Cafer Şervan: Time for freedom for workers
“Democratic and working people of Turkey should expand their organization. We say once again that it is the right time for all workers and democratic circles to unite, said KCK Executive Council Member Cafer Şervan.
“The May Day demonstrations will produce results that could change almost all resistance. It is important that all forces that have been struggling for freedom and labour for years have now realized that the fascist colonialist AKP-MHP government is a fascist regime. Now it is time for freedom for the oppressed and workers,” said KCK Executive Council Member Cafer Şervan said.
Despite the bans of the fascist Turkish state in Kurdistan and Turkey, thousands of people took to the streets on the May Day. ANF interviewed KCK Executive Council Member Cafer Şervan about the May Day.
What does May Day mean for workers?
“The working conditions and problems of the workers continue to get worse. Exploitation and poverty also increasingly continue. The desire of capitalist modernity to make more profits and to influence society continues at full speed. Capitalist hegemonic powers are not content only with pressure and exploitation on the working class, they also want to spread their dominance through all the capillaries of society. Under these conditions, workers and laborers got ready for the May Day resistance. It is difficult to obtain a life that the workers deserve without fully dissolving the state and power system that has carried out all kinds of oppression and exploitation system against society throughout history. In this respect, one of the most urgent issues in Abdullah Öcalan’s defence was the facts of state and power. He explained them with correct concepts and provided new solutions and resistance centres for all the oppressed. He presented the necessity of new perspectives and the development of different struggle areas to societies on the right basis. In this respect, we are going through a period of new changes.
GOVERNMENTS PUT THEMSELVES ABOVE THE SOCIETY
Leader Öcalan presents the system of Democratic Civilization, which is an alternative to capitalist modernity, as a solution to social and class problems. We should regard democratic civilization as a system that resolves social problems, separately from state civilization and power. It reflects the struggles of social forms that preceded statification and powers, and of the structures that were later excluded from the state. In the historical process, governments and states have made a great distortion as if they were society itself. A great ideological struggle was waged to show that there should be no structuring and struggle outside the state. To say that society and classes are different formations from the state and that they conflict with the state has drawn the reactions of the power holders. It should be noted that the state is a narrow monopoly of interest and power and that the resistance of workers must develop on this basis.
Throughout history, society has changed and differentiated following the primitive communal period, and many new situations have emerged that require joint action. While the state and power centres receive legitimacy through this system, democratic forces also want this work to be realized by the society itself. Great conflict processes also start at this point. This process has continued with different methods until today and has brought important developments with it. The fundamental differences between state-oriented civilization and democratic civilization also appear here. With comprehensive analyses in his defence, Leader Apo (Öcalan) shows how this process has been carried out in all aspects and what needs to be done. He offers radical solution alternatives to social problems by evaluating historical processes from a scientific point of view. His explanations provide examples of strong grounds for workers of Kurdistan and Turkey to make a breakthrough and gain success in every field. These facts have a vital value and importance in the struggle of societies. It should be mentioned that societies and classes live in a democratic environment when they act with their own will in all matters related to them. Communities and classes ruled by others cannot be free, equal, nor can they develop their consciousness and abilities. These system differences lead to important changes and developments in societies. The most basic approach that should be adopted by the societies and working groups is the communal order of the clan life and the Neolithic revolution, which will be constantly taken as basis. It is possible to see the first state of the democratic order in this communal order. The core structure of democratic civilization is the primitive communal order. If the workers want to transform the May Day into a resistance, they should take such a change of mindset as a basis. The May Day makes sense in this way and is kept alive with a great enthusiasm.
If such historical processes are analysed properly, it becomes clear how strong the democratic ground is, that can solve problems in their context. Power and monopoly holders always talk about the existence and power of the state, and they consider it as a duty to constantly glorify it. They do not mention the millions of years of communal orders of the societies and how they solved the problems of society. Moreover, they do not include them in their written history. On the contrary, the communal order should be the genuine historical interest. While this should be the real and essential society, they are trying to deceive the society with fake histories. Besides, the state and ruling forces have appeared in history much later.
Societies can maintain themselves without state apparatus. For this reason, their struggle has been suppressed with bloodshed throughout history. Basing on the classical understanding of history and the language of oppression, it resorts to lies. The freedoms of society and all working people have been chained and suppressed. What is interesting is that while the ruling power centres grow increasingly, the democratic civilization remains weak. This is the most fundamental contradiction and dilemma. The most natural right of societies is to attain their own dynamics. A society that has attained all moral values and embraces life with great enthusiasm is itself a democratic civilization society. Under current conditions, looking at the May Day from this perspective and spreading the resistance to all segments of the society will pave the way for important developments. Creating and maintaining the conditions for this has become inevitable in all respects.
How was May Day celebrated on the streets?
In the capitalist modernity and power system, the most impoverished and oppressed part of the society is women. In this respect, the March 8 actions were very strong and revealed important developments. The actions led by women in 2020 frightened and shook the ruling forces. They wanted to break this resistance by using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse and create new opportunities for exploitation. Like previous years, the Newroz actions were celebrated with great enthusiasm and brought about great developments with the "Time of Freedom" campaign initiated by our movement this year. Great resistance was mounted once again with the participation of millions and the strongest response was given to the colonialist fascist power. Furthermore, the defeat of the fascist colonialist AKP-MHP government in Garê left its mark on the Newroz celebrations and it was proved once again that the people stand together with Leader Apo and the Freedom Movement.
GARE OPERATION WAS TO SHIFT THE BALANCES
The magnificent resistance mounted in the guerrilla grounds created confidence in the struggle of Turkey's revolutionary and democratic forces and provided the opportunity for stronger opposition. The fascist ruling forces that were inflicted a major blow by the Garê resistance, have been brought to the verge of devastation with the March 8 and Newroz actions. The operation against Garê was conceived as an offensive that would shift all power balances not only in Turkey and Iraq, but also in the Middle East. If the guerrilla had received a serious blow, the AKP-MHP fascist government would not only have increased its influence on Bashur (South Kurdistan), but also would have wanted to pursue its war agenda in Iraq. Turkish president Tayyip Erdoğan stated this in his all speeches. He has repeatedly stated that the Turkish army will not withdraw from the places it holds and that they have various calculations on Iraq. For this reason, what happened in Garê should not be regarded only as the defeat of the fascist Turkish army, but as a defence of all those working and oppressed in the Middle East. Turkish workers should look at this resistance in this way and give it its due. This attack also showed that if the Turkish fascist government cannot be prevented, it will not only pose a danger to the peoples of Turkey and Kurdistan, but also to many other states in the Middle East.
Under the fascist AKP-MHP hegemony, all democratic forces, especially Kurds and Arabs, who are not included in the fascist system, will face genocides and massacres. The Turkish state is rehearsing for this this every day in Bashur and Rojava, especially in Bakur (North Kurdistan). In such a situation, the struggle of the peoples against the genocidal fascist Turkish state, which is an obstacle to democracy and freedom in the Middle East, will develop more organized. The peoples of Turkey and some Kemalist sections within the state have also seen that this fascist colonial regime has brought Turkey to the brink of destruction and have taken a partial attitude against it. As a result of such an intense struggle, the ground for forming an alliance with the Kurdish people based on the Democratic Nation in Turkey and the Middle East will be strengthened. The Kurdish people will serve as a bridge in the processes of increasing solidarity and struggle among the peoples.
All developments show that the May Day actions will bring significant results in terms of resistance. It is important that all the forces that have been struggling for rights, freedom and labour for years have realized that the fascist colonial AKP-MHP government is a fascist regime that oppresses all democratic parts of the society. It has subjected them to starvation by increasing the exploitation of the workers. The ruling AKP-MHP government has institutionalized the fascist system by introducing new regulations each day. It mobilizes all its means and invests in the war in Kurdistan. In this respect, it would be important for the democratic and working people in Turkey to oppose the war. War expenditures are the reasons of the crisis and poverty in the economy. We are going through a process in which even the most basic demand for democratic rights is suppressed by means of violence. Especially the fragmented structure of the opposition against fascism could not stop the oppressive policies of the government.
Significant gains were made against fascism through election alliances in the past and the fascist power of the AKP-MHP has almost come to a halt. Currently, this process continues in different ways. If a solution to all the problems faced by the society develops in line with the democratic modernity system, the collapse of the fascist power can be realized. Especially the deepening of the crisis in the economy affects the poor workers negatively. Surges in prices have reduced the purchasing power of the people, and it can be said that a serious opposition has developed in the society. It would be important that all reactions and oppositions are organized by the leading forces.
Under what conditions do the workers in Turkey live? Deals with big companies bring unemployment, hunger and death. What kind of struggle should the workers and the whole society engage in against this situation?
It is necessary to look at the historical legacy on which the capitalist system is based. Capital and the system of maximum profit must be seen not only as a product of capitalist modernity, as mentioned above, but also as a product of the state and power. At first, the surplus product that developed in agriculture formed the material basis for capital formation. The initial form of formation and organization enhanced exploitation by developing classification and increasing it in a continuous manner. Urbanization and classification created by the historical process created surplus for the states. The surplus in agriculture and industry should be considered as capital, just as the surplus created in trade is defined as capital. We see the most developed form of capital in trade. Trade should be seen as a different version of making money out of money, not an economic activity inherently. Large trade monopolies and formation of new colonial areas play an important role in capital increase and growth. It also succeeded in taking the reform movements in Europe under control to a certain extent. However, industrialization has become a profitable sector of capital only with the industrial revolution. When the Europe took control of the capital market, this process reached its peak. The development of the class struggle and national liberation struggles also coincided with this period. These circles were neutralized as a result of some flexible policies of the system.
A financial age has begun with the 20th century accompanied by a structural crisis of capitalist modernity. The capital, which has detached from its internal dynamics, is now trying to keep itself alive by introducing cryptocurrencies. It is difficult for the capitalist modernity, which is currently facing various difficulties, to overcome the crisis altogether. It wants to extend its life through artificial changes. As Leader Apo stated, the age of capitalism is going through a social crisis in contemporary world. Capitalism is not an economic system; it is the archenemy of the economy. Selfishness, self-interest and desire to establish sovereignty with more wars, which are at the core of capitalist modernity, always lead to a crisis. In the finance monopoly age, societies realize their most real conditions each day and the struggle against it is developing.
The system's terror in the face of problems, unemployment running rampant, the industrialization of arts and sports, and the inevitable spread of power indicate the end of the system. Explaining everything with the capital system deepens the crisis. Ways to get out of the crisis have been pursued through the organized struggles of the poor and working people. Democratic working people in Turkey should see the capital's sovereignty as the cause of the poverty, hunger and impoverishment, and they should raise the resistance. However, people's protests remain cyclical to certain extent, and most importantly ecological organizations need to be developed.
The workers must see the inability of the governments to deal with the economic crisis and collapse and create their own organizations. It is necessary for the society and workers to replace the capital system with the communal economy system. The organization of economic systems based on commonality and sharing would promote the struggle for socialism. It would also be important to carry out class struggles with local dynamics. Workers and society could play an important role in production as carrying out comprehensive organizations and mentality changes will be the guarantee of success. All groups of working society should raise their struggles with the awareness that they are the producers and that they will be the rulers.
How fruitful are the struggles of labour unions against exploitation and injustice? Where should the workers seek the solution?
In order to understand the trade union struggle correctly, it is necessary to look at the struggles in history. The peoples and communities that were subjected to a colonial process first resisted the domination of capitalist modernity. The uprisings that emerged with the resistance of the peoples in America, Asia and Africa continued with national liberation struggles in the 20th century. Although they had some shortcomings, they made important gains. Proletarianization gradually gained strength with the capitalist system. A solution was sought to overcome the crisis, but the struggle of these forces, that could not introduce a break from the system, could not save itself from falling victim to liberalism. Resistance against capitalism is waged so as not to become workers and slaves. Revolts were carried out in order to remain completely free and not dependent on others. In this regard, to denounce becoming a paid worker should be the most basic approach.
Rather than living with capitalism, a struggle should be adopted to get rid of it. The contemporary trade unions are created to keep the capitalist system alive. The yellow unions in Turkey are far from targeting the system. The first scientific organizations of class struggle against capitalism were established by the founders of scientific socialism. Although they did not achieve significant success, they became a nightmare for capitalism with their first organizations. Great heroes of resistance appeared, and they became immortal. They gave hope to the struggles of the peoples by establishing the largest organization in the Soviet Union. However, they did not play their role since they did not fully break away from the capitalist modernity. Anarchists have historically created movements that should not be underestimated in their struggle against capitalism. They can create an alternative to the capitalist system by creating strong organizations of democratic modernity among societies and workers against global capitalism.
It should be a priority to develop methods of struggle that do not destroy each other and compromise. It is also necessary to display the required resistance against excessively oppressive and fascist systems and to aim to bring them down from power. Recognition of the identity of the peoples should be one of the basic conditions. Common living conditions should be created. In fascist regimes such as Turkey, oppression methods and colonial mentality are at the forefront.
It would be important to create organizations and practical solutions that will present the Democratic Modernity as an alternative to the Capitalist Modernity system. It is necessary to reorganize trade unionism on this basis and to bring it to a level that will serve the struggle of the peoples. Organizing the economic systems of solidarity, sharing and communities in every field will bring the end of the ruling system. The trusteeship system in Turkey is a genuine imposition of the fascist regime. The government also wants to impose this system on workers' institutions. Recently, organizations are cracked down through governmental decrees and the Code-29. Strong reactions against this will be important.
How should the struggle against the exploiting, occupying, fascist Turkey be organized? What kind of resistance should all social segments, especially workers, pursue?
In Turkey and North Kurdistan, all oppressive aspects of fascism are being employed and people are governed by martial law and decrees under extraordinary conditions. The Turkish government is introducing methods of murder, arrest and torture against the slightest democratic struggle for rights. As a result of the attacks of the Turkish state, all political forces, especially the Kurdish Freedom Movement, realize that there is no longer any ground to resolve problems with the Turkish state through diplomatic relations. Resistance is the only way to change the fascist colonialist Turkish state mentality. Therefore, everyone should understand that results can only be achieved by resisting the Turkish fascist regime. In this regard, it is time to bring down the power which is already on the verge of collapse.
The "Dem Dema Azadiye" (Time for Freedom) campaign initiated by our movement will create a great organization to deal major blows to the Turkish government. In order to remain in power, the Turkish government has become so aggressive inside and searching support from others outside. Their recent attack on the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) is the result of their defeat and they seek revenge. Disregarding even their own legal institutions, they have carried out lynching campaigns initiated by the fascist Devlet Bahçeli, ultra-nationalist ally of Erdogan. Making all political calculations, they will decide to close the HDP. While doing all these, the Turkish government sends different messages to the world. Submission is imposed through pressures and crackdown. These fascist practices can be prevented by creating a public opinion and by seeing resistance as the most basic approach.
It is very difficult to get rid of a fascist power by compromising with the most reactionary aspects of the system or remaining silent. Despite all the attacks and pressures, the AKP-MHP fascist government politicized the Kurdish people and gained their hatred. All Kurds have realized that nothing will come out of the fascist power and that the only way to confront against this power is to carry out struggles. The Kurdish people should form an anti-fascist front with the democratic forces of Turkey. The Turkish society and working people should see that they can get rid of the fascist power by participating in our "Time of Freedom" campaign. The fascist colonial AKP-MHP government has destroyed every democratic means. The most basic state institutions, the parliament, judicial bodies and law have disappeared and have become dysfunctional. The struggle for resistance must be waged on this basis. It is important to create the highest level of public participation in joint actions and to be in a constant struggle. The democratic public should expand its organizations based on an anti-war stance by observing the war in Kurdistan.
The AKP-MHP fascist government maintains its sovereignty as the sum of all the governments ever before. In this sense, it is imperative that the Kurds and the democratic forces of Turkey make an alliance on a common basis. It is inevitable to act with a broad democracy alliance since fragmented struggles will fully serve this fascist regime. It would be an important development to make sure that all democratic forces focus on the solution of the Kurdish problem. This fascist government has also made the pious Muslims more sensitive to democracy due to their false approach towards Muslim segments who advocate for conscience and justice. There has never been any other party that abuses religion and contradicts Muslim values as much as the AKP and Erdogan. For this reason, recognition of a democratic Islam by the revolutionary democratic workers will put an end to this fascist power. It is necessary to transform Islam's values of right, justice and conscience into the values of the forces of democracy. The reality of democratic Islam and the forces of democracy can act together to overthrow the fascist government in Turkey and Kurdistan. In addition, a strong support for the "Time for Freedom" campaign, given in Turkish prisons with hunger strikes gives significant strength to the democratic struggle. The capitalist modernist and genocidal colonialist fascist Turkish state uses Covid-19 pandemic to prevent the struggle of the peoples. The blackmail and threats of the AKP-MHP government do not give results as before, and the support it received from outside has now weakened. Democratic and working people of Turkey should notice these policies and expand their organization. Therefore, we say once again that it is the right time for all workers and democratic circles to unite."