IS TURKEY TAKING A NEW POSITION?
Some recent developments raised questions on Turkey’s positioning with imperialism. The operation made by the Turkish Armed Forces in the province of Afrin, Syria, which took place with the consent of Russia has important consequences.
On the one hand, while it is clear that the USA is continuing its policy of dividing Syria, the Afrin operation serves this policy. On the other side, the Turkish government, which had become relatively inactive in the political equation in Syria, has now become active once again. It is clear that this activeness involves Turkey’s climbing up the imperialist hierarchy. However, this development should be analysed with utmost caution. This move up the hierarchy does not relieve Turkish capitalism’s economical fragility; on the contrary, an economic crisis can thus be shifted to the future, but the potential of such a crisis is bulking to a greater degree. Moreover, relations of dependency is accompanying this process. Turkey is “rising” not because it is leading independent policies, but because it is leading policies of dependency.
The Turkish government is using this development as a trump card in its international relations. On the one hand, it is criticising the USA and the European imperialist powers for their political and military support of the Kurdish forces. On the other hand, it is using this tension to strengthen Turkey’s positioning within the imperialist system.
Meanwhile, it is strengthening its ties with Russia and Iran. The trilateral summit on the president level that took place last week, is reflecting the extent of these ties.
In relation to this picture, it is necessary to emphasise that it is almost impossible for Turkey to break off its strong ties with the Western imperialism, at least under the present conditions. Yes, the Turkish government has developed an ability to move relatively autonomously from imperialism. But its political, military and economic interests are strong enough to prevent Turkey’s breaking off from the Western imperialism or NATO. Economic ties between Western countries and Turkey are old and deep, so deep that they are indispensable.
Another sign that the Turkish government is using the developments to strengthen its hand for bargaining with imperialism is its reaction to the alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government. The Turkish state news agency was one of the first to announce and the Turkish government was one of the first to “condemn” the alleged attack along with all Western imperialist forces.
On the other hand, it is impossible for the axis comprised of Russia and Iran, to be independent from the imperialist system. Russia, in spite of all its economic limitations, is opening up its political radius of action and successfully implementing its imperial policies. The developments in Syria have been decisive in this sense. Iran is a capitalist country, which has a nuclear capacity and which has a certain strength in the Middle East. These data expose the fact that neither country can be anti-imperialist. Although they are confronting the USA and the Western imperialism in general, neither they nor Turkey can develop anti-imperialist positions. In this context, it is impossible for any of these countries to sincerely support any peoples’ interests, including that of Syria. By giving its consent to Turkey’s intervention to Afrin, Russia has given an important example to this fact.
The Turkish government, which has the support of Russia, is conducting an open counter-revolutionary process against bourgeois republicanism, secularism and workers’ rights. The governing party, an enemy of the people, can only continue its presence, just like its counterparts, by militarism, nationalism and war-mongering. Escalation of animosity against Kurds, planting the Turkish flag in Afrin, which is a part of Syrian territory and involvement of invaded areas in the Turkish internal administrative system should be taken into consideration in this context.
To think that Turkey can position itself against imperialism, to think that Russia and Iran can establish an anti-imperialist axis means disregarding the rules of capitalism. China, although not involved actively in the Middle East, and which is the subject of a similar illusion in Turkey and other countries, should be regarded in the same category.
Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism. In this stage, imperialist orientation conducts the behaviour of the whole capitalist system. No member of this system can exist, who does not have a tendency to expand or climb the steps of the hierarchy. Ant tendency in the past to break off from imperialism has accompanied the dissolution of colonialism. In this respect, there have been some countries that have turned their faces towards socialism, with the support of countries like the Soviet Union or Cuba. There is no resemblance at all, between this experience of the 20th century and today’s Turkey.
Another point that deserves a mention is that the trilateral summit between Turley, Russia and Iran has added one more to the imperial fervours of the Turkish government. The nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, whose construction started last week, has constituted another threat to the peoples in the region. Waste from this plant will not only be an issue for the people of Turkey but for all other peoples of the region. Nuclear energy is not a blessing under the conditions of capitalism, especially in a country like Turkey, whose government has disabled all relevant control mechanisms. It is a threat on humanity and the environment.
Another important fact, related with this development is that, as Putin has implied, the Turkish government, which is yearning for imperial aims, started to dream of becoming a nuclear power. Nuclear armament is the biggest threat on humanity, in today’s world, where tensions between imperialist powers and the possibility of a total war are escalating. It is impossible for capitalism to control nuclear armament. Turkey’s or any other capitalist power’s possession of nuclear arms cannot be accepted.
On the other hand, the Kurdish nationalist movement, for a long time has been relying on the USA and imperialism in general, against the Turkish government. This fact means the surrendering of the Kurdish people’s future to imperialism and it is unacceptable. The USA has once again proven in Afrin that any imperialist force cannot be trusted upon.
Liberation of the Syrian people, depends on territorial integrity of Syria and taking their fate into their own hands. Intervention in internal affairs of Syria should be stopped; all foreign forces should withdraw from Syria, surrendering the territories they control to the Syrian government.
We have to object the war atmosphere. The people of Turkey should not submit to war-mongering and nationalism. Whatever the government does, the general tendency of the Turkish people is for peace. The problem is that the progressive and peace-loving potential of the people is not organised and is being suppressed by bourgeois political forces. The Peace Committee of Turkey will continue its contribution in informing and organising the people.
Peace Committee of Turkey