Newcomer From Turkey

Zeynep Tufekcioglu zeynept at
Wed Apr 24 09:42:51 MDT 1996

Hello from Turkey,

I've just subscribed to this list, and I wanted to introduce myself and some
subjects I'm interested in.

Sorry this message is a bit long. But, I want to get it over with for once
and all.

I consider myself a part of the Marxist tradition, and being as I am, a
woman from a third muslim world country, my world outlook is subject rather
contradictory influences. I tend to feel for many other third-world
non-marxist revolutionaries or schools of thought, which sometimes seem
"crude" and "too black and white" to Marxists from Western countries.

I have a lot of friends, with whom we hold discussions over various issues
and I'm involved in various projects. Here, theory and practice melt into
each other in a rather exciting, and sometimes confusing manner. I've
subscribed to this list, because I want to share my experience here, try to
bring some of the discussions we've been having here to other interested
people around the world, and sort of act as a bridge, as much as my time and
energy allows.

Currently, we (we means me and other friends around me) are trying refresh
our understanding of;

1- The role of the state (I tend to think that the globalisation jargon,
while obviously referring to a very real trend, means the very crucial role
of the state -not just in 'policing'- is underestimated). The state,
especially in third world countries has sprung up, not after, but before the
class alignments had matured which meant that the state was involved in
creating many of the dynamics, which was to later influence it. (Obviously,
this was possible because capitalism/imperialism was advanced enough). So,
the discussion is to analyse the continuing role of the state, during an era
of financial movements beyond the control of a singular state, and
multi-nationals. (Multi-national; the difference between operating in many
nations and being indifferent/exempt to national interests is, I think,
overlooked. Who fights on behalf of Sony, Toyota, General Motors, IBM,
Boeing, Thysen, Daimler-Benz etc. in the world markets.)

2-  Worker/underclass education. I'm involved in an "alternative university"
attempt. We've been doing it for years now, educating -holding classes with-
uneducated workers in Turkey. We are trying to follow the literature
(Freire, Spring, etc.) about the role of education, alternative methods, and
liberating education. We've amassed a very widespread experience. I
sometimes have a hard time believing the effect these "alternative seminars"
have on changing behavior. The discussion is, how does ideology, as stemming
>from living conditions under a capitalist system, form and change through
the everyday life of workers. This discussion has practical consequences for
us, changes the way we try to organise these educational efforts. I'd like
to discuss and get in touch with people who have ideas / experiences to share.

3-  Theory of imperialism revisited. (in connection with the question of the
state above). What holds and doesn't hold anymore.

4-  Organising. Again, very practical. In third world countries, many groups
spring, each claiming to be the 'vanguard of the proletariat', with
unbelievable secterianism following. The collapse of the Soviet system, and
the fact that China has changed all but in name means that the old arguments
of the divisions are rather obsolete, but the bickering continues just as
passionately. And the workers watch and try to understand the relevance of
the arguments. I think a realignment of the left based on real divisions
that have actual correspondences in real life, and a Marxist/Communist
Rennaisance -restating our case maybe organising the arguments in a
differing hierarchy- is due and overdue.

Anyway, this is a non-exhaustive list on some subjects being argued around
here. (Then there is the Kurdish uprising, which forces us to rethink about
the national liberation movement of a people who also tend to fall into a
class -most Kurds involved in the uprising are poor peasants-, and maybe the
Zapatista analogy should be made; then there is the question of public
finance and spending and the restructuring of the state going on through
what may be called a transition from the 'welfare state', which is a very
very big issue in both the developed world and places like here affecting
the everyday life of millions; ...)

Also, if anyone wishes to contact anyone or get information about anything
>from this part of the world, I'll gladly assist.

With best wishes for a better world,

Zeynep Tufekcioglu
Phone  : +90 216 348 61 30
Fax    : +90 216 418 59 98
E-mail : zeynept at

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