Yeniyol joins the Workers’ Party of Turkey
The Turkish section of the Fourth International, Sosyalist Demokrasi için Yeniyol [New Course for Socialist Democracy] has decided to join the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TIP). As part of the agreements concluded with the leadership of the TIP, Yeniyol will no longer exist as an entity, all these members will now be members of the party, however the site Imdat Freni (“Emergency Brake”, a reference to Walter Benjamin) run by the activists of the section will be maintained, as well as relations with the Fourth International.
The TIP takes its name from the main political formation of the socialist left of the 1960s, founded primarily by trade unionists, then joined by left-wing intellectuals and in particular a significant group of Kurdish intellectuals. Today’s TIP is a party born of the crisis of the Stalinist TKP (Turkish Communist Party) in the face of the so-called “Gezi” movement in 2013, in particular of its youth organisation faced with the party’s inability to meet the aspirations of the young people mobilized. The TIP was therefore founded following a left-wing split from the TKP. This reorientation to the left was illustrated in particular in the relationship to the Kurdish movement but also to the other revolutionary currents of Turkey, thus marking a break with the nationalism and sectarianism of the TKP. Founded in 2017, the TIP made an alliance with the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party, stemming from the Kurdish movement) in the 2018 elections and managed to obtain two deputies (Erkan Baş and Barış Atay) through the HDP lists. Two other MPs joined them (Sera Kadıgil from the republican CHP and Ahmet Şık from the HDP). The combativeness of these four deputies (three men and one woman) in parliament, the fact that they managed to use their place in the assembly to actively denounce the policies of the AKP and its corruption while expressing the demands of social movements, especially the working class and the women’s movement, have made the TIP a pole of attraction in the eyes of workers, women and especially young people. The party now has more than 7,000 members and continues to grow day by day. If the party openly identifies with socialism (in the revolutionary sense of the term), its base is very heterogeneous, and a large fringe is made up of people who have never had a link with far-left organizations or have not even ever voted for a left party (CHP included). This is especially true for the party's working class base (steelworkers, textile workers, agricultural workers and so on). But it is also true of an important part of the base that comes from disillusioned CHP supporters. On the other hand, a very young base has also joined the TIP, for most of whom this is their first political commitment, and who are thus distant from the insignificant and obsolete historical divisions of the Turkish left and will therefore make their own history, live their own experiences.
Thus, transforming this significant radicalization into politicization, recruiting people not only to the party but to revolutionary ideas, thus politically and ideologically training the members, but also inserting them into militant activity in their enterprises, factories, universities, workplaces... These are the major challenges facing the TIP.
We join the TIP for the construction of the Anti-capitalist Alternative!
Declaration by Yeniyol
After decades of defeat, the international workers’ movement and revolutionary socialist forces are faced with the need for restructuring which is more urgent than ever, as capitalism precipitates humanity and the planet into ecological catastrophe and fascistic movements gain strength all over the world.
And if we look at the land in which we live, we are going through a phase that is not independent of this international framework, where political, economic, social and ecological crises intertwine, and where the regime of the Palace [that of Erdogan] loses its legitimacy and uses its repressive apparatuses even more brutally. It is well understood that the forces of restoration [the bourgeois opposition], which see themselves as candidates for power, promise nothing but poverty and exploitation and do not tolerate the collective struggles of those below.
The regime is trying to discipline workers with both economic and political offensives; the state is doing its best to keep the Kurdish people breathless; the struggle of women, which sets an example through its perseverance, are threatened with being silenced; LGBTI+ people are targeted by the state, universities are attacked, nature is subjected to a horrific looting operation including a great wave of dispossession.
We say that there is a way to get rid of this corrupt regime where any democratic right is arbitrarily attacked and the system of capitalist barbarism in which it is located.
This path passes through the formation of an anti-capitalist political tool through struggles, which aims to ensure that the workers and the oppressed obtain gains that will improve their capacity for collective action, increase their self-confidence and aim at the reconstruction of class consciousness.
The goal is not only to defeat the AKP, but to lay the foundations for a united political struggle that will break the domination of capital in the process that follows and make the break with capitalism a meaningful and imaginable alternative in the eyes of the broad masses. And this requires the restructuring of the socialist movement, the construction of a revolutionary mass party, eco-socialist and feminist, internationalist and pluralist, rooted in the working classes.
We believe that the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TIP) can be a decisive actor in the construction of an anti-capitalist class policy that will pave the way for a way out favouring the workers and the oppressed from the conditions of total crisis in which we find ourselves and that will undertake the defence of labour and freedom against the new bourgeois government in the post-AKP period.
It is particularly important for us, given the type of political construction we are talking about.
1) that the TIP emerges as a socialist [revolutionary] pole having attracted attention and respect among workers and popular sectors for the first time after many years;
2) that the party acts along an internationalist line and in solidarity with the Kurdish people and the HDP;
3) that it is a terrain capable of developing a pluralistic and participatory political culture by opening its ranks to all those who want to fight the capitalist order rather than to be the bearer of a single political tradition.
We declare that we will henceforth continue our revolutionary struggle begun in 1978 with the publication of Sürekli Devrim [“Permanent Revolution”] in the ranks of the Workers’ Party of Turkey, as a member of that party. We invite all our friends to join the Workers’ Party of Turkey to build an anti-capitalist political alternative.
Sosyalist Demokrasi için Yeniyol
New Course for Socialist Democracy