Friday, October 9, 2020

Turkey: Reactionary attacks against communists will not reach their goals — TKP will continue its struggle!

In a letter addressed to fraternal Communist and Workers' Parties, the International Relations Section of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) refers to a recent malicious attack by reactionary elements against Party members in Istanbul and the role of the governing AKP party. The text is the following:

Dear comrades, 

We are writing this note to inform you about some recent developments and an attack against our party by the reactionary forces.

On Sunday, 4th of October, a physical confrontation took place in Istanbul between members of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and some elements of a religious sect. We were aware of the tension raised in these elements since TKP members distributed the weekly Boyun Eğme newspaper of the party a few weeks ago, which carried the headline “All religious sects are harmful!”

The malicious attack of the reactionaries was repelled thanks to the force and control of the militants of TKP, yet resulted in some injured on both sides. It was covered widely on national media, attracting many reactions from the politicians and the public. We would like to inform the international communist movement and the public about what took place providing it in context, as certain details of what has happened exposed key points about Turkey and the struggle of TKP.

Why are they attacking the District Houses of TKP?

In its 2018 Conference, the TKP had taken a far-reaching decision about the form of its structural organization: to introduce “District Houses” all across the country. Traditionally, political parties in Turkey—including the TKP—have organized themselves according to the long-established internal administrative division of the country: Party offices in provinces and municipalities. However, the scale might be too big to have a real political impact on the locality.

Thus, TKP took the decision to launch the District Houses, which now count above 60 in the whole country. District Houses are small, ground-level, transparent and welcoming offices in working-class neighbourhoods—localities of a few thousands of people. The change of scale is paralleled with changes in many aspects of the party work: The community gets to know each other and TKP members personally. There are no other political party offices or social/cultural institutions in these neighbourhoods, thus the district house is also a community gathering centre, where educational activities, such as language or music courses take place, the residents watch movies together, kids take part in social activities etc. District Houses have also become the places for many working-class neighbourhoods to communicate and establish collective struggle. People discuss poverty and working conditions; and the additional oppression women face. Workers meet at these spots to organize struggle in the neighbourhoods and workplaces. Within these two years, District Houses have become locals of enlightenment and working-class solidarity. This is the reason why they cause discontent among the reactionary forces.

At this level of locality, AKP’s political force is represented by various interrelated religious sects—a crucial point to understand the power of AKP that many political analysts either overlook or deliberately ignore. These sects have flourished since the coup d’etat in 1980, but especially since AKP took power, aiming to transform the fabric of the society and impose their own rules. They are basically the street militia of the government. Although they may have some rivalry in between, as exposed by the 2016 coup attempt, what they have in common is their strong links with the capitalist class and their anti-communism.

What occurred in Bahçelievler, a suburb in the European side of Istanbul this weekend was a direct result of this situation. A year ago, the “Yayla District House” was launched in the neighbourhood. Since then, the TKP has become an integral part of the locality not only through its regular work, but also with special events, including a massive International Working Women’s Day gathering on the 8th of March.

This kind of political influence in such a locality directly contradicts the interests of the AKP and its parochial elements. The first sign of the tension was when some people from a religious sect tried to confront TKP militants distributing the issue of Boyun Eğme, the weekly of the party, which carried the headline “All religious sects are harmful!” The initial aggression was followed by threats, especially towards female members of the party. On Sunday, 4th of October, numerous TKP militants and sympathizers took to the street in the neighbourhood to defend and counter against the attacks. The attack was overcome by the determination of the TKP militants. The police intervened, only to act in the way they were instructed. The endeavour of the aggressors to spread the rumour among the neighbourhood saying “TKP is making a demonstration to support Armenia in the war" or "They are burning the national flag” quickly ebbed-away, as the people already knew it was a lie.


What happened this weekend once again confirmed the heading of Boyun Eğme. All religious sects are harmful!

Moreover, it confirmed that TKP is determined to clear the working class neighbourhoods of these reactionary elements. On the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the TKP, the oldest and the most dynamic political party in Turkey, the few remaining people who are ignorant enough to assume that any kind of threat or attack can stop the communists, will learn their lesson. Neither the pandemic, nor any other cause can stop the communists from defending their rights to political activities.

Reactionaries will not reach their goals!

TKP will continue its struggle!