[Marxism] No such thing as a bourgeois revolution?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 29 10:17:30 MDT 2013

 From a Soviet encyclopedia circa 1979:


Kemalist Revolution

the common name for the anti-imperialist, bourgeois nationalist 
revolution in Turkey.

The Kemalist Revolution broke out after Turkey’s defeat in World War I, 
when the country was threatened with complete loss of independence. The 
Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia exerted great influence on 
the outbreak and course of the Kemalist Revolution. The revolution was 
centered in Anatolia, where at the end of 1918 and the beginning of 1919 
a spontaneous popular movement arose against the occupation of a number 
of regions by the Entente powers (Great Britain, France, and Italy). 
After the occupation of Izmir by Greece on May 15,1919, the movement 
grew into a war of liberation.

The Anatolian peasants created the first armed force of the revolution, 
partisan detachments called national forces. The small proletariat, 
concentrated chiefly in the occupied regions, was still weak and as yet 
lacked its own political party: the Communist Party of Turkey arose in 
1920, once the national liberation struggle was under way. The Anatolian 
national bourgeoisie (mostly merchants), which led the Kemalist 
Revolution, aimed at preserving the country’s territorial integrity and 
at creating an independent Turkish national state. The patriotic circles 
of the petite bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia, and especially army 
officers played a significant role in the Kemalist Revolution; the 
leader of the revolution, Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Atatürk), was an officer.

In September 1919, the Sivas Congress of National Bourgeois 
Organizations (the so-called Associations for the Defense of Rights) 
elected the leading group of the revolution, the Representative 
Committee, headed by Kemal. After establishing its headquarters in 
Ankara at the end of 1919, the committee began to function as a 
provisional government. In March 1920 the imperialist occupation forces 
disbanded the parliament in Istanbul that had been convened in January 
at the request of the Kemalists and that had adopted the declaration of 
independence, known as the National Pact, of January 28. The 
Representative Committee countered by calling the Grand National 
Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on Apr. 23, 1920, which proclaimed itself 
the sole lawful authority in the country. The sultan’s government in 
Istanbul had by this time lost much of its influence, and its efforts to 
suppress the national liberation movement—by organizing reactionary 
rebellions in Anatolia and by transferring the caliphate army there—were 
unsuccessful. In June 1920 the imperialist powers, using the Greek Army, 
initiated open intervention against the Ankara government. Moreover, 
they began to exert pressure on the sultan’s government and obtained its 
agreement to the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920.

In early 1921 the regular army created by the Grand National Assembly to 
replace the partisan detachments halted the advance of the foreign 
troops, subsequently inflicting a number of defeats on them. By the 
autumn of 1922 the National Assembly’s army had completely liberated 
Turkey from foreign occupation forces. The Soviet state’s moral, 
political, and material support substantially assisted the Turkish 
people. It was the first state to recognize the government of combatant 
Turkey and to conclude a treaty of friendship and brotherhood with 
Turkey (March 1921), giving the Turks arms, matériel, and more than 10 
million rubles in gold.

At the Lausanne Conference of 1922–23, the imperialist powers were 
forced to cancel the Treaty of Sèvres and to recognize Turkey’s 
independence. The Kemalist Revolution and subsequent reforms, including 
the abolition of the sultanate in 1922, the proclamation of a republic 
in 1923, and the abolition of the caliphate in 1924, transformed Turkey 
into a secular bourgeois republic.

Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch. 5th ed., vol. 30, p. 247; vol. 37, pp. 
118, 167–68; vol. 41, pp. 216, 227; vol. 42, pp. 353–54; vol. 45, pp. 
Kemal Mustafa. Put’ novoi Turtsii. vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1929–34. 
(Translated from Turkish.)
Kemal Atatürk, Mustafa. Izbrannye rechi i vystupleniia. Moscow, 1966. 
(Translated from Turkish.)
Miller, A. F. Ocherki noveishei istorii Turtsii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Miller, A. F. “Formirovanie politicheskikh vzgliadov Kemalia Atatiurka.” 
Narody Azii i Afriki, 1963, no. 5.
Shamsutdinov, A. M. Natsional’no-osvoboditel’naia bor’ba ν Turtsii 
1918–1923 gg. Moscow, 1966. (Bibliography.)
Kheifets, A. N. Sovetskaia diplomatiia i narody Vostoka, 1921–1927. 
Moscow, 1968.
Selek, S. Anadolu lhtiläli. Istanbul, 1968.
Atatürk ve Devrimleri tarihi bibliografyasi. Ankara, 1968.

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