Solidarity with the youth and workers of Turkey

Following the turn of events in Turkey with the AKP party openly attacking Kurdish fighters and left wing forces in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, we call on all students at schools and universities to organize solidarity with the Kurdish working class and the Left in Turkey.

The bomb attack in Suruc on July 20 which targeted a group of young people of the Federation of Socialist Youth Association (SGDF) on their way to Kobane left 30 dead and more than 100 wounded. The Turkish government reacted almost immediately by starting an ‘anti-terror’ operation, supposedly against ISIS. However, this new operation is clearly directed more at the revolutionary Left in the country than at ISIS cells. On July 23 a wave of repression started with the police raiding apartments in cities all over the country. The reports showed that about 1,300 people were detained of which not even 150 had links to ISIS. On the other hand almost 900 members of the revolutionary left and Kurdish movement were detained, many of whom are from the HDP, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party. This is the same HDP that in the last election in May passed the 10% threshold and obtained 80 seats in the Turkish parliament posing a threat to AKP hegemony in government.

Crucailly, all of this is against a backdrop of an extremely heightened class struggle in Turkey, of which the Gezi Park protests in 2013 were an expression. Erdogan is terrified of this and is trying to cut across the class struggle by whipping up nationalist sentiment. Unfortunately the terrorist tactics of groups such as the PKK only help him in this mission. The answer to the violence of the state is the united stregnth of the working class in Turkey.

The history of the struggle of the Kurdish people is long and complex. The reality today is that the war of the Turkish ruling class against any form of democratic and left wing progressive force has been resumed with all the might that the state apparatus can muster, to cut across the developing class consciousness in the country. Erdogan has been pushing for many years towards a dictatorial state and his plans are now moving forward with the objective of occupying Syria and creating a ‘security zone’ which would include a large part of the territory of Rojava, which has recently celebrated the third anniversary of its Revolution. The Left forces of Turkey and Kurdistan need our help now.

Students around the UK should mobilize in solidarity with these forces, organize protests and put pressure on the European Union to withdraw the active support it is giving to the actions of the AKP and Erdogan. We are all the youth in Suruc. We need to rise against these massacres and the hypocrisy of the ruling class, take courage from the martyrs of Suruc, and raise our voices so that these freedom fighters won’t be forgotten. The Kurdish workers represent the most democratic and progressive organized group in the Middle East. It is our responsibility to build working class solidarity by uniting with the workers and youth of Turkey against opression, dictatorship and capitalism.

by Soton Marxists