Monthly Archives: June 2013

Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey

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The Prison Gates Are Open… is re-publishing the following statement below which was published by the Party for Socialism and Liberation:

The choice for the working class will certainly be created

June 4, 2013

The following is a statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), issued June 4. It has been slightly edited for readability. Follow Liberation News for frequent updates and statements from activists and organizations on the ground in Turkey as the struggle there unfolds.

1. For days now Turkey has been witnessing a genuine popular movement. The actions and protests, which started in Istanbul and have spread all over Turkey, have a massive, legitimate and historic character. The most important of all is the striking change in the mood of people. The fear and apathy has been overcome and people have gained self-confidence.

2. The Communist Party of Turkey has been part of the popular movement beginning from the first day and has mobilized all its forces, tried to strengthen the proletarian and revolutionary character of the movement, endeavored to encourage a mature attitude of discipline, and organized numerous actions and demonstrations. In this process, the police forces carried out a heavy assault on our party headquarters in Ankara. All over Turkey, several party members have been injured and arrested. There have been some attempts of abduction of our party cadres. But the attempts of provocations against our party were defeated.

3. Our emphasis on the role of the TKP does not aim to underestimate the spontaneous nature of the movement or contribution of the other political actors. On the contrary, the TKP stresses that this movement has an aspect that is beyond the impact of any political actor or any kind of political opportunism.

4. The call of the masses for the government to resign is an absolute demand of this movement. Although it is obvious that a leftist alternative cannot be built “right now,” this demand should be expressed loudly. This option for the working people can be generated only through benefitting from the energy that came out at this historical moment. The TKP will focus on this and expose the real meaning of alternatives like “the formation of a national government,” which will most likely be put forward to deceive the working masses into thinking that the crisis can be overcome that way.

5. Without a doubt, the holders of political power will try to calm the people down, institute control and even attempt to use the situation to their advantage. They can have temporary achievements. Even in that case, the popular movement would not be wasted. The TKP is ready for a period of stubborn but intense struggle.

6. In order to act in concert, different branches of the socialist movement sharing similar goals and concerns need to evaluate the rise of this popular movement immediately. The TKP, without interrupting its daily missions and activities, is going to act responsibly regarding this issue and endeavor for the creation of a common ground in line with the urgent demands below.

7. In order to nullify the plans of the government to classify and divide the popular movement as legitimate and illegitimate, all forces need to avoid steps that might cause damage to the legitimacy of the movement. It is the political power that attacks. The people should defend themselves as well as their rightful action but never fall into the provocation trap of the government.

8. While the masses are chanting the slogan “government, resign,” the negotiations limited to the future of the Taksim-Gezi Park are meaningless. The government pretends not to understand the fact that the old balance has been upset fundamentally and cannot be restored. Everybody knows that the popular movement is not the product of sympathy towards the trees in the Gezi Park. The anger of the people is over the urban transformation projects, the terror of the market, open direct interventions in different lifestyles, the Americanism and subordination to the U.S., the reactionary policies, the enmity towards the Syrian people. The AKP cannot deceive the people with a discourse of “we will plant more trees than the ones that we will chop down.”

9. While rolling up our sleeves in order to create an alternative of the working people, the movement needs to lean on certain concrete demands. These demands are valid in the case of the resignation of the government or of Erdogan:

a) The government must announce that the projects that involve the demolishing of Gezi Park and the Ataturk Cultural Center are terminated.

b) Those who were taken into custody during the resistance must be released, and all charges against them must be dropped immediately.

c) All officials whose crimes against the people are proven by reports of the commissions that are formed by the Union of Bar Associations and local bar associations must be relieved of their duties.

d) The attempts that hinder the right of the people to get true news on the developments must be stopped.

e) All prohibitions regarding meetings, demonstrations and marches must be repealed.

f) All de facto or de jure obstacles that lock out the political participation of the people, including the 10 percent election threshold and the anti-democratic articles of the “law on political parties,” must be abolished.

g) All initiatives that attempt to impose a monolithic life style on all people must be stopped.

10. These urgent demands will in no case affect our right and duty to continue the opposition against the political power. The people’s reaction to the government must be reinforced, and efforts must be concentrated to bring about a real alternative in the political scene.

11. The star and the crescent Turkish flag that was intended to be used to provide a shield for reactionary and chauvinist attacks against laborers, leftists, and Kurdish people after the fascist military coup of September 12, 1980, has now been grasped by the people from the hands of fascism, and given to the honorable hands of Deniz Gezmiş and his comrades, as a flag in the hands of patriotic people.

12. The people’s movement, ever since the beginning, has persistently put down the sinister strategy to play one community against another in Turkey. This attitude must carefully be maintained, leaving no room for chauvinism or vulgar nationalism.

13. Appealing to our Kurdish brothers and sisters, we had already declared, “There can be no peace agreement with AKP.” There can be no deal with a political power to which its own people have turned their backs, and the true face of which has been revealed. Kurdish politics must give up “cherishing hopes of proceeding further with AKP,” and become a strong constituent part of a united, patriotic and enlightened laborer people’s movement.

14. Our citizens who have lost their lives at the hands of the police force of the political power have sacrificed their lives in the name of a just and historic struggle. The people are never going to forget their names, and those who are responsible for their deaths will pay the price before the law.

CentralCommittee
Communist Party of Turkey
4 June 2013

Hezbollah Is Launching An Offensive That Will Profoundly Change The Syrian War

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The following article below was originally published by Business Insider:

By Michael Kelley
June 3, 2013

Lebanon’s Hezbollah militants hold flags as they walk towards the cemetery where their fellow fighters were buried during a ceremony conducted one day after Hezbollah’s Martyr’s Day, in the Beirut’s suburbs, November 12, 2010. (REUTERS/Jamal Saidi)

Thousands of Lebanese Hezbollah militants are amassing around the northern Syrian city of Aleppo in preparation for an assault on the city, Loveday Morris of The Washington Post reports.

The deployment demonstrates the group’s complete commitment to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and may profoundly affect the 26-month conflict.

“The Aleppo battle has started on a very small scale; we’ve only just entered the game,” a senior Hezbollah commander told The Post. “We are going to go after strongholds where they think they are safe. They are going to fall like dominoes.”

The commander had been overseeing five units in Qusair, a town near the Syria-Lebanon on border where Hezbollah has been spearheading a regime offensive to retake the town for the last three weeks.

The increased presence of the militant group, in addition to the arrival of sophisticated military technology such as Iranian surveillance drones and Russian anti-mortar systems, has helped solidify recent gains made by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Hezbollah’s preparations to attack Aleppo, which is nowhere near the Lebanon-Syria border, significantly raises the stakes in the war.

“A deployment so deep into Syria and in such a crucial place would be a clear indication that Hezbollah’s role in Syria was never limited to defensive aims but is geared toward helping Assad score major victories,” Emile Hokayem, a Middle East-based analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told the Post.

Aleppo is Syria’s largest city and served as the country’s commercial hub before the war.

David Barrett of The Telegraph reports that the metropolitan population, about three million before the war, has grown to about 3.5 million since the opposition seized half the city last July.

Rebels, primarily al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, have been administering city services in areas under their control while a stalemate persists.

Syrian rebels walk through rubble and damaged buildings near the Aleppo’s Umayyad Mosque on February 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Aref Heretani)

The guerrilla fighters of Hezbollah are training and advising the growing irregular militias being deployed by Assad.

At least 50,000 militiamen — known as Jaysh al-Sha‘bia i.e. “People’s Army” — are now fighting for Assad, and Iran aims to increase the force to 100,000 by sending fighters to a secret base in Iran for guerrilla combat training.

Last week Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at The Washington Institute, wrote that “Hezbollah’s all-in commitment is perhaps the single most important development of the war thus far and will profoundly affect its course.”

Israel, which has bombed Syria three times this year amid suspicions of weapons transfers to Hezbollah, is surely watching the developments closely.

One unintended consequence of the Shia group’s assertiveness inside Syria is an unprecedented galvanization of the fractured opposition.


Another immediate implication is increased sectarian tensions in Lebanon, where Hezbollah is one of two major political parties.

“The presence of Hezbollah units around Aleppo will only deepen the divide in Lebanon and confirm, in the eyes of its rivals, Hezbollah’s complete alignment with Assad,” Hokayem told the Post, adding that it’s now plausible that Hezbollah is and will be utilized anywhere in the country.

Right on cue, on Sunday night a security source told al-Arabiya that one person was killed and 21 wounded in Lebanon’s second city of Tripoli when pro- and anti-Assad Alawite and Sunni residents clashed.

From China to Libya: A Critique to Kasama’s “Remembering the Rebels of Tiananmen”

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Two years ago I’d written this article in response to the Kasama Project’s counter-revolutionary spin of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. I stand by this analysis still!

The prison gates are open...

“The elimination of counter-revolutionaries is a struggle of opposites as between ourselves and the enemy. Among the people, there are some who see this question in a somewhat different light. Two kinds of people hold views differing from ours. Those with a Right deviation in their thinking make no distinction between ourselves and the enemy and take the enemy for our own people. They regard as friends the very persons whom the masses regard as enemies. Those with a “Left” deviation in their thinking magnify contradictions between ourselves and the enemy to such an extent that they take certain contradictions among the people for contradictions with the enemy and regard as counter-revolutionary persons who are actually not. Both these views are wrong. Neither makes possible the correct handling of the problem of eliminating counter-revolutionaries or a correct assessment of this work.

“To form a correct evaluation of our work in…

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Syria calls on Turkish PM to resign over crackdown

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June 1, 2013

A bleeding protester is assisted after being attacked by riot police on 1 June 2013, during an anti-government protest in Taksim Square in Istanbul. (Photo: AFP – Bulent Kilic)

Syria gleefully turned the tables on Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday over his response to anti-government demonstrations, calling on him to halt the violent repression of peaceful protests or resign.

Erdogan, a former ally of Bashar al-Assad, turned against him after the Syrian uprising erupted in March 2011, which has since descended into a brutal civil war.

Syrian state television broadcast hours of live footage from Istanbul, where thousands of protesters clashed for a second day with riot police who fired teargas and water cannons.

The unrest was triggered by government plans for a building complex in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, long a venue for political protest, but widened into a show of defiance against Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“The demands of the Turkish people don’t deserve all this violence,” Syrian television quoted Information Minister Omran Zoabi as saying. “If Erdogan is unable to pursue non-violent means, he should resign.”

“Erdogan’s repression of peaceful protest … shows how detached he is from reality.”

The Turkish prime minister turned against Assad after he said the Syrian leader had rejected Ankara’s advice for political reform in response to protests which erupted in Syria two years ago, inspired by uprisings across the Arab world.

It now hosts Assad’s political and military opponents, infuriating Damascus which accuses Erdogan of fueling the bloodshed in Syria.

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