We publish this statement on the political situation in Turkey following the attempted military coup written by the revolutionary Anarchist organization, DAF (Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet). The group publishes a monthly newspaper Meydan and is active across Turkey and the Kurdistan region in the sectors of youth, women, labor, ecology and the autonomous Kurdish struggle. This translated statement has been edited for clarity.
July 17, 2016
The recent coup, which has been an inevitable reality of the state presence in this region since the military coup of 1980, arose after 36 years on the night of July 15. Many state buildings were blocked for several hours during the military mobilization based in Istanbul and Ankara. The coup started with a flyover of fighter jets in Ankara and the blocking of bridges in Istanbul by soldiers and then continued with taking hostage the military chief of general staff as tanks and gun shots were heard in the streets. Many state buildings were strafed by F1-6 jets and helicopters, including the parliament building and the headquarters of National Intelligence Organisation. There were armed clashes in many places between soldiers and police. Following the events, national state television broadcast was cut and the declaration was read by the coup leadership, the “Peace at Home Council.” When the ”5 Hour Coup” ended, more than one hundred soldiers, eighty police officers and eighty anti-coup protesters were dead. In total, 2839 soldiers with many high ranked ones among them were taken into custody.
During this 36 years period, the coup as a tool of political oppression, violence and suppression, has been used as a threat by the army over and over again. No doubt, for us, the oppressed, the use of coups means torture, suppression and the massacre of people in this region during these periods. It is evident that a structure which takes it’s power from the massacres it carries out, would only continue carrying out massacres in the name of “protecting the indivisible unity of the country.” The recent coup is a result of power groups fighting for power inside the state. Perhaps, the hidden existence of power blocs outside the state pushes it’s definition to a wider scale. However, there is no doubt that the ones who will reinforce their power as a result of this 5 hour coup are the current government and the head of state.
The night that started as a military coup was declared a “democracy holiday” by President Erdoğan while the state power gained control. The AKP ruling party gained the title of “repelling a coup” with its victory, on top of it’s legitimacy of “being elected.” Throughout the night, all TV channels made broadcasts that served this victory and propagandandized the illusion of democracy personified in Erdoğan. This propaganda was also made continuously by the media that was known to oppose the coup and in this fight for state power, the media not only took the side of Erdoğan but also played the role of channeling people into the streets.
The opposing parties in the parliament joined the media in not “sparing” their support for the AKP since the start of this process and fell into the “prevent others from making politics” trap of state power. The stance of the opposition parties in “taking sides with democracy against the coup” acted as a mask of their political unawareness. This indicates clearly that in the short term they will not mobilize other than to reinforce the politics of state power. Defining the ones who “will die when [President] Tayyip Erdoğan says die, will shoot when he says shoot,” filling the squares with slogans of “we want the death penalty,” focused on lynching anyone who comes across as “democracy supporters”- isn’t this a sign of political stagnation of the same opposing parties?
With this coup and the victory against the coup, the AKP now has the environment that it needs to create an ideological transformation of society. The “50% that hardly contained themselves at home” were on the streets as a threatening display by Erdoğan during the Gezi Protests. The fascist culture, which is an important part of the ideological transformation taking place from the law system to social life, was awakened with the ones mobilized by the state onto the streets. Not only that, they were disguised as people trying to uphold the power of democracy, but it is not hard to guess how these “democratic mobilizations” will face the oppressed in very different ways in other circumstances. We have already heard news of lynching attempts aimed at those not taking sides with reinforced power of the state.
This fight of power blocs trying to acquire the power of the state, which operates on top of rising economic and political injustice, is nothing but the perpetuating of the authority of oppressors on the oppressed in order to destroy the freedom of those on the bottom. There is no doubt that neither the visible or invisible dictatorship, nor the militarization of civil structures, nor the coup, nor the elections of political powers that are the enemy of the people, has anything to do with the will of the people. We, who believe that free life cannot be created by a coup or by elections, recognize the existence of the state as a coup to freedom; and our revolt will continue until it creates a free world. The state is the coup, revolution is freedom. What we all need is to not raise our hopes up on the fights between the powerful, but to know that our hope is in a revolution for freedom.
Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF)
To read other statements and articles on Turkey by Black Rose/Rosa Negra see here.