By Communist Party of Turkey (TKP)

April 5, 2021


1- The militarization around the Black Sea, Ukraine and the Baltic region is worrisome. NATO-bound forces are making greater deployments in Eastern Ukraine. Naval forces of NATO are repeatedly conducting joint exercises in the Black Sea region. The tensions involving the Crimean peninsula are also rising. There is an endless dispute over the Nord Stream 2 project with some physical threats against the continuation of the pipeline. All these shall be read as the accumulation of gunpowder in the firearms, which eventually will explode.

2-  The Turkish bourgeoisie has been a part of this militarization, through the export of drones and other military weapons to Ukraine. Military export cannot be seen only as an economic act, it is also a political one. Let us remind that  a similar phenomenon was observed during the crisis in the Caucasus region, when AKP supported the Azeri forces with its military exports.

In the past years, AKP has followed a daily, tactical foreign policy, assessing the correlation of forces each day and making maneuvers accordingly. This resulted in some cases in a rapprochement with the Russia-China-Iran axis or some superficial conflicts with EU and US with regards to the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and Libya issues. Nevertheless, the AKP government has been a pro-Western, pro-American government since the beginning, representing a continuum in the collaborative tendencies of the Turkish bourgeoisie as the outpost of imperialism in the region.

While liberal circles and bourgeois opposition are expecting some sanctions over the violation of so-called “democratic values”, or at least some disruption in US-Turkey relations after Erdoğan’s best friend Trump has left his mandate, the reality is the contrary. Neither Biden will bring any sort of democracy to anywhere in the world, nor will his presidency mark a radical change in the foreign policy of the US. Erdoğan is awaiting a “phone call” from Biden and giving signals of greater servitude, both for the aims of the US and the EU in the region. This is necessary also because of the harsh economical crisis Turkey is facing since 2018, the lack of any resource to overcome the detriment of the economy and a huge foreign debt of billions of dollars. Erdoğan’s maneuvering area is narrowing. So does the maneuvering area of the US and Russia, given the domestic problems and discontent of people in those countries, too. All these are bringing the danger of a hot conflict closer.

3- A recent debate started by the AKP government concerns the Montreux Convention regarding the Regime of the Straits, the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. The Convention, which was signed in 1936, guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime, and restricts the passage of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states.  Since it became effective, the Convention has helped maintain peace in the Black Sea region, as imperialist naval forces had limited access to this sea.  Just because of this fact, it has been deemed surplus to requirement by the imperialist powers. The Turkish government is apparently evaluating the possibility of withdrawing from this convention, or its annulment, for the sake of profit and also for expressing greater engagement to NATO, US and the EU.

One possible alternative is the Canal Istanbul project, which is a proposed canal parallel to the Bosporus, that will connect the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea. Despite wide protests of the people, environmental activists, urban planners and scientists, the government is planning to start construction sometime this year. It will prepare the ground for the imperialist marine forces to bypass the Bosporus and thus the Montreux Convention, while the land around the canal will also become rentable. Qatari capital has already taken steps to buy land around the Canal area. Either of these possible developments will only serve imperialism’s intentions and increase the risk of war in the region.

4- Turkey’s bourgeoisie, which benefited from even such a fatal condition as the pandemic, will not refrain from benefitting from a war. Erdoğan government’s position in our neighbour Syria, ten years after the initiation of the imperialist intervention against Syria’s sovereignty, provides enough evidence of this. War would mean greater nationalist hysteria, greater cut on public expenses, repression of the working class struggle and more profit for the capitalist monopolies. Inevitably, war would mean humiliation and loss of lives of working people.

5- We declare that we are fully against the pro-US, pro-NATO engagements of the Erdoğan government. The TKP will never be part of a discussion, even with the oppositional forces, that contributes to the profit-seeking of capitalists, by means of politics or by means of guns. We will continue organizing the working people of Turkey, warning against the growing danger and making every effort to counter these developments, counter the attack of imperialism against peoples, raising the banner of internationalism.