“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
(George Orwell, 1984)
“There has never been a practical application of democracy in Turkey. They have never allowed the masses to be actors in the political arena. The bold among them wrote on the walls of Turkey’s Grand Assembly: “Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the People”. But the sovereignty has been taken away from the hands of the people with more ‘conditions’,” writes Fikret Başkaya for Yeni Yaşam.
They have changed the name of the regime to the “republic”, but it did not necessarily mean that the course of things would have changed as well. In a republican regime, the will of the people had real meaning — or was supposed to at least. However, “republic” for us meant only that there would be sultans no more. If there is no sultan, it must be a republic.
They have announced the republic on behalf of people, not with the will of the people. So, actually it was a coup. But in order to be able to see that it was a coup, one should think more deeply about the official history and ideology.
The regime in Turkey owes its existence to the internal and external enemies. External enemies are a priori there: anybody and any country outside the borders of the country is an enemy. But even this is not enough for the Republic of Turkey. The regime needs internal enemies as well. And who might these be? Kurds, socialists, Alevites, democrats, everybody who demands their rights and freedom. So the history of the regime in Turkey is actually the history of the struggle against the internal enemies of the country.
This is a country that sacrifices, murders, jails and dooms to poverty its most valuble authors, scientists, journalists, poets. This regime has never given a positive response to the demands of rights and freedom. They are afraid that if they accept one little demand, if they say yes, new demands will emerge.
The biggest fear of the regime is freedom and democracy. This is the reality, but the regime promotes itselfs as if it is “modern”, “progressive,” “enlightened”.
Political parties are allowed to be established as long as they are the “party of the state”. They would not allow an unwanted political party, and even if such a party were established, they would shut it down or try to turn it into a dysfunctional party.
The parties of the established order do not really look like authentic political parties. They are mostly the parties of “one man”. They are anti-democratic from the top to the bottom, they work on a bureaucratic structure. And the only two functions of the ruling party are: to institute public order and to make sure that the national budget is looted.
The AKP (Justice and Development Party) is different than the other parties of the established order. They try to turn the regime into a “Republic of Islam”. They are living in an illusion of re-building the Ottoman Empire in the 21st century. Such a thing is never possible. The AKP wants to destroy the current regime and build a new one insteaed — not a progressive one, but an Islamic one. Therefore, they destroy all the institutions of this regime. And the opposition of the established order keep saying each and every time the AKP attacks, “We assume this is the last attack, they will stop after reaching to this point”. But the political Islamist AKP continues to attack the institutions one by one.
The most basic institutions have been liquidated. TBMM (The Grand National Assembly of Turkey) is like an empty mussel shell. If so, then what is the opposition doing in there? By keeping their positions at the parliament, the opposition creates an illusion of existence for a non-existing phenomenon. This strengthens the hand of the AKP.
The judicial institutions, Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Council of State have become the organisations of the AKP. All parts of the state apparatus have become the tools of fundamentalist Islamism and they have all become like the AKP itself. Then how would it be possible to seek for justice in such institutions? Would this not be carelessness?
If you cannot see the purpose of an attack, how can you struggle against it? There is no institution left in the country which has not been besieged by the fundamentalist religious ideology. And the opposition of the established order does not dare to leave the parliament and carry the struggle to where it always has to be. They think they can continue to make politics without the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party). They keep a distance between themselves and the HDP. Why? Because they do not want to be linked with “terrorism”. But how can a party established legally in the given judicial order, and which gained six million votes, be linked with terrorism? The reason why is actually this: because their holy state said so! And there are masses who buy this nonsense.
Since the 1990s, the “discourse of terrorism” has been a tool to make the opposition dysfunctional, to push away their demands of democracy and freedom and to destroy the regimes. To be an “opponent” itself and to demand a single right is a sufficient reason to be labelled with “terrorism.” To be able to stop this “cursing” weapon an efficient ideological struggle is needed.
Before it’s too late, the opposition parties in the (Turkish) parliament have to withdraw and form a wide democratic front with the opposition outside the parliament. The fundamentalist AKP power has lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the masses. They have no choice but to increase the oppression and violence and state terror.
In other words, the AKP has lost its ability to “produce consent” and to produce “voluntary slavery”. They have nothing to offer to people! This is such a great advantage for the opposition to finally make a change. But only one party withdrawing from the parliament is not enough. This is not something that could be handled by waiting for the next election. There is no need to wait for Godot.
Things must be done, before it’s too late. Otherwise, once the bridges have been broken, once a threshold has been passed, things will be much harder to fix. There is great potential in Turkey to reverse this process; the democratic forces of this country have the potential to change the course of things. The question is how to activate that potential. The question is how to discover new and effective methods of struggle.