Turkey - Yeniyol

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Turkey – Yeniyol

Turkey has completed the 10th anniversary of the AKP government in power. These 10 years mean both, continuity for the centre right power in the country, with an authoritarian, populist and conservative character in fact, but also a break with all its transformations in the educational, healthcare and various institutional levels. This is to say that the AKP, has created an offensive atmosphere – even though it shows off the opposite – where the rich got richer, the poor got poorer, where there’s no sign of improvement in wealth distribution and poverty is still 16% from 2008 onwards, where neoliberal policies have deeply rooted in the society and the AKP identified itself totally with ‘Turkish capitalism’.

The issue about the rights and the demands of the Kurdish people, widely known as the ‘Kurdish issue’ in internal and international levels, continues to suffer as an unsolved vicious circle for more than 30 years. There’s an ongoing war in the country, between the state and the Kurdish national movement presented by PKK, since three decades. A horrible propaganda is being used continuously by the state and by the mainstream media against the Kurdish movement. The last two months, actually starting from the symbolic date of 12th September, which is the date of the coup d’état of 1980 and means a lot for the country, have been marked with the hunger strike of more than 600 political prisoners, imprisoned due to this issue. The hunger strike was terminated on the 17th of November, however the humiliating approach and the hopeless political behaviour of the state officials prove that the demands of this population will remain unsolved until an unknown period of time.

The regression of the left after the coup d’état of 1980, was followed by a regeneration period in the 1990s while the experience of a united leftist party, namely the Freedom and Solidarity Party, was established. A process of disappointments not even brought the splits from this front, but also may be seen responsible of the desolation in terms of social movements. The reconstruction of the socialist movement in Turkey is closely related to the regeneration of the labour movement, but also to the reorientation of the social movements that are weak, dispersed and have lost their ties with each other. Recently the feminist movement struggled with the law banning abortion that the government finally couldn’t manage to pass; the ecologist movement – even more dispersed and ‘regionalized’ by being organized according to the problems of each particular region – is struggling against the hydro-electrical power plants that are constructed more and more day by day all around the country, while in the cities there’s a struggle against the gentrification process and the ‘reforms’ of the municipalities hand-in-hand with the government, that have displaced many people, dehumanized neighbourhoods, and is on the way to create ‘giant metropolises’. The movement in the universities struggles with the new laws on the university system in general –mainly against corporatization while a very recent law of the Higher Educational Court has almost fulfilled this process – but also with the cases of the hundreds of arrested students due to political reasons.

Throughout this overall picture of the country, the section of the FI, Yeniyol, as a group once in the united party and now as a small organization, tries to participate to and establish roots among various social movements in order to pave ways for other anticapitalist alternatives. The militants of Yeniyol have been parts of the feminist, LGBT, migrants, student movements, keeping its ties with various trade unions. It should be noted that Yeniyol took a critical stance against the People’s Democratic Congress (HDK), which is a newly constructed democratic front led mainly by the Kurdish movement, due to its character being from the top and rather consisting of – solely – democratic demands and not foreseeing an anticapitalist rupture.

Meanwhile, the last year, marks a discussion year for the militants of Yeniyol. Our political activity in all these social movements mentioned above created a necessity of a new discussion about the strategy, the political subject and its relations to the social movements. This discussion went even further to an ‘identity crisis’ so that it led to a split in the very recent days.