Statements by the CP's on the July 2016 developments in Turkey (Updated)


The Communist Party, Turkey:

See the initial and latest statements on ICP.


Party for Socialism and Liberation, USA:


A group of officers of the Turkish Armed Forces attempted to carry out a coup the night of July 15 and early in the morning of July 16. They were able to capture several strategic locations before being driven back by police and other forces loyal to the reactionary regime of President Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP). 

Fighting primarily took place in Istanbul and Ankara, the most important big cities in the country. Tanks and troops fanned out, momentarily capturing key motorways, government offices and media outlets. The coup forces were able to lay siege to the parliament building and carry out airstrikes against police headquarters.
The rebelling officers failed, however, to capture top government leaders.

Erdogan returned to Istanbul late Friday night, and the pro-coup forces began surrendering. It is important to note that the Turkish military is composed primarily of conscripts, who have no choice but to join. Many enlisted soldiers were told by their commanders that they were simply participating in drills, and only later realized that they were being used in a coup attempt. One of the soldiers in Istanbul was beheaded by the AKP supporters, reminiscent of the style of Islamic State terror in Iraq and Syria.

It appears that the coup attempt was led by officers aligned with the Fethullah Gulen movement. This is a reactionary Islamist movement whose leader Fethullah Gulen is in exile in the United States. The Gulen movement has an extensive history of working with the CIA.

The Obama administration issued a statement only after it became clear that the coup would likely fail, urging respect for the “democratically-elected government of Turkey.” It would be a cruel irony to allow the AKP regime – or their opponents who attempted the coup – to claim the mantle of defenders of democracy.

The Gulen movement had been an important ally of the ruling AKP government between the time it came to power in 2002 until 2013. They have colluded with the AKP, held important positions in the state apparatus and exercised influence through a vast network of media and educational institutions.
The basis of unity between AKP and Gulen movement was a shared desire to destroy the 1923 secular republic and replace it with a religiously-oriented state that rolls back democratic rights. The exact circumstances that sparked the rift are still unclear, but for the last several years the AKP-Gulenist alliance has turned into a bitter rivalry. Where they were once close partners in the past in pushing forward reactionary policies that destroyed the secular nature of the republic coupled with a systematic ideological drive to Islamicize all aspects of social life, following 2013, they became bitter enemies.

AKP is now using the failed coup attempt as the pretext to push forward its own reactionary coup in the name of defending democracy. A three-months long state of emergency has been declared and it is unclear how extensive the campaign of repression will be.

Thousands have been arrested so far in a massive sweep carried out by security forces. The judiciary, military and other key state institutions are being purged of remaining opponents of Erdogan and the AKP. Many of these people likely were involved in the coup to one extent or another, but others are undoubtedly targets of opportunity who have been in the AKP regime’s cross-hairs for some time. There is a possibility that the death penalty could now be re-instituted in the country.

The AKP government is a principal sponsor of the right-wing religious terrorist organizations that are leading the fight to overthrow the Ba’athist government led by President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. For years, it allowed IS and its predecessor organizations to operate supply lines into Syria from Turkey and recruit on Turkish territory in an almost open manner.

Last November, the Turkish military shot down a Russian plane that had at most violated Turkish air space for a few seconds while it was participating in the country’s mission to support the Syrian government. This provoked a profound diplomatic crisis that raised the specter of a catastrophic escalation. Now that Erdogan appears to be softening his position on Syria – making moves to normalize relations with Russia, for instance – the Turkish people are suffering from the inevitable blow-back from his incredibly dangerous and foolhardy maneuvers for regional dominance.

It is crucially important to reject all U.S. attempts at intervention in Turkey – the “eastern flank” of NATO – where a succession of murderous CIA-backed coups have repressed the people’s aspirations for democracy and liberation for decades.

As tensions are inflamed and the situation becomes even more dangerous, the Party for Socialism and Liberation stands in solidarity with our comrades in Turkey fighting for an end to the domination of their country by right-wing, pro-imperialist forces – whether that is Erdogan and the AKP or another variant.


People's Progressive Party (PPP), Guyana:

The People‟s Progressive Party (PPP) condemns the attempted coup in Turkey.

 The PPP is opposed to the undemocratic and unconstitutional removal by force of a democratically elected government. The Erdogan administration is a freely and democratically elected government. The PPP salutes the hundreds of thousands of democratic and freedom loving people of Turkey who took to the streets to oppose and depose the coup makers and to force the military back into their barracks. Guyana and Turkey established diplomatic relations in May 1973. Under the PPP/C administration, representatives of the two countries signed a Bi-lateral Economic and Commercial Cooperation Agreement in December 2005. In 2009, former President Jagdeo and former Finance Minister attended a World Bank Meeting in Turkey. The PPP/C administration helped facilitate and welcomed a major Turkish investment in the Princess Hotel in Guyana. Tourism, disaster prevention and the promotion of trade and industry are high on the agenda of the two countries. In 2011, Turkey and Caricom signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Consultation and Cooperation. The First Caricom/Turkey Cooperation Forum was held in Turkey. The PPP supports the efforts of the democratic and anti-coup protestors to bring an end to the current political instability and a return to a state of normalcy in Turkey.



Tudeh Party of Iran:

Statement about the Coup d’état in Turkey 

The adventurous operations, on the night of Friday 15 July, of part of the armed forces of the Turkey in an attempt to carry out a coup d’état against the government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), and its aftershocks over the past three days have driven the country into a critical and dangerous situation. Although the coup leaders claimed, in their initial statements on Friday, that they had taken over power and declared that the Islamist government led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, had been overthrown, subsequent media reports over the hours that followed indicated the defeat of the coup and the return of power to the government of the AKP.

According to the media reports, as a result of the attempted coup and the counter-coup of the Islamist forces, 265 people were killed, a large number were injured, and many thousands were arrested and jailed. Although only incomplete and contradicting information are available about the organisers of the coup and their intentions - and while the actions of the reactionary government of Erdoğan after the coup have raised many questions about the coup - what is certain and unquestionable is that during the coup and the shelling of some of the strategic targets, such as the parliament building in Ankara, many have lost their lives or have been injured. It should also be pointed out that during the first hours of Saturday morning [the next day after the coup] the forces loyal to Erdoğan launched a wave of intimidation and terror against the soldiers and military units of the army who had participated in the coup. Islamist mobs carrying firearms, knives, machetes and clubs responded to the calls of the mosques and took to the streets to beat up the young conscript soldiers who, frightened and shocked, had already dropped their weapons and taken off their uniforms to surrender. This was a clear indication of the fascist-like and vicious bent of the supporters of the AKP. The traumatic scenes in which frightened and crying young soldiers having surrendered were attacked with machetes, beaten up and stabbed  - and in at least one case beheaded - outraged and disgusted world public opinion, which rightfully condemned such barbaric acts.

After regaining the political power, Erdoğan hastily began a wide purge in the military, police and judicial system and removed many of his opponents from their positions, or arrested and jailed them. One day after the defeat of the coup, the autocrat President of Turkey blatantly called this defeat and the ensuing situation a “gift from God”. The curators of the mosques and Islamic centers in large cities of Turkey, including Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir, have practically taken control of the power and are in effect ruling the country. Several reports have been released about the disappearance of political figures who oppose the current regime in Turkey. Many governors of regions across the country have been sacked and the government has banned close to 3 million public employees from travelling abroad until their connection to the coup perpetrators is investigated.

A surge of international criticism has emerged over the past two days, of the vengeful atmosphere that has taken a hold over the nation, and of the rise of suppression of the opposition forces in Turkey by the ruling Islamist government. Many believe that the failed coup of part of the armed forces is being exploited as a pretext to expedite the further Islamisation of power structures and to advance the plan to form an “Islamic Republic of Turkey” by the Islamists of the AKP.

The progressive opposition forces in Turkey, while strongly opposing the policies of the government of the Islamist AKP, have unambiguously condemned the coup by part of the armed forces. They have rightly argued that the taking of power by the armed forces of Turkey through the coup would have in fact damaged democracy and the rule of law more than before, and in the current tense and very complicated situation in the Middle East, could have driven the nation towards further turmoil and political instability.

In its first statement about the coup which was released on Saturday July 16th- the next day after the coup - the Communist Party, Turkey (TKP) categorically condemned the failed coup of the generals of the armed forces and at the same time strongly criticised the actions and track record of the Islamist government of the AKP. In its statement, the Turkish communists have called upon the advocates of peace, democracy, and justice around the world to bear in mind that “it is a lie that any of the sides in this conflict represents the interests of the people”, and “the only power that can overthrow AKP is the people's power, there is no alternative to it.”

Based on the existing evidence, while it is clear that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will try to exploit the coup as a pretext to purge the opposition, to strengthen its grip on power, and to move toward establishing an Islamic dictatorship, the friends of the people of Turkey must extend their solidarity with those who strive to deepen democracy, and must emphasise the unity of the nation and the working people in opposing sectarian conflicts. On Sunday July 17th, the Communist Party of Turkey held the plenary meeting of its Central Committee to discuss and make decisions about the fast pace developments of the post-coup days and to decide on the necessary approach for the situation.

The Tudeh Party of Iran unequivocally condemns the recent military coup in Turkey and, at the same time, expresses its grave concern about the suspension of the constitution and crack down on freedoms as well as violations of the democratic rights, mass arrests, and the attempts by the Islamist government to shut down democracy in Turkey. Our party deems the events of the recent days as a threat to peace and in conflict with the interests of the nations of the Middle East region. The Tudeh Party of Iran expresses its solidarity with the progressive and democratic forces, trade unions in Turkey, and the Communist Party, Turkey and supports their struggle to return democracy and rule of law to the country.

The Tudeh Party of Iran

15 July 2016

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE):


The latest information, regarding the developments in Turkey and the coup attempt, refer to a sharpening of the internal, intra-bourgeois contradictions, of the differences between the various centers of power in the country, which are interconnected with the more general international antagonisms in the wider region of Syria, of Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, through the direct intervention of and confrontation between powerful capitalist states.
 Turkey has participated- and participates- In these antagonisms, with the aim of protecting the interests of the Turkish bourgeois class and strengthening itself as a regional power. The active involvement of Turkey in the Syrian developments, the military operations it conducted in its northern part of it which is inhabited by populations of Kurdish origin and its relations with the Islamic State brought it into a confrontation with its traditional allies, e.g. USA, NATO and others.
Further investigation of the incidents and elements which led to the coup attempt and the final predominance of Erdogan is certainly needed. What must mainly be examined is which forces supported the coup, domestic and foreign , what were their aims, the role of the so-called Kemalists and secular forces or the forces of imam Gülen, which the Erdogan regime “points” to as being the culprits, “expelling” thousands from the state mechanism; the role of the USA and NATO, the real situation in the Turkish army and sections of it, possible compromises and trade-offs that took place and impacted the outcome of the attempted coup .
A further investigation is needed on the stance of the US and other NATO forces, which at the beginning of the coup attempt talked about the “need for a continuation in the state” and then later, when the balance of forces had tilted in favor of Erdogan's forces, supported the “democratically elected government of Turkey”.  Moreover, the recent moves of the Turkish government towards the normalization of relations with Russia and Israel must be taken into account.
The organised action of significant sections of the army, the assassination attempt against Erdogan, the number of deaths, injured and arrested people, among them numerous army generals, the protracted bombardments in Ankara, the street fights in other cities do not justify the position that says it was a “staged” coup or a coup "operetta". Time will clarify many of these, such as who finally benefits or will benefit from this situation.
In any case, the intra-bourgeois and the inter-imperialist contradictions and antagonisms do not, by definition, foretell anything good for the people of the region and especially for the Turkish people who during all the previous period faced the continuous anti-people policies of the AKP governments, of Erdogan's party. The Turkish economy's high rates of growth in the previous years and the improvement of the situation of some intermediate strata did not, in any case, eliminate poverty, unemployment, repression, the savage exploitation of the working class and the popular strata in Turkey.
This political line does not cease to remain in force due to the fact that Erdogan finally managed to control the situation. Neither, of course, can the answer to the anti-people policy  be the coups which express different sections of the bourgeois-class, or to justify the  arguments about “democracy's restoration” in Turkey or the illusions- cultivated by some people- that the Erdogan regime may “understand the message” that more social rights and political liberties are needed. Such expectations are already being demolished by what has been happening in the first days after the coup attempt, which demonstrates that the attack will not be restricted to the “instigators” of the coup and their footholds in the state sector, but will escalate against the people, against their civil rights but even more so against their labour, popular and trade union freedoms. At the same time, the aggressive positions of Turkey's bourgeoisie and the Turkish state are known and clearly expressed concerning the Aegean, the disputing of Greece's sovereign rights as well as concerning the Cyprus Issue which remains an open affair.
The events in Turkey showed once again that the situation in the region “smells of gunpowder” and is marked by the sharp contradictions and antagonisms between powerful imperialist centers with unpredictable consequences. The SYRIZA-ANEL government bears huge responsibilities, because it actively participates in the imperialist plans on behalf of Greek capital; it supported the recent dangerous decisions of the NATO Summit which mark an escalation in the antagonisms, especially between NATO and Russia, while it cultivates false hopes that Greece can be an “islet” of stability in a turbulent region.
Today, more than ever, the peoples' militant readiness is needed against the imperialist war and interventions, against the participation of our country in such wars and interventions. What is also required is that each people must not be entrapped in the one or the other hostile- for their interests- scenario, in the intra-bourgeois contradictions. On the contrary, they have every interest in developing their own independent, mass action, to prepare and struggle at every point and moment for their solution, having as a criterion their own needs and having as their aim the overthrow of the capital's power, the disengagement from the various imperialist alliances.
The KKE expresses its solidarity with the working class and the people of Turkey, with the fraternal Communist Party in Turkey which in the circumstances of an extremely negative correlation of forces conducts this difficult but uniquely hopeful struggle.


LePartiRévolutionnaire COMMUNISTES:

Turkey: A coup revealing the crisis in the imperialist system

The military coup of July 15 and 16 which was aborted in Turkey raises many questions about its objectives and its sponsors and in the present circumstances, it is difficult to make an accurate analysis. However, the coup can measure the depth of the crisis in the imperialist system. Beaten by the current champions of the great Turkish bourgeoisie, this coup is a major event because, among other things, the geostrategic role that represents Turkey in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern area.

Recall that Turkey, a country of 75 million inhabitants that has seen a major capitalist development in the last twenty years, is with Israel, one of the most loyal US allies in the region. The Turkish army is the second powerful army in NATO. The Atlantic alliance in Turkey has military bases under US control. These bases and command centers that are part of the advanced device of imperialist military intervention in Syria, in Iraq and throughout the region including to Russia. These bases contain nuclear weapons, and US intelligence are particularly present. Note that neither the coup nor the current government will have the least question the role of Turkey as a linchpin of NATO

If instead of Turkey is essential in this region of the world, where it intends to act as a major regional power, it is also subject to the turbulence generated by the imperialist forces who intend to dominate and re-share the region. Thus, Turkey, which plays a major score under the conductor US in the war of aggression against Syria, hears the same time fight Kurdish PKK forces inside while their sponsor the US supports Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq to establish their political and military presence in the region. The willingness of Turkey to be the regional power reference led him to a profound estrangement with Russia intervening in Syria itself, at the request of the Syrian government, and thus, increase the tension factors in the region. The recent Russian-Turkish rapprochement marking a beginning of normalization between the two countries, and the Israeli-Turkish rapprochement may have contributed to exacerbate the contradictions within the leadership of the state. It is the same of improving relations with Western powers that Iran has reshuffled the cards between Iran and Turkey. Indeed, the Turkish bourgeoisie in a situation where the economic crisis was amplified by the Russian embargo and the collapse of tourism, is facing major strategic choices that will not differ long, she is taken in the pincers of imperialist forces that intend to dominate the region. In addition, the Turkish progressive and democratic forces are also at strategic choice: either continue to be placed in the mold of capitalist management or challenge the same nature. For its part, the Communist Party (Turkey) (PC (T)) which will indicate our support: "Today's events remind us that reality again: either the people of Turkey is organizing to get rid of AKP (Erdogan's party in power Ed), or the reactionary policies of the AKP will intensify the repression s extend, massacres, looting and theft continue. The only force capable of overthrowing the AKP is that of the people, there is no alternative... The release is in our hands. "

Indeed, it is clear that the Turkish authorities will seize this "opportunity" to accentuate the repression, is what emphasizes the PC (T): "Raising the fight against the AKP and its obscurantism is the only way to prevent this failed coup would lead to consolidate his regime. "

The Turkish question is not so far from that of Brexit, the bourgeois ruling classes are placed in front of the major choices in a high intensity warfare to control the resources and communication channels to ensure capitalist profits. Facing Peoples who resist in their own way of course, they must strengthen their power and prevent the emergence of a current and revolutionary organizations capable of ending their domination. In Turkey as elsewhere the decisive question is therefore the struggle against capitalism to the down and build a new society free of exploitation and wars


The Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE):

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