Translated from Devrimci Sol

The National Security Council, the Struggle and the People's Organisations

Dursun Karatas

In just about every sphere, whether of ideology, politics or the economy, the policies of both the government and the opposition are determined and set in motion by the National Security Council (MGK). According to its very recent statement, the decisions of February 28 (1997) and the policies that flowed from it were not simply directed against the then REFAHYOL government (a coalition of the Islamist Refah or Welfare Party and the rightist Dogru Yol or True Path Party). The MGK took the decisions of February 28 to try and secure once more the future of the regime, which had become dangerously unstable and was becoming imperilled, and to rescue it from the developments that were threatening it. It is clear that for those who have no answer to the economic and social questions that concern the popular masses, it is not possible to resolve the contradictions among the masses and secure stability, either with violent interventions or with "reform" or "stability packages". We have already pointed to the various reasons why the open intervention by the National Security Council in politics and directing bourgeois governments with its own hands could not bring stability but simply caused more instability. The MGK, just like the bourgeois parties, has no answers and is simply wearing itself out. We can say that the MGK is living through just such a phase right now. The decisions of the MGK in general do not harmonise completely with the interests of the bourgeois parties. Of course they are all united in wanting to continue the war against the people and secure the regime's continued existence. However, even if it is only for appearances, the bourgeois parties must continue to play the democracy game and in elections make bids to realise their electoral potential, and do this by seeming to answer the masses and heed their demands.

Although the government of Mesut Yilmaz was founded as a government of the MGK, as a way of pushig aside the Refah Party and whitewashing the Susurluk state (the MGK, in fact), one cannot say that there is harmony between the MGK and the Motherland (ANAP) party of Yilmaz. Until the elections, the MGK and ANAP were united on the need to drive out Refah. But as this policy carried on, the ANAP began to worry about its own image among the masses and for electoral reasons started to make different noises from those made by the MGK. It is hard to predict how far those differences will deepen.

But from what one can see of the Education Ministry's, or more precisely the MGK's Clothing Ordinance (ban on the wearing of Islamic headgear, veils and turbans inside official buildings and schools), the government is not able to implement the will of the MGK to a sufficient degree to guarantee stability. The government's retreat over the Clothing Ordinance has proved this. The same also goes for revelations about Susurluk and the even if only partial paralysis arising from the people's reaction.The parties taking part in the Mesut Yilmaz government, and the CHP (a social democratic party) which is supporting the coalition from the outside, have always been parties of the oligarchy and in virtually all cases, whether in government or in opposition, have been responsible for or have supported the measures taken by the Susurluk state. For this reason none of these parties of the oligarchy can admit that the state is Susurluk or wish that the full extent of the crimes against the people can come to light. But whether or not they want it to, Susurliuk has managed to come to light. The point on which the MGK and the bourgeois parties are united is on the need for themselves and thus the state to be washed clean of Susurluk and be able to seek support among the masses by wearing a new face.

While the revolutionary struggle is growing, while the the popular masses are coming out onto the streets for their rights and freedom under conditions in which the government cannot resolve their problems, the ruling strata are not able to carry out their plans the way the desire. The contradictions in the government, the opposition and all state institutions are growing dramatically. Egoism and dishonour are escalating to unbelievable proportions and nobody trusts anyone else, and the outstanding talent on show is displayed by those who know best how to enrich themselves under prevailing conditions. While the people, the progressives, democrats and patriots are demanding a reckoning for Susurluk, the MGK tries to remove a few names and a few clapped-out policemen from office and hopes in this way to whitewash itself. While the bourgeois parties on the one hand want to be washed clean, on the other hand they want to present the reality of Susurluk, which cannot be hidden any more, as being solved. Despite all the desperate efforts of the MGK, it is less and less possible to keep the participation of the army in Susurluk a secret. At this stage the bourgeois parties believe that some people in the military will have to be sacrificed so the Susurluk file can be closed. But the MGK, in the awareness that it is itself the state, cannot permit this. This contradiction will sharpen the contradictions between the bourgeois parties, those who want to liquidate the MGK and the MGK itself.

The MGK sees securing stability as lying in liquidating or taming the revolutionary movement, the Kurdish national movement and the Islamists. To liquidate, they are not able to resort to a junta like in the past, so they are going through a phase of disorder accompanied by various sideswipes. Although the MGK could draw various groups onto its side like the reformists, the "trade unions" and the "followers of Atatürk", proclaim the decisions of February 28 and bring its own government to power, it could not guarantee stability. On the contrary, the contradictions have deepened, and opposition forces have been whipped up. The prestige of the bourgeois parties is under the control and direction of the MGK and in the eyes of the popular masses has been destroyed to a large extent.

The reformist left has politics which parallel those of the MGK, and in its role in the setting up of the MGK government, it became an instrument that craved the stability of the state. Its characteristics, which are those generally to be found inside legal left parties, are an eagerness not to come into conflict with the MGK and its governments and at every step it tries not to elicit protests from that quarter. In response, the MGK is careful not to touch the reformists while it turns its full strength against the revolutionary movement and tries various provocations.

The way of life and politics of the Refah Party and the Islamic orders were constantly integrated into the system: like the two-headed Roman god Janus, they longed for Sharia or an Islamic government without struggling against the present state. The state supported them and called for their aid every time the revolutionary struggle developed. But when a certain level of instability was reached, the state assumed that those who wanted Sharia could exploit the instability and seize power and was afraid. Their fear was increased by the rising support for Refah in opinion polls.

Disciplining a government which longs for Sharia is difficult for the MGK, which is not even all that keen on a government headed by Mesut Yilmaz. So the artificial danger of a Sharia was whipped up and Refah was driven out and plans made for new elections, under the control of the MGK, using parties with a stronger mass basis so as to secure a stronger government. The MGK, the Islamists and all bourgeois parties want to secure stability without giving up the democracy game. When the bourgeois parties can no longer maintain the democracy game the MGK takes over this task. The Islamic circles involved in this game have discovered from the constant MGK pressure that it is not sufficient to obey the laws, to act in harmony with the state and keep facing two ways like Janus to be able to continue in existence. The MGK wants a Refah Party it thinks harmless, with its sharp edges filed down. It took on the Islamic circles by means of armoured vehicles, court action and finally banning the Refah Party. This situation led to resistance, albeit passive, from Islamic circles against the repression directed at them, and their different composition, the differences between the leaders and the grassroots and fear and lack of confidence mixed with defiance. So many contradictions could put an end to this resistance at any moment, and the state can end this development by reaching an agreement, if it sees things ar e becoming dangerous. The Islamic circles in our land have no consciousness of the struggle for rights and freedom, they are in no way democrats. They think purely in their own terms. It is their traditional role to be on good terms with the state and be two-faced. But the revolutionaries cannot take this as their basis and not take account of new developments. The Islamists want to reach an understanding with the state and its allies and move within the rules of the game but their contradictions with the state at present have come into the open, even if only temporarily. We are in a situation where we must not forget the traditional role of the Islamist circles but must be prepared to act on the basis of the present contradictions.

We must deepen the contradictions between the government and the opposition and take this as our basis. The phase the Islamists have experienced should teach them under all circumstances about consciousness and the struggle for rights. Our problem is not about winning over the leadership of Refah and the Islamic orders. Our first task is to reach the masses of people who saw the hopes for their liberation in what was said by the leaders of the Islamic orders and who were for decades used by the state, whipped up against the revolutionaries and left in ignorance of what the revolutionaries really were. Secondly, we must deepen their contradictions with the state and bring them into the opposition front in its broadest form. Thirdly, we must see to it that their organisational links with the fascist organisations like the MHP are destroyed and they can become active in fields which put them beyond the reach of fascist ideology. Doubtless success in all this depends on many factors but we must become active from this perspective.

A discussion like "You are defending the Sharia, you are against secularism" is not a discussion for revolutionaries but one for the MGK and circles which seek harmony with the MGK. This is not where the dividing line runs, but rather the dividing line between on the one hand the oligarchy and the MGK which justifies and implements its policies, and on the other hand the people. At this point revolutionaries take as their basis broadening the fight against fascism. This is quite apart from the fact that the identity of revolutionaries as opponents of Sharia and opponents of any kind of MGK politics is quite clear. Some act as though they have made a great discovery be mentioning Khomeini as an example. Correct, every class and its organisation alters its role in the course of the struggle if it finds it is making no new gains and is using wrong tactics. Various clashes arise. For this, one does not need to go all the way to the Sharia. The situation is actually one concerning the left-wing front. If because of this fear, the front against fascism is not broadened, and some opposition forces are consciously left to fascism, then if this is not the result of insufficient confidence in oneself, it is the result of other calculations. Revolutionaries must not look at the situation as one of secularism versus Sharia, because this is the perspective of the MGK: the revolutionary perspective should be one of destroying the MGK and broadening the unity of the people's forces and developing the struggle. In the headscarves clash and in its pressure directed against youth in general, it was actually the support of the revolutionaries and their participation in actions which frustrated the games of the oligarchy, which put a barrier in the way of its decisions and policies and made it retreat.

For a long time the MGK has coopted quite a few left groups indirectly or directly, and it is bringing up Sharia as a way of making such circles think it is legitimate; it is assessing these left groups as its own reserve force. We have frustrated this game and shown that the left in Turkey are not the "Unarmed force" of the MGK. In this matter the borders have been drawn very clearly. For this reason the broadest masses in Turkey have been made aware again that, whoever resists repression will find support from the revolutionaries, that the revolutionaries are the actual vanguard and upholder of resistance against fascism, the vanguard of the struggle for an independent and democratic land.

The MGK will defend the current regime against all circles it sees as a threat to stability and a danger to itself, it will continue to try to get into the EU, and build governments out of bourgeois parties, while all forces which wish to make changes can be liquidated. On the other side of its wish list is the desire to render the Kurdish national movement harmless, with the Kurdish question swept off the table by granting a few cultural rights. The MGK wants to localise the problem and parallel to that seeks to open the way to some developments. While the MGK is thinking of solving the Kurdish question in this way, in the existence of the revolutionary movement and the continuation of the struggle it sees a greater danger. So it is making a comprehensive attack on the revolutionary movement. The greatest fear of the rulers is an organisation which defends the unity of all oppressed peoples and aims directly at taking power and wages its struggle with this in mind. Because this basis, this behaviour will render empty the chauvinistic and provocative policies of the oligarchy while reinforcing the people's unity. Dead ends, and the results of a struggle which in a land with many nations has tried to reduce everything to the national demands of one people have become clear and visible to all.

Assertions that were arrogantly defended have been shown to be worthless. Lately it has become clear that without consolidating the united struggles of the peoples, without revolution in Turkey, the liberation of no people can be achieved. If there are still those who deny this reality, they will sooner or later have to confess to their error. So all views such as appeals for peace or trying to link the struggle to peace are condemned to damnation and annihilation in the light of the reality of fascism. Whoever feels that the manoeuvres of imperialism are a source of promise at this point or who sees imperialist attacks as promising the birth of a Kurdish state is suffering from a figment of the imagination. The imperialists will never of their own accord have a state founded which secures the freedom of the Kurdish people. They will simply make use of various Kurdish nationalist organisations for their interests. Certainly it is necessary to analyse the contradictions among the imperialists, but this can never be the basis of our own policy. The basis is the unity of the peoples, the struggle and the smashing of the existing power structure.

Whoever suggests to the MGK, "Solve the problems of the Kurdish people so we can unite," shows he or she has not failed to grasp the demands of the Turkish and other peoples from the very beginning. Whoever does not put the liberation of other peoples on the agenda is of course doomed to stay within narrow national borders and cannot secure the unity of the peoples. This is basically what Turkish chauvinism demands. The reformists are also included in the MGK's plans for stabilisation. Leftist parties are also part of the system's democratic showcase. But these parties may not go against the system, on the contrary, they must be on the state's side and be directed against those who are against the system. Everything must move inside the system, anything outside must be destroyed in cooperation. When instability grows, all components of the system, without distinction between left and right, must work to shore up stability. That is the status quo desired by the MGK. Without fighting this status quo it is impossible to get broad sections of the people to take part in the struggle, organise them in different forms and direct them against the state. The dissemination of all manner of distorted ideologies and the annihilation of the people's values and the dynamism of the struggle are basically sought by the reformists and the petit-bourgeois intellectuals who have ben recruited by the state. It is their job to treat the MGK and TUSIAD as possessing the ability to renew, as supporters of the MGK and TUSIAD to deliberately muddy the political waters and obscure the boundaries. But this muddying of the waters makes developments and the struggle clearer.

Those who see the MGK as a source of renewal, who support the formation of the Mesut Yilmaz government and who keep silent about the massacre of revolutioonaries will not be able to defend themselves when they too come under attack. An obvious sign of this is the MGK government's attack on the action by state employees. Whoever supports the government of Mesut Yilmaz must render an account for it. Whoever has kept silent about MGK policies must now pause for thought. The MGK will attack all forces who demand rights and oppose the system. Admittedly it might do this in the framework of "collecting its own strength", so it divides opposition forces and attacks them one after the other. To the extent it succeeds in driving the revolutionaries back, the reformists who have been treated "carefully" today will be attacked and subjected to various forms of repression to tame them yet further and put them at the service of the oligarchy. All the policies of the MGK, the status quo it wants to create ultimately aim to liquidate the people's opposition. This is what can be seen. Whoever supports the policy of the MGK in any form, or keeps silent or cooperates with it, is doing it a service. The basic way to destroy the status quo of the MGK and the reformists is by stepping up the struggle in the cities and countryside. If the struggle is broadened, the state, the reformists and their media will all use demagogy about terrorism. While the state will use physical executions, mass arrests and detentions to save the status quo, the reformists will do the same in the ideological sphere. They never tire of saying what damage the armed struggle and secret organisations do to the masses.

This is a war. The war between the defenders of the status quo and those who want to destroy it. Inside the state, among the reformists, the Islamists, in almost all circles, new splits are arising, all viewpoints will give rise to their own organisations, and these will persist. No armed struggle has a chance of success unless it turns into the organising of the people, unless the masses themselves take part in the struggle in various forms.

On the subject of the armed struggle, we must think much more comprehensively in our own reality. We must reduce the influence of the state and its long arm over the masses, and increasingly raise the struggle of the masses. For that, and so as to open the way for the struggle of the masses for economic, democratic and political demands, the masses must be convinced that they can take and implement their demands themselves. If they do not learn this from their own experience they will always remain hesitant and unbelieving. Because the oligarchy and its long arm wants to keep the people in fear and make them do without organisations, filling them with a phobia about organisations. If the masses are afraid, we cannot remove the fear by saying, "Don't be afraid." We must take on the task of giving the masses confidence in themselves. The masses act in proportion to their consciousness and degree of organisation. If the masses are not yet conscious, we must take seriously the question of how to develop their consciousness and organise them.

Organising the masses cannot be achieved with cheap and urgent slogans. If the masses themselves do not see the basis of legitimacy, we must show them every kind of mode of organising which opens channels of legitimacy to them. In different spheres, this kind of organising of the people can fail differently, but the crux of the problem is convincing the masses they are waging a legitimate struggle, giving them confidence in taking their own decisions and their own ability to act. One cannot hand down from above directives to the people's organisations, we cannot force them to take the decisions we wish. Despite us, they may take decisions we think are wrong.

These wrong decisions show that we have not been convincing enough inside these organisations and could not transmit our views correctly. If we go about educating the masses correctly we will not find it difficult to correct mistaken decisions and conceptions. It is certain that if we are able to give the masses confidence in making their own decisions and can anchor our views among them, then they will make more positive decisions and their experiences will accelerate the development of their education. We must prepare ourselves to confront the fact that inside the organisations of the people very different viewpoints may arise at the same time. If it does not go against the general demands of the people, if it does not serve the enemy, there is no barrier to putting the same demands in another style and expressing them again with a different understanding of what they are. Among sections of the people there are many motivations we think are wrong or which shows signs of the enemy's mentality, though the enemy has them to a much greater extent. In the organisations we are talking about, our people cannot display these features and cannot seek to further them, but nor can they force the people who have these motivations to give them up. Of course the ideological struggle and the education and propaganda activities are continued in this direction, work is being done to make clear what the national values of the people are, what motivations can be expressed and how. Organising the people on the one hand must take these differences into account. We must frustrate the moves of the state and its long arm using skilful politics and tactics which analyse well organisations and the souls of the masses and meet their demands. We must remove any confusion they may have in their heads.

The state wants to intimidate the leftist, anti-fascist, democratic masses in particular and drive them into the arms of the reformists. This is the basis for reformism's development. We are in the position of putting organisers and activists into both the armed sruggle and into the organisation of the masses, without counterposing them to each other. At present, the MGK and the parallel organisations will try to put more wide-ranging attacks on the agenda. There is no alternative to increasing the armed struggle and the struggle of the masses, to oppose these attacks and break down the status quo. All revolutionaries, progressives and left-wing forces will define themselves anew on this basis.

Whoever does not develop new politics on this basis, whoever does not develop the armed struggle and the struggle of the masses in a more creative way, it does not matter what he or she says to justify what they do because they are condemned to disappear. We must not forget that in the course of developing the struggle new splits could arise and so could new hostilities and provocations. Essentially, there is no difference between the positions of many left groups and the positions of the bourgeoisie. Words differ but practice is the same. In the course of the struggle's development, the difference in words will also disappear. While we seek to intervene in every area of life with our revolutionary politics, we will draw every kind of fascist violence against us. We will give new martyrs and new prisoners. Fascism will try to use this repression to draw us into the system. In this regard we must be serious about the way we conduct the ideological struggle and not neglect it. People filled with the system's contradictions take part in the struggle easily. But if we don't educate them they can easily return to the system or become counterrevolutionaries.

We are entering a much more difficult phase in which developments will be rapid. All cadres and sympathisers of the Party-Front must show the ability to act even more morally, sensitively and responsibly.

From: Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Parti-Cephesi
Revolutionary Peoples Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C)
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Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 17:35:03 +0100

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