Turkey's political establishment has been stunned by the landslide
election victory of the moderate Islamic Justice and Development Party,
the AKP. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the former mayor of Istanbul who leads
the party, won a crushing victory in Sunday's election. None of the
parties that went into parliament at the last elections have survived.
This dramatic turnaround is an expression of the anger, frustration and
disgust of the masses with the corrupt and degenerate bourgeois
parties, which have ruled Turkey for the last four years. However their
experience of an AKP government will be a bitter lesson for them. This
is another bourgeois party that will do nothing for the Turkish masses.
The scene is being set for the intervention of the masses on the
The present war, in which US imperialism seeks to maintain its
hegemony, is further aggravating the current contradictions in Turkey.
Although the country is engulfed in a serious economic crisis, Turkey
is setting out to undertake new roles in the region, playing "little
brother" of the USA. The Internationalist Communists of Turkey report
on anti-war movements, and send solidarity greetings from the Turkish
The coming period will be a test for the AKP government. The workers
and toilers in general, who voted for the AKP seeing in it a hope for
salvation, need to draw important lessons from this coming period of
government on the basis of their own experiences. The truth has to be
explained and the advanced layers need to be organised. This task falls
on the shoulders of revolutionary Marxists.
On December 1, 20,000 people took part in an anti-war demo in Istanbul.
Although there was a lively and angry mood on some sections of the demo
the turnout was rather low compared to previous demonstrations. The
trade unions did not help as, although they were officially part of the
promoting group, they did very little to mobilise their forces. This,
in spite of the fact that an overwhelming majority of 80-90 percent of
the population is against the war.
The war in Iraq is the burning issue in Turkey today. But apart from this
central issue there were (and are) two other main items on the agenda of the
class struggle here, the new labour bill and the International Working Women's
This article was written in the early stages of the present war.
Unfortunately for technical reasons its publication was delayed. It
gives an interesting perspective as it was written by Marxists in
Turkey, a country closely involved in what is unfolding in Iraq.