Turkey

The mayoral election in Istanbul on 23 June 2019 represents a significant blow to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won with almost 55 percent of the vote, bringing an end to the AKP’s dominance of the city, which lasted over 20 years. Despite being a local election, it has been become a rallying point for anti-AKP sentiments and ultimately a damning referendum on the current leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

As with all of the elections in the past period in Turkey, the local elections which took place on Sunday 31 March were in reality a referendum on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But while Erdogan used to score victory after victory with ease, this time important dents were made in his image of invincibility.

The Turkish economy has entered a state of organic instability. A sharpening political conflict with the US, which has imposed punitive tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium imports, has caused the Turkish Lira to plummet in value. At its nadir, the currency was worth 40 percent less than in January. The ‘stabilisation’ of the currency that followed merely meant that, for the past week, dollars could be exchanged for 30 percent more Liras than before the crisis began.

On Sunday 24 June, Turkish voters were called to the polls by President Recep Erdogan to confirm his rule. With 52.6 percent of the total votes, Erdogan was re-elected as president of Turkey in the first round.

Alan Woods, editor of www.marxist.com, discusses the hypocrisy of the imperialists regarding events in the Middle East, particularly the Turkish army's recent, brutal invasion of Afrin and the misery it is exacting on the Kurdish population.

On Sunday, the Turkish war machine, supported by so-called Syrian rebel troops took control of the Kurdish-majority city of Afrin in northeastern Syria. Of course, while the western media were busy condemning the Assad regime’s offensive against Islamist forces in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, they paid no attention whatsoever to the brutal onslaught against the Kurds, who have never attacked Turkey.

It appears that Turkey has started or will imminently start attacking the Kurdish-ruled enclave of Afrin in Northwestern Syria. The preparations for this operation have been ongoing for months. Turkish forces have surrounded the area from the south and, via their proxies - the socalled Free Syrian Army - from the east and have been fortifying as well as bombing the area for the past few weeks.

Türkiye deki referandumda Recep Tayip Erdoğan resmi olarak EVET oyunu kazandı. Ama bu zaferin karakteri neydi ve ne anlama geliyor?

Resmi sonuçlara göre, 48 milyon seçmenin %51.3’ü yeni anayasayı kabul etme yönünde oy verdi. Bunun anlamı ise Cumhurbaşkanına geniş yetkiler ve kontrolsuz güç sağlamaktı. Katılım oranı, Resmi olarak %84’ün üstüne çıktı ve ülkedeki atmosfer kutuplaşmıştı.

Recep Tayyib Erdogan officially won the YES vote in Turkey’s referendum. But what was the character of his victory and what does it mean?

On Sunday, Turkey's electorate will vote in a referendum on a new draft constitution which, if implemented, would concentrate enormous powers in the hands of the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdogan's power grab has moved on to a higher stage. Last night the two co-chairs of the leftist and Kurdish based Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, were arrested along with nine more HDP MPs.

Dramatic events shook Turkey yesterday as armed troops moved onto the streets of Istanbul and Ankara. They closed down the main airports and bridges while military jets were roaring very low above the cities. A coup was in the works.

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of people in the south east of Turkey have seen their home towns and neighbourhoods destroyed in the face of indiscriminate and barbaric attacks by Turkish armed forces. Thousands of innocent people have been imprisoned and hundreds of men, women and children murdered in a barbaric civil war waged by the Erdoğan regime against the Kurdish people of Turkey.

Fierce clashes are taking place between activists and police on the 11th day of siege in the Sur district of Diyarbakir. Furthermore, the governor's office in the province of Sirnak has announced new curfews in the districts of Cizre and Silopi. Having regained a parliamentary majority in the recent elections, it is clear that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party have no intention of bringing to an end their unilateral war on the Kurdish population in Turkey.

This morning the Turkish military shot down a Russian military aircraft on the border with Syria. It is unclear so far whether it was ground fire or Turkish jets that brought down the Russian plane. But that is a mere detail. What is quite clear is that this was a blatant provocation by the Turkish ruling clique.

On Sunday, the party of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the AK Party, won a comfortable majority in Turkey’s parliament. To many of the thousands of radicalised youth and workers this came as a huge shock. How could this blatant murderer and aspiring despot get the support of large sections of the population?

Following Saturday's heinous terrorist attack, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in the biggest mass movement since the Gezi Park movement of 2013. But quite contrary to the intentions of the attack, it seems to have isolated the crisis-ridden Erdogan regime even more.

At least 98 people have been killed by two explosions in the largest terror attack in Turkish history, hundreds more have been wounded. This is a clear continuation of the campaign of terror against leftist forces in Turkey, but it has triggered a backlash as tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest against the government and their thugs.

Turkey is sliding towards civil war. For the past month tensions in Turkey have been rising to new highs. In order to cut through the class struggle rising against him, Erdoğan has launched a push to provoke a full blown civil war along national lines.

Since last week’s barbaric terrorist attack in the Turkish town of Suruc, the situation in Turkey has dramatically escalated. Under the guise of joining the war on ISIS, Erdogan has launched a major military operation against the the PKK as well as arresting hundreds of Kurdish and Turkish leftist activists.

Yesterday a massacre took place in the district of Suruç in southern Turkey. A massive blast ripped through a meeting of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) gathered at the Amara Culture Centre. It is reported that at least 300 of the federation's members were gathered at the time of the explosion, and initial numbers indicate a death toll of at least 30 people, in addition to around a hundred wounded. These numbers could rise in the coming days.

The result of Sunday’s Turkish general elections and the clear defeat of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AK Party mark a qualitative change in the situation in the country and bear important consequences for the whole of the Middle East.

The Turkish general elections on Sunday will be a decisive event for Turkey and the Middle East. The economic boom that the AKP government based itself on for more than a decade is coming to an end and a never-ending series of internal conflicts and corruption scandals have eroded the popularity of Erdogan.

The forces of ISIS are closing in on the besieged town of Kobane on the Turkish-Syrian border. Thousands of terrified Kurds have fled to Turkey in a desperate attempt to bring supplies and reinforcements, but find themselves blocked by the Turkish army, which is preventing reinforcements, arms and supplies from crossing the frontier. While the rest of the world looks on, the people of Kobane are threatened with an unspeakable bloodbath.

The struggle of the Kurdish forces of the YPG and YPJ that have been defending the town of Kobane against the onslaught of ISIS forces that outnumber and outgun them, has been nothing short of heroic. The fight for Kobane has been raging for more than three weeks and has intensified in the last few days as the Kurdish forces had to withdraw back into the centre of Kobane from their defensive positions outside the town. Reports are now coming in of intense urban fighting as the YPG and YPJ

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Two days of clashes and street barricades followed the brutal police effort to clear Taksim Square and Gezi park of protesters, ahead of Erdogan's show of strength with mass rallies in Ankara and Istanbul. Five different trade union and professional bodies called a one day protest strike today, June 17.

After the Istanbul regional governor announced that there would be no attack on the protestors at Gezi Park and Taksim Square, the police marched into Taksim under the pretext of “cleaning” the square. Allegedly, they wanted to “clear” the square of barricades and forbidden flags and symbols like the PKK or Kurdistan flag and banners with Abdullah Ocalan on them.

Early this morning, when most of the protestors were asleep in their tents, riot police armed with rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas stormed Taksim Square in Istanbul. This attack is part of a co-ordinated string of measures being pursued by the Erdogan government in an attempt to crush the mass movement of Turkish people that has been developing over the past two weeks.

“Papa Tayyip”, as Erdogan’s supporters call him, returned in the early hours of Friday from his visit to the Maghreb. His hiding in Morocco had to end. His party, the AKP, had declared several times that it would not organize a welcome rally for its president, although up 10,000 supporters (according to some estimates) did gather on Thursday evening. “Chemical Tayyip”, as he is referred to by the tear gassed demonstrators, however, met not only his supporters, but also even bigger protests

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These are a series of accounts we have received from Izmir. While we do not necessarily share all of the conclusions, we think they reflect very well the mood of the movement.

The magnificent movement of the workers and youth of Turkey is an inspiration to the whole world. What began as a peaceful protest against the cutting down of trees in a park to pave the way for the construction of a shopping mall has turned into a tidal wave of mass protests against the vicious and reactionary Erdogan regime, which has acquired insurrectionary dimensions.

What started as a small scale protest against the destruction of Gezi Park that stands next to Taksim Square in Istanbul has now developed into a nationwide movement demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Erdogan, of the AK Party.

I am sure that the fund managers in the City of London or New York’s Manhattan or Frankfurt’s financial distrcit are very surprised. They may even be shocked. I am quite sure that many fund managers and bankers who have helped Erdogan's government stay in power for so many years by channelling their hot money to Istanbul’s stock market are now calling their brokers in İItanbul. 

In 1977 around 34 people were killed in Istanbul’s Taksim Square when snipers opened fire on the unarmed May Day rally. And between 1978 and last year May Day rallies were banned from being held there. That changed last year when for the first time after 33 years workers once more were able to gather in Taksim Square. Following on from last year’s lifting of the ban, this year’s May Day rally was the largest at Taksim Square since 1977.

We have received the following statement about the harassment of socialists in Turkey. We are publishing it as an elementary duty of internationalist solidarity.

We publish here some more solidarity letters we have received and passed on to the Tekel workers in Turkey. The courageous struggle has now gone on for more than 60 days and put huge pressure on the Turkish government. The letters from workers and trade unionists from all over the world are a great source of inspiration in order not to give in but fight until the victory. Please keep on sending them!

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