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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #241 - Tekel in Gezi Park: Turkey rewrites history (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:35:55 +0300


For two years, Turkey is talked about for many events: the peace process between the Kurds and the Turkish state, the government infighting, corruption reached Prime Minister Erdogan and his entourage, workers strikes and resistances that multiply, killing miners and especially Soma revolt Gezi there just a year ago. Even if it is in the subsequent international context to the crisis of 2008, the change that occurs in Turkey can not be reduced to a local variant of the Arab Spring or Occupy Western. ---- In 2010, opposing the privatization of their company of tobacco and alcohol by the AKP (Party of Justice and Development) party since 2002, two thousand employee-es Tekel from all over Turkey with their families , have met es in the capital Ankara, to build resistance against the government's policies.

Matrix Gezi

For 78 days, the Tekel workers had resisted the repressive and authoritarian measures and together all segments of Turkish society beyond ethnic and religious differences that have always structured the policy. I then raised the possibility of a return of the labor movement in Turkey since forgotten the coup of 1980 or at least the reconstruction of class consciousness in the social sense of the term [ 1 ]. In any case, the struggle of the Tekel workers and other struggles such as Taris (in the sector of olive oil) or Maymara (in textiles) that took place in those years, showed social gaps that exist in religious, ethnic and social communities that seemed far as homogenous groups. The revolt Gezi was likely a continuation of the resistance.

On the one hand the inner struggles and the climate created by workers of Tekel, and secondly neoliberal policies and dictatorial excesses of government have created a historical movement that Turkey has not seen since 1968 there has just one year, a few dozen people, various ecological currents, and residents and inhabitants of the neighborhood gathered in Taksim Gezi Park to prevent the proposed pedestrianization of Taksim Square for the construction of a shopping center and an Ottoman military barracks which had been demolished in the early twentieth century. Despite the crackdown, thousands of people held an Istanbul hub for several weeks. More than three million people demonstrated across the country in 2010 as gathering all strata of society, transforming an ecological social and political movement against the AKP government and police violence movement. After about a month of direct clashes killing six young people, several thousand injured es and numerous arrests of protestors (many of whom had never demonstrated), the movement has continued in other forms including forums and neighborhood park. While the movement seemed to falter, he gathered again thousands of people at the funeral of Elvin Berkin, a 14 year old assaulted by police while on his way to buy bread and stayed 269 days in a coma before die.

The soul of Gezi

A special feature of the revolt Gezi is how to unite an entire socio-political diversity (different class fractions, political parties, trade unions, women's groups, LGBTI, Kurds, Alevis, etc.), that was not the case in the workers and revolutionary movement before the coup of 1980's soul Gezi can be defined as "unity in diversity", which runs horizontally from Participation of all and the recognition of each "identity." However, this unity in diversity has failed to create a political alternative in the face of the AKP government that is based on political Islam, Turkish nationalism and neoliberal policies. Indeed, the AKP won wide municipal elections of May 2014.

Movement errors Gezi

One of the movement Gezi strategic mistakes was to mobilize only against the government and rely on traditional political parties to effect sociopolitical change. Instead of continuing to build against-powers in everyday life and create a social front with all union forces, feminists, socialists, environmentalists and ethnic minorities (Armenians, Kurds...), the fractions of the middle class, very prominent in the movement, were content to wait for the municipal elections in 2014 to deal with government. In addition, the HDP (Peoples Democratic Party, an alliance several left-wing parties and trade unions), failed to be over the soul of Gezi, except the BDP (Party for Democracy and Peace, a Kurdish party) won over a hundred town halls in Turkish Kurdistan.

Despite the strikes which have increased noticeably since the resistance of the Tekel workers and revolt Gezi, Turkey lacks a social front that includes all countries face the forces of the capitalist system, leaving a void in the social struggle, that encourages people to choose other political parties also represent the interests of big business. It is this void that is also responsible for the massacre of 301 miners Soma right after the municipal elections of May 2014 While this disaster, the worst in Turkey, was described as inevitable by Prime Minister Erdogan unions called for a strike on May 15 Demonstrations are attacking the government Erdogan, who neglected safety in the mining sector. They see the disaster as a massacre by employers under the eyes of the government. Thousands of protestors took to the streets in many cities in Turkey clashing with riot police.

It would be wrong to analyze the movement of anti-government Gezi as only isolated event. A movement is running.

Cem Akbalik (libertarian socialist militant Kurdish)

In a future article, Cem Akbalik return to the origins of the AKP and the reasons for his electoral success, despite the protest.
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[ 1 ] See Cem Akbalik, the struggle of the workers of Tekel: towards a "class for itself" on breche.ch/Ecran/TurquieTekel_03_10.html
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