In our program, we lay out our proposals for revolutionary change in Turkey. This program attempts to provide concrete answers to those fighters who want to transform our society in the interest of the workers and oppressed. We start from the problems that we are facing today as workers in our society as well those we are facing as a people and even as a part of humanity in general. From these perspectives we point the road to a socialist future. A revolutionary action program is just a compass which should show the way to socialism; it is not a dogma, and has to be applied in a flexible but principled way.
1. Defend democratic rights
The central aspect of the political struggle of the workers and oppressed in Turkey today is the struggle for the defense of democratic rights and against the establishment of a dictatorial police state or a military dictatorship. Revolutionaries defend every democratic right which is in the interest of the masses of the people, no matter how small. We struggle for far-reaching democratic rights, while at the same time knowing that we can have real democracy – the democracy of the workers and oppressed – only if capitalism with its strong antidemocratic character is abolished. From this principled defense of all democratic rights we derive the following demands:
- For full basic democratic rights – free speech, freedom of protest and assembly and no state interference in what can or cannot be published!
- No to the state of emergency! End all laws that are aimed to fight “terrorism” and end all surveillance of the Turkish citizenry!
- Release all political prisoners!
- Disband the secret service and all special military and police units! For a popular committee under control of the workers’ and Kurdish movements to purge the military and the police of all officers (up to and including generals) who are willing to conspire against their own people. as well as all who have committed crimes against the popular masses (especially in the Kurdish areas)!
- Abolish the undemocratic office of the “President of the Republic”!
- For the election of judges and the transformation of the Turkish judiciary to one based on juries whose members are selected from among the working people!
- Give no democratic platform to the fascist-front MHP! For the establishment of popular self-defense groups directed against the fascist threat aimed at us; and for their defeat in the streets with broad antifascist mobilizations of workers’ organizations and the oppressed!
- Reverse the lifting of immunity of HDP deputies! End the undemocratic 10% parliamentary electoral threshold; a political party should be able to enter the parliament as soon as it garners enough votes to have one representative in the Grand National Assembly (i.e., all valid votes divided by 550)!
- For a revolutionary constituent assembly, based on popular committees and militias. Such a constituent assembly should adapt a constitution in the interest of the masses of the workers and poor!
2. For the Rights of the Workers!
As revolutionary workers, we fight for better living conditions for all workers and for strengthening the economic and political status of our class! Only if we have enough time to study and organize ourselves outside of work, will we be able to build a better future. As every product and all the wealth in our society is made by us, so we should also be able to decide how that wealth is used!
- For a living wage! For a minimum wage of 2,500 TL! For a 40 hour work week and 20 days annual paid vacation for all workers! For maximum rights in the workplace, especially workplace safety!
- For public health care, education and pension programs with maximal benefits for the poor and working people, financed by the rich and the foreign capitalists!
- For a public program to end unemployment, financed by the rich! Let’s build schools, public housing and roads and transfer workers to employment in social programs!
- Workers’ control over the central industries (the harbors, public transport, factories, mines, etc.)! Any workplace shut down by its bosses should continue to operate and be run by the workers! Cancel all debts!
- Nationalize all multinational companies under workers’ control! Land that is owned by such companies should be distributed among the poor peasants!
- Combine all banks into a central national bank, under the control of the employees!
- Expropriate the wealth of all those who hide their money in tax havens! Expropriate the super-rich, this means all those who have more than 20 Million TL!
- Cancel all debts! We will not continue to pay millions to the financial sharks!
3. For Militant, Democratic Trade Unions!
The trade unions are one of the central tools by means of which workers can fight for a better future. But the trade unions are fragmented and bureaucratically organized. The trade union leaders have lost contact with ordinary workers; they are more interested in having a good relationship with the state than improving the living conditions of their rank and file. Revolutionaries fight for the unification of all trade unions into a central trade union and forming a revolutionary faction within this unified trade union. We want trade unions that fight for every small economic and political demand of the workers, but at the same time organize and train them for a socialist future. Unions should not casually play with the slogan calling for a general strike, as the leadership of DİSK does. We openly advocate the necessity of a general strike whenever this is the case. But concretely agitating for a general strike on a specific date makes sense only if sectors of the working class are prepared to follow it. If this is not the case, and the masses of the working class will not follow our call, threatening a general strike which will not materialized does not change the class balance in our favor, but rather weakens the explosive character of the tactic of a general strike.
- Every trade union official should have a salary not higher than that of an ordinary worker!
- For an initiative to organize workers in small workplaces, as well as young, female and Kurdish workers!
- For rank and file committees of the trade union in every workplace who meet regularly and can elect representatives!
- For trade unions which are independent of the state and the bosses! Change the existing bureaucratic leadership to ordinary workers who have the trust of their colleagues and who have proved their skills in the day to day class struggle!
4. Freedom for all Peoples!
A central issue in Turkey’s political situation is the ongoing rebellion of the Kurdish workers and peasants against the oppression of the Turkish state, fascist forces and capitalists. Revolutionaries in Kurdistan and in Turkey stand without any reservations for the liberation of the Kurdish people. But the way to achieve this liberation can only be within the context of an international struggle of all oppressed in this region, and not by Kurdish nationalism’s flirting with imperialism. In addition, we stand for the liberation of all other oppressed national and religious minorities! Full national and democratic rights for Laz, Circassians, Arabs, Roma, Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Crimean Tartars! Equal religious rights for Alevites, Shias, Sufis, Christians and Jews! No to the “secular” discrimination of Muslims (the ban of the hijab in universities, schools and state offices)! Socialism and the practice of religion are in no way contradictory. When the working class takes power we will give full freedom of religion!
As revolutionaries we do not just recognize the genocide of the Armenian people in 1915. In fact revolutionaries at that time fought against it. As revolutionaries, we fight against all sectarian and nationalist violence! But oppose the exploitation of the Armenian genocide by the various Western imperialisms for their respective agendas. German imperialism a century ago was strongly complicit in this mass murder. Now the German parliament has recognized the Armenian genocide (to put pressure on Turkey), but keeps their mouth shut about the genocide of the Herero and Namaqua people by German imperialism. We and the German revolutionaries fight against such hypocrisy!
- Stop state terrorism against our Kurdish brothers and sisters! The Turkish army, police and secret service must leave the Kurdish areas immediately!
- For local self-governing and regional autonomy for all national minorities!
- Defend our Kurdish brothers and sisters against attacks and repression!
- All languages that are spoken in a region should be languages of instruction in schools and universities. For bi-lingual education in areas with national minorities!
- Full national rights for all peoples! No limitations on national celebrations and traditions as long as they don’t limit the freedom of other nationalities!
- Full freedom for all religions! No limitations to a specific religion to practice their faith! However, for the complete separation of state and religion, and no spending of public funds for a particular religion!
- For a referendum in the Kurdish areas! This referendum should ask the people if they want their own state, to remain inside Turkey, or if they want national autonomy. We demand such a freely held referendum to stop the bloodshed.
- For a free and united Kurdistan in which power is in the hands of the workers and peasants!
- Solidarity with all peoples in Turkey and throughout the entire region! For a voluntary federation of socialist republics of the Middle East! Only by such a federation we can overcome the oppression of the different peoples!
5. Equal rights for women and young people!
Both women and young people are super-exploited sectors of our class! Women suffer from systematic oppression which is nearly as old as mankind. As such, they play an important role in the liberation struggle! Revolutionaries must ensure that justice is served in particular to women as women! But we also have to fight against the persecution of homosexuals and sexual minorities! There is no place for gender-based discrimination in the ranks of the revolution!
- Equal wages for equal work!
- For a revolutionary education reform! Free education for all children! For a campaign to open the university to the children of the working class!
- Build public, non-religious kindergartens and daycare centers to make it possible for women with children to work and study if they want.
- No to violence against women! For publicly funded women’s shelter, run by the women themselves!
- For free birth-control, available at hospitals, doctors’ offices and drugstores for all citizens!
- Abortion is the choice of the woman! End all limitations (e.g., consent of the father, the women’s parents or the need to justify such a procedure) to the possibility of have an abortion. For safe public abortions!
- Equal rights for homosexuals, no to violence and discrimination against them!
6. For the rights of the poor peasants and all poor people!
The working class fights for all oppressed and poor! The poor peasants, urban poor and the owners of small shops are the allies of the working class which will benefit from the revolution! It is our task – while building a revolutionary party based on the working class – to rally all poor and oppressed layers of the people around our program!
- For the construction of public housing for the homeless and those who live in poor conditions!
- For cheap loans offered by the state to peasants and small shop owners!
- For the distribution of the land of big landowners among poor peasants; for a radical land reform organized by peasant committees!
- For the allocation of water for agriculture in a just and democratic manner, under the supervision of peasant committees!
7. For international solidarity, down with imperialism!
Our class, the working class is an international class; it is not divided by borders. All workers have the same interest to defeat imperialism and capitalism worldwide! International solidarity is for us not just a catchphrase, but the essential principle of our political work. The arch enemies of the oppressed masses throughout the world are the ruling classes of the imperialist countries and their servants in the semi- colonial nations. The struggle to defeat imperialism and the struggle for the rule of the workers and oppressed cannot be divided. Each one is necessary for the success of the other. A victory against an imperialist power in one country is a victory for the oppressed in every country!
In the last decade we have witnessed the rise of Russia and China as great imperialist powers. The reason for this is the relative decline of US imperialism. We stand for the revolutionary principle that the working class must not give any support to any imperialist power; no imperialist power or bloc is in any way less reactionary then the others. The task for the working class and all oppressed is to make our struggle independent of any imperialist power, whether in the West or the East!
- No to militarism! Turkey, get out of NATO! Kick out all foreign troops! Close all military bases which are used by US and EU imperialism!
- No to collaboration or support for any imperialist attack! For the immediate end of political, economic or military relationships with the apartheid State of Israel!
- No to joining the imperialist European Union!
- No to imperialist wars! Stop the intervention of US / EU / Russia in Syria and Iraq!
- Defend Rojava against Daesh, the Turkish army and imperialism!
- For a free Chechnya of the workers and poor!
- Solidarity with the Arab Revolution! Defend the Syrian Revolution against Assad and imperialism, but no support for the bourgeois or Islamist leadership! Victory to the Intifada in Palestine, smash the Zionist apartheid regime, but solidarity with Antizionist Jews! Defend Yemen against the Saudi aggression! Against General Sisi’s military regime in Egypt; overthrow the kings and dictators in the Arab world! Down with sectarianism, the popular masses have to defeat Daesh!
- Victory to the workers and migrants in Europe! Let’s stand shoulder to shoulder with the struggle of the Greek workers and poor against austerity! Down with racism against Muslim migrants and anti-Turkish chauvinism in Europe!
- Solidarity with the refugees fleeing hunger and war! Open the borders! Full equality for Turkish migrants in Europe! We will decide where we want to live and work – not the capitalist states!
8. The way to the revolution!
The only way to create a future worth living is to overthrow capitalism by means of a socialist revolution. A socialist revolution will grant all oppressed and poor layers of society their rights; it will sweep away nationalist hatred and create real solidarity and freedom. Socialism will be based on maximum democratic rights and participation for the masses of the people and will not look like the conservative-dictatorial Stalinist states. But to achieve this we have to fight for it. The great powers, the ruling class, the military and the police will not stand by and watch while the masses transform society and crush their privileges. They will fight by all means available and therefore the extent of violence will depend on the organization, the arms and the determination of the oppressed, not on the mercy of the oppressors!
- For the forming of militias of the workers and oppressed! People serving in a militia will be elected to it by their neighbors; if they misbehave they will be recalled.
- No to individual terrorism or guerrillaism! A socialist revolution is an armed mass-uprising combined with a general strike and not isolated acts! There is no parliamentary road to socialism!
- For a workers’ government based on councils (soviets) of the workers, the peasants, the urban poor and young people. Such councils will be built in the workplaces, villages and neighborhoods; they will be based on democratic mass meetings in which the oppressed regularly elect their representatives. No representative of the future workers’ state will have any privileges above those of an ordinary worker! All representatives of the workers’ state can be recalled at any time if they misrepresent their constituents or abuse their power.
- For a socialist federation of workers’ and peasant republics in the Middle East and in Europe! Long live the world revolution!
9. Build a genuine revolutionary party!
Revolutions come and go, but successful revolutions are made! Not by a small circle of conspirators but by the politically conscious masses themselves. But the masses have to be educated and led; we need to build a force that is able to counter the lies of the capitalist press and the power of the guns of the army and the police. This force is the revolutionary world party!
We of Sınıf Savaşı, the section of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency in Turkey are dedicated to build such a party at home and around the world. This will not be done by discussion alone but by means of a united struggle with the masses of the oppressed and other revolutionaries. We will have to build our party during the struggle! We call upon all serious revolutionaries to study the lessons of the class struggle in recent years and to form their own conclusions! We need to struggle united for a genuine revolutionary line which rejects both opportunism and sectarianism!
A genuine revolutionary party is not a broad heterogeneous alliance like the HDP or SYRIZA but a force based on a clear and organic program. A revolutionary party will base itself on the broad masses of the working class and especially on their poorest and most oppressed sectors! Within it will have broad democratic discussions; towards the outside, it will demonstrate the iron discipline of its members.
Let’s build a revolutionary world party! For the formation of a new revolutionary 5th International!
No future without socialism!
No socialism without revolution!
No revolution without revolutionary party!