Communist Party of Turkey: The immigration problem is a labour problem
After the Taliban started to control more cities in Afghanistan, the situation of the immigrants has become a major topic discussed in Turkey. According to official records, in Turkey, where there are currently more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees, the new wave of arrivals of Afghan refugees has caused a social reaction. With the unsuccessful political moves of the ruling AKP government regarding immigrants and the impact of the economic crisis, an anti-immigrant reaction arose, mainly represented by the bourgeois opposition.
Moreover, the racist attacks towards the immigrants in the public have reached their peak in the events in Ankara (the capital city) in the past days. The anti-immigrant protests that started after the murder of a young person by a Syrian immigrant have escalated and turned into looting and lynching against immigrants. In the events that took place, the houses of Syrian immigrants were stoned and their shops were looted. After the events, the Communist Party of Turkey published a statement and evaluated the developments.
The statement is as follows:
1- For those who stand with labourers, the main political and humanitarian principle should be to stand against all kinds of violation of rights that the immigrants in Turkey face; to stand against exploitation of immigrant labour; and to stand against violence, oppression, racism and nationalism against refugees. Not immigrants, but the policies of the capitalist rulers themselves are the sources of Turkey’s problems in health, education, housing, transportation, security, violence, violence against women, reaction and etc. Turkey, as a capitalist country, will always hold the reserve army of labour, until an egalitarian order is established. Therefore, the reason why labourers are condemned to low wages is not unemployment or the capital; it is the operating mechanism of this capitalist social order. Likewise, reactionism is one of the means that imperialism/capitalism holds to manipulate the working class. It is an organized ideology that has mobilized many sources, and the fight against reactionism can only be possible by drying out the roots of this ideology, not by fighting the immigrants’ individual religious beliefs.
2- It should not be forgotten that the AKP’s refugee policy primarily benefits itself and the capitalist class. The steps taken by the government and its allies must be opposed without any compromise, and not a slightest goodwill should be expected from declarations and acts from the enemies of the people.
3- The statements and actions of the opposition of the order that categorize refugees according to the country they came from, give rise to racism and almost punish them because they are refugees, are also extremely hypocritical. It is not a secret that most of the supporters of this approach dream of a future for themselves or their circles abroad, in imperialist countries.
4- Capitalism is a rotten order that rottens people day by day. So, it can be concluded that each day is darker and pessimistic than the previous one. However, every sentence that begins with “before the refugees” contains both racism and an unscientific evaluation of Turkey, where labour exploitation continues without stopping, corruption, privatization and plunder takes place every day.
5- Countries have the right to evaluate their own resources and possibilities realistically, and to make short and long-term central plans accordingly. Surely, solidarity with the people who have been forced to flee from war, poverty, jihadism, within the bounds of resources is a requirement of revolutionary morals and socialism. In this sense, it should be out of question for a country to control the migrant flow with “quantitative” measures, and to put a quantitive limit that is reasonable to allow into country. However, the adoption of immigration policy by imperialist countries and the bourgeois government in a way that will turn all the political-cultural-economic balances of a country upside-down is unacceptable. The AKP government is a political actor that escalates the phenomenon of migration by interfering the internal affairs of many countries in a wide area, and manages the immigrants as it needs for its own agenda. Approaches that equate opposition to such an immigration policy with racism and xenophobia are simplistic, and take their source from liberalism. Moreover, such an indiscriminate perception of racism prevents to condemn the real racism. The communists have to organize a two-sided struggle against the manipulation of migration phenomenon by different poles of order politics within this frame.
6- Negotiating with imperialist countries over refugees, expecting foreign debt financing, visa liberalization etc. in exchange for people’s lives, blackmailing countries for some promises with expressions such as “we will unleash the refugees across the border” is as criminal, immoral and dishonorable as racism. No monetary bargaining with counties should be made over refugees and international negotiations should be based on solidarity.
7- Racist statements and provocations will only bring more destruction and barbarity to our country. It will hamper the future generation to grow believing in peace and humanity, and it will lead to the domination of hostile thoughts. This applies to both our citizens and refugees, and no one has the right to pollute the minds of our children this way.
8- The main reason for the refugee problem in our country is the greed of the capitalist class to cheap labour and profit, as well as the cooperation with imperialism and the expansionist, conquering foreign policy of the AKP. Unless this approach is abandoned in domestic and foreign policy, refugee problem carries the risk to continue to grow in disadvantage of all working people. The ties with the imperialist governments and organizations such as the USA, the EU and NATO should be broken immediately, and all the obligations and military missions brought by these ties should be terminated.
9- The Communist Party of Turkey continues to fulfill the requirements of the resolution taken at its 13th Congress. Immigrant Workers Bureau was established right after the Congress, and party organizations started to take concrete steps to organize the class struggle together with immigrant workers. We continue our efforts to become stronger together in the fight against exploitation, violence and racism, to develop necessary tools for this purpose, to overcome language and communication barriers, and to cooperate in legal issues. While it is pleasing that some of these steps have resulted in gains, we are aware that there is much more to be done. On this occasion, our party declares once again that we will continue to struggle with all our strength, with patriotic and internationalist principles, for a country where workers will live freely, fraternally and equally.
Communist Party of Turkey