WORKERS’ PARTY OF TURKEY
THE PATH TO REVOLUTION
THE PATH TO REVOLUTION
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. Peoples of the world grapple with an unprecedented misery and poverty. Wars transgressing borders; unlimited armament; racism and sectarianism pitting brother against brother; irreversible destruction of the natural life, the environment, cities; egotism that annihilates all kinds of human affairs and resolves all the values that hold the society together; bigotry that thwarts the development of free thought and civilization… All are playing their roles on the stage of misery and poverty with all their hideousness and foulness.
Capitalism, in order to exploit workers in the cruelest way, is carrying out the most relentless and the most extensive attack that human history has ever seen.
Meanwhile, workers, who have been the real constructors of the world and the civilization for thousands of years, are seeking a way to protect their rights and lives, to reach an equal, free and just society by their own means. All around the world from Latin America to Asia, to Middle East and to our country; workers, the youth and women, artists and intellectuals are all fighting a battle enlarging the solidarity, unity and hope against capitalism whose every cell consists of only ichor and poison.
Against capitalism, which forces regression into barbarity upon the whole world in order to satisfy its most wretched desires, workers embrace human and civil values which have been gained through thousands of years and work to relieve the world of the darkness of capitalist hegemony.
We are in the best of times and we are in the worst of times. Our world enters into the final phase of the long-lasting battle between the light and the dark, progression and reactionism.
This final phase is nothing but the war of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie.
The future of humanity is in close connection with the future of class-struggle.
Establishment of socialism all over the world is the only possible way towards the emancipation of the workers who have been forced to suffer from misery and poverty for hundreds of years; for the liberation of the people who have been enslaved by wars, racism, sectarianism, oppression and violence.
Our world is once more facing the necessity to make an irreversible choice under the hegemony of capitalist exploitation regime: Socialism or barbarism!
Now that the fate of humanity is to be shaped, the historical task that is assumed by socialists has become even more important. It is not possible to substitute any other task for the primary duty of socialists to raise the banner of the class-struggle, end the capitalist hegemony and ensure the victory of socialism in every corner of the world. The key to a brand-new world, the blessed and free future of humanity, is in the hands of the working-class and its inseparable part, socialists.
The wheel of history is moving persistently.
The worst of times is desperate in the face of the best of times.
Now is the time for the working-class to move forward to the revolution.
Our age is the age of the victory of socialism.
Our call today is the same as it was yesterday:
“Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose in it but their chains. They have a world to win.
Working men of all countries, unite!”
1. Party Programme
Actuality of Socialism
In 21st Century, current level of intellectual, scientific and technological development can provide for all basic human necessities. It is possible that everybody can reach the knowledge both to benefit from and contribute to it. However, in capitalist system, which is based on the private ownership of the means of production, scientific and technological knowledge is used as a means to enrich the big capitalists even more, to impoverish the great masses and to make them dependent on the system. Decisions which are related to humanity’s future are taken by a small minority exploiting the social and natural resources with the motivation of making more profit. A vast majority of the world population are forced to make a choice between unemployment and working under miserable conditions. Yet, necessary working time can be minimized, exhausting physical and mental activities can be carried out by machines, everybody’s creative capacity can be mobilised in the direction of social interests with the current level of technological development.
Current development of the means of production provides the prerequisite for socialism and even a classless society. Humanity has got the opportunity to liberate itself from the savage conditions in which it has been trapped by capitalist system. The ultimate goal of complete emancipation of the working-class and the whole humanity with it can only be achieved through building socialism in a global scale. In accordance with this goal, the first task of communists is to ensure the victory of the revolutionary struggle in their own country. It is also an actual duty to strengthen the international bonds among the workers.
Capitalism is in a Crisis as a Whole
By its nature capitalism is a system which creates crises regularly. But these crises do not mean that this system will end on its own. Overthrowing global capitalism and the emancipation of the humanity will be achieved through the struggle of the workers to seize power. Capitalists always try to use the periods of crises as an opportunity to deprive the working-class of its rights, raise the rate of exploitation, divide the workers and impoverish them. If the working-class is not a part of the politics as a powerful agent, capitalist crises cause destructive results for the labouring masses.
Global capitalist system today is entirely in a crisis which includes economic, political, ideological, social and ecological aspects. The competition is intensifying between big monopoles along with the capitalist states, their representatives. As a result of this, the rate of exploitation is rising to an unprecedented scale; the attack whose target is the whole working-class is destroying the historical achievements of the proletariat along with the fundamental human and civil rights. Since the 1980’s, with the starting abolishment of the social state concept, on which the labouring masses have an undisputable effect, social inequality has been deepening; after the dissolution of the socialist bloc, imperialist- capitalist aggression has got out of hand. Neo-liberalism, along with its concept of political economy, has put forward a model for state and society, which prevents the labouring masses from having a voice in any decision-making process regarding major political issues such as the distribution of wealth. By this way, neo- liberalism has deprived the working-class of its civil rights, divided the class and boosted unemployment, poverty and precarity with. Even the most natural elements in a bourgeois democracy has become a burden on the capitalist class, several steps such as authoritarianization have been taken in order to prevent people from being an active part in politics. Capitalist system lacks the ability to develop an ideological basis to unify people. This system, which is based upon exploitation, struggles to survive by forcing regression into barbarity on the whole world.
Capitalism is trying to preserve its existence through discriminatory ideologies and authoritarian regimes. Since the inequality between classes and social relationship regarding distribution is no longer seen as a political subject, political conflicts, which have been reduced to identity and culture, have been used as an instrument by the bourgeoisie to maintain its hegemony. Hence; racist, religiously reactionary and fascist currents are gaining strength; workers, who have got common interests against exploitation, are pitted against each other. Politics limited to subjects of identity and culture therefore plays a role to disguise the capitalist exploitation; division among social groups who have common interests makes the establishing of authoritarian regimes easier.
The end of the era in which socialist countries restrained the imperialist aggression has not brought forward a stable “new world order”, on the contrary, rivalry among the forces which seek for regional hegemony has increased. While struggling to provide their capitalist classes with a stronger control over the raw material resources and markets across the world, imperialist and capitalist states confront each other in various forms of alliances and blocs. These struggles, which include armament race, causing wars and civil wars, provoking ethnic, national and religious conflicts, are also the instruments to deceive and control people. The fact that capitalist states can develop their policies more or less independently from any imperialist country or bloc does not eliminate the internationality of the capital and its dependency relationships. This is why anti-imperialism without an anti-capitalist vision is bound to be a failure. Labouring masses of all countries must protect their patriotic stance and independence against the forces with imperial ambitions as much as they do against the imperialist centres.
Earth is seriously threatened. Working-class struggle must take an ecological stance against the destruction of nature, which has been felt since the second half of 20th century and become an inevitable reality in 21st century. Capitalism is profit-driven, based on capital accumulation and confined to the paradox between ever-increasing growth and annihilation. The purpose of capitalism is not to meet the needs of the public, but to increase profits constantly by selling more and more commodities. By the infinite ambition to expand, overproduction is triggered, finite natural resources are consumed in a non-renewable way, and lives of the next generations as well as the current ones are severely threatened. Capitalism exploits nature as well as labour power, has a destructive character creating a massive waste. Due to the capitalist activities, urgent problems like global climate change, environmental pollution have been caused by the facts such as excessive resource consumption, deforestation, use of fossil fuel, carbon emission, etc. since the Industrial Revolution. As long as world is ruled by the internal logic of capitalism, it is to be expected that humanity will face hunger, drought, desertification, destruction of cultivated areas, extinction of many species, cities submerged by glacial melting, mass migration and wars over resources. It is obvious that capitalism is irrational and unsustainable. Only searching for limited measures or looking forward to technological developments to compensate the harm done to nature does not mean anything but trying to evade problems. The path to the emancipation of the labour and nature is only attainable by constructing a socialist system which is based on the needs of the society.
Bourgeois Revolution in Turkey and the Foundation of the Republic
Turkey is one of the typical examples of capitalisation and bourgeois revolution. At a time when the fall of the half-colonised Ottoman Empire was definite following the imperialist war in which the Empire had taken part by the desire of having its share, which coincided with the imperialist occupation; bourgeois revolution fought against the reactionary monarchy and caliphate on the one hand, the imperialist occupation on the other. Capitalisation and modernisation process, which had begun in the 19th century, was represented by the opposition of the Ottoman intelligentsia, which included the members of the army as well as civilian intellectuals. Following 1908, the opposition increased its activity and became more and more radicalised after the Ottoman dynasty had completely yielded to the imperialist occupation and become a collaborator of imperialism, which resulted in, by the resistance of the poor people against the occupation, the War of Independence, and finally the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.
This transition, which needs to be addressed as a bourgeois revolution based on both the universal logic of the historical progression process and the distinctive political and ideological course of development in Turkey, took on a progressive and pro-Enlightenment character as long as it fought against the Ottoman establishment and imperialist occupation. In this sense, foundation of the republic in Turkey has a progressive quality.
However, progressive motives of the Ottoman intelligentsia in 19th century and the founding cadres of the Republic could not attain a character which could exceed the interests of the capitalist class and capitalism as a system. In harmony with the universal logic of bourgeois revolutions, capitalist hegemony in Turkey followed a reactionary and collaborationist route, too. Organisation of political and public life on a reactionary basis and gradual abrogation of the Republic are neither a surprise nor a deviation, but made possible by the interior capitalist logic that lies in the foundation.
Although bourgeois modernisation process, which started in 19th century and made a leap forward in 1923 by the declaration of the Republic, is among the most significant references of progressive and social struggles, it is not the single and primary source. Leftist/ Socialist thinking and working-class struggle also dates back to 19th century, became organised with the foundation of the Communist Party of Turkey in 1920 and has been the leading force on the path of development and progression all along the history of the Republic. It remains to be the foremost source of the progressive political and social struggles.
Emancipation of Turkey Lies within Socialism
Turkey is a capitalist country developed in a moderate scale. Capitalist mode of production is prevailing in our country. A vast majority of the population consists of the people who have to sell their labour-power in order to live, the unemployed and their families, in other words, the working-class. The ruling-class is the capitalist class, which is the class of the capital owners whose interests have been represented by all governments since the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. Remnants of the pre-capitalist modes of production, classes and ideologies have either disappeared or become an indivisible part of the capitalist relationships of reproduction. The main reason of all kinds of relationships between the exploiter and the exploited, the oppressor and the oppressed in Turkey is the hegemony of capitalist mode of production that is based on private ownership of the means of production. Therefore, the emancipation of the people in Turkey is only possible through a socialist political revolution, which is to be followed by the abolition of private property, a centrally planned economy based on public ownership, in short, moving towards socialism.
Turkish capitalism is a dependent member of the global capitalist system. The dependency is not forced externally, but fits for the needs of the Turkish capitalists. Governments may sometimes make contradictory decisions to the actual politics of imperialism, but this does not mean that Turkey is not dependent on imperialism in regard of its economy, politics and military. However, seeking the emancipation of our working-class and people within the inner conflicts between among imperialist centres would only help capitalist hegemony maintain itself.
Power of the Proletariat, Will of the Party, March towards Socialism
Major force of the social opposition in Turkey is, however divided it is, the working-class. White-collar/blue-collar, skilled/ unskilled, industrial/service, urban/rural, union member/non- union, contracted/sub-contracted worker, public/private sector, full-time/part-time, company worker/homeworker, higher paid/ lower paid, employed/unemployed/retired… All these people have to sell their labour-power in order to live and form a single class having common interests. Abolition of the hegemony of capital is the common interest of the people who live on their labour-power and wish only to live honourable lives. The way to extend this awareness to the masses is to develop and strengthen practices of mutual struggle and solidarity.
However, the actual unity of the working-class is only possible through the political struggle set against the rule of the capital. The
responsibility of the party is to protect the political and ideological independency of the working-class and make the revolution the monument of the working-class. In this sense, vanguard position of the party is not necessary only before the revolution, but also during the building process of socialism. The proletariat, during the revolution and socialist construction, will represent the whole society excluding the capitalists and their collaborators.
Revolution in Turkey will have a Populist Feature
Since the capitalist mode and relations of production completely prevailed, interests of the working-class and various popular strata, who might have different interests and demands in the past, have become similar in the face of capitalist hegemony. Therefore, the working-class must turn the people from various groups into supporters of its cause, unify their demands with its own interests and create a revolutionary people’s movement. In this sense, revolution in Turkey will have a populist feature led by the political and ideological leadership of the proletariat.
Revolution in Turkey will not take place simply through the complete incorporation of the socialist political vanguard with all sorts of social oppositional dynamics and its becoming one with them. Owing to the emergence of various social problems under the rule of capital, many popular movements and organisations exist and have their own special agenda. The fact that the ultimate solution to all the basic problems of Turkey is socialism does not destroy the ground on which these movements and organisations take place. At the same time, it is an essential necessity that these movements and struggles go side by side with the struggle of the working-class for the power and become a part of the revolution in Turkey.
Daily struggles to gain economic, social and cultural rights under the rule of capitalism and total, revolutionary objectives whose purpose is to solve the problems by overthrowing imperialist- capitalist system are not inseparable from each other. Workers’ Party of Turkey, in the revolutionary struggle, tries to unite the fight for socialism and daily struggles such as working-hours, employment, rights to universal and free education, healthcare and housing.
Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) is the Revolutionary Reconstruction of Socialist Movement
TİP adopts the political and organisational experience of the socialist movement starting from the Communist Party of Turkey, which was founded in 1920, along with the revolutionary traditions and values in Turkey and sees them as its guide. Besides, TİP is a part of the universal legacy of the communist movement. Adopting Marxism-Leninism as its guide, TİP embraces the history of the socialist movement through a critical approach and stands for the rebuilding of the socialist movement on a revolutionary basis. The goal of rebuilding the socialist movement on a revolutionary basis also contains ensuring the unity of the socialist movement in Turkey around a revolutionary program.
TİP does not take any tactic or method for granted to be used in the revolutionary struggle while having no bias against any of them. What shapes TİP’s approach towards them is their usefulness for the interests of the working-class and their contribution to the revolutionary struggle. The Party makes its decision on any tactic or method by evaluating its effectiveness in increasing the participation of the working-class to the political struggle, raising the socialist struggle for power; shortly, strengthening the revolutionary struggle.
TİP applies a Marxist-Leninist principle, democratic centralism, to its internal organisational and operational structure. Active participation, transparency, politicisation, accountability, regulated and disciplined action are essential for democratic centralism. Constitution, which regulates the organisational and operational structure of the party is developed through this perspective. Constitution is the foremost assurance for the regulation and preservation of the organisational and operational structure of the party based on binding rules for all the members. However, it is obvious that it is impossible to protect the internal organisation of a revolutionary party only by means of its constitution. Essential elements of a reliable organisational structure include a revolutionary lifestyle, devotion to the struggle of the working- class for emancipation, comradeship, socialist consciousness. TİP adopts the whole experience and legacy of the international communist movement. In addition to defending that the existence of socialist countries -particularly the October Revolution of 1917 and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics- has brought forth massive achievements for the labouring masses; TİP also takes on the task of evaluating the results of socialist experiences all over the world and drawing lessons from that.
2. The Struggle Today
Socialism for the Fighting People of the World
Peoples of all countries seek for the ways to resist against the imperialist-capitalist aggression. Anti-government movements have arisen in many countries due to the dramatic increase in social inequality and the existence of oppressive governments. By these movements, left-wing or populist political forces have come to power or become competent options to achieve that. Supporting welfare politics and pledging to decrease the social inequality without abolishing the private ownership of the means of production, these political forces have managed to form a bond with the current demands of the workers.
It is a useful tactic also for the socialist struggle to put forward demands that current government, although they are within the limits of capitalism, cannot fulfill. These demands enable the political awareness of the working-class to grow and further goals in the struggle to be set as well as making it possible for socialism to become an actual option. Socialists must pay attention to such opportunities, but while doing so, they have to preserve their socialist revolutionary perspective, transfer of the entire state power to the working-class, by fulfilling their duty as the vanguards in various struggles.
While leading popular struggles, bond between the aim for a socialist revolution and current demands of daily struggles must be re-established on each subject. The task the international communist and revolutionary movement has not been able to fulfill for long years is to correlate the current demands of the working-class with its historical interests. Unless this task is not fulfilled and a socialist option, whose aim is to abolish the private ownership of the means of production, is not built against the global capitalist crisis, it is inevitable for the social movements and nonrevolutionary left-wing organisations to be confined to the limits of capitalism. Moreover, the inability to fulfill that task is also the reason why socialist movements are ineffective in social struggles and unable to challenge pro-establishment forces.
In our country, which is located in a region that suffers from interventions by the imperialist countries, notably the USA, and serves as a collaborator in these interventions, the socialist struggle for power is closely associated with anti-imperialist, patriotic and anti-reactionary dynamics. Unifying the anti-imperialist and anti- reactionary struggles and providing them with an anti-capitalist vision is the only way to overcome national, ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts and to promote fraternity among people. In this sense, TİP stands against all kinds of imperialist institutions and organisations, particularly EU, NATO and IMF; Turkey’s relationship with these organisations, military and political tasks taken on by Turkey in order to consolidate imperialist hegemony on a global or regional scale, foreign military bases, notably İncirlik and Kürecik, in Turkey.
The Palace Regime is the Enemy of the People
Roots of the current political and social transformation in Turkey can be found in January 24 and September 12, 1980, and based on the traits which have been acquired by the capitalist class since those times. The period of AKP government, which started in 2002, has entailed a political regime shift which has made a lasting impact on the form of the capitalist hegemony. Targeting the progressive legacy of the republican era and the rights, which the working-class has achieved by struggle, AKP has constituted a de facto dictatorship, Palace Regime, which is pro-market, reactionary, nationalist, oppressive, intolerant against different views and lifestyles, pro-censorship, plunders the public assets and legitimises corruption, supports jihadist gangs and adopts cross-border aggression as a state policy, controls all the state institutions in its own interests, gives all the executive power to one person.
It does not completely irrelevant to say that the bourgeoisie has played no part in the construction of the new regime, built by AKP, or even to claim that the capitalist class is actually against the new regime. Far from doing so, the capitalist class is grateful for the enrichment opportunities enabled by the new regime while wishing these opportunities to become permanent. The only force which can challenge the Palace Regime, resist against it and recover the harm it has done is not the capital owners or their representatives, pro-establishment parties; but progressive, pro- enlightenment, egalitarian, libertarian, republican social groups, who have hit the peak once with Gezi/June Resistance in 2013.
According to TİP, it is a necessity to build a left-wing mass organisation, which will bring progressive, pro-enlightenment, egalitarian, libertarian and republican movements, foundations and individuals together in the common struggle against Palace Regime. Building its opinion on the form and the role of that mass organisation by closely examining the development and the needs of the social struggle; TİP, under any circumstances, stands up for the ultimate goals of the working-class and claims that workers should play the leading role in the struggle for the political power.
Working-Class is going to Win by Fighting
The rate of exploitation has reached an enormous level in Turkey. Non-union, insecure and precarious employment, low wages, economic and political pressure, burden of debt, the uncertainty of future and problems such as these are the significant topics of the class conflict in Turkey. TİP strives to make the working-class fight in solidarity for its common interests; gets involved in the ongoing struggles and sticks to the goal of working-class power.
TİP plays a highly active role in any struggle for basic rights such as right to work, job security, right to unionise, right to collective bargaining, right to earn an adequate standard of living, right to rest and leisure; notes that it is extremely significant to carry out political work on these fields in order to raise the class- consciousness. However, wage improvement is not sufficient by itself in the capitalist system, in which workers have suffered to get their rights. All social rights must be improved. Accordingly, TİP opposes the transfer of services such as education, healthcare, housing, etc. to private sector; fights for these services to be public, quality and free.
TİP argues that the solidarity must be promoted among the workers, who have been deprived of their rights by being disorganised; moreover, solidarity practices must be turned into continuous, organised forces. It is possible to develop instruments for the people to participate in politics and struggle for their rights by foundation of people’s assemblies as a means of solidarity and organised struggle in both workplace and living spaces, strengthening the current ones and turning them into forces of struggle. According to TİP, what is essential for the success of the joint struggle is the centralisation of popular organisations in the form of assemblies and the coordination among them.
TİP considers the working-class in Turkey as a whole, addresses the whole working-class in its political and ideological struggle. Yet, it is also an objective to enhance specific tools that are intended for various elements and sections of the working-class. Working-class has expanded and diversified into new professions and sectors, due to the emergence of new types of labour because of the fragmented structure of the capitalist labour process, and the technological developments. Among these sections, urban workers are striking both by the proletarianisation process they face and their inclination towards progressive values. They form one of the most politicised and accessible part of the society in terms of the social effect of the socialist politics. Therefore, approaches that put urban workers and industrial workers against each other divide the working-class artificially and obstruct the improvement of the class struggle.
One of the most important aspects regarding the transformation of capitalist relations of production is the fragmentation of the labour process. As a result of this, physical unity of the working-class in the workplace is destroyed, labour processes on a smaller scale become usual. In the meantime, by the interference of the capital in the urban space, locally defined units rather than communities in the workplace have become significant with regard to the reproduction of labour power. Therefore, socialist movement must focus on neighbourhoods as much as factories. TİP, whose aim is to develop permanent bonds in workers’ districts, emphasises the importance of developing local-scale organisations of solidarity and struggle in the class struggle.
Throughout the world and in Turkey, usage of technology in production processes and daily life is increasing day by day, it is observable that the industrial revolution has entered into a new stage by the enlargement of automation systems. However, in spite of its limited effects that make life easier, technology under the rule of capitalism cannot provide social welfare, causes ecologic destruction and subjects people to consumerism. TİP advocates that technology should be developed and used in accordance with social interests; aims at turning technological progress into an opportunity to reduce the working hours, emancipate people, increase the creativity of individuals and their contribution to the humanity.
Revolutionary Republican Front against the Palace Regime
Capitalist establishment in Turkey, hand in hand with the Palace Regime, has gone into a new phase in eliminating the progressive values and legacy as well as restraining people from participating in politics. Imperialism and the capitalist class of Turkey are the foremost supporters of the Palace Regime, which is the leading factor of the religionization of political relationships, based on which fascism is being institutionalised.
Hostility of Turkish capitalism against republic, laicism and liberty has the purpose of exploiting the working-class even more, keeping the impoverished people away from state governance while dividing them and suppressing resistant sections in the society. This is to say that the fascistic regime, which is being built by the Palace Regime, satisfies the needs of the capitalist class as well.
In this respect, the task to overthrow the capitalist rule in Turkey makes it irrecusable to fight against the Palace Regime. Struggle against the Palace Regime is the current and critical stage of the battle between labour and capital. On the other hand, a struggle that has been narrowed down to the struggle against the Palace Regime would result in the concealment of the role the capitalist class has played in this regime. The capitalist rule must not be allowed to justify itself during the struggle against the Palace Regime. In order to achieve this, it is a must to be in the front line during the battle against the regime in the name of the working- class.
TİP states that the fall of the Palace Regime is only possible with the united struggle of the working-class of Turkey and the progressive segments of the society. Emancipation of Turkey from the Palace Regime cannot be ensured by going back to a former stage in the history of the Republic. Emancipation of Turkey is only possible by the struggle for Revolutionary Republic.
Revolutionary Republic is the ground to unite the forces which will end the Palace Regime; the workers of Turkey, progressive and libertarian segments of the society around a populist program. Revolutionary Republican approach, which is based on the united struggle of the working-class and progressive/libertarian segments of the society, will strengthen TİP’s run towards socialist revolution, popularise socialism across the country and make taking over the political power a current issue for the working-class and general public. The front that is proposed by the Revolutionary Republican perspective unhesitatingly excludes any alliance either with the capitalist class or any member of the state apparatus; moreover, actively fights against the justification and reinstatement of the capitalist rule.
A radical popular mass movement based on the united action of the working-class and progressive/libertarian segments of the society is the most effective way to fight against the Palace Regime. Revolutionary Republican perspective is the ground on which such a struggle, its components and common demands will be built. It is the natural consequence of TİP’s socialist revolutionary perspective to lead the momentum of the rising popular movement against the Palace Regime. In this sense, TİP, which sees the struggle for Revolutionary Republic as an issue of the struggle for socialist revolution, intends to bring the workers and progressive/libertarian segments of the society side by side in a front which is based on Revolutionary Republic. TİP also states that the only way to preserve and improve all the achievements accomplished in the struggle for Revolutionary Republic is to march forward to socialist revolution.
In Turkey, the era in which republicanism and laicism were an official state discourse or libertarianism was a disguise for pro- market and pro-globalism ideologies has been left behind. Today, sections of the society who defend republicanism, laicism are a significant part of the struggle against the Palace Regime. Under these circumstances, it is one of the foremost issues of the struggle to preserve basic rights and freedoms on the one hand, recover the values achieved by various struggles throughout the Republican Era by a populist perspective on the other.
TİP, which is the primary participant of the struggles for the progressive values such as republicanism, laicism, public ownership and freedom, fights for the preservation and improvement of democratic and civil rights, freedom of organisation, assembly, speech and press.
TİP considers it impossible to go back into the former Republican Era or reinstatement of the Republic, aspires to make the defense of public ownership and freedoms attain a revolutionary and popular character and struggles against the subjugation of these values to the interests of the capitalist class. Moreover, TİP regards the practices of fraternity and solidarity, which gained strength during the Gezi Resistance, as the basis of the united struggle of all the peoples living in this country.
Public and Planned Economy for Welfare
As a result of neo-liberal policies, the Palace Regime has privatised public assets, transferred public funding to the capitalists, destroyed self-sufficiency by demolishing agriculture and livestock breeding, placed food safety in jeopardy by deregulation, subjected the economy to the capital flow coming from global finance capital, spent liabilities on economic rent instead of providing employment, reduced the wages of the workers to create higher profit rates in an export-based economy, increased the income inequality every year and finally driven the country into an economic crisis by subordinating it to imperialist centres.
TİP stands against neo-liberal policies as a whole, struggles to eliminate the efforts to make the working-class pay for the crisis and expose the responsibility of the capitalist class in it.
TİP considers the economic independency, public and planned production as the basic condition to provide wealth for all citizens. It also intends to expropriate all public assets that have been privatised, end the economic dependency on foreign sources, switch to production-based economy, open fertile soils to farming, ensure the food safety through providing livestock breeding with the most advanced techniques, and by all these means, deliver humane conditions for the citizens.
Fraternity and Coexistence for the Kurdish Question
Although it has its own history beginning with the Kurdish uprisings in the Ottoman Empire and lasting until today, TİP regards the Kurdish Question essentially as a consequence of the capitalist hegemony and an issue of the class conflict; approaches the Kurdish workers as a part of the working-class of Turkey and emphasises the common interests. In addition to this, TİP also supports the Kurdish people’s struggle for equal citizenship, adopts the right to mother-tongue education. The Party fights against the inclinations that fuel the hostility between peoples, defends coexistence and fraternity against the approaches that strengthen the hatred among peoples living in Turkey and the surrounding region. TİP struggles for the foundation of a country where Turks, Kurds and every citizen who has different cultural and ethnic roots live freely and in harmony.
TİP recognises the Kurdish people’s right to self-determination. However, it develops its approach as to the usage of this right by considering the good of the working-class struggle. Defending and supporting the legitimate demands of the Kurdish people is a principle which does not necessarily depend on the tendencies and decisions of the Kurdish Liberation Movement.
TİP considers the Kurdish people and its struggle as an inseparable actor of the liberation struggle in Turkey and the revolutionary popular movement led by the working-class. The relationship between Kurdish Liberation Movement and TİP is adjusted on the basis of the interests of the working-class and the needs of the class struggle.
Imperialist Aggression in the Middle East must Stop
Imperialist interventions and reactionism continue to cause trouble to the peoples in the Middle East. Peoples of many countries -especially Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan- have been suffering from wars, conflicts, ethnic and sectarian strife. Turk/ Turkmen, Arab, Kurd and Persian people are under a constant threat in this region as a result of the imperialist centres’ efforts to assume dominance over the trade routes and regions which have oil and natural gas reserve, their search for new markets and intention to take their share in reconstruction activities. Like its many international counterparts, the Palace Regime, which seeks to build its hegemony over a part of this region as well, is one of the actors of the crimes committed against peoples of the region.
TİP supports peoples in the Middle East in their struggles to preserve their independence and protect their wealth against the imperialist interventions, stands up for the peace and fraternity against imperialism and reactionism.
Equal Citizenship against Sectarianism
TİP fights against sectarianism and reactionism in every aspect of life; endeavours to save all our citizens from siege of religious communities and sects that exploit religious beliefs; supports the struggle of Alawites, who have been oppressed and massacred throughout the history of the Ottomans and the Republic, for equal citizenship and regards the Alawites as an actor in the struggle to build an enlightened, egalitarian and emancipatory future.
TİP advocates the abolition of obligatory religion courses, which have been used by the state as a tool for oppression over the people from various religions, sects and beliefs as well as non-believers, and the directorate of religious affairs, which is the embodiment of religious reactionism; struggles against the religious sects spreading over every sphere of life; intends to reorganise religious affairs in an institution that treats every religion and sect equally.
Women’s Struggle is an Inseparable Part of the Emancipation
As being among the victims of the reactionary and pro-market assaults and the social gender inequality, women, in Turkey as well as in the world, are facing unequal working conditions, exploitation of the household labour and care work, deprivation of the rights to education and health care, femicide, sexual harassment and abuse, rape, child marriage. This brings women to the forefront of the struggle not only against social gender inequality, also against reactionism.
TİP considers women’s struggle against the capitalist establishment and patriarchal ideologies and practices as an inseparable part of the struggle for the future society, endeavours to make women play a more active role in the struggle to social emancipation.
The Country of the Youth will be Built by the Youth
One of the most suffering sections of the society from the capitalist rule is the youth, who are not provided with a future expectation by capitalism and forced to choose either super-exploitation or unemployment. The youth are being suppressed by the Palace Regime and doomed to reactionary ideologies. However, as the values such as enlightenment, freedom and solidarity are common among them, it is possible for the youth to make unique contributions to the class struggle.
TİP regards the youth as one of the dynamic and fundamental actors of political struggles, intends to make them have a louder voice in the governance of the country.
Children have Rights as Well
Anyone under the age of 18 is a child and children have rights. Nevertheless, these rights are ignored in our country, the number of child workers who are suffering from forced child labour exceeds two million, deschooling is gradually increasing, our children are abused mentally and physically by the reactionary assaults and religious communities that have reached out even to the pre- schoolers.
TİP recognises that each child has the right to health care, education, cultural-social facilities and a humane life; fights against every kind of violence, abuse and violation, economic exploitation.
Free, Scientific, Mother-Tongue Education for Everyone
The Palace Regime has been systematically executing a process for commodification and commercialisation of education as well as limiting the public administration of basic service areas such as education. Education under the rule of the Palace Regime has collapsed as a result of constant changes in the testing system and curriculum, subjugation of the schools to religious communities, increasing religionization, trivialisation of coeducation, and reduction in the funds for the public schools and growing number of the private schools. Furthermore, the oppressive and pro- market establishment has also dominated the universities; although expected to produce scientific knowledge, they have become the centres of fallacy and plagiarism instead.
TİP stands up for the right to quality, free, mother-tongue, secular and scientific education at every level. It is also among the issues of TİP’s struggle that the working conditions and personal rights of the teaching staff must be improved.
For a Healthy and Safe Future
In our country, health care services have been surrounded by pro- market practices, people have been forced to pay patient shares, extra charges. A mentality which sees the citizens who try to use health care services as customers has become dominant.
TİP advocates free, accessible and mother-tongue health care services and preventive medicine; struggles for the building of new community health centres and hospitals. Other issues of TİP’s struggle are the preservation and improvement of the working conditions of health care workers and their personal rights, ending assaults on them and providing a safe workplace.
The Dissolution of Agriculture and Livestock Breeding and the Impoverishment of Farmers will be Stopped
Although Turkey had been a self-sufficient country with its cultivated areas and agricultural production until recently, it has turned into a country which is not able to supply itself and cannot even preserve native seeds anymore due to import-dependency in agricultural products and livestock breeding and pasture areas zoned for construction as results of the market economy. While it is becoming less and less possible to make a living in rural parts of our country, rural flight towards industrial cities continues.
Our country is not doomed to this!
It is possible to make rural areas leap forward by keeping fertile genotypes in seeding process and foundation of seed production centres, eliminating merchants and allowing producer cooperatives to set the base price before the harvest for the good of the producer, developing practices to prevent construction zones in agricultural and pasture areas, supporting native livestock breeding and proper food policies.
Workers’ Party of Turkey is agricultural workers’ only hope for emancipation. TİP is the ally and supporter of the struggles in rural areas and the guardian of the victory.
Rent-seeking Policies Plunders Nature
TİP declares that capitalism in general and the Palace Regime specifically plunders nature, cities and public space or transform them according to its own interests in order to reproduce itself and improve rent-seeking policies; intends to stop the concretion and megaprojects that usurp our cities; stands against the energy policies that lead to environmental degradation; supports the planned usage of clean and renewable energy resources; regards access to clean water and food as a fundamental human right and animals as living beings rather than mere objects; rejects the commodification of all the natural assets whether living or non- living; therefore, fights against the destruction of the environment and nature, commodification of urban and public space and takes place in active struggles in this direction.
The Fight for Justice
Judiciary, judicial organisation and system in Turkey have ceased to be a structure to secure the justice, become an instrument used in favour of aims and objectives of the Palace Regime. It is impossible to hope for justice from a judicial organisation which takes shape according to the needs of the government and makes decisions by political preferences and instructions rather than legal rules.
TİP declares that it is a must to strengthen the independence and immunity of the defence as well as attorneys’ work as public service in order to institute an independent and impartial judiciary. As a part of the people’s struggle for justice, TİP stands up for abolition of economic obstacles to justice.
Cultural Development and Artistic Freedom cannot be Restrained
As the representative of a corrupt and degenerate mentality, the Palace Regime endeavours to take cultural and artistic activities in its grip as it does with every sphere of life. When it comes to culture and art, freedom of speech, creativity and the artistic production, whose aim is the development of humanity, are restricted; artists who represent workers are restrained from reaching the public due to the media monopoly; superficial, money-seeking, reactionary and unaesthetic propaganda is imposed upon people as artwork.
As being against the censorship, suppression and judicial threats, TİP opposes to the monopolisation, which subordinates culture and art to commodification and wage slavery. TİP considers cultural development and artistic freedom as irreplaceable necessities for our country and stands up for necessary actions that should be taken in order to secure people’s active involvement in cultural and artistic activities.
Equality and Liberty for Every Citizen
TİP approaches struggles against discrimination and inequality in terms of their potential contribution to the struggle for an egalitarian and emancipatory society, in which civil rights will be provided without any deficiency and discrimination. The Party is aware of the fact that a vanguard is required to lead social movements into the direction of social emancipation and takes responsibility on this point.
Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Discrimination will end
LGBTI+ citizens are exposed to discrimination, which stems from gender inequality and religiously reactionary aggressions in daily life. TİP fights against the deprivation of LGBTI+ people’s rights to life, work and health care and discriminatory practices they are exposed to in every sphere of life; endeavours to strengthen the struggles to protect their freedom of association and right to life.
We Will Remove the Obstacles to Equal Standards
TİP declares that social and economic demands of the citizens with disabilities are among the most basic human rights; fights against their exclusion from the social life, lack of care in regard to their social, economic and health-related demands.
3. Building Socialism
Political Revolution and Building Socialism
The prerequisite of socialism is to seize the power by a revolution achieved by the working-class, under the leadership of party and with the participation of various segments of the society. This political revolution is followed by a social revolution, which ensures the abolition of private ownership of the means of production and the transformation of all social relationships starting with the relations of production. Socialism is the transition phase, which starts with the political revolution and continues with the social revolution, between capitalist society and classless society. At this stage, it is the main objective of the working-class, who is to build socialist democracy by smashing the capitalist state machine and suppressing counter-revolutionary forces whose intention is to maintain wage slavery, to take the building of socialism further and to fight for the world revolution, which will secure the complete disappearance of class societies.
Class struggle will not come to an end under socialism; it will reach a new stage under the political power of the working class. At this stage, the main purpose of the socialist democracy is to take steps that quicken the abolition of class relationships and implement the social transformation process. Party’s vanguard position remains in this period, it fights against tendencies that neglect or damage the task of the abolition of class relationships and takes constant action in order to continue social transformation process. Party’s leadership is necessary not only under capitalism, but at all the stages and in all forms of the class conflict.
Labour, Production and Distribution in the Socialist Society
Every individual in the socialist society has the right to work. Humane living standards for the people who are not able to work are secured. Child labour is forbidden. Compulsory working hours are reduced in accordance with the technological advancement and the needs of the society, each and every citizen is provided with the opportunity to involve voluntarily in scientific, technological, cultural and artistic production processes.
Measures to support technological development are taken; technology is used hand in hand with the task of the progress of humankind and for the good of the people.
The principle, “to each according to their contribution”, is adopted; the range of goods and services that are provided for each citizen is widened within the bounds of possibility. In order to achieve these, private ownership of the means of production is abolished, all social resources are used by way of central planning which is created by participation of all citizens. Central planning is based on the production of use-values and contains necessary measures to secure human health and to preserve environment and nature with the awareness that humankind is a part of nature.
Socialist democracy is the political system in which the working- class is organised as the ruling class. Socialist democracy stands for the people’s self-governance from the smallest local unit to the nationwide scale. Basic decisions that concern the whole society are made directly by the people.
Governing and representative bodies at every level are placed through direct elections and the electorate has the right to recall. People who are elected cannot get paid higher than the average labour wage, they are not seen as privileged. Each person in administrative and representative positions has to be transparent and accountable regarding the tasks they have taken on.
In socialist democracy, it is completely guaranteed to express, spread and organise every opinion which does not advocate human’s tyranny over humans or labour exploitation or does not depend upon race, religion, belief, gender and sexual orientation discrimination.
Judiciary is elected by the people in socialist democracy, and judicial service is free. Ill-treatment, corporal punishment or death penalty is unquestionably forbidden.
Civil Rights are under Guarantee
Each and every citizen’s needs such as rights to education and health care, housing, transportation, communication, access to information and cultural heritage are provided free of charge and on the basis of equality regardless of their national origin, race, religion, denomination, belief, sex, sexual orientation and disability status. They are given mother-tongue services. These services can never be sold or subject to profit seeking.
In Socialist Turkey, the schools provide children and young people with the opportunity to improve their abilities; teach them companionship, solidarity, equality and coexistence; raise individuals who look after the benefit of the society.
Protective and preventive health care is the foundation of health services, they are free and seen as a human right at every level.
Public transport services are free, continuous and safe for everyone.
Art and artist are unchained. Citizens’ access to artworks and participation in cultural activities are free and each citizen is encouraged to make contribution to cultural development by actively engaging in art. All activities that promote artistic productivity and cultural development are supported by public funding.
Foreign Policy Based on Independence, Peace and Fraternity
The relationships with the international agencies that subordinate our country to imperialism are terminated, all treaties that violate the independence of the country are abolished; foreign policy is based on peace advocacy and fraternity of peoples.
Socialist Turkey adopts the principle of working to build peace in its region and the world against the armament policies and international tension as well as escalating chauvinism; defends the principle of finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts; stands against armament race, foreign military bases and imperialist operations; applies to international working-class solidarity to defeat denominationalism that boosts the regional problems; prioritises the development of regional relationships by the involvement of the bodies of popular sovereignty, trade unions, women, youth and environmental organisations rather than secret diplomacy; builds regional and international cooperation forums at every level for the proletarian internationalism.