Communist Party of Turkey (current)

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Communist Party of Turkey
Türkiye Komünist Partisi
Abbreviation TKP[1]
Leader Collective leadership of Central Committee
Secretary-General Kemal Okuyan
Founded 6 October 1992 (1992-10-06) (founded)
11 November 2001 (2001-11-11) (renamed)
22 January 2017 (2017-01-22) (reinitiated)
Headquarters Ankara
Newspaper soL
Ideology Communism
Marxism–Leninism
Democratic centralism
Political position Far-left
European affiliation INITIATIVE
International affiliation IMCWP
ICS
Colours Red, yellow, white
Slogan Boyun Eğme!
(Do not submit!)
Parliament:
0 / 550
Municipalities:
1 / 2,919
Website
www.TKP.org.tr

The Communist Party of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Komünist Partisi, TKP) is a communist party in Turkey.

It was founded as the Socialist Power Party (Turkish: Sosyalist İktidar Partisi, SİP) on 16 August 1993. In 2001, the party changed its name to the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and took over historical legacy of the TKP.

History[edit]

After the 12th September Coup & Gelenek era[edit]

The TKP that has been founded in 2001 has its roots in 1978. In that year a faction called Sosyalist İktidar (Socialist Power) has voiced concerns about the main political line of the Workers Party of Turkey (Türkiye İşçi Partisi or TİP). The group claimed that the party's activities were not consistent with the programme of a revolutionary party, defending socialist revolution. The group headed by Yalçın Küçük and Metin Çulhaoğlu argued that due to oppressive terror atmosphere in the country the party gave in to unification policy within the left wing thus losing the perspective of taking power. The group has printed the Sosyalist İktidar magazine during 1978-80 but it was not effective. After the coup of 12 September 1980 the activities of the group almost stopped like nearly all other party or groups.

After the coup the group aimed to consolidate its cadres and its theoritical base. However, in 1982 a division has occurred within the group between Yalçın Küçük supporters and Metin Çulhaoğlu followers. Yalçın Küçük and his group published Toplumsal Kurtuluş while Metin Çulhaoğlu and his group published Gelenek magazine after his release from jail in 1986. TKP stems from Gelenek magazine organisation. Gelenek defined the left in three categories as; orthodox, revolutionary democratic and new. From this perspective it defended the orthodox left view and criticized the ongoing glasnost and perestroika processes in the Soviet Union.

In this period the Gelenek group announced that in the upcoming 1987 General Elections it will not support any intra-system political party. It had worked with other left wing groups to campaign for independent members for parliament. During this era Gelenek group entered into negotiations for building a left wing party where all groups may be brought tgether but this process had failed. After the collapse of these talks Gelenek group had formed Socialist Turkey Party (Sosyalist Türkiye Partisi) STP on 6 November 1992 in Ankara. The Political Bureau of the party were made up of seven people: Ali Önder Öndeş (President), Kemal Okuyan (Vice-President), Metin Çulhaoğlu, Süleyman Baba, Uğur Özdemir, Işıtan Gündüz, Aydemir Güler. However, due to some parts in the party programme Socialist Turkey Party was closed on 30 November 1993 by the order of Constitutional Court.

SİP era (1993–2001)[edit]

No way out for coup or sharia

After the closure of STP, the party cadres immediately formed the Party for Socialist Power (Sosyalist İktidar Partisi) SİP. In the same year an internal division occurred within the party, culminating in the exit of Metin Çulhaoğlu and his followers. After this incident the head of the party became Aydemir Güler.

During December 1995 general elections the party had no right to enter the elections. SİP entered the Labour, Peace and Freedom Bloc headed by HADEP. After the election the party had urged the participants to proceed with the bloc however the components ceased to show a revolutionary attitude to go on with the bloc. SİP had led the 1996 Istanbul University occupation and sit-in acts protesting the fees. The party had also made its name heads by holding an unannounced meeting in the banned Taksim Square on May Day 1996. After the exposure of the Susurluk scandal the party encouraged the masses to take to the streets for protesting the regime that had connections with politicians-mobs-drug dealers etc. In the same year the party started a campaign that demanded the closure of the McDonald's in the Middle East Technical University Campus, Ankara.

In 1999 SİP entered the general elections for the first time under the leadership of Aydemir Güler and received 37,680 votes (%0.12). During the campaign process for the general elections party member Hüseyin Duman was shot dead by a rightist politician İhsan Bal.

In 2000 SİP emphasized on the ban on founding a party with "communist" adjective on its name. Thus party member Yalçın Cerit had applied to the authorities and found a new party called Communist Party (Komünist Parti). In spite of the law forbidding to form a party with the word "communist" in the name no legal steps were taken by the officials while SİP party members organised activities with both party names.

Founding of TKP and onwards (starting with 2001)[edit]

In the 6th Extraordinary Congress of SİP which was held on 11 November 2001, it has been announced that Communist Party has merged with the Party for Socialist Power and the name of the party has been changed to Communist Party of Turkey (Türkiye Komünist Partisi) TKP. With this congress communists from other organisations including the followers of Metin Çulhaoğlu had joined the ranks. The Central Committee was formed with the following: Aydemir Güler, Kemal Okuyan, Süleyman Baba, Uğur İşlek, Erkin Özalp, Hüseyin Karabulut, Kurtuluş Kılçer, Oğuz Kavala, Hüsnü Atlıkan, Yalçın Cerit, Mesut Odman, Gülay Dinçel, Alper Dizdar, Gamze Erbil, Mehmet Kuzulugil, Yaşar Çelik, Nihal İmeryüz, Tunç Tatoğlu, Sedat Cengiz, Haluk İmeryüz, Arif Basa, Atilla Gökçek. Aydemir Güler was selected as President and Kemal Okuyan as General Secretary. The founding date of the party was declared as 10 September 1920 Baku Congress.

During this period some of the main campaigns and achievements of the party were:

  • Rallying against the Iraq War when possible Turkish involvement was voted against on 1st Mart 2003. The resolution would have paved the way for relocation of US troops in Turkish soil and possible involvement of Turkish troops in Iraqi operations.
  • Founding of Committees against invasion and Peace Foundation.
  • Campaigning against the 2004 NATO Summit in İstanbul
  • Founding of Patriotic Front (Yurtsever Cephe) against growing influence of imperialism
  • Holding a mass rally against AKP Government in 2008 in Kadıköy, İstanbul
  • Party entered 2011 General Elections and received 64.006 votes (%0.15).
  • Party played a pivotal role in the 2009-2010 Tekel workers' industrial action and 2013 Gezi Park protests

Dissolution and reformation[edit]

After a period of internal strife, two rival factions of TKP reached a consensus on 15 July 2014 to freeze the activities of the party and that neither faction shall use the name and emblem of TKP.[2] The faction led by Erkan Baş and Metin Çulhaoğlu adopted the name People's Communist Party of Turkey and the faction led by Kemal Okuyan and Aydemir Güler founded the Communist Party.[3]

On 22 January 2017, a congress was held by the initiation of seven well-known figures in the left-wing politics. The congress was embraced by independent communists and also by the Communist Party. The congress announced that the TKP name will not be left unguarded and declared that TKP is back in the political scene.[4]

Organisational structure[edit]

The party's organisational structure is similar to that of an orthodox communist party. The basic unit is called cell, and the party has various cells in workshops, plants, neighbourhoods. These cells form the basis of district committees and eventually city committees. The deciding organ of the party is party congress where delegates from every organisation determine the Central Committee which has the authority between congresses. The Central Committee determines within itself a General Secretary whose responsibilities are; making sure that the Central Committee works are coordinated, the political and organisational activities of the party are guided closely and representing the party in national and international platforms.

Relations with other parties & internationalism[edit]

The part sees AKP, CHP and MHP as bourgeois parties and classifies them as opposing class parties. The party has warm relations with ÖDP, EMEP and Halkevleri, sometimes organising joint activities in local levels.

The party defends an orthodox view in communist movement and urges the movement to define its borders clearly. The party is quite close to Communist Party of Greece and the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain in international level. It has ties with many communist and worker's parties in Middle East, Caucasus and Balkans. It has close relations with the Communist Party of Cuba, leading a pioneer role in the solidarity for Cuba. TKP is a member of the Initiative of Communist and Workers' Parties. The party joins the efforts to build an international focal point by issuing a magazine about communist theory called International Communist Review. The youth of TKP is a member of World Federation of Democratic Youth.

Electoral performance[edit]

Party office in Istanbul
Election Number of votes for TKP Share of votes Seats
1999 General Election 37,671 0,12%
0 / 550
2002 General Election 50,496 0,19%
0 / 550
2007 General Election 80,092 0,22%
0 / 550
2011 General Election 64,006 0,15%
0 / 550

In the 2007 election, the party obtained its best result (by percentage) in Ardahan on the border with Georgia, where it got 787 votes (1.42%).[5] TKP did not maintain offices in Ardahan.

In 2014 election, TKP won Municipality of Ovacık, Tunceli.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Parti tüzüğü" (PDF) (in Turkish). T.C. Yargıtay Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı. Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  2. ^ TKP'de yol ayrımı
  3. ^ TKP'nin yerine Komünist Parti ve Halkın Türkiye Komünist Partisi
  4. ^ TKP yoluna devam ediyor
  5. ^ Ntvmsnbc Secim 2007 Archived 2008-09-21 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]