[Marxism] Peace Initiative/Turkey Press Release - 5

Emrah Goker eg577 at columbia.edu
Sun Nov 23 16:17:31 MST 2003

Peace Iniative/Turkey Press Release - 5
New York City, USA
November 24, 2003


During the past week, four explosions in Istanbul have caused the deaths
of more than 50 people, have wounded hundreds and incited a wave of panic
amongst the citizens of Turkey. We strongly condemn these attacks,
regardless of the identities of the perpetrators and the purpose behind
the crimes. We offer our condolences to those who lost their beloved and
we wish urgent recovery for the wounded.

First, it has to be stressed that the statements coming from the Turkish
state and the media after these obviously well-coordinated attacks are far
from satisfactory; rather than offering clarity about the situation, they
raise more and more questions.

The public statements and immediate developments after these bombings,
similar to the aftermath of the September 11th attacks in the US, suggest
that the peoples of Turkey and of the world are being shoved into a cage
of fear and despair, that the events are being manipulated by the powers
that be towards some sinister end.

At a first glance, the chosen targets are synagogues, the British
Consulate, and a British bank. The perpetrators wanted us to think that
the attacks, at least symbolically, were against Israel and the UK. Thus
the Behemoth of "Islamist terror", in its national and/or international
forms, is immediately invoked. However, the attacks did not only harm
people directly related to the targets - most of the murdered and maimed
victims (80%) are neither Jewish nor British, but are unlucky passers-by,
all of them Muslims. It is illogical to assume that the organizers (or
their puppetmasters) of an action of such scale have not foreseen this.
The perpetrators appear to have calculated that the bombings would enrage
the Turkish society excessively. If, despite all this, Islamist groups are
behind the attacks - which is not at all a negligible probability - then
we are confronted by a purposeless network of murderers, who do not have
any serious political agenda, who do not care about gaining the total
hatred of a country populated by a Muslim majority, and who, in the end,
promote US' and Israel's plans for the region.

On the other hand, there is another possible backgrounder to all this, one
which is much more intricate than the story we are told and expected to
believe in. It is well-established that the Turkish state, against the
Kurdish guerilla movement, has groomed, used, and (when their utility has
expired) tried to exterminate armed Islamist groups - a telling similarity
to the US-Osama bin Laden connection. Parallel to this fact, the
authoritarian/fascistic elements entrenched deeply inside the state are
disturbed by and resistant to the democratizing reforms of the government
on the path to the European Union - resistance is especially strong
against a peaceful resolution to the Cyprus question and against the
possibility of a victory by the Turkish Cypriot opposition in the coming
elections. Recently, numerous dents have been inflicted on the armor of
the "National Security" ideology (held dearly by these state actors), and
these cadres feel that if the current political climate continues, they
will become "unemployed". Moreover, increasingly more lies told by the
neo-conservative tendency (whose chief sponsors are Bush and Blair) are
being exposed, the resistance in Iraq is getting more costly, and gaining
the consent of the world for a "long-term and total mobilization against
international terrorism" is becoming more and more difficult. Global
hegemons and those powerful Turkish actors worrying about the integrity of
their dominant positions have a convergent interest in convincing the
masses that they are constantly in great danger. National (or
international) security ideologies require a habitat colonized by terror
and despair in order to sustain themselves. Therefore, the Bush/Blair
leadership, the Sharon tendency in Israel, and the militarist cadres of
the Turkish state all have an interest in the consolidation of a perpetual
terror threat. It is telling to observe that these three groups joined
hands in the last few years and that they moved closer after the bombings.
Even if it is proved in the coming days that the perpetrators of the
crimes in Istanbul were Islamist groups, we have to keep the above points
in mind while we think about what political ends the ruling powers will
exploit the bombings for.

These are the things which, in responding to the storms of violence that
thunder through the Middle East today, and that have recently engulfed
Turkey, we will not let be forgotten and concealed from the public. Let us
repeat these points briefly: 1) In our region, as in other regions around
the world, the United States, allied with its close partner Israel, using
both direct interventions and client dictatorships, is the chief source of
violence and destabilization. 2) The US, Israel and Turkey have all
supported, groomed and used Islamist terror groups in the past. When they
were done with these groups, they tried to liquidate them and were
confronted by the monster of their creation. It is yet uncertain whether
all of these terrorist groups operate totally independent of, and are not
manipulated by, their old masters.  3) As long as the Israeli and US
occupation and state terrorism continues in Palestine and in Iraq,
opportunities will be aplenty for retributional violence to thrive. While
this counter-violence will try to target Israel and the US, it may as well
be diffused to collaborationist countries like Turkey, whose parliament
approved the sending of Turkish troops to help the occupation. Therefore,
the responsibility of the Justice and Development Party government (which
sponsored the sending of the troops), and of the Army (which "encouraged"
the government) in the bombings is obvious - neither actor have heeded the
deafening warnings coming from the majority of the Turkish society and
from the peace movement.

*Another* world, *other* than the worlds of violence and oppression
dictated upon us, is possible. People and organizations who are on the
side of peace and democracy should reject making a choice between Islamist
(or some other) terrorism and state terrorism which feed upon one another.
They should expose the imposition of these choices itself. Creating and
expanding an inclusive political mobilization in Turkey and in the world
is an urgent task before us. There are some groups out there who, by
scaring us, want us to be content with less freedom, less democracy and
more exploitation; they are trying to steal our future. Let us not allow
that. Let us reject, all together, all at once, every form of terrorism
including state terrorism and every anti-democratic activity. Let us not
forget that institutions capable of fighting against terrorism, should,
above all, themselves be free of terrorism.

New York City

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