By the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP)

January 13, 2024


The TKP Central Committee issued a statement on the recent PKK attack on the operation zone of the Turkish Armed Forces in Northern Iraq, in which soldiers were wounded and lost their lives and drew attention to real security threats for the working people in Turkey.

On the evening of January 12, many soldiers were killed and wounded. The attack did not take place within Turkey’s borders, but instead beyond them.

We know that the real reason for Turkey’s military presence in foreign lands, especially in Syria and Iraq, is the insatiable greed for profit of the capitalist class.

And we also know that the capitalist class has seized an unprecedented opportunity with the AKP [Erdogan] government to satisfy their expansionist ambitions; it has been able to revise the basic references of foreign policy of the Republic with a neo-Ottomanist approach, and thus it has had the audacity to create the ground to justify its military presence in foreign countries.

This bloody game, which disregards the territorial integrity of other countries, is put into play under the pretext of “Turkey’s security”. The borders necessary for the security of our country are wanted to be drawn on the territory of other countries.

We ask: Is Turkey more secure now after all these years of cross-border operations?

Has this foreign policy approach been able to protect Turkey’s border security, the peace and welfare of the people, urban centers, squares and streets from explosions of bombs?

On the contrary, these operations, the objectives of which are vague, the duration of which is uncertain, the content and details of which are hidden from the public, and which are confined to unfavorable military conditions, have reached a point where the territorial integrity of neighboring countries as well as the safety of soldiers’ lives have been disregarded. Turkey cannot base its security on its presence in an area where many regional and international powers are engaged in fierce competition and conflict.

Turkey’s military presence in foreign countries creates space for all kinds of agents of imperialism, jihadist groups, and an understanding that sees the existence of the Republic of Turkey as illegitimate to get a foothold and maintain their activities in Turkey. Just as it is mandatory to expel all foreign military bases and personnel, it is equally mandatory for the government to end its military presence abroad.

Turkey’s borders with Iraq and Syria are no longer clear where they begin and end, to a degree that even it can be said they have been erased.

The source of the attacks is clear; they are claimed by the PKK [an armed Kurdish separatist group] . Looking at this picture, the approach that is compressed into the “fight against terrorism” in its crudest form insists on ignoring the consequences of continuing the fight against the PKK on the territory of other countries for years. Moreover, such a view does not allow the wrong domestic and foreign policy, the relations with the USA, Turkey’s NATO membership or the injustices and inequalities in Turkey to be put on the agenda.

Today, the PKK must be questioned and condemned in terms of its political strategy, goals, allies and methods. The well-known practices of the AKP government and the injustices suffered by the Kurds from past to present cannot cover up this fact.

The political power, which is determined not to take any responsibility for the loss of soldiers, is also obliged to explain where and why our young people were deployed. We will not allow Turkey’s grave problems to be put in the fridge and out of sight under the pretext of the “fight against terrorism”.

Those who fight against the foundation and existence of republic in Turkey, on the one hand, refer to and operate according to Sevres by coming to terms with Lausanne, and on the other hand, they go back to the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamids and hide behind the tales of “regional power”. Those who are enemies of the Republic clearly share the world view of Ottomanism in common.

Large segments of society are being pushed into false ideological alignments such as Turkism, Islamism and Kurdism, and the Republic of Turkey is being dragged towards disintegration.

The cost of the left’s engagement, rapprochement or sympathy with any of these ideological lines in one form or another will be very high.

The expansionist reflex of Turkish capitalism, blended with neo-Ottomanist ideology, has become a hypocritical “security” doctrine that legitimizes Turkey’s intervention in the internal affairs and sovereign rights of other countries.

No country’s security can be physically ensured from within the borders of another country. This position is not only principled, but also corresponds to the concrete reality: Turkey’s military presence in Syria and Iraq threatens the security of our country. The AKP government hides from our people what it means for Turkey to maintain its military presence in these countries without an agreement with the governments of these two countries.

The real source of the military presence in foreign countries, which is justified by the security of the country, is the search for profit by big companies in Turkey. Today, a significant part of the capitalists who are making big money in the Kurdish region of Iraq have “nationalist” tendencies. For the Turkish companies that will want to grab a share in the reconstruction of Syria tomorrow, the filling of their own coffers will be decisive, not the security of Turkey or our people.

Enough is enough! Turkey is too valuable for us to be handed over to two or even three mindsets that are positioned as if they are against each other but in fact feed each other.

We will not allow more of our young people to be sacrificed to imperialist ambitions, we will not allow Turkish, Kurdish and Islamist foci to put the people of Turkey into a process that could be very dangerous, we will not allow nationalist rhetoric developed with hatred to alienate Turkish society from reality!

We will change the social system based on exploitation that dominates Turkey. But we will never allow the Republic of Turkey to be declared illegitimate, to be seen as a political unit that must be abolished.

Today, all pro-Kurdist, pro-Turkist and pro-Islamist orientations in Turkey are making a joint contribution to a process that will result in the loss of the legitimacy of the Republic of Turkey.

Our duty here is to defend the values that will unite the whole country, our working people, leaving out a very small minority of this country, that is, the exploiters and parasites. TKP will say its word in this direction and will not be part of the destructive discourse that threatens our people and our country. It is this rotten social system of exploitation that we must destroy.

Our condolences to our people…

Communist Party of Turkey

Central Committee