After the second imperialist war [World War II], imperialism was forced to resolve its own internal contradictions without such wars. It was necessary for a system of internal relationships to be made so colonies could be preserved and divided up without the need to have wars like the second imperialist war. The integration of new relationships was necessary, and so new international institutions were set up, like NATO, the IMF, the World Bank and so on.
NATO and similar treaties are a means of making countries which are already dependent in other ways, dependent and controllable in military ways also. These countries, as NATO members, are under obligations which make them both part of and a way of carrying out the strategies of the USA. Under ist treaties, NATO members are the headquarters of robbery on a world scale. US imperialism sees itself as a world gendarme, and so it has to have bases in strategically important countries, and it has to make treaties with those countries. The USA has to have bases for NATO in Turkey, because these are important for its role as world gendarme.
The ruling classes in Turkey, which after the second imperialist war entered NATO because this was the best way of forming relations with imperialism, needed to make Turkey’s entry into NATO easier and win the trust of imperialism, so in 1950 they sent 4,500 troops to take part in the Korean War. Turkey showed its loyalty to imperialism by spilling the blood of its own soldiers, and as a reward it was allowed to join NATO in 1952. Turkey’s membership in NATO, which was founded in 1949 as a way of attacking the socialist system and was the most important aggressive organisation of imperialism and capitalism, was strategically important, because Turkey was the only NATO member to have a border with the Soviet Union. This was an important reason why the Turkish military became more dependent on imperialism, and why the military was transformed. The influence and domination of imperialism increased. In this way, the Turkish military became an army of occupation on behalf of imperialism.
NATO membership obliged Turkey to have a much bigger army than the one it had before. But Turkey is not a country that is constantly at war. Why does it have to have an army that is so large, proportionately three times as large as the average size of the world’s armies, and why does it spend a third of the budget on defence? According to NATO sources, Turkey’s armed forces consist of 1 million servicemen (inside NATO, Turkey has the second-largest armed forces after the USA). The soldiers of the Turkish army cost the least. Twenty-three of them cost the same as one US soldier. This is the secret of how Turkey can maintain 1 million soldiers. Moreover, this million-strong armed forces, which is in charge of the Bosporus and is close to the Middle East, is worth supporting with “aid”and credits, and it is worth forming a relationship with it.
After entering NATO, the number of NATO bases and installations on Turkey’s soil grew to 112 by 1964, and this is a sign of how dominated Turkey is by imperialism and how much it is under the imperialist boot. These bases are used both to keep the class struggle in our land under control and to act as a springboard for imperialist aggression in the whole Middle East. It does not matter how the collaborationist rulers present these bases, what matters is that 35 million square metres of Turkey’s soil is allowed to be under the control of imperialism.
Because of the heavy obligations made on us by all bilateral military and political treaties, our land has almost become the 52nd US state, all because of NATO membership. The bases and installations in Turkey were set up under Article 3 in NATO’s constitution. This article states that an attack on one NATO member is the same as an attack on them all. But all these bases and installations are under the control of the USA, and their existence within a NATO framework is only a cover. This is because these bases and installations were not agreed among all NATO members, but are the result of 1954 talks between the USA and Turkey’s government through a “military facilitation commission”.
Turkey has fulfilled its role as a guardian of imperialism’s Middle East interests through the bilateral treaty. From 1950, it has been a loyal ally and springboard. Also, while Turkey is a NATO country, at the same time it is a bridge to the Muslim countries. One of the great lies of imperialism and its collaborators is to call every movement directed against it “terrorist”. In this way, they want to make liberation movements illegitimate by accusing them of “terrorism”, and they also want to make their own terrorism seem legitimate. The leader of NATO, the USA, THE chief enemy of the peoples of the world, and its criminal organisation the CIA publishes “terrorism reports” aimed against social and national liberation movements as a way of keeping secret its own terrorist activities. For imperialism and its collaborators the DHKP-C (Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Party-Front) is also a “dangerous” and “terrorist” organisation. But we know that it can never be terrorism to fight against exploitative and oppressive powers and imperialism, and for the power of working people; on the contrary, it is legitimate. For the actual source of terrorism is imperialism. The Party-Front’s fight against imperialism, wherever it occurs, its fight against imperialist terror and stand alongside the peoples of the world would fill entire pages. We have given many dead in the fight for this. Imperialism makes us into a target through the “terrorism” list and wants to use it to deceive the peoples of the world, but we will resist it and the imperialist terrorists and expose and adopt an attitude to it, because this is a duty for all who are against fascism. For one cannot be against fascism without being against imperialism. And to fight imperialism means internationalism. In 1991, the whole world saw the role played by these bases, when warplanes from Incirlik and other bases in Turkey massacred the people of Iraq. It was shown yet again that these bases have nothing to do with defending the country but are there to carry out imperialist aggression.
NATO was formed after the second imperialist war to integrate imperialist military forces in the struggle against the socialist system and the liberation movements, so imperialism could carry out aggression against the peoples of the world. It still plays this role today. The imperialists, for whom the question on the agenda was “Who is now NATO’s enemy?”, first tried to answer this question with “Russia is still a threat”. Then the imperialists took control of Russia through Yeltsin, and they had trouble finding another enemy. Then the “New World Order”, that is, the ethnic conflicts in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Africa, the Middle East and regional wars were the answer to this need.
Just like the past, when Truman in the name of the “Free World” dropped nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Eisenhower massacred the Korean people, Johnson and Nixon destroyed Vietnam and carried out massacres, and Bush during the Gulf War murdered the Iraqi people and levelled Iraq to the ground to show his gratitude to the imperialist financial concerns. Today Clinton is doing the same by using the “New World Order” to put pressure on the peoples and to attack struggles for independence, democracy and socialism. He is directing the massacre and torture of the Kurdish and Turkish people. For imperialism cannot live without war. The history of the main gendarmes of imperialism, the USA and NATO is the history of war against the peoples of the world. And the task of the US president is to lead this war.
Apart from a tiny handful of people who have the same interests as the imperialists, nobody can say that our land is independent of imperialism. Because of this dependence on imperialism, the oligarchy that rules Turkey did not support the independence struggles of Korea and Algeria, but instead they supported US and French interests. Today Turkey is a land in which no mainstream political party can form the government without receiving the approval of the USA, NATO and the CIA. The military-fascist junta of September 12, 1980 was planned by the USA. NATO was delighted by the coup: “Your boys have done it,” was what Paul Hantze, the head of the Middle East Department of the CIA, said when he heard the news. “In the Gulf it is burning. East Anatolia is the best fire engine in the region. It is very important to strengthen the defences of Turkey, because if there is a crisis, the military in Turkey can themselves act as rapid reaction troops. It is easier for Turkey to provide US rapid reaction troops with a base.” This was said by Professor Wohlstetter, who carried out research for the US Department of Defence. On September 19, 1980, the NATO commander in chief Rogers said that if necessary nuclear missiles would be deployed in Turkey. The same was said by another NATO general, namely that they were thinking of bringing nuclear weapons into Turkey. In view of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, caused by the attempt to deploy such weapons, Turkey would have been brought into a very dangerous situation.
No NATO country agreed to become a “testing ground for tactical weapons”, because of the negative effect on the environment and animals from low-flying warplanes, including night flights and supersonic flights, as well as from training in which live ammunition was used. But this kind of training was carried out in Turkey. These flights, which people could not stand, let alone animals, and which even damaged plant life, were carried out by up to 150 aircraft a day, and a total of 2,500 aircraft carried out such flights. What is that if it is not evidence of our lack of independence? This is the proof that plant life and animals in the imperialist countries are worth more than the people of our country. Not a single treaty was agreed with the people of our country.
In particular, every year since 1945 dozens of economic and military treaties were concluded with the imperialists. These treaties were not shared with the public, and some were classed as “secret”. They took us into NATO without asking our opinion. Turkish troops were sent to Korea and they did not ask us. We were the ones who had to die. The Gulf War happened on our doorstep. They did not ask us, but we were the ones who had to die. We were not consulted about entering the currency union, but we were the ones who became unemployed as a result of it. The rapid reaction troops are based on our soil, but nobody asked our opinion about it. Treaties were concluded with Zionist Israel, but nobody asked us. When events like those in Vietnam took place in Somalia and Turkish Kurdistan, or when the people of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Albania were massacred, imperialism was responsible.
We want a land that is not a slave to imperialism. We want all economic and military treaties with imperialism to be cancelled immediately. We want a foreign policy which does not trample on the dignity of the peoples and which is based on the interests of the peoples.
We do not want Turkey to be a base for the USA and NATO to carry out attacks on Lebanon and Iraq. We do not want our land to be a target for exploitation by imperialist firms.
We want a land which takes all its military and political decisions itself. Turkey may not be a tool of imperialist politics which try to turn the peoples of the world against each other. We want a country in which the peoples of the world live with each other in a brotherly manner and help peoples who are fighting for their independence.
Today we are fighting alongside our people for liberation and independence, to drive the imperialists out of our land. We are fighting to put an end to exploitation and oppression. To win this struggle we are ready to pay a price, no matter how high it is, no matter how much blood of ours is shed. What we are fighting for is to put an end to imperialism in our country. It is not terrorism to fight against the exploitative and oppressive power of imperialism and for the power of working people. It is legitimate. This is what the DHKP-C is doing.
Today imperialism, and its aggressive military wing NATO, is still the greatest enemy of the peoples of the world. The fight against military attacks, against the politics, demagogy, lies and collaborators of
imperialism is always the basis of the liberation struggle by the peoples of the world. Any deviation from this struggle for peace, freedom and liberation is against the interests of the peoples of the world. We can see that, whatever the cost may be, this is the price to be paid, and this is the factor that must be taken into account in tactics and strategy. Because our land, Turkey and Turkish Kurdistan, is a military base. We know that an independent Turkey will come from the closing of NATO and US bases and the cancelling of bilateral treaties. For years we have been carrying the flag of our country’s independence. When we pushed the sailors of the US Sixth Fleet back into the sea when they tried to use our harbours as rest and recreation centres for themselves, because we used slogans like “Down with American imperialism, Yankee go home, down with NATO”, we were shot down in the street, murdered, tortured and executed and thrown into prison.
Our history, from THKP-C to DEVRIMCI SOL, from DEVRIMCI SOL to DHKP-C is full of such examples. For it is legitimate to fight against an imperialist force like NATO which is an enemy of the peoples. Under all circumstances we have defended the independence struggle against the servants of America and NATO. Great mass actions were the places in which the hatred of imperialism and its servants was expressed. DEVRIMCI SOL militants protested against the murders carried out by imperialism in all parts of the world. Solidarity was expressed with all peoples, especially the Palestinian people. An attitude was taken to the murderous and exploitative Dutch, French and Israeli embassies. The visit by the Sixth Fleet was greeted by the “Yankee Go Home” campaign, and the sailors of the Sixth Fleet were harassed wherever they went.
We showed our anger against dozens of imperialist installations, banks, firms and consulates during the Gulf War. DEVRIMCI SOL made clear the reaction of the people during the Gulf War. In the process it made clear the reaction of the people against the war, despite the price it paid in killed, wounded and hundreds of prisoners, and it channelled the people’s reaction into the organisation. In many areas and regions, “No to the imperialist war” committees were set up and the struggle against the imperialist war was furthered. Hundreds of street actions and shop boycotts took place. Lights were turned out. The slogans were “No to the imperialist war”, in Europe as in Turkey. The CIA agent Bobbie Eugene at the Adana Incirlik base which was used to transport weapons of death, Lieutenant-Colonel Alvin Macke who worked in Izmir’s NATO office, and the retired colonel and NATO courier John Gandy, who was director of TUSLOG in Istanbul, were all punished with death.
The peoples of Turkey, under the leadership of DEVRIMCI SOL, wrote a page in history by engaging in armed action which showed by far the strongest protest response to the imperialist war. A strong chain was formed in the link of the anti-imperialist tradition.
Today, as DHKP-C, national independence and international brotherhood are principles we will not give up. Nations, international ties and independence are valued by us within this framework.
We want every kind of political, economic and cultural form of dependence to be ended, because we value the independence of our land in all things. Dependence on imperialism is not our inevitable fate. Imperialism is not invincible. We defend the just and legitimate struggle of the Kurdish and Turkish people against the unjust wars of the imperialists of NATO and their collaborators.
Our struggle is against imperialism, for independence, against fascism and for democracy, against capitalism and for socialism. We are fighting for an independent, democratic and free country.
And we will definitely win this fight.