06 June, 2013

What Next For Turkey?

Socialist Revolution in Turkey?

Yet another country in the Islamic world is in crisis. Perhaps the biggest country in the Middle East - Turkey - has also toppled into a state of crisis, seemingly over a park being earmarked for development into some sort of mall. Yet, of course, it is much more than that.

The discontent is country-wide, and the usual tactic of the ruling class, a turn to an Islamic state, is again coming to the fore. But though the peasants feel it will help them, the city-dwellers are sure it will take away what they have gained, and instead of the future they envisaged, there could be a retreat to a deprived past. Turkey is truly at a crossroads.

The dictatorial and religious tendencies of the current Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are clearly opposed by the rising middle class, educated workers and city-dwellers generally, and it looks like another pulse in the so-called Arab Spring - the general move towards revolution for an entire civilization.

Listening to the various political commentators, even those on Middle Eastern TV stations such as Al Jazeera, you would think that the threatened uprising could never happen. Turkey is a democracy, we are told. Half the population are rural peasants that back the Islamist Prime Minister, we are assured, while the other (roughly) 50% live in cities, the workers and the middle class, who are lead by disaffected students, who know what they want, and it isn't an Islamic State! This impasse cannot be traversed! This is what we are told, but, of course, they are mistaken.

A Revolution is always an alliance of differing groups who come together with a unifying common purpose. The red flags in evidence at these various demonstrations are not all Turkish flags, some are emblems of the socialists and communists - the appearance of 'hammers and sickles' proved it. Clearly there is some culture of socialist ideas evident within Turkish society, and hence there may be real revolutionaries amongst them, who can correctly interpret what is emerging on a national scale. 

In Russia in 1917, with a successful defeat of the 1905 revolution behind them, the general consensus seemed to be that with the forced abdication of the Czar, enough was enough, and the vast preponderance of peasants would ensure that no social revolution could occur to take things further. Yet, the Russian revolutionaries knew what was necessary, and they knew that they must win the peasants to their cause, by including their most heartfelt demand in their battle cries. The demand became "Peace, Bread and Land!" - wedded to the demands of the working class there would be a turning over of private farmland into the hands of those that worked it - the peasants. They would own their own plots, and the vast majority of the national army were peasants - they not only were for peace, but would own their own land, and had the arms-in-hand to achieve it.

The leadership of the Turkish people must be won by those who understand revolution, and can present the appropriate demands to unify the peasants, workers and middle class to eject the reactionary government, for a just society.

Victory to the Turkish People!

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