main locomotive force, it cannot go in any direction it wants as it is being pulled back by the wagons on the back. Because, if it does move in any direction it wants, it can overturn the wagons and derail the train. The fact that İYİP went against Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy for presidency and left the table, but then came back, is a sign of this. It does not look like the alliance has broken up, but new difficulties expressing themselves. The People’s Alliance are trying to include HDP -and therefore other left reformist forces- through Kilicdaroglu on the one hand, while experiencing the pressure to not lose İYİP on the other. Even though İYİP and its grassroots are covered with immense Turkish chauvinism and Kurdish hostility, they do not show any opposition against Kilicdaroglu’s direct/indirect support of HDP, in fact, they are pleased with Kurdish people being represented by the People’s Alliance as long as they do not “share the table with them.” The fact that the Nation Alliance won the vote of the Kurds without giving much—perhaps nothing—stands out as a “grace of God” in another way.
On the other hand, İYİP has also tried/is still trying its own “fleeing forward” tactic. It seems like there is an ideological difference in those who claim to have “done something any party has done, bringing 6 parties together,” who claim that they will “build a new Turkey through an “accordment,” those who oppose Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy under the debate of “a candidate that could win,” and those who reluctantly support Kilicdaroglu despite the fact that the polls seem to indicate he is ahead of Erdogan; Kilicdaroglu’s relatively social democratic (Turkish) bourgeois view, and his view of “embracing the whole of Turkey” under this basis, his empathy towards some of the “left-socialist” organizations and the Kurdish masses, having Demirtaş’s unrelented support and that he is the only “compatible” candidate for HDP, and coming from a Kurdish/Alevi background makes up this ideological difference. İYİP wants to stop Erdogan but does not share the same vision as CHP, and therefore relies on a different worldview in the construction of a new regime. Even though İYİP’s worldview/existence is built upon anti-Bahçeli/Erdogan and immense Turkish chauvinism, it is not the entirety. İYİP opposes even a relatively “social democratic” project that is closely tied to the ruling classes of this country, which is why it turns to the Islamist and Turkist masses and never hesitates to give the impression of the “falcon force” of the Nation Alliance.
Even if the People’s Alliance, together with its rising star Kilicdaroglu, are gaining popularity within the society, what should be kept in mind is the basis on which this society is polarized. Erdogan and the regime he represents have been polarizing society on the basis of Islamist and Turkist grounds for such a long time that the Nation Alliance is forced to move within these parameters. The Nation Alliance is certainly not Erdogan, and they have serious contradictions with the regime he represents. However, Erdogan’s popularity within the Turkish ruling classes for the last 30 years, his rule for the last 20 years and crowning this rule with a regime change, polarizes the ruling classes on the basis determined by Erdogan, whether it is Islamist or “liberal” cliques. This is why CHP, who claim to be on the “left,” and the Saadet Party (Islamist party that came from the National Vision Movement), which opposes the Istanbul Convention, can come together. To repeat what’s been said, all allied parties have different visions. However, Erdogan has polarized the country in such a way that the Islamist fundamentalism, Turkish fascist and “social democrat” ruling class cliques have all come together. We are not saying that the hundreds of pages of the alliance’s “accordment” have no meaning, but it must be recognized that the main determinant is not the “intersection of projects,” but the opposition against Erdogan and the regime he represents. Moreover, even though this alliance claims that “everything will be better” in the event that they win, and Erdogan accepts the results, there is a big potential of adding even more contradictions to the already present ones. For example, under the conditions where CHP, for which Islamism is a fundamental parameter, asks for “helallik” -this is an Islamic reference- and the channels into a “hybrid” form of Kemalism, the promise of “dealing with fundamentalism” is a big lie. Being the president of 85 million people and relying on Turkism and Islamism to do so. In short, “keeping the people together,” “respecting the need for differences within the alliance” and wanting to dismantle the regime and its governing mentality, each of them contains contradictions in the nature of tension lines among themselves, and even if “Almighty God” was leading this alliance god himself would not be able to overcome all of those contradictions!
Erdogan, in this picture, is playing his last cards and, with today’s term, “pressing all the buttons to pass the level” to be able to remain in power for at least one last term. He furthers his own fundamentalist religious fascist understanding by adding Refah and HÜDAPAR to his alliance. What Comrade Bob Avakian said about the fundamentalists in the USA remains valid for this geography as well; “the most defining characteristic of these fundamentalist religious people is that they are misogynistic.” That’s why Selahattin Demirtaş rightfully refers to it as the “Taliban Alliance,” which makes up the most powerful misogynist alliance this country has ever seen. At the same time, Erdogan’s alliance is filled with other contradictions. While Erdogan takes Hüda-Par, underbred from Hezbollah to their alliance; MHP, which is uncomfortable even with the word “Kurd,” seems like it cannot digest Hüda-Par’s talks of “autonomy.” That is why MHP is joining the elections on a separate party list and does not want to join the same list as Hüda-Par. Islamism and Turkism, which are the main glue of the People’s Alliance and their supporters are getting stronger. And especially the situation in which the YPG is creating autonomy in Rojava by leaning to Western powers, makes these forces more established. Frankly, the idea that the People’s Alliance is free of contradictions and that Erdogan can do/is doing whatever he wants is not even wrong.
The sharp disintegration that occurs among the ruling classes, drags the situation to the point where all of the ruling class cliques would have to put all of their cards on the table. Yes, they wish to beat one another in this election, and they are very determined to do so. On the other hand, this determination causes even more disintegrations between the ruling classes and causes their unity grounds -the foundation and the structure of this state- to be even more fragile. This fragility can make it possible for the glue not being able to hold and the tension between the ruling classes can even form other qualities-the possibility of civil war-. It is precisely for this reason, that the glue of the ruling classes does not hold, when things cannot be handled the way, they been wanted, instead of “reuniting the nation,” “taking this country to where it belongs,” applying a “citizens law” that is valid for all parts of the masses, it is important to realize the immense and burning need to repolarize the society on the basis of revolution. Yes, only a real revolution can solve the fundamental problems of humanity, and under the conditions in which we go through, the anger of the masses, their state of betrayal and made to feel “helpless” and made to give “consent” to a ruling class, reveals that this fundamental truth is much more urgent and burning.
Kemalism Within Progressive Ranks, Effects of Reformism and Illusions in the New TİP:
21 years of AKP’s rule, its descent into society like a nightmare and its immense use of all the oppressive apparatuses of the state on the masses of people -even against the opposition side of the bourgeoisie- since the Gezi protests, the crises in both regional and international levels, and them being the “influencer” of the mentioned crises to a certain extent due to the basis of their own worldview and deepening these crises have all contributed to Turkey becoming a place where international jihadist forces could easily be organized, and be directly supported by the regime and theocratic religious groups -sects and other organizations alike- having a place in the social sphere and acting almost like the regime’s “NGOs’’. While revolutionaries, Kurds, women and LGBTQ individuals and other minorities being “demonized” and targeted and countless other crimes of the regime that we cannot finish by counting here, have caused/are causing millions of people from both the most basic sections of society and other layers to feel great anger towards this regime. It must be stated that the crushing majority of society does not understand the Islamist/Turkist fascist regime is a manifestation of this system, an openly oppressive and violent form of this essence. This truth not only applies to the “masses’ ‘ but also to the progressive -and even revolutionaries- part of society. It is worth remembering a fundamental observation of the RCP:
‘’Liberal bourgeois democracy, such as that represented by Clinton and Obama, and fascism, such as that represented by the Trump/Pence regime, are different forms of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, that is, of the capitalist-imperialist class, exercising its rule and enforcing its system. This is what is essentially in common between bourgeois democracy (bourgeois dictatorship in the “democratic” form) and fascism, even if they represent the rule of different sections of this same class. This is what was illustrated and manifested when Obama said of Trump soon after the election that “ultimately we are all on the same team,” even with their sharp differences.
At the same time, fascism is an even more grotesque and openly murderous form of this same system, representing horrors for humanity and the planet, beyond what this system already inflicts every moment. This relationship of being qualitatively different, even while sharing a common essence, is considered “a unity of opposites.”
As it is expressed in society today, “democracy” – in fact, bourgeois democracy – is not the solution to the huge problems that humanity is in, but only a form of maintaining the capitalist-imperialist system – the bourgeois dictatorship – that is the source of these problems. It definitely needs to be uprooted for a world where we will get rid of all unnecessary suffering without oppression and exploitation. Yes, there are qualitative differences between bourgeois democracy and fascism- whether Islamist, Turkist, or both- and these differences are not insignificant. However, making a choice between them, declaring democratic norms as “legitimate” and pushing people to do so means that even if they are against the fascism they actually are always compelling to fascism, which is one of the usual ways of functioning of the system- but not an inevitable one. Yes, it is important to know the difference between regimes, to benefit from these differences as much as possible in favor of the revolution, and to prevent people from being exposed to bigger nightmares. However, the main issue here is that all this can be done with the orientation and the task of realization of building a real revolutionary movement and the repolarization on the basis of revolution.
Now, even more deeply in society, while people want this regime to go, which is a very rightful and a legitimate demand, other factions of the ruling classes are gathering the righteous anger of the popular masses in their sails. With the “accordment” they are working on -which is basically a consensus between the ruling classes and those who have been removed from state power – that they are the “only alternative” in this society. And under the name of “democracy” against “autocracy” and “one-man dictatorship,” they force people to be on their side. They keep suggesting the transition to “norms” and “normal” to get out of this system of oppression.
As we emphasized above, the ground that determines social norms and ensures the rise of polarization is the regime that Erdogan laid the foundation and led. Therefore, it is this current polarization that determines the norms of discussion of the opposition wing of the bourgeoisie, whether it is a “liberal Kemalist” or a “falcon Turkist.” No clique of the bourgeoisie can escape from this polarization. Even if they make some attempts, they are constantly pulled back by discussions such as “helallik” and “headscarf.” They attend the republic proms after the Friday prayers. This should not only be seen as picking up “conservative” sections, the growing religionism in society since the 1980 Fascist Military Junta and Erdogan’s last 21 years in power have transformed all ruling class cliques, including the “liberal” wing of the Kemalists. Islamism- Sunni Islam- which was a part of the founding dynamic of this country, has become a fundamental pillar today and the ruling classes have come to accept this basic criterion whether they want it or not. That’s why the “opposition” cliques of the ruling classes are acting “against Erdogan” on the ground that Erdogan polarized. This is well seen when we look at the components of the Nation Alliance. Saadet Party, which does not think differently from Yeniden Refah Party on the issue of the Istanbul Convention which is in fact, the enslavement of women. Davutoglu and his fascist Islamist/Turkist Future Party, who played a leading role in the Islamization of the region and the strengthening of fundamentalist fascists, as well as the bloody suppression of Kurdish youth after the announcements of democratic autonomies and Ali Babacan’s “liberal” Islamist DEVA, who said, “The law of lodges and Zawiya did not work, let’s legalize the religious sects.” The passivity of the racist fascist mass of the İYİP and the “conservative” mass is another truth. In this picture, the CHP and the Democrat Party play towards a “hybrid” Kemalism. On the one hand, the founding norms and ideology of the republic are based on Kemalism “under the conditions of the day,” on the other hand, it tries to include the “conservative” masses with a “moderate” form of Islam. The Istanbul and Ankara mayors of the CHP are vivid representations of this explanation.
This election is not between “democracy and autocracy.” It is true that Erdogan has centralized things with a Turkish-style presidential system, but this is not the government of a “handful of executives.” Although Erdogan and the ruling clique around him are much more prominent, this form of government is essentially an expression of the open dictatorship of the ruling classes – fascism. On the other hand, we have explained the “option” referred to as “democracy” above. Although many people from the middle classes, women, youth and Kurds join these ruling class forces, the nature of the Nation Alliance is by no means “bourgeois democratic.” Although CHP’s inclusion of the masses in big cities from the “left” and the fact that a substantial number of Kurds and Alevis are taking place in this party, and that it hosts the masses who want social change, seem to add a some kind of “liberal left” to this alliance, however the necessity of maintaining the fundamental interests of the ruling classes of this country, the CHP, will result in the suppression of these masses, who demand change, in the final analysis- and sometimes not even in the final analysis.
Even though the Nation Alliance talks about “democracy,” separation of powers and merit, both Turkey’s worldwide difficulties and the accelerating rift between the ruling classes leave them with new obligations. There are two reasons why the Nation Alliance needs to send Erdogan’s regime, to “embrace” everyone who is uncomfortable with this regime, and to melt it into its own pot. First is to include those who have been excluded from the system, women, Kurds, progressives, and the bottom sections of the workers who are subjected to intense exploitation, back into this system. This is the fundamental task of the ruling classes. Secondly, to turn the anger felt against Erdogan and the regime he represents into energy for the new regime they want to establish. Yes, we say openly, they are not Erdogan, but they are not better than Erdogan. They are not the best of a bad bunch! They want to maintain this despotic system in another qualification.
Another point of attention here is that the CHP, founded by M. Kemal, plays the locomotive role in the Nation Alliance. This party can influence large sections of society under the name of “normalization” and “return to the old but better.” Not only with the CHP, but also Erdogan’s pulling the country towards a theocratic fundamentalist abyss for the last 20 years has also caused the interest in M. Kemal to grow exponentially. The understanding that criticizing Kemalism would benefit the regime, and even the view that it only served this purpose all this time, became widespread both in progressive sections and more deeply in society. Today, this is called once again and a new type of Kemalism with a second Kemal (Kilicdaroglu) on the 100th anniversary of the Republic. Let’s remind once again: “Kemalism, whether in its fascist form as in the founding of the Turkish Republic or with its “liberal” interpretation, is essentially an ideology and worldview that is the enemy of the oppressed masses of people and all humanity! Despite all the differences among themselves, Kemalist movements basically represent a ruling class that is a part of the capitalist-imperialist system and its interests.”
Another group where the heavy influence of Kemalism is seen is TİP (Workers Party of Turkey). TİP does not see Kemalism- the founder Kemalism we are talking about here- as a fascist dictatorship and includes Kemalism as a nondescript “progressivism” in its program. According to TİP, M. Kemal is a “historical revolutionary” because he abolished the sultanate and founded a “Republic”- whatever historical revolutionary means! That’s why they say that they protect this heritage. On the other hand, TİP also has some candid and courageous statements about the Kurdish issue, although it is certainly not scientific and radical. TİP sees the national issue as a problem of “fraternization” and reform, not a question of revolution, they ignore that the biggest obstacle in front of the Kurdish problem in these lands was the heavy Turkish chauvinism in the establishment and continuity of the Republic of Turkey, M. Kemal’s “reconstruction of the Turkish nation” garnered the admiration of the fascist movements in the world with his understanding of assimilation, destruction and denial of other minority nationalities and nations. Therefore, they label the fascist Kemalism as’ ‘liberalism’’ for their ‘’critique’’. Since there is no revolution in TİP’s “socialism,” and because they read their criticism of Kemalism from their own classman; Murat Belge, instead of learning from revolutionary communists like İbrahim Kaypakkaya, they dismiss all criticisms of Kemalism as “liberalism” and encourage the strengthening of Kemalism in the ranks of the masses and therefore, they are leading the “left” into a reappropriation of a kind of Turkish chauvinism.
TİP, which has become the party of the angry Turkish middle classes and has gained the appreciation of the CHP, is marketing itself as the “only socialist” power, taking advantage of the weakening of the communist and revolutionary movement and the very strong reformism in Turkey/Northern Kurdistan for the last 20 years. In fact, TİP is not socialist, nor can it transcend the radicalized bourgeois world. For this reason, TİP expresses its loyalty to the founding regime and its Republic -with relative criticisms-, presenting M. Kemal as a Robespierre, and again asserting the “citizenship right” above classes understanding. Yes, there are many people in TİP who yearn for a world without exploitation and oppression, and TİP is definitely a party with progressive forces. However, radicalized bourgeois democracy, a kind of state capitalism under publicism, a kind of “pluralist social democracy” under “equality,” and more dangerously, by introducing the CHP, which is one of the strongest parties of this system and for the continuity and stability of the order and the powerful forces of the ruling classes, as a representative of the “left,” it tries to build a bridge between the oppressed masses of working people, Kurds, minorities, women and LGBTQ individuals and the ruling classes, and acts as a catalyzer. TİP is an illusion and just as it was openly exposed by the revolutionary communists in the 1970s, what it was and by no means what it cannot be, it should be done with candidness today.
How Should We Act and How We Should Not Act:
Discussions for the re-reparation of the system-discussions of the regime- and the deep fragmentation between the classes in power are not just discussed by the ruling classes but it is widely discussed within the entire society. We cannot be in such a mechanistic way of thinking: “They are the ruling classes,” “they are all fascists.” We must see the differences between the ruling classes, we must understand their effects on the masses of people, and we must analyze more in depth of how they are influencing the way of thinking of progressives of society. If we cannot understand what is going on within the political terrain, we cannot change the political atmosphere or either create a repolarization on the basis of revolution.
- We are revolutionary communists, and our main responsibility is to make a revolution on the path of a world without oppression and exploitation-nothing less! That is why our pole star that will lead us in our path is the communist revolution!The most basic need is that we are feeling deeply in an atmosphere where the glue between the ruling classes is not holding them anymore. Our main task is to bring the truth of necessity and urgency of revolution to the masses.
- We showed how we are approaching the elections and that elections cannot solve any basic problems of the masses. Therewith we have to add the fact that the only important part of the elections is that it shows which ruling class faction will run the country and that the “democratic passage of power” can happen. This is why the perspectives like “the elections would not happen” or “Erdogan will not go through elections” are not true. Yes, Erdogan will do everything in his power not to leave, and yes, he is using, and he will be using every apparatus of the state for this goal. The absolute way of thinking such as “Erdogan will not go” is feeding from the same way of thinking like seeing a “one-man regime” and this way of thinking does not understand the circumstances and the necessities of the ruling classes that they are passing through and both of those thoughts are idealistic. If Erdogan did not have the necessities that we have expressed here, he would not go for the elections. It should not be forgotten that during the Nazi reign there were nineteen assassination attempts on Hitler and the majority of those attempts were made by the German ruling class cliques. As an abstract, yes, with the elections it is not possible to solve the fundamental problems of the masses and no, even if there are some “mise-en-scene” sides of the elections, they are not a “big mise-en-scene;” they can, and they are embodying the deep frictions and projects between the ruling classes.
- We want to express openly that if Erdogan wins this election, he will continue to polarize society on a religious and fascist basis and this polarization will strengthen the potential of leading to a theocratic state like Iran.We are not saying this is going to happen tomorrow, but we must say that if Erdogan wins, this is going to make the Islamic fundamentalists, jihadists and fascists much stronger, and they would have the possibility of going after the revanche of the election that came from the deep polarization and such a political atmosphere will feed the discussions for an Islamic constitution and an Islamic state more deeply. The coalition of Erdogan will probably go after the HDP for its closure and from that, they will continue to oppress the Kurdish people even more openly and deeply. The oppression of Kurds will play the role of a “lab” again for creating an atmosphere that might lead to the oppression of the bourgeois opposition. The coalition that has been represented by Erdogan is the most misogynistic coalition that has ever been created by the ruling classes of this country. And in a condition where they win this election, oppression of women would take a much more aggressive form.
- At the same time, the Nation Alliance is not even acting like they are offering a radical alternative, but instead they are offering an “alternative ‘ ‘accord on the basis of Erdogan’s polarization. Even though in that “accordment” they state ambiguously about the return to the Istanbul Convention, they have no fundamental solution for the oppression and degradation of women. And for the alliance, the mentality of woman & family is always the fundamental mindset. In the “accordment” of the National Alliance there is nothing about the Kurdish issue, instead when they hear anything about Kurds they are returning to their dominant chauvinistic codes and giving their solutions on the basis of “terror issue.”Yes, it is true that the existence of Kurds is no longer denied like the past decades, and it is also a fundamental fact that there is a big role of the Kurdish national movement’s, revolutionaries’ and communists’ struggle for such recognition. But even so, every ruling class faction is defining/recreating Kurds according to their own “citizenship law.” The most “liberal” side of this faction, CHP for example, is exactly doing that; showing the parliament as the resolution ground and continuing to oppress Kurds in “democratic” manners. Because the components of the Grand Assembly, regardless of their factions-Islamist, Kemalist- cannot give the fundamental rights of the Kurds, because doing so means the risk of a fraction of the entire country. If we have to repeat, we must say that the Nation Alliance does not offer anything radical. But it is also true that the Nation Alliance is not the same thing as the People’s Alliance. Because if they would have been the same, there would be no need for alliances and even for the parties to exist. At the same time, the fundamental terrain that is polarizing the Nation Alliance’s parameters of discussion points are predominantly determined by the Islamic/Turkic fascist regime. This is creating a situation where the Alliance and its components-mostly its Islamic components- are still holding on Islam as an ideal and adding the heavy influence of the Turkish chauvinism they do not possess a strong potential for transcending the regime. So, even if the Nation Alliance wins and successfully removes Erdogan from the office and takes the masses of people to their side, then that might create relatively loosened circumstances-the duration of this period is dependent on the world arena and the necessities of Turkey in the region. As a matter of fact, a substantial number of people are planning to counter vote for the Nation Alliance not because they are engaged and actively cheering for their projects but mostly for “breathing.”
- We as revolutionary communists do not see it right to countervote in such conditions just in order to “breathe” as so, we are not going to the ballot boxes neither for the presidential elections and neither for the parliamentary elections. Our people are getting dragged to another process of “yes, but not enough” and the potential for a revolution is melting in the pot of the conflict between the ruling classes. Yes, it is true that if Erdogan wins, things will get worse for sure, and yes, even if Kilicdaroglu wins, things will not go for good. Kilicdaroglu will take over a 21-year-old power and a consolidated fascist regime and a polarization that has been created; with his Alliance of; Islamic liberal, Islamic fascist and Turkic fascist components, he does not possess the dynamics and potential to change the regime qualitatively even though he has inclinations for doing so.
- Our work’s fundamental point is the necessity and need of a revolution, at the same time, today, the crimes of the regime and the points where those crimes are bound to the system must be exposed and the tip of the spear must be directed against that, considering the conditions that we are passing through, this is true. And again, we cannot give any credence to old or new types of Kemalism that are brought forward by the so-called “opposition” of the ruling classes. Instead, just like comrade Kaypakkaya made a breakthrough and set the demarcation line on this topic 50 years ago, we must display that line even with a more scientific method and approach and deepen our line about it. We will do nothing less than arrowing the sharpest side of the spear towards the regime and, what it represents, we will not hold ourselves from exposing every sort of ruling class mindsets whilst putting the revolutionary communist line in the sight of the masses.
- People do hate most of the things that Erdogan represents, and this is a very rightful and a legitimate hatred.We must go to those people; explain that just trusting the ballots will not solve anything and that the current polarization does not have any benefits for humanity. At the same time, we do understand the people who feel “obliged” to vote and understand why they feel that way because of their anger towards this system and this regime. Revolution is the only alternative, however its reciprocity in the terrain is close to nothing today. We do understand the relative legitimacy of the causation of why people want to counter-vote, however we do not see this right. One of the reasons that this has a relative legitimacy is because the revolutionaries and communists cannot show any radical and mass alternative. That is why we will not waste the hatred of people-masses of people- and progressives who do not support the Nation Alliance but countervote, by polarizing them negatively by saying “you are supporting the counter-revolution,” we would not push them to the front of the enemy. We will go to every progressive, primarily the ones that are counter-voting with the necessity and need of building an actual revolutionary movement and we will be relentless in the struggle to change their way of thinking.
- As the final word, this election is not an ordinary election. The regime is like an incubus for the masses. The confusion of the people and their inclination towards a new “yes, but not enough” is fundamentally because of the necessities that society is living from the depths. In such conditions, it is expected for people to make mistakes and even grave mistakes. That is why we must be skillful in changing the ways of thinking of people. It is in primary importance to get together with as many people who are against the regime and the crimes of the regime in order to create a movement for revolution and to speed up the process of creating a movement for revolution. We need such unity to create a repolarization for the revolution and for changing the political terrain. Putting the lines of demarcation does not mean “ideologically repressing” the people, at the same time, uniting as many people as we can does not mean “suspending our principles.” Now we do need such a struggle and such unity to triumph in the revolution!
 For a radical and a deep-seated critique of Kemalism, see; Kemalism Criticism Once Again to Break Away from the Dominant Class Thinking in Today’s Conditions
 For TİP’s views on the establishment of the Turkish Republic and Kemalism, see; “Workers Party of Turkey in 25 Questions.” This document, which was online a short time ago, is no longer available at tip.org.tr. It seems that TİP suspended this document in order not to be branded as “chauvinist” by the Kurdish and revolutionary masses before the election. As we said before, there may be some changes in the election process, but there is never a fundamental change. This also applies to progressive ranks. They may “hide” some of their views when it comes to elections, but they do not break away from them radically. On the contrary, the elections, the “excitement of embracing Turkey” causes such chauvinist thoughts to be more heavily anchored.