May-June Rebellions in Turkey- I
A brand new page is opened in the history of social struggles in Turkey.
We are literally going through historical days in Turkey since May 31. Hundreds of thousands of people whose number keep increasing every day or even every hour are going into militant clashes in close combat against the police in the squares of many of the cities. Despite the fierceness of the fascist state terror, they do not run off, recede or give up. On the contrary, with all their determination and boldness they “tire” the state, throw off its balance and force it to withdraw.
Particularly in Taksim where the fuse of rebellion is ignited and in Kızılay of Ankara and Konak of İzmir the squares that were closed and unpermitted to mass demonstrations for dozens of years are now liberated.
If you listen to the spokesmen of AKP who are in an ever growing-panic and confusion due to the unexpected burst of anger they had to face and to those rascals who have sold their spirits to fawn all over capital and state power, the growing stubbornness of this resistance is totally the “result of the disproportionate force used by the police”. According to the supporters of this argument, “if police would not treat the small group who tried to prevent the cutting down of trees in Gezi Park, this thing would not go that far and reactions would calm down.”
Another argument shared by a larger section within the group who participated in the demonstrations, tend to explain the recent events with some cyclical developments and causes specific to the final period. According to them, the reason behind this burst of anger is the rage felt against the arrogent and patronising attitudes of AKP and particularly of Tayyip Erdoğan as well as the reactions of various sections to the politics and practices of the government in different fields
These are of course among the important factors lying behind the last outburst. From the composition of the groups who take action to the so fast spread of the wave, it is possible to observe the roles of these factors even with naked eye. But is it possible to reduce everything only to the arrogance and contemptuousness of Tayyip Erdoğan and to some decisions and policies of AKP which cause more reaction in recent months?
This actually is an approach which not only misses the determinant factor lying beneath all of the above it is also an approach that obscures them.
This is limited neither to the period of AKP nor to the reactions against its recent practice. This reality lies behind the cutting down of trees in Gezi Park, which constitute the apparent reason for the case. Not only the disgust created by this commoditisation of fundamental humanitarian needs such as health, education and housing lie beneath it but there is also the disgust created by the limitless and unmeasured profit greed that turns cites, villages, forests and creeks into areas of loot and raid. This is the fact that is behind the reaction against AKP and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has continuously updated and deepened the policies of IMF-World Bank outlined by the “social-democrat” Kemal Derviş and has followed such policies with a dog-like loyalty
Therefore what leads to anger build-ups in various sections of the population for different reasons and in different volumes are in fact “results”.
Since the neoliberal aggressive greed views and considers such places as areas of income, it wishes and tries to drag workers, labourers, urban poors and opposition as far from the centre as possible. The raid of “Urban Transformation” is not only a new and profitable area of income for bourgeoisie. It is a subject of social engineering and regime constructing that aims at transforming those areas, by regulating the cities completely in socio-economic terms, to liveable places only for those who have money. Behind the greediness and recklessness of the Islamist neoliberal AKP and in the point of intersection is the reality of its ambition to build AVM (shopping malls) which become the temples of capitalism and mosques in every single place an eye can see.
This fact lies behind the uniting of the reactions felt against the greedy attacks of neoliberal capitalism with the goal of occupying historic squares of cities and the development on this basis. Therefore the squares gain the character of being areas where the reactions against the greed, exploitation, raid and pressure of bourgeoisie intersect and conflict mutually.
A point of Taksim Rebellion in Turkey that strengthens it in a way and constitutes its strategical weakness in another way is its lack of a certain program, a concrete strategic goal and orientation. As long as this space in not filled, a higher central level is not given to the resistances which still maintain their liveliness and concrete and defined goals are not introduced, it is inevitable that masses who have bravely resisted under gas showers for days will tire out and the movement will fade away and move back.
Naturally, in order to accomplish this crucial responsibility of historically pointed leadership, one cannot be contented with a correct analyses of the reasons that brought forth this movement. This analysis should also be united with a future perspective which reflects the common lines and expectations of the movement and is conformable with its spirit.
In a “revolutionism” or a “socialism” the horizon of which is limited to being opposed to AKP only, it is not possible to avoid falling into a position of carrying their flags despite the fact that the intensions and demands are completely different and sincere.
An arrangement of perspective and demand necessary to acquire concrete gains in a way that its self confidence is not confined with having the movement gain persistence, should be built with a perspective that considers the opposition to neoliberal capitalism which is the base of this rebellion, as the principal.
This should not be understood as constructing a program of revolution which is filled with everything in order to save the spirit and the vision of a “puriten” leftist-socialism “claims” that dogmatise from where it sits. We should act in a revolutionary as well as a realist socialist approach that considers the disability and the weaknesses of the immature undigested heterogeneous composition lying in the basis of this built-up reaction that has exploded spontaneously.
Demands and slogans that place the neoliberal greediness which commoditises every field of social life along with the ambition to turn everywhere into AVM, should certainly be highlighted and a patient and a persistent effort must be displayed to have these demands and slogans give the movement its direction and character.
2 June 2013