By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), stand in solidarity with and support the Turkish people in their uprising against the anti-democratic and pro-imperialist government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The outbreak of militant mass protests was sparked by the brutal dispersal carried out by the Turkish police on May 28 against a peaceful sit-in by activists who were protesting the demolition of Gezi Park in Taksim Square at the heart of Istanbul to give way to a commercial complex designed like an Ottoman-era military barracks.
As millions joined the protests in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana and other cities, Erdogan arrogantly called the protesters as “a bunch of extremists and looters”. In the past years, Erdogan has demagogically called his political opponents “alcoholics, bandits, infidels”. In response, the people have called for the resignation or overthrow of the Erdogan government.
The police have used various forms of tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets against crowds, including both protesters and non-participants. They frenziedly beat up the people with truncheons. The police have fired tear gas into crowded ino buildings and underground metro stations, leading to panic and many injuries.
They have killed a number of activists, injured thousands and continued to arrest and torture many more thousands of people. But the brutality of the police and the regime’s authoritarian policy and methods have catalyzed the masses into an unprecedented level of militant national unity. The people’s uprising has spread to more than 60 provinces of Turkey.
Widespread opposition and unrest have been building up over the AKP’s antidemocratic and pro-imperialist policies. The people condemn the puppetry of the government to the US and NATO, its fascist brutality, its exploitative neoliberal economic policy, its oppression of the Turkish and Kurdish people and its foreign military interventions.
Under the AKP government of Erdogan, Turkey is high on the list of countries with the infamous record of holding the world’s largest number of political prisoners that includes social activists, lawyers, trade unionists, students, teachers, politicians, journalists, artists and many others.
Erdogan’s government has come under increased criticismover its support and supply of arms for the “rebels” trying to overthrow the government of Syria. Turkey has played a key role in the proxy war being waged by the Western imperialist powers led by the US against the government of Assad.
Grave concerns among the people have been raised as a result of the false-flag attacks carried out by the “rebels” in Reyhanli and an aborted false-flag sarin gas attack in Adana in an attempt to provoke a Turkish and NATO military response against Syria. In January 2013, Patriot missile batteries had been deployed in a military base in the Turkish city of Gaziantep 40 miles from the Syrian border sparking many protest demonstrations.
Turkey has played a key role together with Israel as enforcers and hatchetmen for US imperialism in the Middle-east. As a member of NATO, Turkey is host to a number of US bases. The US Incirlik Air Base located near Adana in southeastern Turkey has been used to deliver fuel to US warplanes on missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) calls on its member organizations and its allies worldwide to express their support through solidarity messages and actions to the Turkish people in their just struggle against the antidemocratic and pro-imperialist government in Turkey. We call on all freedom-loving people of the world to stand behind the Turkish people in their just struggle for national and social liberation-
Long live the people of Turkey!
Down with the AKP government of Erdogan!
Long live international solidarity!
Down with imperialism and all forms of reaction!