'We shall build a stronger one'
Speech of Kemal Okuyan, GS of the CC of TKP, at the event for the anniversary of Great October Socialist Revolution and the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, held in İzmir on 28 October.
When did the communists become republicans? Look how superficial is this question...
Modern history starts with a great revolution; The French Revolution, in 1789. It has almost been 230 years. This revolution opened way to the foundation of the first Republic in France, in 1792. Afterwards, in 1804 the French Empire was proclaimed In 1848 the revolutions shook Paris again and the republic was re-built. In 1851 it was demolished for one more time. In 1870-1871 the working class in France stepped in. The Paris Commune, the rule of the working people, re-established the republic. The origins of the song that we shall sing together at the end of this night, ‘The International’, come from this Commune. And who demolished the Republic that was founded by the proletariat of Paris? Hitler, the blood-handed dictator of the German monopolies. This same person in 1933 was the one that demolished the first German Republic that was founded in 1919 again by a revolution. In Spain the working class, the communists defended the republic that was founded in 1931 and finally turned over Franco, the favourite man of the bosses and landlords.
In 1917 at the moment that the first socialist revolution was achieved, the working class named its power as socialist republic.
Through out whole of this story, we stand by the republic. In the other side stand the obscurants, the blooded dictators of the monopolies, the bigots, the priests, the kings, sultans and exploiters.
In Turkey we also have roots in 1923. The Communists have always been republicans. Yes, the republic that was built with a revolutionary spurt firstly sneakingly got rotten then ruined, by the same forces, the reactionaries. The question itself is wrong. The question of when did the communists become republicans. We were always here.
But why? What is the meaning of the Republic for the communists, so that they historically, in the past and today, stand by the republic? Republic means popular will, that represents not the God nor the dynasty but the People. Kings, sultans, shahs, sheikhs, tsars they all rule on behalf of dynasties or God. Instead the popular will has two aspects. The people are equal and not governed by religion. If the holy one gets in the way, there is no longer a republic. Look, we are talking here. We are challenging the exploiters, the imperialists. But, as they squeeze they are hiding behind their sacredness. Why so? Because as the name implies, the sacred is inviolable. We cannot interfere with the religious beliefs of the people but just because of this deceit we have to pull the pin of the ones that are hiding behind religion.
That is right, you should not let God be involved in your governmental affairs. This principle summarizes secularism. Also, you should not let other countries interfere your own internal affairs. And this is sovereignty. And the popular will has to be reflected. Today there is no secularism. There is a country that is being governed with Holy texts. Set aside the blusters of our sultan, are the European Union adjustment laws still valid? They are. As ‘strategic partners’ didn’t they make attacks with the USA? They did. Is the membership to NATO still valid? It is. Well, is the common will equally reflected? The ruling classes possess the media, money and they use religion as well. Excuse me, but we do not, we cannot call this a republic. Look, on 2019 the presidential elections will take place. We need 100.000 registered signatures. This costs 10-15 million Turkish Lira. For the Palace, this is nothing. But, does anybody here own 10-15 million Turkish Lira? The votes are equal but people are not!
Remember the old question. Is the vote of the shepherd equal to the vote of an engineer? Should be equal. As long as we are talking about humans not sheep! The existing system turns humans to sheep, with money, cheat and superstitions. And then the popular will is stupefied! There is no popular will in a system that spirits away the human.
What were we saying? This country is not a republic anymore. So, we have to build a new one, not to be demolished again. How? I hold in my hand the Constitution written down by Communist Party of Turkey. We call it ‘Socialist Constitution’. The one that we shall suggest and apply in the working people’s power in Turkey. Here are the introductory decrees which no one can propose or dare to change:
“Article 1- The Turkish Republic, without any discrimination as to language, religion, race and sex, is a sovereign socialist state that represents the common will and defends the interests of the working people, peasants and all labourers." This means equal citizenship. There is no room for exploiters. Does anyone have an objection? No, good.
“Article 2- No regulation, profession, operation or action can allow man to exploit man; planning and taking measures to ensure this, is among the primary tasks of the state.” Socialism is an emancipatory system but there are some red lines. Exploitation is forbidden. Increasing one’s wealth by stealing the labour of another, is forbidden. Do you have any objection to this? No.
“Article 3- The political life and the governmental affairs, altogether or in parts, cannot be based on religion or religious laws. The belief in religion is an individual choice; every citizen is free to believe in any or no religion, and is free to make or not make it public. This is the real definition of secularism. We are in Izmir, so I don’t even have to ask but, is there an objection? No.
“Article 4- In the Republic of Turkey where many different nations and people live together, all citizens benefit from the same rights, without any discrimination of ethnical or national roots. No nation has more role or responsibility than other nations or peoples in organizing the sovereign socialist state, in building and preserving an equal socialist system.” There is no nationalism here, no ethnical politics or separatism; there is fraternity, solidarity, equality. Is there any objection to this? No.
Article 5- The inviolability of the first four decrees of the Constitution are under guarantee of the organized society. Here we are not referring to the army, but the society. We are referring to the workers, youth, students, peasants, intellectuals, i.e. the main articles in the Constitution are under the guarantee of all the people. The army shall be the army of the people, not of the palace or NATO.
Well, let us continue…What purposes shall these basic decrees serve? Factories, farms, forests, natural treasures (both underground and not), shall be under the possession of the working class. This event started with these words; from just the beginning of the October Revolution in 1917. ‘Workers, be watchful and guard like the apple of your eye your land, grain, factories, equipment, products, transport- all that from now onwards will be entirely your property, public property’.
How nice. Workers, guard your factories, land and grain. Because these belong to the workers. After reserving the share for the needs of the society the whole value of the production shall be paid to the workers. What is this share? Education, health, dams, investments for new technologies, parks, cultural palaces… Not a penny to Koç, Sabancı, Ağaoğlu and the rest exploiters. Not a penny to the Palace. This is what we shall do: Stop the leakage. And we will have the sources for building a developed classless society.
Then the working hours shall decrease. Humanity has given struggle for this and gained the right of 8-hour workday. But now, we are going back to the old ages. Technology develops and we are work more. It was said that people will be replaced by robots! Instead, people are turning into robots. In socialism the working hours shall gradually decrease. Listen what is written in the Socialist Constitution: “The reduction of work hours, is the precondition for the development of the human kind in all dimensions and is one of the primary targets of the society. The working hours cannot be more than 35 per week.” One prohibition more. The prohibitions is socialism are a bit different, these are positive prohibitions.
There are some more… “Article 28- Ensuring working opportunity and working security to every citizen of any age capable of working is among the main duties of the state. The state cannot abolish these two basic rights at any condition and cannot ignore the conditions that give cause for this.” That means, unemployment is forbidden!
Since we are talking about bans. Here you are, one more: “All citizens of the Republic of Turkey are free to speak, make propaganda and get organized. Racist or fascist ideas, ideas that support openly or indirectly the exploitation of man by man, warmongering, abuse of religion cannot use the right to make propaganda and get organized as they block the free development of the society.” Warmongering is forbidden, racism, abuse of religion is forbidden. As far as religion is concerned, they say that we shall interfere in the beliefs of the people. That is a lie. This is what we say in the Socialist Constitution: “Each citizen of the Republic of Turkey has the freedom of belief and pray. Not any institution or person can put pressure on any other person.” This is a basic human right. Socialism values the basic human rights and freedoms. And we continue:
“The attempt of the politicization of religion and the regulation of the social life with religious laws are averted. No reference can be made in any official document about the religious beliefs of the citizens.” This is also essential for secularism. Comrades, friends, I continue: “People have the right to live in environments in which they can re-create themselves. According to this right, all citizens of the Republic of Turkey are provided with the right of a residence suitable for their needs. Every kind of precaution is taken so that the residences are properly constructed or improved against earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters. Heating, electric energy and water are supplied for free. Reducing the transportation on highways and extending more safe, comfortable and effective ways of transportation in urban and intercity transport.”
Let me stop now. I ask you: Don’t you want to live in a country like this? Think about it… In a country that nobody can say that men and women are not equal, women will not be killed, the statues will not be spitted on, the scientists will not be abandoned to the holding companies, the theatre and opera houses will not be turned to shopping malls, the people with different sexual orientations will not be marginalized, will not be treated as sick people… During the day not being exploited, at night not sleeping hungry as Nazim Hikmet said.
Do we want this? Is this possible? On 1917 the people that believed in this, took action. In the Soviet Union all the above started being real. They passed the sea but they got drown in the river. They made some mistakes, they underestimated the enemy, i.e. the imperialism, the capitalism. The Soviet Union was demolished…
So, what shall we do? We shall build another, stronger republic. Socialism will suit very well to the "republic".