The European Communist Initiative meeting titled "Struggle for Communism: 100 Years of Political Heritage" hosted by the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) took place on February 16-17 in İstanbul. The meeting being held on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Comintern elaborated on the history of the international communist movement and collectively discussed the challenges faced by the communist and workers’ parties at critical moments during the 20th century.
At the outset of the meeting, the communist and workers’ party delegates were greeted by the TKP International Relations Bureau, followed by the opening speech by TKP Secretary General Kemal Okuyan.
COMMUNIST AND WORKERS' PARTIES DISCUSS THEIR HISTORIES
According to the International Communist Press (ICP), the first session of the meeting titled “Revolutionary Uprisings” addressed two historical events. The lessons from the first Hungarian Workers' State (1919) was discussed by Gyula Thurmer, President of the Hungarian Workers’ Party (HWP). Alexander Cherepanov Kipriyanovich, Secretary of the Russian Communist Workers’ Party (RCWP) made a presentation on the October 1993 uprising in Russia, questioning whether it was as a missed opportunity or a provocation.
On the second session titled “Social Democracy and the CP’s”, Henrik Aris Patris, CC member of the CP of Sweeden (SKP) and Runa Evensen, Chairperson CP of Norway made presentations on the myth of Scandinavian social democracy and the communist movement after WWII.
The topic on “The Strategies of the CP’s in the Period of Fascism and WWII” was assessed in two sessions. Astor Garcia, Secretary General of the CP of the People’s of Spain (PCPE) discussed the strategy of the CP during the Civil War while Niko Kallionalusta from the Communist Workers’ Party – For Peace and Socialism from Finland reviewed the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-40.
Under that topic, Eleni Bellou, Member of the Politburo of the CC the CP of Greece (KKE) drew conclusions from KKE's armed struggle during WWII and from the struggle of DSE (Democratic Army of Greece), through the scope of the strategy of the international communist movement.
In the same session, Guido Ricci, CC International Department of the CP, Italy discussed the failure of the strategy to support bourgeois governments after WW II. The Communist Revolutionary Party of France (PCRF) furthered the discussion with a presentation on the policy of the CP of France in the framework of the National Council of Resistance and its participation in the government (1944-1947).
On the second day of the meeting, the session on “The National Question” included the presentations of Aydemir Güler, Member of the Party Central Council of the CP of Turkey (TKP) on TKP’s role in the National Liberation Movement in 1920, Victor Degiovanni, Secretary of the Central Committee of the CP of Malta (PKM) on the independence struggle of Malta, and Beata Karon, Responsible for International Relations of the CP of Poland (KPP) on Soviet-Polish war in 1920 and the working class movement in Poland.
The following session titled “The Soviet Experience and Post-Soviet Period” dealt with the contributions of the Baltic Republics to the socialist experience in the USSR, by Ingars Burlaks, Vice Chairman of Socialist Party of Latvia (LSP) and Konstantinas Gorskovas, Member of the Board of the Socialist Party, Lithuania (SP).
Kipriyanovich, Secretary of RCWP made an extensive presentation embracing the fight against the degeneration of the CPSU, the Congress and the XXVIII course on the market, followed by the continuation of Gorbachev opportunist politics after the collapse of the USSR. In the same session Leonid Efimovich Shokolnikov, First Secretary of Republican Committee of the Belarusian CP of Workers-Section of the CP of the Soviet Union (Belarus CPSU) discussed the class essence of Lukaschenko governments.
The last session titled “The Experience of the Socialist Republics” received the contributions of Vladimir Kapuralin, Responsible for International Relations of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Croatia (SPR) and Nikolaj Pavlovski, Responsible for International Relations the CP of Macedonia on the experience of the so-called self-management in Yugoslavia.
EUROPEAN COMMUNIST INITIATIVE TO STRENGTHEN ITS INFLUENCE AMONG WORKING CLASS
In each session, the communist and workers’ party delegates posed questions regarding the presentations, made contributions and elaborated the discussions. The TKP, as the organizer of the meeting, declared that the detailed papers of the presentations would be gathered and published.
At the end of the meeting, the General Secretary of the TKP Okuyan made a closing speech, saying “We learned a lot from each other but we have to proceed”. Pointing out that the differences between parties do not only stem from the differences between the countries but also from their different approaches to critical issues, Okuyan emphasized the need to carry on with the discussions without neglecting these differences.
“If we do not infer and learn from these discussions the meetings will be in vain,” said Okuyan, “In this meeting we not only discussed many issues but also learned how to discuss and develop our discussions.” Okuyan underlined that the priority of the European Initiative members is to strengthen their influence in the working class in each country in order to get prepared for socialist revolutionary moments.
The solidarity statement with the TKP’s local election campaign was signed by the European Communist Initiative delegates. At the end of the meeting, the delegates joined a Party event in the district of Kartal where the mayor candidates of the municipalities of İstanbul, all being workers, made speeches. The metropolitan mayor candidate of TKP for Istanbul, Zehra Güner, as one of the women nominated as the mayoral candidates of the three metropolitan cities in Turkey, also made a speech. The solidarity statement of the European Communist Initiative was read at the meeting and met with great applause.