Final Declaration of SEP 1st Congress
SEP 1st Congress was held on November 26th, 2017 in Ankara, Yeni Sahne. It is organised with the maxim of “There is hope for bread and freedom ; we are.” The congress had been organized highly energetic. Apart from SEP members’ labor over for the congres preparations in the campuses, districts and city centres, the content of the congress have been organized very successfully . Our successfully completed Congress has revealed that despite the difficult circumstances in the country, it can move forward in terms of quantity and quality.
At the Congress, Güneş Gümüş was elected as chairperson of SEP .The SEP Party Assembly is composed of the following members: Güneş Gümüş, V.Umut Arslan, Derya Koca, Gökçe Şentürk, Engin Kara, Ali Baran Gökçer, Ali Niyazi Erden, Barış Deniz Kuş, Çağın Erdinç, Demet Koca, Elif Ceren Altunay, Erdem Yılmaz, Erol Soğancı, Sevgi Öztürk, Soner Aydın, Tilbe Akan.
The final declaration of the Congress is as follows:
1) One man regime has dominated the country that is the enemy of labourers and the friend of rich. Time is a time of fight, not withdrawal against the state of emergency administration, which is hostile to democratic rights and labourers. Since the declaration of the SEP Initiative, our Party has been actively fighting against the state of emergency from the very beginning, continuing to work with all possible means that it has never thought withdrawing into its shell. The withdrawal under the name of “security” only means is to surrender to the hegemony of bourgeois aggression. The result of this would be the increase in pessimism, acceleration at loss of member-supporters and influence.
2) Along the past few years, left-wing fractions that underestimates to fight against AKP, have just discovered the importance anti-AKP politics only ater the with the state of emergency starting after July 15. They revealed that they do not know about socialist policy. On the other hand, the ones who limit the struggle with the plain of secularism and defending republis under the name of fighting against AKP regime follows CHP. What we need is leaning against AKP at class perspective while defending democratic rights.
3) The class struggle, always the main axis of socialist struggle, has also gained special meanings for the conditions we are going through. The only way out of the AKP’s polarization and terrorization of society and drive revolutionaries to the status of “marginal” is labour politics. Labour politics is a politics that can take all the laboreres from different identities in. In this way,we can get over division in class and the society . Solution of the socialists’ crisis in Turkey and at the same time the future of this country depends on strengthening of class-based opposition.
4) The biggest factor at success of AKP and RTE is the polarization between identities. The laborers divided into identities such as Alevi-Sunni, secular-conservative, Turkish-Kurdish are deprived of political alternative. Since RTE thinks he comprises the largest group of the population thanks to the social polarization, he insistently fanned these decompositions and thus began to compose his skeleton support base. Since there is not a socialist alternative, the labourers are subject to this politics. The socialist’s historical task is to put an end the polarization.
5) In this circumstances, as the socialist eft couldn’t build an alternative in the class struggle, it couldn’t get over its crisis.Thus, opportunities could not be utilized that years-long conflict and crisis dynamics at bourgeois policies. Yet, not only that but also after 15 July (the coup attempt of 1Gulen Sect), socialists entered the process of declining severely. Loss of power and influence is extensive. Dominant organizations sets in mass organizations such as KESK(confederation of public laborers union), DISK (confederation of progressive trade unions) and TMMOB (union of chambers of turkish engineers and architects) fall into the concern of saving their own bureaucratic shells without much contradiction with the AKP, instead of organizing active struggle in the period of state of emergency.
6) As such, the historical blockage on the socialist left has turned into a violent crisis. A passive anticipation has aggravated the pessimism and brought about the state of dissolution. On the other hand, SEP’s approach is not one-sided. The crisis we mention about is also creating the conditions of the opportunities for the socialist left of Turkey to regenerate itself . Shell change is obligatory and the fate of the fight for socialism in Turkey depends on whether this change will take place or not. The shell change we are talking about is not spontaneous, but can only take place on the premise of a new and rising socialist party. SEP applies for this historical duty with the flag of inherited from the struggles of Mustafa Suphi, Deniz Gezmiş, Terzi Fikri, and Ethem Sarısülük.
7) The change of the shell, of course, must based on a political-ideological infrastructure that is Revolutionionary Marxism. In Turkey, the main socialist organisations had been a party to the polarization of the identities constructed on the lifestyles (such as secularism and republicanism) or tailed to the identity politics under the political and ideological leadership of the Kurdish movement. As a result, independent socialist political identity of the labourers could not be formed.
8) Struggles in the workplaces is so numerous and frequent that never shoul be underestimated. There are many examples.For example, “Iron Storm”(the wave of metal worker movement) that began in automotive sector reached to enormous dimensions as an industrial movement. Nevertheless, there is no leadership to canalize it. Due to the fact that any political party take the leadership that raise this voice, these struggles are considered as local, “unimportant” events that only interest the people only who works there. As such, it is not possible for the labour struggles to influence the society as a whole, and the political development and radicalization of the activist workers are at stake. SEP is determined to be the voice of proletariat and have strong bonds with workers through establishing any kind of necessary means such as labor association and unions.
9) SEP’s taking labour policy as a basis does not mean that it will limit the fight with economic demands. At social opposition’s resistance to the AKP dictatorial regimes, which attack on right and freedoms, SEP will do whatever it can and involves in every struggle and try to leads the the way. The most prominent ones are: arrested journalists, Selahattin Demirtaş and other arrested parliamentarians, femicides, AKP’s misogynist rule, religionization of education, appointment of trustees to municipalities, bans on LGBT actions and activities … In all these cases, the SEP will take its place in the most active struggle to promote the necessary social opposition. Our Party will strive to create united fronts in the struggle for the defence of democratic rights and will try to create an active resistance line with campaigns open to broad participation.
10) SEP, of course, concerns the fight for secuarism . On the other hand, it is not possible to stop AKP’s threat of religionization of the society without the AKP dictatorship being destroyed. At this point, joining the camps of the lifestyle polarization by leading and organizing fronts around “secular identity” can not be business of socialists. Because this polarization is revives AKP. The best way to defend secularism is by weakening the AKP.Fer this, the only way is rise of the class struggle; the weakening of the identity polarization that penetrates the labourers, and the collapse of the ties between AKP and unorganized and poor labourers who support the AKP. The guarantee of secularism is class struggle.
11) Politics in Turkey focused on the presidency elections in 2019 right after the April 16 referendum. The close-fought results at on April 16 led to an increase in hopes for 2019 presidency elections in the anti-AKP sections. However, we cannot rely on the 2019 elections. This will be a trap, completely. In the April 16 referendum, all AKP opponents on very different lines met under a single “NO “ decision. In the 2019 presidential election, it is impossible to find a candidate that combines all segments of society. That is why SEP invites the progressive social forces to participate in socialist struggle and fight each day without expecting something from ballot box. There is no short cut for victory. Freedom will not come without struggle or shouldering the responsibility.
12) On the other hand, SEP never indifferents to the election of 2019. Components of socialist left-wing should be able to unite around a common candidate whose campaign should be organized around class politics and social equality.This collaboration will be able to overcome the 100,000 signature threshold required for nomination and the economic obstacles imposed by the law. In this way, the independent socialist line will have an opportunity to reach the working class. Passing over any agenda is just arbitrariness.
13) It is a fact that the AKP and the RTE have been alarmed by the results of the referendum. In order to recapture the social support hanging downwards, a series of make-up refreshment operations were launched alongside with populist nationalist discourse. Sing Kemalists’ praises,making mention of Ahmet Kaya (was a very famous leftist Kurdish singer) had been used as mask. Some unsuccesfull mayors of AKP were unseated by Erdogan to raise the popular support The effort to improve the government’s image is a manifestation of weakness and anxiety.
14) Another agenda is that the economy rapidly disrupts against the labourers and the middle classes. Cost of living and unemployment continues rise. From now on, the situation can only get worse. Poor unemployeds and working people are the ones that will affected most. Erdogan’s greatest fear is the loss of the support of the unorganized poor labourers, who have been massive voters in every election for him. The harder life conditions are, the more Erdogan gets worried.In additon, petty bourgeois would make AKP pay the bill of the detoriated economy.Therefore, we can foresee that Erdogan will continue to adopt populist nationalist and polarizing politics , will try to use every means of the state available in order to save the economic outlook.
15) While AKP creating facile tensions with imperialist forces , having an expectation from the United States or the EU and other imperialist forces to overthrow AKP is a gret blindless .It is just what AKP wants to comes out! It is very important for the socialist movement to defend democratic rights by its own independent line. We should be able to show masses of that AKP’s anti-imperialist discourses is fake, and display its inconsistencies.
16) Under the current circumstances,collaboration of the socialist forces has become more urgent. The time is the time of organizing great campaigns around the tangible demandson the streets. SEP is always open for a joint campaign to work together. Until now, many platform-like organisations/fronts had unfortunately only gave lip-service. Unfortunately, this has become a habit for labour organizations and the left. This is a political corruption. SEP will try to organize real collaborative fronts and fight against sectarianism.
17) Although the conditions forces CHP to do labor politics, it still insists on being a party of the “centre”. As a party having good relations with bourgeoisie and imperialists, CHP ‘s cental politics makes itself even more indistinct. Moreover, since the dark queen of the 1990’s Meral Akşener and its party İYİ Parti ( Good Party) have the same political strategy with CHP. So, İYİ Party have the tendenof leading CHP to crisis more than AKP . We do not think that the leadership of CHP has preparations against the big blow from the İYİ Party. The labourers’ reliance on the CHP and the 2019 elections is empty. The place of the workers is in socialist fight.
18) Our congress was become a real internationalist celebration by the participation of comrades from Argentina, Greece and Iran. Proletarian internationalism is not a rhetoric,, but it is a real comradeship relation that is alive in the fight. The world-wide unity of the struggle of the working class makes it impervious to imperialism penetrating all over the world. This means, capitalism can be defeated on a global scale, not in a single country. Therefore, the creation of the International as a world party is not a task to be left to an uncertain future. Within this internationalist duty, SEP will participate as an observer with its in Platform for Revolutionary International which has a revolutionary Marxist line, organized in various countries.
19) Our Congress greeted the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution and make the role played by the Bolsheviks as a task our own task. This task is to leading proletarian revolution and the struggle for the world revolution. The most favourable conditions for fulfilling this task in the Middle East is in Turkey. A socialist force with a network of a few thousand people will be in a position to challenge the capitalist system in Turkey. To reach this cadre’s power, it will make a leap effect reaching the accumulation of a staff of several hundred people. This is not too ambitious, for the socialist left will draw a very important mass into active organized struggle even in the hope of resolving the historical crisis. In this case, it is clear that socialists create a great excitement wave among labourers and youths. This will mean opening a new page in Turkey’s history. Our Party, SEP, does not promise any short-term victories for anyone but will step forward to the target we are talking about step by step.
20) The great Kurdish question containing four countries cannot be solved within the imperialist capitalist system. The last referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, the closest to independence, and the events after it have shown this once again. Apart from who is Barzani (a landowner and a bourgeois) his mistakes, in principle the Kurds have the right to self determination. But despite the seemingly well-deserved conditions, despite the millions of people who died in Iraq’s recent history of war, occupation and civil war,all the gains of the Kurds’ 100-year struggle was about to destroyed. It has once again been revealed that there is no solution within the borders of the present world capitalist system and that the US is not trustworthy for Kurds.
21) Similar threats are also valid for Kurdish nationalist struggles in Rojava. An approach that relies on the US causes disasters. SEP defends the Kurds’ right to self-determination. SEP has a fundamental duty to fight against increased pressure and discrimination against the Kurdish people. On the other side, our party emphasizes that sisterhood and social equality of the people has succeeded only in the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist struggle. The solution of the Kurdish issue can only be possible in the wake of a socialist movement who is rising in the region as a whole.
22) The biggest issue in the Middle East is ethnic and religious sectarian wars. The architecture of this war is imperialism. Gangs such as al-Qaida and ISIS, equipped with petrol-dollar, US education and Salafi fanaticism of the Gulf regression, were organized for this purpose. By the sectarian divisions, the enormous energy of the labourers and youth of the region is consumed in civil wars. The peoples of the region fighting harshly against each other, and in this respect different imperialist powers will be the winner in the region. Therefore, SEP fights against nationalist and religious-sectarian hegemony and raises internationalism in the name of the union of workers and sisterhood of the peoples.
23) For the Middle East, the Western left made major mistakes with making revolutionary appeals to the imperialists’ weapons and money. However, they have to be much more cautious towards subcontractors of their government’s imperialist policies. The lessons should be taken: preservation of the independent class politics is irreplaceable and we should be very careful about the projects under imperialist forces. The issue of Libya where the so called left announced it as a revlution is a very important lesson. The way out is Socialist Federation of Middle East!
24) SEP is ready to be a revolutionary alternative of the laborers with the revolutionary Marxist ideology, the stability of the political steps taken, and its combative cadres. Each comrade who participates in our Party will provide us with the opportunity to raise the struggle. SEP will continue to grow with new members,into new fields,with new methods, and having new experiences.
Join us; let the hope become real!