Middle East

What are your experiences with political work among women in Turkey?

A: In 1973 the leadership of the TKP decided to organise the party underground. This was combined with the attempt to build legal mass movements, the trade unions, a youth organisation and also the working women's movement. In 1975 we built the Women's Association. Starting as a very small force we began to work in the suburbs and working-class districts. Soon we came into contact with women workers from different factories.

This article was sent to us by a group of Internationalist Communist from Turkey. It analyses the role of Turkey on the international scene, the economic crisis affecting the country, how the Turkish bourgeoisie is trying to drag itself out of this crisis and the repercussions this has on its home and foreign policy.

The death fasts of the political prisoners in Turkey have reached their 208th day and the number of deaths during the last few weeks has reached 22. The total number of losses resulting from these actions has already passed 50, if we take into account the 30 prisoners who were killed during the massacre that took place during the so-called "Back to Life" operation. Furthermore, many prisoners who are fasting to death have now incurred incurable physical and mental damage.

We Pakistanis are over 100,000, mostly petty workers. We are not enjoying the same level of freedom as in Britain or any European Country. You may know what is the system of government in Arabian countries. So we are here earning our livelihood; the ruling elite has never allowed expatriates to indulge in political activities. We have different social organizations, which actually represent various political parties of Pakistan. These social organizations are involved in social activities among Pakistani community. It is the same case with other Communities.

NOTE: This is a draft of a talk I presented in May, 1998 at a conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts on the Karabagh Movement. I revised the draft slightly in December 1998, and except for minor changes, I have not bothered to update it since. I should point out, however, that an abundance of new research material has come to light recently, including revelations about massive emigration from the Republic of Armenia. (Some reputable sources have claimed that, by the year 2000, the population of the country had been reduced to one-half of what it had been ten years earlier.) These revelations confirm and reinforce the assessment presented below.

A. Kramer sends us an update on the internal situation in Israel. He calls for a united front of stuggle to be built that can challenge reactionary Israeli imperialism and create the conditions for a profound transformation of the whole situation. That is the only hope for the future of both Israelis and Palestinians.

The Israeli ruling class were disappointed with the political results of the September 11 terrorist act. Contrary to their hopes, the American government did not include any Palestinian group on their list of "main terrorist organisations". Just two days after the terror attack in the USA, the Israeli military launched a brutal attack against the Palestinians. This was closely followed by the assassination of an Israeli minister, Rachavam Zeevi. Our correspondent reports on the situation.

The present war, in which US imperialism seeks to maintain its hegemony, is further aggravating the current contradictions in Turkey. Although the country is engulfed in a serious economic crisis, Turkey is setting out to undertake new roles in the region, playing "little brother" of the USA. The Internationalist Communists of Turkey report on anti-war movements, and send solidarity greetings from the Turkish workers.

The present war, in which US imperialism seeks to maintain its hegemony, is further aggravating the current contradictions in Turkey. Although the country is engulfed in a serious economic crisis, Turkey is setting out to undertake new roles in the region, playing "little brother" of the USA. The Internationalist Communists of Turkey report on anti-war movements, and send solidarity greetings from the Turkish workers.

We received this article from a trade union activist in Egypt who reports on how the state security police have removed candidates in the trade union elections who are opposed to privatisation. It is quite clear that a very angry mood is developing among Egyptian workers and the state, in collaboration with the leaders of the trade unions, are attempting to stifle the growing opposition.

This is an interview with an Internationalist Communist from Turkey active in the trade union movement, in which she describes the situation of brutal repression facing worker activists in Turkey and the effects of the recent economic crisis on the labour movement.

The death fasts of the political prisoners in Turkey have reached their 208th day and the number of deaths during the last few weeks has reached 22. The total number of losses resulting from these actions has already passed 50. We are publishing an update on the situation by our Turkish correspondents.

The recent bombing of Iraq is an act of imperialist insolence of the worst type. American imperialism has emerged as the most arrogant and ignorant imperialism that there has ever been. Never has there been a situation where one super power has dominated the whole world situation, as US imperialism does today. It is quite clear that they want to establish the “American century”. They are determined to put their stamp on all the developments that are taking place in the underdeveloped world.

The landslide victory of right-winger Ariel Sharon in the Israeli elections opens a new and convulsive period in the history of the Middle East. Barak's administration has been a complete disaster from every point of view. Under the pressure of US imperialism he attempted to reach a "compromise" with Arafat and the PLO leadership. As we predicted from the start, the Oslo agreement broke down. The problem is an insoluble one on a capitalist basis. Far from improving, the situation went from bad to worse. The farce of "peace" has ended. The Oslo agreement, already a stinking corpse, has now been officially buried.

We are reproduced some correspondence we had with a group of revolutionary Palestinian youth in January of this year. We have decided to publish it now in view of the recent events, because it clearly explains our position on individual terrorism and the tactics of the Intifada. The events of the last few days merely serve to underline the counterproductive nature of individual terrorism, which have, as the letter of Fred Weston explains, always led the Palestinians to defeat.

A special report from Turkey which analyses the situation of the political prisoners in Turkish jails, the recent hunger strikes and prison raids by the security forces. The article examines the tactics taken by the prisoners from a working class perspective.

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