The vanguard of the international proletariat in Turkey; Communist Party of Turkey – Marxist Leninist
LONG LIVE PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM!
LONG LIVE THE DEMOCRATIC AND
ANTI-IMPERIALIST STRUGGLES OF
OPPRESSED PEOPLES OF THE MIDDLE EAST!
DOWN WITH ALL IMPERIALISM AND REACTION!
INTRODUCTION OF OUR PARTY; TKP-ML
TKP-ML; founded by Ibrahim Kaypakkaya on 24 April 1972, is the political vanguard of the proletariat of Turkey of various nationalities which has accepted Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as a guide. TKP-ML is the continuation of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) that was established under the leadership of Mustafa Suphi in September 1920 in Baku. The TKP was the first communist torch in Turkey.
Mustafa Suphi and his comrades, the founders of TKP, were murdered at an ambush by the Kemalist forces on 28 January 1921. Until the establishment of the TKP-ML, the post-Suphi era was marked by 50 years of pacifist–parliamentary–revisionist trends. The founding of the TKP-ML was a vital event that further prepared the ground for a path from social evolution to social revolution in Turkey. So, TKP-ML has no connection with revisionist “Communist” Party of Turkey following the death of Mustafa Suphi.
Establishment of the TKP-ML was a milestone in the workers and the revolutionary movement in Turkey, breaking through every convention that had so far held back the struggle. It was a rise-up that offered new avenues for the movement, introducing illegality as opposed to legality, “revolutionary struggle” as opposed to peaceful-parliamentarian struggle, struggle forms outside of the system as opposed to the forms within, radical revolutionary line as opposed to pacifism, and a fundamental break away from Kemalism as opposed to applauding it, challenging all taboos regarding the Kurdish national question, and resisting against fascism with the critical force of weapons in the arena of the war.
However, it must be underlined that almost 50 years ago the TKP-ML did not suddenly appear as the vanguard of the class. The Party emerged through extremely difficult and intense struggle that was given in heavy underground conditions, which were a consequence of the period’s international and national situation. Without a doubt, the chief commander of this struggle was Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, Party’s “intellectual treasure.”
He was an excellent synthesis of theory and practice, reasoning and courage, discovery and transformation, and knowing and doing. He was the most refined representative of our Party, putting bones and flesh on the transforming power of will in the fire of masses.
It must be noted that there were optimal conditions and advantageous factors in the beginning of 1970s in the emergence of Comrade Kaypakkaya and the Party that he led. Both our Party and the period’s petit bourgeois revolutionary organizations benefited greatly from these optimal conditions and advantageous factors: winds of the history were blowing in their favor, class struggle within the country was getting sharper, and the struggles of workers, peasants and youth were intensifying, sometimes reaching the point of armed conflict.
The conditions that gave way to the emergence of the TKP-ML
The 1970s represented a period in which the old society, pregnant to revolution and socialism, was feeling the pains of labour with increasing frequency all throughout the world but especially in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The light shed by the October and the Chinese revolution still strongly shone in these regions and provided a deep source of inspiration. Within the same period, the scuffle among imperialists, especially between the USA and the Russian Social Imperialists, was carried on at an increasingly intense rate in the forms of plunder, enslavement, and exploitation.
The essential feature of the period, however, was the rising resistance of oppressed peoples and nations of colonial and semi-colonial countries against imperialism and reactionaries throughout the world.
Another important feature of the period was the thunders of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR), echoes of which shook the entire planet. The GPCR, its fuse ignited by Mao, was an extremely important experiment that, in terms of involving the masses in the undertaking, descended to waters’ source and challenged established taboos. It was centred on the question of world view, focusing on the struggle between Marxism and revisionism, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and the socialist path and the capitalist path. The October Revolution was an awakening bell for the world’s proletariat and the Chinese Revolution contributed greatly to the further development of this process of awakening. The GPCR carried this influence into new level with new dimensions of impacts worldwide. As it succeeded in mobilizing millions of people in China, the GPCR played a crucial role also in activating the oppressed masses throughout the world.
The state of affairs in the 1970s was also, to a point, a product of the events that especially shook Europe during the rebel years of 1968 and 1969. These events, marked by the slogan “We want it all and we want it now!” were initiated and carried out by the student masses, to a large degree, in the West European metropolises. They also embraced certain sections of the European working class and had an igniting impact on explosive elements within the colonial and dependent countries in the periphery of Europe.
The 1968 Movement, with its gravity centre in Paris and Europe, took its place in the history as one of the waves of revolutionary waters that were rising on a global scale. It was not a coincidence that the revolutionary tide of 1968 took place concurrently with the GPCR, the Vietnamese revolution, and the guerrilla wars that put stamps all over the 20th century. All these events were correlated and had reverberating effects on each other.
Thus, the world had entered the 1970s with intensifying contradictions clashes and chaos. These contradictions and clashes manifested themselves in the following main categories: The contradiction between the labour and the capital in capitalist countries, the contradictions between socialist countries and capitalist countries, the contradictions among imperialist countries, and the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed peoples. Of these, although the ones among imperialist forces at times heightened sharply on especially regional scale, the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed peoples of the world was the chief and the most decisive one. On the scale of war and revolution, the side that was occupied by revolution was weighing heavier as the principle current. This was characterized mainly by the struggles of peoples in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, which were composed of proletarian strata, led by petit bourgeois components, and based on the aim for revolution and socialism. The era of proletarian revolutions that had opened with the 1917 October Revolution, effectively encompassed the 1970s as well. And the preferred method of fight for the oppressed peoples of the world proved to be the guerrilla warfare.
As for Turkey, the working class and its closest allies, who were living in abject social and economic conditions under the stifling oppression of the bourgeois feudal fascist dictatorship, could not remain unaffected by the powerful winds that were sweeping across the world. Similarly, the revolutionary tide of the 1960s, the conditions that were ripe for revolutions throughout the world, and more specifically the situation of the laboring masses in Turkey made it possible for the revolutionary and communist movement to rise to its feet. Consequently, with the re-emergence of the revolutionary communist movement, pacifism and reformism in Turkey were to be marginalized from the life and left to expire.
From the volcanic eruption of the 1970s three major revolutionary movements rose up, led by three great revolutionaries. These three great revolutionaries were Deniz Gezmiş, Mahir Çayan and İbrahim Kaypakkaya. The three major revolutionary movements that they led were, respectively: People’s Liberation Army of Turkey (Türkiye Halk Kurtuluş Ordusu, THKO), People’s Liberation Party – Front of Turkey (Türkiye Halk Kurtuluş Partisi-Cephesi, THKP-C), and the Communist Party of Turkey – Marxist-Leninist (Türkiye Komünist Partisi – Marksist-Leninist, TKP-ML).
By the time these three major revolutionary movements appeared in Turkey, neither the ruling classes could effectively rule the other classes nor the toiling masses wished to be ruled as usual. From one end to the other, the entire country was boiling with mass actions of all sorts, from land occupations by poor peasants to worker’s strikes and resistance and from large meetings and forums to massive street demonstrations. All these were happening in a country with no established democratic customs or tradition or genuine political freedom.
As direct consequence of such a situation that at first, as a field bearing the most responsive, most organized, and most vibrant individuals, among the university youth that Denizs, Mahirs, and Kaypakkayas emerged. They eventually became keys to the aim and policies of the democratic people’s revolution in Turkey.
By the early 1970’s, conditions were quite ripe for revolutionary initiatives and activities. There was a popular trend towards the left. Revolutionary thoughts were widespread. Revolutionary publications and leftist milieus were growing ever bigger in volume. Revolutionary ideas were flourishing among students and especially among the university youth. Soil in Turkey had become generously fertile. Kaypakkaya had emerged and developed from within this environment, first within the Worker’s Party of Turkey, then within the Proletarian Revolutionary Illumination, and then within the Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Party of Turkey (TİİKP). Eventually, with the other elements of Marxist-Leninist opposition to the TİİKP that gathered around him, he distinguished his authenticity and uniqueness.
Whilst being wrought within the core fire of actions and practice among the toiling masses, I. Kaypakkaya was also engaged in a fierce battle within the TİİKP, which further helped develop his ideas to the point of mature ideological, political, and organizational synthesis. During this process, he gradually refined his formulations about revolutionary armed struggle, and prolonged people’s-guerrilla war. He accurately diagnosed the policies of the TİİKP as rightward deviation from Mao and eventually conceptualized the TKP-ML.
This process also included the struggle against the reformist and parliamentarian line that had been imprisoned within the existing system during a period that preceded him by several decades.
As mentioned above, with its internal and external favourable conditions, the era that produced a leader such as Kaypakkaya also prepared the ground for the emergence of revolutionary petit bourgeois organizations such as the THKO and the THKP-C and their leaders.
Fundamental lines that distinguished the TKP-ML from revolutionary petit bourgeois
One of the foremost distinctions is the ideological and political foundation that defines the TKP-ML’s communist identity and the Party’s organisational formation that enables this foundation to embrace the reality in Turkey. TKP-ML’s analysis on Kemalism, the national question, and the history of the Republic of Turkey and, based on these analyses, its evaluation of the Turkish state’s characteristics set the Party apart from the period’s revolutionary petit bourgeois organizations.
While it was taking its theoretical and ideological shape at the early stages, the Party’s position during the “great realignment” process that was experienced within the International Communist Movement also had a decisive and long lasting (in fact still effective) impact on its ideological makeup. At the time, the Marxist-Leninist line, led by Mao’s Communist Party of China (CPC), was waging a historical struggle against Khrushchev’s fake communism, in other words, against revisionism. At this struggle, the TKP-ML aligned itself with the CPC among the ranks where Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Zedong embodied the interests of the working class.
The position of the Party at this realignment had multiple major implications for its identity and its path up to this day. Taking ranks alongside Mao at this struggle has to a large degree determined the Party’s political, organizational, and military line. Thanks to this line’s guidance, the TKP-ML was able to integrate Marxism’s general, fundamental, and universal theories with Turkey’s concrete conditions and draw a map for the revolution in this country.
Today, the Party’s ideological identity, knitted with Marxist-Leninist-Maoist fabric, proves to be capable of embracing the 21st century. The revolutionary petit bourgeois organizations of the period, having deprived themselves of the new and particular experiences and lessons of the revolution in China and of the GPCR, as the highest form of class struggle under the proletarian dictatorship, have suffered political erosion.
Revolutionary petit bourgeois organizations failed to comprehend that under the proletarian dictatorship the revolution must be carried on not only at the economic front but also at the ideological and political fronts as well, as proposed by Mao; that, based on the principle of unity of opposites, the socialist society too is full of contradictions; that under the proletarian dictatorship the front line of the struggle between two paths, two classes, and two lines is within the communist party; and that, after the revolution, as suggested by the new perspective that crystallized with the experience of the revolution in China, the restoration of capitalism, in other words the internal source of the return to the old regime, would be led by the new bourgeoisie, representatives of the capitalist path, that emerged from within the communist party, as opposed to the classes that are overthrown by the revolution as suggested by the view that is based on the experience of Paris Commune. Consequently, above mentioned organizations remained behind the development and the class struggle.
Just advocating the proletarian dictatorship is not sufficient to become communist; it also requires advocating the formulation that proposes the continuation of existence of classes and class struggle under the proletarian dictatorship. Accordingly, it could be stated that the weakest point of these organizations was the failure to absorb Maoist traditions. By the same token, the most robust aspect of the TKP-ML is the fact that it gets constant nourishment from these traditions. This difference has been the most obvious ideological points of distinction between the Party and the revolutionary petit bourgeois organizations in Turkey.
The TKP-ML proposes that the essential characteristic of the revolution in Turkey is the New Democratic Revolution. Targets of our revolution are imperialism, feudalism, and comprador capitalism. Our revolution is composed of two phases. In the first phase, the goal is to resolve anti-imperialist, anti-feudal contradictions, remove the semi-colonial, semi-feudal structure and transform the society into a free, independent and democratic one. In the second phase, the revolution is to be carried on without interruption, based on the principle of continuous revolution, well into socialism and into the golden age. For the victory of revolution in our country, there are three fundamental weapons: The Party, The Army, and The United Front.
In a country such as ours, the most effective way to capture the power is the People’s War – protracted and dispersed people’s-guerrilla war. This strategy gets its nourishment from the fact that in villages, compared to cities, the power relation between the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces is rather in favour of the revolution. This does not mean that we will not organize in big cities. Especially in its 7th and 8th conferences and in its 1st Congress in 2019, TKP-ML determined that the importance of cities in the socio-economic structure of the country is increasing and decided to focus more on these areas.
Revolutionary violence is the fundamental form of our revolution. But, it must be noted, however, that although armed struggle forms, make up the primary forms of struggle for our revolution, this approach does not negate other, peaceful, legal, etc, forms of struggle. Within the current conditions of our country, revolutionary armed struggle takes the form of guerrilla warfare. Unlike in capitalist countries, in countries such as ours, where warfare is the principle form of struggle and the army is the principle form of organization, the Party, from the very outset, assumes the “combatant party” identity.
In our country, the structure of the state, from its earliest stages, takes the form of fascist dictatorship, ruled by the comprador bourgeoisie and the landlords and, unlike in capitalist countries, revolution remains as the only option against fascism.
Another aspect that clearly distinguished the TKP-ML from other organizations of the period was the fact that the TKP-ML represented a decisive disengagement from Kemalism after 50 years following Mustafa Suphi and put forth the clearest minded thesis regarding the Kurdish national question. When considered within the conditions of the period, these resolutions and thesis had the effect of a tremendous thunderbolt on a cloudless clear day. Thesis presented by the TKP-ML, in a sense, dispelled the magic and revealed the naked truth. By exposing the true nature of Kemalism, the Party was also revealing the fascist nature of the Republic of Turkey. Furthermore, this expose of the fundamental characteristics of the state and Kemalism as its official ideology brought the Kurdish national question from the obscure sections of the backstage to the direct light of the front stage. This also meant a direct challenge and refutation of the official ideology’s nonsense and its denial-based attitude towards the Kurdish national question and finally presented a Marxist perspective to the matter.
Even the revolutionary petit bourgeois organizations of the period based on the nationalism of the petite bourgeoisie’s left-most and most radical section viewed Kemalism as anti-imperialist. It follows that they reasoned that Kemalism is progressive and pro-national liberation. In an environment where even the most radical revolutionary petit bourgeois organizations could not avoid assuming such convivial attitude towards Kemalism, the fact that our Party from the beginning condemned it as fascism had far reaching implications as well as being indicative of its distinction among its peers.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of TKP-ML’s analyses was their implications regarding the Kurdish national question. The TKP-ML’s approach to this question was a direct and shocking challenge to the taboo regarding the Kurdish nation’s right to self-determination, a taboo that hitherto had become so accustomed to. In response to the official ideology’s status-quoist theses and propaganda, which were based on the denial of existence of Kurds, the TKP-ML unconditionally defended the Kurdish nation’s right to self-determination (the right of secede freely), including the right to establish own sovereign state. The Party found it crucially important that this right is respected by the toiling peoples of all nations under the slogan of fraternally class solidarity. Although it was atypical at the time, the comprehensive thesis of the TKP-ML on this matter is functioning as a reliable compass for most of today’s organizations.
The ideological, theoretical, and political foundation that was laid under the leadership of Kaypakkaya still ensures the solidity and endurance of our Party, after almost 50 years. Thanks to this solid foundation, our Party did not get lost even at history’s most sharp twists and turns. Today, the TKP-ML carries on its struggle with this foundation as its most reliable support, beacon, and compass.
INTERNATIONALISM IS ONE OF THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THI TKP-ML
TKP-ML has had an internationalist line since its foundation. And it acknowledges itself as the vanguard of the international proletariat in Turkey since its establishment in 1972. As a matter of fact, in its 1st Conference in 1978 it as stated that “Our Party establishes relations with all Marxist-Leninist parties and establishes fraternal relations in the light of the principles of proletarian internationalism and on the basis of full equality.”
TKP-ML educates its own members and oppressed masses in the spirit of internationalism against all kinds of chauvinism and supports national and social liberation struggles that weaken the imperialist-capitalist system. In this context, it advocates the right to freely secede principle of oppressed nations unconditionally. TKP-ML opposes any national privilege and accepts full equality of all nationalities. It decisively confronts national oppression and persecution, all kinds of chauvinist and reactionary discourse and propaganda that Turkish ruling classes have applied to minority nationalities, especially the Kurdish nation.
TKP-ML defines its international line as: “Advance the revolution in our country to serve the world revolution”. Its 1st Congress (2019) pointed out the dual focus of the international line; to realize the revolution in one’s own country and to generate and extend solidarity with revolutions in other countries through exchange of information and transfer of experiences. By considering the international activity as one of its primary responsibilities, TKP-ML has put this vital task before the Party in its 1st Congress.
In the current conjuncture, international proletariat and the oppressed people of the world continue to have different methods of oppositions, revolts and protests with various content against the policies implemented by the imperialist capitalist system. In these movements the most important problem is the lack of an organization that would connect all these movements and establish a relationship between them. TKP-ML gives vital importance to establish relationship with anti-imperialist and anti-fascist, revolutionary and progressive organizations.
WE ARE IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR IMMORTALS!
Our party, TKP-ML gave hundreds of martyrs during the revolutionary struggle. This is en indication of our party’s belief that revolution can only be achieved by force.
While we are commemorating our immortals in the rightful and legitimate cause of the proletariat and the people, we reiterate that their precious memories and accumulations of struggle are one of our main sources of power in our struggle to create a free future.
We have a promise of revolution to our immortals!
NUBAR OZANYAN – ORHAN BAKIRCIYAN (FERMUN ÇIRAK)
(1956 – August 14, 2017)
Nubar Ozanyan, (Party name “Orhan”) who was a member of TKP-ML and commander of TIKKO fell martyr in the Battle of Raqqa in August 14, 2017. He was a storm of revolution that reached out from the peak of the Mount Ararat to Palestine, Dersim, Armenia and Rojava.
The heroic commander of TIKKO, Comrade Nubar Ozanyan, strove to strengthen the march of revolution, enhance the people’s struggle and the fight for freedom in every historic step he took during 40 years of his life spent in revolutionary war. He led his life and became immortal as a member of our party TKP-ML and a valiant and heroic fighter and commander of TIKKO. He dedicated his entire life to inflict blows to the enemies of people and classes. On the one side, he managed the party’s ideological, political and organizational tasks and on the other side he carried out his responsibilities for the battle in the command echelon of the guerrilla war.
In order to fulfil our party TKP-ML’s tasks of revolution and freedom, he trained and instructed many fighters and commanders of TIKKO in the course of our Party’s history at different times; in 1988-1990 in Palastine, in 1991-1992 in Karabakh, Hayastan (Armenia), in 2014 in Southern Kurdistan, and as of July 2015 in Rojava.
He also trained many Kurdish, Turkish, Armenian, Arab, Palestinian, Greek, Canadian, Sardinian, Belgian and French internationalist fighters. He took positions on the very front lines of the war in a self-giving manner in order to increase the war-related knowledge and practice of the fighters and revolutionary organizations from Turkey that are fighting in Rojava. For this reason, he became a trustworthy comrade for every freedom combatant fighting in Rojava.
With the staggering and effective blows, he delivered to ISIS in Rojava Siluk resistance, he won the hearts and sympathy of all the fighters in the International Freedom Battalion.
Commander Nubar fell a martyr while on duty August 14, 2017. Throughout his entire life he remained faithful to the ideals and mentality of the struggle and the revolution discipline of the communist leader comrade Kaypakkaya. Bearing the pain of the oppressed Armenian people, who were subject to genocide, he climbed the top of Mount Ararat and raised the tiers of the revolutionary struggle. Our contemporary commander was upholding the altruistic tradition of the Armenian people whose name he carries.
TEKOŞER PILLING – LORENZO ORSETTI
(February 13, 1986 – March 18, 2019)
The anarchist fighter Lorenzo Orsetti (Tekoşer Pilling), who fought in the TIKKO (Liberation Army of the Workers and Peasants of Turkey) ranks of our party TKP-ML in Rojava, fell martyr in Baghouz, in the province of Deir Ezzor on March 18, 2019.
Comrade Lorenzo Orsetti (Tekoşer Pilling), a member of the Tekoşina Anarşist unit, move in concert with TKP-ML TIKKO as an international revolutionary in Rojava for more than a year and he became a comrade of TKP-ML. He took part in the The People’s Army TIKKO, who organized and fought all those who wanted to fight against fascism and all kind of reactionaries in accordance with TKP-ML’s understanding of war. So, Comrade Lorenzo fought together with TKP-ML TIKKO fighters from the Efrin until the end. Although Lorenzo moved in concert with TIKKO, he also had his own ideological stance and organization. To underline this fact is very important, because of our respect to his memory, struggle and ideals.
Comrade Lorenzo was born on February 13, 1986 in Florence-Italy. While he was working as chef and sommelier in Italy, he was affected from the Kurdish struggle and the fight against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in Rojava. Afterward acting with a solid internationalist consciousness and conscience, he joined the ranks of the anti-fascist, anti-reactionary resistance in Rojava in September 2017. He took place in Rojava Revolution without hesitation to solidify and fight with the oppressed peoples of the Middle East, in particular, the Kurdish people, and became one of the internationalist warriors who strengthened the Rojava Revolution with his blood.
Comrade Lorenzo was a person who born to literally fight. He was a fearless warrior and participated in the Hejin and Deir Ezzor attacks. One of his letters, he had said that: “Despite my premature leaving, my life is still successful, and I’m almost sure that I went with a smile on my lips…” As he said, he passed away with a smile on his lips.
GLORY TO TKP-ML,
Communist Party of Turkey – Marxist Leninist
PEOPLE’S ARMY TIKKO,
Liberation Army of the Workers and Peasants of Turkey
COMMUNIST WOMEN ORGANIZATION KKB,
Communist Women’s Union
YOUTH ORGANIZATION TMLGB!
Marxist-Leninist Youth Union of Turkey
TKP-ML International Bureau