The following leaflet was produced by the International Marxist Tendency for an anti-war demonstration against Turkey’s invasion of Northern Syria. For a longer analysis and commentary on the situation, see Turkey attacks Northern Syria: for a revolutionary fightback!
The homeland of the Kurdish people of Syria – Rojava – is being invaded by the reactionary Erdogan regime. If the invasion succeeds, the Islamist fanatics, who act as Turkish shock troops, will rape, burn and murder everywhere they go, just as they did during the invasion of Afrin last year. Thousands will be killed and tens of thousands of men, women and children will be driven out of their homes.
With their democratic methods and revolutionary outlook, the Kurds have inspired millions of people throughout the Middle East and beyond. That is precisely why they are despised by all the ruling classes in the region, and Erdogan in particular. They fear that the Kurdish struggle will become an inspiration for the Kurds of Iraq, Iran and Turkey; and for all the other oppressed peoples of the Middle East. For Erdogan, the oppression of the Kurds is a necessary tool to cut through the class struggle at home, allowing him to continue the oppression and exploitation of Turkey’s working class.
The interests of the ruling classes are diametrically opposed to those of the poor and oppressed masses. In Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, the same regimes who have oppressed the Kurds for decades have been brutalising their own workers and poor as well. And likewise in the west, the same capitalists who have deceived, betrayed and aided the oppression of the Kurds time and time again are carrying out austerity and viciously attacking the living standards of their own working classes. These regimes only see the Kurds – and all other ‘small nations’ – as disposable small change in their imperialist games, intrigues and adventures. Moreover, their imperialist endeavours are equally important for whipping up reactionary nationalism and shoring up capitalism at home.
The Kurdish people cannot trust any of the ruling classes. They can only rely on their own forces, along with all other oppressed workers and poor of the region and internationally. The Rojava Revolution came about as a part of the initial Syrian Revolution and it only succeeded because of its revolutionary and democratic methods, which appealed to wide layers of workers and poor in the region. These are the same methods that are necessary now. An appeal must be made for a general mobilisation of the Kurdish masses in Turkey, Iraq and Iran: a call for mass demonstrations and strikes throughout the Kurdish areas, for the ending of the brutal, one-sided war. An appeal should also be made to all the workers and poor in these countries to join the Kurdish masses in their fight against the reactionary rulers in Turkey, but equally in Syria, Iraq and Iran. Finally, it is the duty of the leadership of the workers' movement in the west to expose the criminal behaviour of their governments, which are complicit in the crimes of the Erdogan regime. The labour leaders must also organise working-class boycotts and strikes against all shipments of material to be used in the Turkish invasion.
The struggle of the Kurdish people for the right to live freely according to their own wishes and to have their own homeland is the struggle of all workers and youth against the capitalist class, which is dragging humanity down into a cesspool of barbarism. All over the Middle East, the masses have had enough of this sick and rotten class and are once again moving in a revolutionary direction. By linking up with the masses in the region, the Kurdish liberation movement can turn the fight against Turkish imperialism into a struggle for the overthrow of the capitalist regimes throughout the region. In place of these barbaric regimes, a socialist society can guarantee the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of all the oppressed people who have suffered so much under the weight of the narrow self-interest of the ruling classes.
Down with the Turkish war of aggression against Rojava!
Down with the imperialists, who are all complicit in this atrocity!
Long live international working-class solidarity!
Turn the defence against the imperialist attack into a revolutionary war of liberation!
For an independent socialist Kurdistan as part of a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!