The failed coup in Turkey: Down with US imperialism and its agents in the Army


29/09/2016 by socialistfight

LCFI Statement 25/7/2016 Short version

No political support for Erdoğan’s reactionary government!

Self-determination for Kurdistan!


On 16 July at 00:15 Gerry Downing of Socialist Fight Britain wrote in his Facebook wall:

 ‘Absolutely no support for this coup. As reactionary as Erdoğan is we cannot support a coup by the military in the ridiculous name of ‘democracy’ against an elected government. They don’t call it a revolution as they did in Egypt but this can only benefit the US and NATO in the region. Images seems to indicate that the masses and the left are resisting the coup and it will fail. If it does it will also undermine the autocracy of Erdoğan. Down with the coup! Victory to the popular masses!’

It is likely that this coup attempt was assisted, encouraged if not actually directed by US imperialism in response to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s moves to seek rapprochement with Russia (he apologised at last for shooting down the Russian jet) [1] and with Syria’s Assad. [2] He also sought to mend relations with Israel all in the past few weeks. As The Economist reported on 5 July:

 ‘Mr Yildirim (the prime minister) has got off to a good start. In a single day last month, Turkey agreed to restore ties with Israel, with which it has been at odds since 2010, and apologised to Russia for bringing down a jet that veered into its airspace in November after a bombing run over Syria. Officials from the ruling party have since raised hopes of progress in peace talks in Cyprus, divided since 1974 between an internationally recognised Greek south and a Turkish-occupied north. They have also floated a cautious opening with Egypt and a rethink of Turkey’s botched Syria policy.’ [3]

Erdoğan has finally lost patience with the US, who are using the YPG as ground troops to attack ISIS. He fears that they want bases in Rojova, Kurdish Syria, to use against Russia and they will guarantee a Kurdish state to get them. Erdoğan fears this will encourage the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey to join with them in creating a Greater Kurdistan. Because of the situation in Iraq that Kurdish region is also independent. But all Kurdish leaderships, Abdullah Öcalan’s PKK, the Democratic Union Party (PYD/YPG) in Rojova and Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraqi Kurdistan are, to a greater or lesser extent, clients of the USA – Barzani is by far the most reliable US ally, the other two maintain only a relative independence. But he is also a close and economically dependent ally of Turkey, who assisted him greatly in the civil war of the mid-1990s

Turkey has been bombed several time now by ISIS, the most recent was Istanbul’s Atatürk airport on 29 June which took 41 lives, in revenge for Turkey’s volte face in supporting the US attacks on them in Iraq and Syria. So stopping supplies to ISIS is now more acceptable to Erdoğan (though he still supplies his other Syrian ‘rebel’ allies); he has allowed several breaches of his ‘red line’, the Euphrates. But any real attempt to join the two Kurdish cantons would surely meet with immediate military intervention. The SDF is 60% YPG/Kurdish and claims to be fighting to create a secular, democratic and federal Syria, similar to the PKK’s stated goals for Turkey.

The rights of the Kurdish nation to self-determination

The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) are the main representatives of the Kurds in parliament but they have also appealed to all the poor and oppressed:

‘By 2007 Kurdish political leaders regarded the hegemonic Kurdish nationalist discourse as the cause for poor performance at the polls, and for consistent legislative attacks from the state. In order to address this, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) aligned with twenty socialist parties to form the People’s Democratic Congress (HDK); it won thirty-six seats in the 2011 general elections. In 2013 HDK was given a historic opportunity to push its pluralist agenda to an even broader audience after the Gezi Park protest movement erupted in central Istanbul, driven by objections to gentrification in Istanbul and deteriorating press freedoms. The Gezi Park movement offered the HDK a mouthpiece within Turkish urban centres. In October 2013 the HDK established the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), the most inclusive Kurdish-led political party thus far, which appealed to anti-austerity, socialist and progressive Turks who had found a platform at Gezi.’

In the 7 June 2015 general election the HDP won 16.3% and 80 in the 550-seat parliament but its vote fell to 10.75% in the November 2015 and they were left with 59 seats. A falling out with the PKK following the collapse of their ceasefire with Erdoğan in late July 2015 and a consequent shift of the more conservative Kurdish voters to the AKP and the leftist youth to the PKK are blamed for this.

We have nothing to withdraw from this extract of our LCFI statement on 13-7-2015 with the addition of the new situation Turkey is in as observed above:

What ISIS are creating cannot be described as a nation or indeed any modern version of a state; the Islamic State is a vile reactionary utopia and has no legitimate right to self-determination. And the US proxy nations, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and even Israel still support and supply them, because, though the US is at war with them now, they are an insurance policy for US imperialism and they may come in useful later in deposing Assad and even the Iranian regime. Both regimes in Syria and Iran still reflects the anti-imperialism of the Syrian and Iranian masses, the working class and poor peasants, in however distorted a way. Regime change in Syria, Iran and then Russia and China remains the geo-political strategic goals of US imperialism and its European and Japanese allies, whatever temporary diversions may occur and however reluctant these allies might be at times.

Therefore, we must oppose the US bombing of ISIS but we cannot blame the Kurds for taking advantage of the bombing to defend Kobane and other territories that are a legitimate part of a real nation without a state, in fact the largest such entity in the whole world, Kurdistan. Moreover, the Iraqi Kurds, both Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), are puppets of the US/Israel. Also even Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who were the most leftist opponents of Barzani in the 1994 -97 civil war have been attempting to accommodate with Turkey and imperialism at the expense of the Kurdish nation. He now puts forward as his models Gerry Adams and Nelson Mandela, who have succeeded in betraying their own followers and nations and has abandoned the majority of the anti-imperialism of his Marxism-Leninism and has become a type of anarchist, advocating local autonomy as if imperialism did not exist at all. [4]

Since that statement over a year ago the YPG in Syrian Kurdistan has become even more the foot soldiers for the US against ISIS in the region and, after the rapprochement with Russia and Syria by the Turkish government and the failed coup of 15-16 July, may pay a heavy price for that alliance with the US; a joint assault on them by both Assad and Turkey is now in the offing which Russia will be obliged to support or at least ignore to prevent the setting up of permanent bases against themselves in Rojova. The conflict in the region seems to have no end, but it is changing form rapidly.


Mass resistance to the coup on Friday night, 15 June. Not just AKP supporters.


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