Quo Vadis Turkey? A crumbling fascism in the Middle East under imperialism – Mehmet Bayram – Sun, Oct 24, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific Time
Turkey is a neo-colonial NATO member country. It is tied through its umbilical cord to imperialism. Changing the name from Ottoman Empire to Republic of Turkey did not change much from what Ottomans stood for. An attempt at a bourgeois revolution was too late and had started during the Ottomans but was cut short, crushed, due to occurring in the age of imperialism. The bourgeoisie had changed character in this age and was no longer what used to be called a “national bourgeoisie.” A better term for the leaders of this crippled revolution would be “local bourgeoise” and its character as “comprador bourgeoisie” due to its relationship with imperialism.
Fascism passes through dormant and active phases, but never leaves Turkey. It is impossible to speak of a “bourgeois democracy” in the age of imperialism in the neo-colonial countries. This is tied to the crippled bourgeois revolution. Any and all, even very peaceful, demonstrations are brutally attacked and participants get long prison sentences. Hundreds of journalists are in jail, opposition party MPs are beaten, silenced and thrown into prisons, even without a charge for more than 4 years. The National Assembly is powerless and is irrelevant but stays for the show, typical of a regime that is defined by neo-colonial fascism. Unions are silenced and are under brutal attack. Media is suppressed and internet access is controlled. Government media spews unbelievable and outright ridiculous lies and repeats these 24 hours around the clock. Corporations work hand in glove with the government while raking in billions of dollars.
Corruption, as expected in the capitalist world is no longer secret but has become the norm. It is illegal to report corruption. Turkey uses Europe’s regulations against surveillance capitalism to protect the citizens against corporations like Google and Facebook to protect the capitalists and the corrupt government officials. It invokes the “right to be forgotten” against any news that exposes corruption, theft, bribery or murder and puts a media ban on news that exposes a corruption. Meritocracy has long vanished and the only qualification to get a job is loyalty to the government.
Erdoğan was brought to power by the US and he knows not to bite the hand that feeds him. As imperialism seems to lose its grip due to its seeming decline, neo-colonials do look around for a new boss to take its orders. Fascism is the only way to rule in a country that also has a rich history of socialist and left opposition. However, as new elections approach in a year and a half, the main topic that the country discusses is whether the government will even have the elections or respect the results. The answer seems to lie in the parallel, paramilitary, armed, terrorist organizations the AKP government is preparing, very similar to the illegal, semi-secret structures that were used for the Armenian Genocide.
Economic collapse has only exacerbated the fascism and repression has increased even in the last few days.
These and similar issues on foreign affairs involving Syria, Russia, China, Greece, but mostly European Union and the US will be discussed. However, Turkey never did, does not, and will not decide independently its internal or external affairs. Imperialism is an internal affair in Turkey due to the class structure under imperialism. What seems to be bold moves that could be read as challenging the US are only the slave asking for the leash to be extended a bit while Turkey picks up doing more dirty work for US imperialism in the world and the Middle East.
Even many on the left who opposed the analysis of fascism in the past are pronouncing this terminology to define Turkey these days.
What are the alternatives? What is the left to do?
Our speaker, Mehmet Bayram, is visiting his native land Turkey and will be reporting from there. He is a long time journalist, reporter, photographer and translator. Currently he writes and translates for the Sendika.org in Turkey, a site shut down 62 times by the government. Please follow Turkey’s news in English at: https://sendika.org/kategori/english/