Brief history and summary of the programme of TKP(ML)
We start by analysing the background conditions in Turkey. Without understanding the underlying social conditions it is not possible to understand the ideological and political needs which TKP(ML) is answering. We should start by analyzing the Republic of Turkey.
- 1 Historical Background
- 2 Kemalism
- 3 Breaking with Kemalism
- 4 The Importance of the Chinese Revolution
- 5 THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF TURKEY AND A SUMMARY OF ITS PROGRAMME
- 6 1) In the International Sphere
- 7 2) In the National Sphere
- 8 Conclusion
Before the Turkish Republic was formed the Ottoman Empire financed itself by plundering territory already under its control and also by raiding adjacent lands. While other countries were beginning to develop modern bourgeois industrial economies, the Industrial Revolution had not reached The Ottoman Empire by the end of the 19th century; this was a crucial factor in its collapse. This crisis accelerated towards the end of the 19th century, aggravated by the actions of France and Britain, who set up their own financial offices in Turkey in order to collect their foreign debts at source.
The economy at this time was in the hands of a class which consisted of a few non-Muslim Ottoman citizens who collaborated with foreign imperialist powers. We call these people the comprador bourgeiosie. At the same time an emergent Turkish-Muslim bourgeoisie, known as the Young Turks, some of whom had been educated in Europe, began moves to seize control of the economy from the compradors and to stave off the economic collapse. The Turkish Republic was formed on the 29th October 1923. During the First World War the Ottoman Empire was an ally of Germany, and because Germany was defeated, Turkey suffered the same fate. After Turkey’s defeat she was immediately occupied by the British, French and Italian imperialist forces. The occupation incited hatred in the masses, causing them to set up anti-occupation resistance groups. As a result of Turkey’s defeat in the First World War the Turkish-Muslim comprador bourgeoisie lost control to the imperialist occupiers. In an attempt to regain power they formulated slogans aimed at gaining the support of all groups and classes of Turkish society, including the Kurds. It was this group who were behind the anti-occupation uprising known as the “War of Liberation” between 1919 and 1923. Although Turkey won this “War of Liberation”, its economy was still dependant upon imperialist forces because the comprador bourgeoisie was the ruling class. Even as the “Independence Movement” was growing in strength, the Turkish comprador bourgeoisie were double-dealing, and entered into negotiations with the occupying forces. Before the “War of Liberation”, Turkey was a colonial country, after the war it became a semi-feudal and colonial country. Both sides were then influenced by events in Turkey’s northern neighbour, Russia, namely the 1917 October Revolution: the Turkish comprador bourgeoisie's political and economic interests were threatened, as were the interests of the occupying forces. It was perceived as beneficial by both sides to reach an agreement as soon as possible, and this resulted in the Treaty of Sevres signed in 1920 and the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. After Lausanne, although the occupying forces were withdrawn or rendered inactive, their economic and political interests remained, in fact, protected as they had been before under Ottoman rule. In order to gain power the Turkish comprador bourgeoisie under the leader, Mustafa Kemal, had promised national rights to the Kurds. He had agreed to recognise civil liberties for all the people and to redistribute land to the smallholder and landless peasants.
However, when the Kemalists came to power, in order to protect their alliance with the imperialists they introduced reactionary and barbaric methods to control the people. Using the Italian fascist penal code as a model the newly-made Turkish constitution of 1924 was effectively drawn up so that even the most basic of human nghts was withdrawn. Freedom of speech and the freedom of the press were suppressed. It became illegal to hold meetings or to go on strike. Indeed any criticism of the government, whether written or verbal, in the press or through the arts, was forbidden.
The Government had needed the support of the Kurds during the War of Liberation, hence its promises to the Kurds of National Rights. But the Kurds’ support was expendable to the Kemalists after they had gained power, as the 1925 massacre of the Kurds during the Sheikh Said uprising very clearly illustrated. The second uprising lasted from 1927 to 1930, and the 3rd, known as the Dersim Uprising (between 1936 and 1938) left thousands of Kurds dead.
The official version of the history of the Turkish state at this time bears very little resemblance to the actual events. Not surprisingly, the authorised version does not interpret events as exploitation, persecution and massacres. The history of the Turkish Republic and the ideas and character of the leader of the Turkish bourgeoisie, Mustafa Kemal, have been distorted from beginning to end. Turkish people are indoctrinated with Kemalist ideas from an early age. The intention is to mesmerise people into thinking that if they love Mustafa Kemal they wilI go to heaven, and if they don’t, they will go to hell. Kemalism is represented as being the only valid path to follow. Everyone accuses each other of not being a true Kemalist and in inter-party political struggles this is a reason often given in order to denounce someone. If we examine Mustafa Kemal and the deeds of his followers, it is easy to discern the true character of Kemalism. Firstly, Kemalism is opposed to all progressive forces. During the country’s years of occupation before 1923, the Kemalists established a good relationship with the Soviet Union, receiving moral and financial support from them. This resulted in the occupying imperialists being forced into concessions in the War of Liberation. As soon as agreement was reached with the occupying forces, the Kemalists took action against all democrats, revolutionaries and communists. Secondly, Kemalism is fascist. They did not hesitate in massacring, imprisoning, exiling and hanging these workers, peasants and people who tried to claim their basic rights, such as the right to work, education, distribution of the land and personal freedom. Mustafa Suphi, founder of The Turkish Communist Party. Another example of Kemal’s double-dealing was his treatment of the Turkish Communist Party (TCP). The leader, Mustafa Suphi was in the Soviet Union together with 14 Central Committee members. They formed the TCP on the 10th September 1920 in Baku. The following year, Mustafa Kemal called them back to Turkey with the invitation to join forces and “liberate” the new country together. On their return journey, whilst crossing the Black Sea, they were assassinated by the Kemalists. Ibrahim Kaypakkaya (1949 – 1973), founder of TKP(ML), who was killed under torture in Diyarbakir. Kemalism also embodies extreme nationalism and racism; racism is particularly directed at the Kurdish nation, as well as at other minorities. The Kemalists had promised independence and liberty to the Kurdish people during the years of occupation in order to gain their support during the War of Liberation. After the war when they asked for their promised demands the answer they received was a most definite no, and there followed the massacres in which tens of thousands of Kurdish people were killed. Kemalism played an active role collaborating with the imperialist powers, who were involved in the suppression of anti-fascist and anti-imperialist elements amongst the peoples of the Middle East and elsewhere. Under Kemalist rule, Turkey continued to be exploited by imperialists powers, especially by the USA. Even after the deaths of Mustafa Kemal and his colleagues, Kemalist ideology continued to permeate the ideas of people of all political persuasions, and indeed it was not until the 1970s that anybody was ableto analyze it’s reactionary and fascist character and to struggle against it. The pioneer of this thinking was the TKP(ML) leader, Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, who spoke out amidst cries of derision and shock from the other left-wing parties.
Breaking with Kemalism
What was the position of the left-wing and progressive movements until the 1970s? All parties and groups, including left-wing ones, regarded Mustafa Kemal and Kemalism as a positive force in Turkish society. Until this date the followers of the Turkish Communist Party and other left-wing groups had been unable to set up a proper programme against either Kemalism or the political authority of the fascist state. Instead of taking independent revolutionary steps, they had always been affiliated to one of the main parties in the system: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (the Republican People's’ Party) and Adalet Partisi (the Justice Party). However, between 1965 and the early 1970s, the class struggle was intensifying and a revolutionary situation was, developing, echoing the Cultural Revolution in China and students’ movements in Europe. The masses and especially the youth were struggling more and more openly against the injustices in Turkey and against the domination of Turkey by imperialist powers. Revolutionary struggle and radicalism against fascism, imperialism and revisionism attracted the masses. From this mass movement some radical petty bourgeois organisations and parties emerged, for instance the THKP-C (Turkish Peoples’ Liberation Party Front) and THKO (Turkish People's’ Liberation Army). Even though the ideology of these organisations contradicted Kemalism in many practical and theoretical aspects, they still believed themselves to be Kernalist and followers of Kemalism. A startling illustration of this was the shouts from the scaffold of “Long Live Kemalism by members of these parties who were executed by the Kemalists following the military coup of 1971. The revolutionary cadres in the 1970s did not understand Kemalist ideology and the structure of the state, which was shaped by Kemalist ideology, as they had analyzed wrongly and they were adherents of Kemalism.
The Importance of the Chinese Revolution
Before talking about the formation of our party The Communist Party of Turkey(Marxist-Leninist) it may be revealing to look at the Cultural Revolution in China. The 1960s were years of conflict between Beijing and Moscow. After Stalin’s death Khrushchev and his clique came into power in the Soviet Union. Their policy was internally undermining the socialist economy by re-introducing wage labour, and engaging in the oppression of the working class. Externally, “The Soviet Union” began to behave like an imperialist power; interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, exporting capital and arms and engaging in unequal trade relations with Third World counties. Their theory and practice were completely divorced from the Marxist – Leninist line, which is along with the Proletariat and the masses all around the world, our party was inspired by the Cultural Revolution in China. proven by their attempts to destroy socialism, by introducing bureaucratic bourgeois principles and eventually by becoming social imperialists. This was known as “modern revisionism”. The result was that “The Soviet Union” now preached a backward line on every question facing communists and progressives. Eventually, in the International Communist Movement (ICM), there were two camps: one was the majority of the ICM modern revisionists led by the Soviet Union, the other was the revolutionary camp which comprised the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Albanian Labour Party (ALP) and some other small parties and groups. This second camp mounted a counter attack against Khrushchev’s revisionism and bureaucratic bourgeois pacifism by representing the revolutionary Marxist- Leninist line. At the same time a similar revisionist movement emerged in China, and even within the CCP it gained power. While this was happening Mao sensed danger and decided that there was a need for a second revolution. In 1966 a startling political movement began, encouraged by Mao himself, known as the Cultural Revolution. Millions of young people thronged the streets to voice their discontent with and criticism of officials, their corruptions and abuses of power and privilege. The Cultural Revolution, with its mass support, enabled revolutionaries to seize back power. It also attacked Khrushchev’s revisionist, pacifist line. The Cultural Revolution was an inspiration to the masses all around the world. Its dynamic effect could be seen in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where it inspired and encouraged many revolutions and also boosted the revolutionary struggle for freedom in other countries. One of these countries was Turkey, where the TKP(ML) was founded by Ibrahim Kaypakkaya on 24th April 1972. He stated that the TKP(ML) was theoretically, politically and ideologically the result of the Great Cultural Revolution, which distinguished the TKP(ML) from all of the other parties. Because our party’s theory was clear, from the beginning, so too was our programme. Between 1968 and 1971 petty bourgeois radical organisations such as the THKP-C and the THKO attracted many new followers into the revolutionary struggle. These people had, until this time, adhered to the revisionist, pacifist and reformist policies and were instrumental in awakening their political consciousness. Despite the success of these organisations in terms of revolutionary radicalism they had been unable to uncover the true structure and character of the Turkish state because they had not properly applied Marxist-Leninist analysis to the problem. Our party did not make the same mistake: according to Ibrahim Kaypakkaya “Kemalism is an example of fascist state ideology”. The Turkish government fell and left wing groups crushed following the Kemalist Fascist Military Coup of Sept, ’80, proving once again that Kemalism is synonymous with Fascism. This evaluation was proved correct after the 1980 Fascist Military Coup d’etat”, when all the leftwing groups were crushed, and some of them had to accept the TKP(ML)’s view of Kemalism. After 1980 it was clear that the TKP(ML) analysis of Turkish and world history was the most accurate as was our approach to the “National Question” (“Kurdish National Question”) and other problems of revolution. Ideologically and politically the TKP(ML) programme conflicted with those of the other revolutionary parties and groups, which only served to make our programme stronger, especially with regard to Kemalism. The leaders of some of these groups had declared they were the real followers of Kemalism, but this was a result of their analyzing the history of Kemalism wrongly.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF TURKEY AND A SUMMARY OF ITS PROGRAMME
The Communist Party of Turkey(Marxist -Leninist) was established on 24th April 1972 as a result of a split from the TIIKP (Turkish Revolutionary Workers’ and Peasants’ Party) over a sharp division between the Marxist-Leninist line and the revisionist line. There had been an internal struggle over ideology between these two lines for a long time, and it took the form of a two-line struggle. Whenever there are important differences between a bourgeoisie line and the revolutionary line, matters will come to a head in this way. In fact it was the revisionist line that was the stronger in the TIIKP. When the revisionists realised they would be unable to answer Marxist-Leninist criticism ideologically they hatched a plot to assassinate the leader of the ML line, Ibrahim Kaypakkaya. But the plan failed because the intended assassin was won over by Kaypakkaya himself, and the ML group announced their split from the TIIKP. So let’s examine the theories behind the TKP(ML) programme:
1) In the International Sphere
a) World View and the leaders of the Proletariat
The TKP(ML) view of the world is based on Marxism Leninism and Maoism (MLM). We believe that Marxism is a genuine and living science which was developed by Marx and Engels. As we know, all revolutionary leaders make a quantitative contribution to Marxism, but the only ones to have made a qualitative contribution have been Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao and Stalin, that is to say they have made major additions that have been proved correct in theory and practice. In other words, the masters of the World Proletariat are:- Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong. Because Mao’s contribution to Marxism was so extensive and because it deals with the question of revolution in semi-colonial and semi-feudal nations, we extend the ML world view to incorporate it (MLM).
Under socialism there are still classes, inequality of wealth and power. Some groups will struggle to build up their power and privilege and they will have the support of elements of the old ruling class in this struggle. Against them will be the working class and labouring masses whose interest is in building a classless society. This struggle will be waged most fiercely in the party and state which are the central political institutions. Nothing can exist without its opposite. If socialism means the proletariat is in power, i.e a proletarian dictatorship, there must be another class, namely the bourgeois class upon which the dictatorship is imposed. Indeed, the science of MLM defines the state thus:- “The state is an organ of class rule, an organ for the oppression of one class by another”. Control of the state is the central question because the state exercises the physical power. The question is whether this power is exercised on behalf of the working class or on behalf of its enemies. As long as the proletariat exists, the struggle for power and sovereignty between this and other classes is inevitable. As long as there exists a division of labour, bourgeois law, the production of goods, differences between rural and urban areas, an oppressor class and an oppressed class, there will be antagonism between the classes and a struggle will exist between them. Stalin was a great leader of the masses, struggled until his death against counter revolutionaries. One of the effects of a social revolution is that it changes the class structure, and with it the nature of the class struggle. However, the class struggle continues and “revisionism” is the name for those ideological and political policies and practices that are used to attack the working class and the dictatorship of the proletariat. “Revisionism” exists on both national and international levels. Mao’s wisdom encouraged the masses to fight ideologically and politically against revisionism and counter revolutionary ideas, both inside and outside the party.
c) Revolutionary Marxism and Revisionism in the World Communist Movement
As MLM continues to grow and flourish it is struggling against not only capitalism but also against revisionism. The conflict between ML and revisionist camps has always existed, but the first great separation occurred after Stalin’s death, when Krushchev and his clique came into power in 1956. They attacked Marxism-Leninism and its principles and by 1963 this separation had become distinct, with the two camps clashing ideologically and politically. They were divided thus:- the first group, which was the majority, was led by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and included the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), the Eastern Bloc Communist Parties and some other parties. The second camp was led by the Chinese Communist Party and included Albanian Party of Labour and some others. Mao foresaw the results of revisionism and events in the world today have proven him right. As he predicted, the result of revisionism was to alter the socialist economy into a social imperialist economy, the socialist state turned into a social imperialist state, and the Communist Party became a bourgeois bureaucratic party. These changes have led to corruption and counter revolution. The revisionist policies started by Khrushchev paved the way ultimately for Gorbachev. This is also demonstrated by Gorbachev’s criticisms of socialism and of Stalin. Revisionism, counter-revolution and the turn away from socialism is not only happening in the Soviet Union and China, but also in Albania, Vietnam and all the Eastern block countries. The counter-revolution which occurred in China after Mao’s death effectively encouraged an upsurge in revisionism in the world. So, what was our main duty in stemming the tide of revisionism? Of Course, it was to hold high the MLM flag and inspire the people with our ideology. Enver Hodja from Albania, who during Mao’s life, had proclaimed him as a “Great Teacher of the Proletariat” and defended him passionately, began attacking Mao after his death. In the clash of ideology between Mao and Khrushchev and between Mao and Enver Hodja our party took the side of Mao, and still does.
d) Internationalism and the World Revolution:
The TKP(ML) is a proletarian party from different nations which inhabit Turkey and Turkish Kurdistan. The fact that we take as our starting point the revolution in Turkey and Turkish Kurdistan does not mean that we are nationalists. The achievement of world revolution will, we believe, be a gradual process and will happen country by country. Therefore, TKP(ML) regards it as one of its main duties to maintain solidarity with all those suffering under imperialism, fascism and other types of fundamentalism. Although our main aim is to achieve world revolution, we sympathise with and support popular democratic and progressive struggles.
2) In the National Sphere
a) Economic circumstances
In order to achieve the revolution, the TKP(ML) believes it is first of all necessary to make a revolutionary analysis of the economic structure of our country. Secondly, it is necessary for us to form a revolutionary plan and then put this into practice. As a result of this analysis, the TKP(ML) has understood that Turkey is economically, militarily and politically under the direct control of international imperialism ! Although it may appear to be an independent country, in reality though Turkey’s larger cities have industry dependent on foreign capital, and in the rural areas of the country and Turkish Kurdistan, semi-feudal relations are dominant, therefore the party regards Turkey’s economic structure as semi-colonial and semi-feudal, and is in all aspects dependent on imperialism. Turkey’s economy before the advent of imperialism was colonial and feudal, and following the arrival of the imperialists the economic structure became semi-colonial and semi-feudal.
b) The political circumstances
The Turkish State has always harassed and employed brutal methods in an attempt to suppress revolutionary and democratic movements in Turkey. The political conditions in Turkey cannot be separated from economic conditions, as the former is dependent upon the latter. The politics of any given country are a reflection of that country’s economic structure. Being semi-colonial and semi-feudal, Turkey’s economy is therefore weak: hence the state policy is fascist, reactionary and oppressive. In Turkey a small dominant class, composed mainly of compradors, collaborate either directly or indirectly with the imperialists. Thus, when the poor and oppressed majority demand human rights or ask for their social and economic rights, they are violently and barbarically repressed. Throughout the Turkish Republic’s 75 year history there has existed a non-functioning parliamentary system. The role of this parliament is an invention, and in reality it is far from democratic and rather more of a puppet regime by bourgeois democratic standards. The state’s main cornerstones are the Turkish army and police, rather than the parliament. The Republic of Turkey as a state, with its parliamentary and military bureaucracy and its bureaucratic institutions and establishments, is reactionary and fascist. Turkey has never sympathised with democracy in terms of freedom of thought or speech. The policies of the Turkish Republic cannot be separated from Kemalism which is reactionary and stands for fascism and racism. Throughout Turkey’s modern history, neither the bourgeoisie nor the revisionist organisations have been able to see the reality of their situation, whereas our party, from the beginning of the 1970s, using materialist methods, has been able to reveal the content of Kemalism which is that it is fascist racist-nationalist.
c) What Kind of Revolution?
A summary of our country’s economic and political conditions has already been given – the type of state which is shaped by this structure is fascist and an example of extreme reactionaries. The Turkish state does not hesitate in using force and violence against revolutionaries and the people alike in order to achieve its aims. The two components of democracy and the structure of the Turkish state are incompatible with one another. What is the result of this? The collaboration of a small number of compradors with international finance who are able to exploit Turkey for their own gain. Therefore, the revolution in Turkey should aim for economic independence and democracy in the political field. The revolution should be anti -imperialist, anti-feudal and anti-fascist. It should have a proletarian leadership in order to have “The Democratic Peoples Revolution”. As Turkey is not a colony the national problem is not the main conflict, although we support the rights of Kurdish people in their fight for self determination on the condition that they are anti-imperialist. Our view is that the DPR would solve the problems of national independence by removing imperialist control. The DPR should seek to eliminate comprador capitalism and semi feudal relationships. Having achieved the democratic revolution, the next step is the socialist revolution.
d) Revolution and counter revolutionary classes
The classes in Turkish society which get on best with imperialism are, the comprador bourgeoisie, large landowners, high-ranking bureaucrats, army and police officers and usurers. These are the enemies of the revolution and their overthrow is our chief aim. The more we overcome these classes, the more we eradicate imperialism and halt its development, as it these classes which are the cornerstones of imperialism in our country. Those classes which will most benefit the revolution are, the working class, the peasantry (which extends from the landless peasants to the small farmers), the petty bourgeoisie and the left-wing of the national bourgeoisie. But it is crucial that the leadership of the revolution be proletarian, and so must be its ideology, otherwise the revolution will always be in danger.
e) The Path to the Revolution
The path of our revolution is determined by the conditions in our country. In other words our political state structure, which is based on the socio-economic structure, the social culture, traditions and customs and the structure of the nation determine the way to revolution. In semi-feudal, semi-colonial countries like Turkey many sections of many people are already opposed to the comprador bourgeoisie and their allies. Because the state is anti-democratic and fascistic, these struggles inevitably become violent. Progressive This poster calls the people to join the TKP(ML) army, called TIKKO (Turkish Workers’and Peasants’ Liberation Army), in order to maintain the guerrilla war students, workers and peasants have engaged in widespread opposition to the state and shown their support for revolutionary organisations and methods. Under the circumstances, the Communists must adopt a method of struggle which unites the masses against the state. The Communist Party must choose a method which allows the masses to fight on the grounds of their choosing, where they are the strongest, and attack the enemy where they are the weakest. As a result of the analysis of these factors The People’s War, which was tested and proved by The Chinese Communist Party, was determined as the correct path for the party to follow to bring about the revolution. The People’s War (Halk Savasi) will start in rural areas and from there will spread to the cities. Initially the struggle will take the form of guerilla warfare and later, as the revolution spreads it will take the form of more conventional warfare. Also, the beliefs and attitudes of the people mean that they are not unsympathetic to the concept of armed struggle. The People’s War will never deny the working class the prominent role. On the contrary, without gaining the support of the working class, People’s War cannot take power. There are three stages to the People’s War. Firstly, to maintain strategic defence,hit and run tactics employed in the guerilla war. Strategic equilibrium is the second stage, and occurs when the strength of the revolutionary and state’s forces becomes equal. The last stage is strategic offensive. Indeed the aim of the People’s War is to empower the working class in the whole country, especially in the cities. Because of the reasons mentioned above, the People’s War is the most important means at our disposal to achieve our aim.
f) The three main components of our Revolution
The form of our revolution is laid out in the TKP(ML) programme. According to this programme, Turkey’s and Turkish Kurdistan’s revolution has three fundamental components. The first of these is the Communist Party whose ideology, political policy and practice is a guide to revolution. It will also assume command of the revolution. Without a Communist Party, either before or after revolution, we cannot succeed. The second component is a People’s Army which will enact communist policy in terms of war and operate under the leadership of the Communist Party. The third component is the People’s United Front (Halkin Birlesik Cephesi) which will consist of those classes and sections of people who will benefit from the revolution; this is also under communist leadership.
g) Resolution of the National Question
Turkey is made up of many separate nations, but when the “National Question” is mentioned the area which immediately springs to mind is Kurdistan. Although there are also Armenian, Jewish, Greek, Circassian and Pomak (Bulgarian Turkish) minorities, they have been assimilated by Turkish nationalism and the fascist state. One result of this forced assimilation, however, is that these groups are still resistant to some degree to Turkish nationalism. The TKP(ML) has to include these nations’ democratic rights in their programme. As mentioned above, the “National Question” to us means the Kurdish question. After the First World War, Kurdistan was shared out by Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, and this division was recognised by the imperialists in 1923 in the “Lausanne Treaty”. Even before the First World War the Kurds had been harassed, Throughout their history the Kurdish people have been the victims of torture and massacre. exploited, and persecuted, so the Kurdish National Struggle predates the break-up. Between 1925 and 1939 the Turkish nationalists massacred over 100,000 Kurdish people. Kurdistan’s political status cannot be easily classified, as it fits neither the classical nor “modern” colonialist mould. We believe that Kurdistan has “oppressed nation status”, although it retains characteristics of classical and “modern” colonialism. Some other organisations and parties agree with this analysis. However, when we say “oppressed dependent nation” this does not mean that the Kurds are less oppressed than they would be if they were a colony. We have already mentioned that Kurdistan was split up after the First World War by the imperialists. Generally, Communists oppose the splitting up of nations, because, as Communists, we are struggling for the voluntary union of peoples, and nations. Even, though we do not agree with the borders which the imperialists imposed, these frontiers exist today. Therefore, TKP(ML) condemns the splitting up of Kurdistan and we express our solidarity with the Kurdish People. The revolution in our country will take place in Turkey and in the northern part of Kurdistan, which contains Kurds, Turks and some minorities. The Kurdish National Question was not a topic for discussion amongst the leftwing organisations, parties or individuals until Ibrahim Kaypakkaya raised the issue in the early 1970s in breaking with the tradition of the Turkish chauvinism among the Turkish left. Kemalist state ideology had so impressed itself upon the Turkish left that when they heard that Ibrahim Kaypakkaya analysis the Kemalist ideology as fascist state ideology, they were shocked and puzzled. Fortunately, most of the parties who disagreed with Ibrahim’s analysis in the 1970’s have now conceded that he was correct. The TKP(ML) considers the Kurdish National question under the guidance of MLM, as in all other matters. At the same time we refuse to compromise our position with regard to nationalism of an oppressed nation when that nationalism threatens the unity of all workers. As a result of this we can say that Ibrahim Kaypakkaya’s analysis was a blow to the Turkish chauvinism which had endured throughout the previous 50 years of the Turkish Republic. The solution to the kurdish National question depends entirely on the outcome of the revolution in Turkey. Today it seems that the independence of the Kurdish people is not possible without revolution. We know that Turkey’s dominant classes are the enemy of Democracy and Kurdish Independence therefore, we are willing to take joint action with any democratic organisations and groups which are themselves suffering national and/or class oppression. The most important issue for us is ” class unity ” with the Kurdish proletariat and communists. We cannot compromise on this question, as it is one of our party’s main principles. Such a class unity will achieve DPR and only then will people attain real freedom. Having said this, if the Kurdish nation as today struggles to gain its independence, the TKP(ML) will support and express solidarity with this struggle for democracy and freedom. Sometimes contradictions will emerge between the line of the Kurdish struggle and the interests of proletariat and oppressed masses in Turkey and Kurdistan. When that happens we are obliged to criticize them. TIKKO army in the mountains.
In this pamphlet, we have tried to point out the TKP(ML)’s internal and external policy and ideology. In order to overthrow the Turkish fascist system, we have been fighting militarily and politically since the formation of the Party in February 1972. As a direct result of this, we have lost four General Secretaries and over 600 other martyrs. In our final words, we want to give our respect to the martyrs and revolutionaries who have struggled for the liberation of the world’s proletariat.
LONG LIVE MARXISM LENINISM MAOISM
LONG LIVE THE SOLIDARITY BETWEEN THE WORLD’S WORKING CLASS
LONG LIVE TKP(ML), ITS ARMY TIKKO AND ITS YOUTH ORGANISATION TMLGB
TIKKO – The Turkish Workers and Peasants Liberation Army which was formed in 1972.
TMLGB – The Turkish Marxist Leninist Youth Union which was also formed in 1987.