Burcugül Çubuk, the United Struggle Forces (BMG) activist, and Özlem Gümüştaş, the co-chair of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP), talked to Jin News about the establishment of the new resistance platform in Turkey, the United Struggle Forces.
The United Struggle Forces announced their formation with a press statement in Istanbul on 4 February. After the police banned their statement in Kadikoy, 61 people were detained and subject to various judicial control measures such as house arrests and travel bans.
Burcugül Çubuk is one of the activists who was put under house arrest. She described her struggle and the purpose of the newly founded platform as an effort to “fight to overthrow the fascist rulers” in Turkey.
“We see fascism as a serious danger. The working class and the LGBTI + movement now create a united force to make policies against the suppression of freedoms, the problems of the youth, and the demands of the Kurdish nation. We combine the organisational experiences and dynamics developed in different fields of struggle”, she said.
‘House arrest is a way to lock women at home’
Çubuk is uncomfortable with the feeling of isolation she feels at home after being put under house arrest. “Judicial control measures are applied as part of an isolation policy, to isolate us from the rest of the society”, she said. “In particular, the Justice and Development Party [AKP] has been trying to its best to lock us, the women, at home. House arrest is the best way to lock women at home so this is what they do to us”.
Burcugül called on all women to be on the streets on 8 March to take the place of the many activist women who are under house arrest. “We will grow our anti-fascist struggle together as women”, she said.
‘An opportunity for women’s and LGBTI+ rights’
ESP co-chair Gümüştaş said the United Struggling Forces was a “new focus of resistance” against rising fascism in Turkey.
“Racist, sexist, denialist, and colonial policies and escalating male violence and domination” are the direct consequences of the fascist ideology according to Gümüştaş, and against these policies “the BMG is an important opportunity to protect women’s and LGBTI + rights. The fascist regime produces policies on the basis of protecting the precarious workforce, deepening the sexist division of labor in society on a political-Islamist basis, continuing the colonial war, raising women’s unemployment and poverty amid the conditions of the pandemic and the economic crisis”.
‘Women should chant: We will defeat fascism’
“The BMG offers women the opportunity to foster the struggle”, said Gümüştaş. “We are not a separate organisation for women only”, said Gümüştaş, “but we invite all women either organised or unorganised to come together under this platform to act together”.
Gümüştaş believes that the Turkish government tries to destroy the social dynamics in Turkey using a strict policy of silence. “We should not remain silent”, she said. “We, as women, should chant that we will defeat fascism and that the United Struggle Forces will defeat fascism”.