[Marxism] Re: Turkey's Calvinist Muslims

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Thu Aug 24 14:26:44 MDT 2006

Am Thu, 24 Aug 2006 21:27:35 +0200 schrieb Yoshie Furuhashi  
<critical.montages at gmail.com>:

> On 8/24/06, Emrah Goker <antidoxic at gmail.com> wrote:
>> They had
>> high hopes for the party, and for a while, the liberals applauded the
>> party's pro-EU stance, its more democratic approach to the Cyprus
>> Question, its relative openness to accept a non-militarist solution to
>> the Kurdish Question, etc.
>> Yet there is almost nothing to applaud about AKP's political-economic
>> performance.
> Yes, I'm fully aware of that, and that is why I have no strong opinion
> about the AKP.  The AKP seems like the ANC.

Yoshie, I fear this is a rather wrong analogy.

The ANC is rooted in the liberation struggle against Apartheid. Its  
strength is based on the allince with the unions and the SACP.

Nothing analagous to this in the AKP. There was no "Islamic Resistance" in  
Turkey. To the contrary, after the military coup of 1981 the ruling  
Kemalist military tried to use Islamist ideology as a counter weigh to  
anything considered as left. Especially during the presidency of Turgut  
Özal (who had his roots in Political Islam) the state bureaucracy was  
opened to people with an Islamist background. Ideologically Turkish  
nationalism and Political Islam formed an amalgam. (The movie "Valley of  
Wolves" is an expression of this ideological current. Anyone interested in  
Turkish current affairs should watch it).

I think Emrah has shown in his post convincingly that despite its  
electoral base the AKP is a party completly controlled by capitalist  
interests. As such it is a completely different beast than a reformist  
formation like the ANC.

In my eyes a better analogy would be the German Christian Democrats,  
especially their Bavarian variant, the Christian Social Union (CSU). Like  
the AKP on Fridays, the CSU relies on religious ideological foundations on  
Sundays, but during weekdays its executes capitalist neccessities. Its  
electoral base is largely working-class (and peasant), but the leading  
persons are tied to big-business interests, where the funding of the party  
comes from.

But the AKP's position in Turkey is much weaker than the CSU in Bavaria.  
Class divisions are much sharper in Turkey. Even ideologically the AKP has  
much to offer to the Alevis and the Kurds. Traditionally bourgeois  
political formations have been very instable in Turkey.


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