International bulletin, No 9
See Part I – Turkish Communist Party: Critical Questions on the Recent Coup Attempt and its Aftermath
The coup attempt and the continuing dispute in its aftermath was not only the concern of Turkey but of the workers’ and communist parties all over the world. Definitely, the course of the events should be considered regarding the class struggle in Turkey but at the same time that very coup attempt also referred to the class struggle around the world, indicating the relentless rivalry and weaknesses within the imperialist order.
In order to share with the international communist movement, the International Relations Bureau of the Communist Party,Turkey has prepared an analysis which consists of 10 critical questions on recent coup attempt and its aftermath in Turkey.
The following International Bulletins of Communist Party,Turkey will cover the answers of these 10 questions in pairs.
1- Who were the plotters of the coup attempt? (See the link for Bulletin No6)
2-What was the aim of the coup attempt? (See the link for Bulletin No6)
3- Were there any chance for the attempt to be successful? (See the link for Bulletin No7)
4 – What is the place of Gulen movement in the history of Turkey? (See the link for Bulletin No7)
5 – Is it possible for capitalism and bourgeois politics in Turkey to normalize in near future? (See the link for Bulletin No8)
6 – Is it possible for Turkey to shift toward the Russia-Iran axis? (See the link for Bulletin No8)
7- Is there a connection between the NATO Summit that took place this summer in Warsaw on July 8-9 and the military coup attempt in Turkey one week after the Summit? ((See below)
8- Can AKP and Erdogan succeed a restoration after the partial liquidation of the state? (See below)
9- Is the future for Turkey an islamist dictatorship led by Erdoğan? (See below)
10- Are there any opportunities for a working class politics in Turkey as it is today? (See below)
The International Relations Bureau regards the perspectives from the international communist movement, and will be expecting contributions and questions which will be involved in further analysis.
Critical Questions Continued…
7- Is there a connection between the NATO Summit that took place this summer in Warsaw on July 8-9 and the military coup attempt in Turkey one week after the Summit?
The NATO Summit was indirectly related to the coup attempt. Forming a naval force in the Mediterranean, activating the anti-missile bases in Romania and taking non-member countries such as Finland and Ukraine under the control of NATO are some provocative decisions that were made in the Summit that aimed at besieging Russia.
In such a period, Turkey was expected to act as a loyal member of NATO and decisively become an enemy of Russia. It would be wrong to reject the relevance of the coup attempt with this specific aim.
But, the plans did not work out and the two thirds of the cadres of the second largest military force within NATO were disabled as if in a situation of war.
The fact that Communist Party, Turkey is insisting on getting out of NATO, at the time that everybody is pointing out the connection of USA with this coup, provides a clear advantage in the name of the working class in Turkey.
8- Can AKP and Erdogan succeed a restoration after the partial liquidation of the state?
The theory that the state structure in Turkey during the administration of AKP was strengthening and the dictatorship was taking deeper roots was very common. But, this dictatorship and its determinant social element, the process of Islamization, were at the same time signs of a crisis. It was very clear that the secular bourgeois republic of Turkey has been dissolved, however; after the elections in 2011 the efforts of AKP to install an Islamic fascist regime instead were not proceeding on a steady ground. In this atmosphere of crisis, arose the massive uprising of the 2013. Afterwards, it turned out that regardless of the electoral victories of AKP, the governmental power of AKP was getting radicalized even further while losing its persuasive character.
We should add to this picture also the vulnerable character of the economy and the ideological dissolution but we can say that the most distinctive side was the administrative crisis. AKP for a long time now is mentioned with its loss of administrative power. The inability of the dominant power to rule is a typical sign of political crisis. Not only the existing system failed to find a solution, but also the state apparatus had fallen apart. This dissolution with all its dramatic dimensions was clearly seen at the coup attempt of July 15.
The fact that the attempt was defeated does not necessarily mean that the power of AKP will be consolidated.
This ascertainment has certain bases:
First, the crisis is deeper than thought and the solution is not in the bloody confrontation of the two Islamist factions, i.e. the two dominant power blocs led by Erdogan and Gulen, which share almost the same ideological-political position. The loss of administrative capacity is the consequence of the complicated social dynamics, and specifically of the split of the historical, cultural, ideological roots of these dynamics. A ground of struggle that leaves out the working classes, the modern secular sections, Alevis, and women will keep the real reasons of the crisis unaccountable. Turkey is proceeding toward a wider confrontation than the one that was experienced recently between the two dominant powers.
Second, on July 15, Turkish capitalism underwent an unprecedented split up, and the disintegration caused a big leap. The paralyzation of the second largest military force in NATO, and the dominance -even if temporarily- of jihadist paramilitary groups together with the police force in a society in which the secular social elements are still vivid, and lastly the split in the state bureaucracy, are vexed problems which cannot be overcome in short time.
Third, the Turkish capitalist system does not own the needed economic sources at its disposal to overcome the crisis, as a matter of fact it is quite vulnerable.
Forth, after this split, the restoration of the political authority based on enforcement is very difficult. More importantly, that a wide acceptance of any political authority is even more difficult.
Lastly, with the coup attempt the distance and reservations between the Western imperialist powers and Ankara has reached a peak. If the coup attempt was successful, it could have taken the approval and support of the West.
On the other hand, moving away from the Western bloc in the name of an administrative consolidation is structurally and historically impossible.
Therefore, the AKP-Erdogan side is incapable of solving the problem. As long as the governmental power keeps using its reactionary instruments the crisis shall deepen even more. Restraining such forces and seeking for a social consensus will indicate weakness and thus will invite new confrontations. At that point, both the evocation of a new military coup and the strengthening of the bourgeois parties can become possible.
9- Is the future for Turkey an Islamist dictatorship led by Erdoğan?
That Turkey tends towards an overtly Islamic and fascist dictatorship under the leadership of Erdoğan, who has taken the control once again after the coup attempt, brings along a wide range of conflicts.
A week after the coup attempt, the developments under the title of “national consensus” have become remarkable. That capitalist system gives top billing to centralisation seems to be the only reasonable and realistic solution so as to prevent polarisation and conflicts. However, it is highly likely that the consolidation in the centre turns into an inclined plane for AKP due to corruptions and Syria policy. Political power will try hard not to disintegrate from the accumulation in the centre and will take measures to prevent its own resolution at the same time.
Turkey seems to witness manoeuvres in pursuit of balance.
It is possible to see that the social-democrat main opposition in the assembly, CHP, “invests” in the normalisation of AKP. It will not be surprising to observe that MHP, which has been functioning as the auxiliary power of AKP, will concentrate on normalisation instead of supporting radicalisation of AKP, when considered MHP’s strong bonds with imperialist centres and capitalist class. Kurdish opposition, HDP, seems to be prone to accommodationist policies though it does not take part in the “national consensus” currently.
For the near future of Turkey, a repression for disciplining AKP is more probable than an Islamofascist dictatorship led by Erdoğan; however, it cannot be regarded as an alternative for democratisation which can be preferred by the left and working class. We are talking about “avoiding extremism” and “making the system manageable again”, not about centralisation of the balances which shifted to the right in the era of AKP. Therefore, Communist Party will address that a normalisation process which includes the amelioration and liquidation of Erdoğan is not a progressive process and put an emphasis on the class character of the struggle against fascist Islamist uprising.
10- Are there any opportunities for a working class politics in Turkey as it is today?
Days after the coup attempt, such incorrect and unacceptable views were asserted that Communist Party caught attention of working class on the party with the news and comments it made immediately after the attempt. Communist Party is trying hard to take this interest as an opportunity to organise masses. Instead of regression, the Party is making a stride to organise the working class and making an move for this.
On the other hand, a kind of civil war occurred in the country and especially people who reside in Ankara felt the bitterness of the war. After that, Erdoğan called reactionary forces supporting political Islam to streets in order to guard against successive coups; therefore, squares of various cities have been full of religious fundamentalists. Then, the left within the system went out and developed a discourse of “democracy” as if it had not been a coup backed by the US.
All of them were traumatic and discouraging for the working class.
In spite of all these negative circumstances, Communist Party sees the revolutionary opportunities in these days and looks for an exit based upon the class.
Just think about it: A coup supported by the US was attempted and failed, but almost all political actors are pro-US. The coup was attempted by an Islamist group, but the bourgeoise cannot govern without political Islam. Erdoğan harshly criticises the Gülen movement and accuses it of treason. However, they, together, carried out all of the political operations till 2012 and it was extremely difficult for AKP to take over the control of the state without the Gülen movement.
It is really difficult that an order can overcome such a great number of conflicts. The state, which is the protector of the order, has never cracked so deeply and been so weak. Moreover, new crises which are getting more violent are approaching in Turkey.
Communist Party thinks that the crises of capitalism in Turkey and all over the world which are getting more staggering provide the working class politics with revolutionary opportunities.
Though everyone says that we confronted with a US-backed coup, only Communist Party struggles for leaving NATO, which is a remarkable advantage in this period.