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Sunday, April 24, 2005

TURKEY: Behind the EU window dressing

"TURKEY: Behind the EU window dressing
The people of Turkey, aided by a long history of organisation and resistance, fiercely resisted the US invasion of Iraq, successfully blocking many of their government�s attempts to provide support to the invaders. Taylan Bilgic from the foreign news desk of Evrensel, the daily newspaper of the Turkish Party of Labour (EMEP), spoke to Green Left Weekly�s Karen Fletcher at the Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference in Sydney at Easter.
The Turkish Party of Labour was established in 1996, following a period from 1989 during which many thousands of workers engaged in mass resistance against the laws of the military junta. The peak of that resistance was the Zonguldak miners� strike and march followed by a massive general strike in 1991. The workers leading that resistance started to talk about the need for an open and legal working-class party.
The party is similar to traditional communist parties � for example it operates on Leninist democratic centralist principles � but it also differs in many ways. It does not see itself as the ��vanguard�� of the working class, but as a mass party that is open to all workers and as a school in which workers learn to engage in politics. Workers with only a vague idea of Marxism or socialism can quickly become branch leaders in our party. "

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