The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Turkey:
The truth about the war in Iraq

Jan 21, 2008

The following two articles appeared in the January 4 issue of Sinif Mücadelesi (Class Struggle), the publication of a revolutionary workers group active in Turkey. It was written while the Turkish army was carrying out attacks on Kurdish guerilla positions inside northern Iraq.

Prime Minister Erdogan prides himself on the fact that for the first time military operations in the north of Iraq against the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) had the support of the United States and the European Union.

Since 1984, 40,000 people have been killed, the great majority of Kurdish origin, and over 10 billion dollars spent in the struggle against the PKK, or more exactly, against the Kurdish people who demand their national rights and who revolt against Turkish repression.

Over the last 20 years, there were 24 military operations in the north of Iraq with the goal of finishing off the PKK. One time the attack involved 35,000 soldiers. But they haven’t succeeded.

Turkish workers have no reason to support the Turkish army in attacking the Kurds. It means supporting our enemies: the state, the army brass, and the bosses responsible for all the unemployment that workers endure.

Prices have risen sharply in recent weeks, especially for public transportation. Electricity rose by 15%, heating gas by 7.4% and gasoline went up yet again. Next they plan to increase the price of food and staples. The government plans a campaign to justify the price increases and other attacks already planned against what social benefits we have.

The press and television channels mouth these lies, claiming “a difficult year awaits Turkey.” They hope workers will accept belt-tightening as a way to defend the country, while the bosses’ profits continue to climb!

The bosses and their government use different pretexts to claim the economy is blocked by problems like the PKK or “terrorism,” in order to get workers to pay – even though we are not the ones responsible for it.

If workers want to defend their interests and their rights, they must fight together, whatever their origin, Turks or Kurds, without falling into the trap of division.

Will the year 2008 will be a difficult one for the workers? If the working class uses its force, then it will be the bosses and their parasites who have a difficult year!