The Labour Party (EMEP) announced its line of struggle and alliance

The Labour Party (EMEP) announced its line of struggle and alliance

The Labour Party – Turkey (EMEP) has announced a declaration regarding the roadmap, programme of struggle and alliance policies for the upcoming period.
The Labour Party (EMEP) has announced its programme of struggle in the current conditions of the country and its roadmap for alliance policies.
The declaration is announced to the public on Sunday, at the Barış Manço Cultural Centre in Istanbul, with the participation of representatives of trade unions, professional chambers, political parties as well as intellectuals, writers, academics and journalists. The Party Chair Ercüment Akdeniz read out the declaration.
With the declaration, EMEP also announced to the public its views on the election debates and calls for an alternative alliance.

WE WILL WIN TOGETHER, THE PEOPLE WILL WIN!
DECLARATION ON AN INDEPENDENT, DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY AND FOR A HUMANE LIFE


The one-man rule, the Erdoğan-led reactionary bourgeois alliance, the so-called “People’s Alliance”, and the capitalist forces behind it are dragging the country and the people into complete destruction. Those who came to power with the slogan “We will end poverty, corruption and restrictions” have increased all those instead.
The country’s natural resources, all its accumulation and wealth, especially strategically important enterprises, were handed out to domestic and foreign monopolies through privatizations, funds, public-private partnerships and some other projects. Gang-mafia relations became commonplace by means of companies, foundations, party organizations, state institutions and members of government.

The Erdogan-AKP governments, accompanied by the propaganda of “pro-localism and nationalism”, made the country more dependent on imperialism economically, politically and militarily; the dominance of domestic and foreign monopolies became stronger in every field. Those who say “We are fighting an economic liberation war against foreign powers” tied the fate of the Turkish lira to the dollar, with the introduction of “foreign exchange-protected deposits” just before the new year.

With the policies of Erdoğan and his government, working and living conditions of workers and labourers are getting worse day by day. The economic crisis and the destruction caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are being billed to them. Price hikes, unemployment, low wages, high inflation and tax injustice make people’s lives unbearable.

While foreign dependency in agriculture, livestock and food increases, the productive peasantry is driven into bankruptcy. Those who fill the coffers of the companies, especially in the field of energy and mining, know no bounds in the plunder of nature and the destruction of the environment. Those who call for sacrifice when it comes to the demands of the workers transfer billions of liras to big capital, especially the pro-government ones, with incentives and tax exemptions.

While the facts are clear as daylight, the spokespersons of Erdoğan and his alliance use the “external forces” card and say that they are the source of all evil, and people should not be “fooled”. They try to silence those who object to this propaganda and seek their rights by announcing them as “terrorists, traitors”, through pressures, arrests and exiles. They systematically restrict the democratic rights and freedoms that are already limited, and violate the existing constitution and laws when it does not suit them. From Roboski (where 34 civilians, including children, were killed in 2011) to Soma (where 301 coal miners were killed in a fire in 2014), from the 10 October 2015 Ankara massacre (where 103 [people were killed in suicide bomb attacks when they gathered for a rally for peace) to the Çorlu train accident victims’ case, justice is not done. Strikes, meetings, rallies and demonstrations are prohibited. Representatives elected by the people are dismissed and government appointed trustees take their place.

They are laying the heavy burden of confrontational, warmongering policies and operations on the backs of the exploited and oppressed masses of the people.

However, despite all repression, racist and reactionary propaganda, Erdoğan and his reactionary alliance cannot stop their reputation and their share of vote slipping among workers and laborers. This situation will continue in the coming period. With a one-man rule, the Erdoğan-led alliance will heighten the pressure as it loses public support and gets stuck, will cling more to racist-religion exploiting propaganda, and will insist on the path to establishing a reactionary-fascist regime.


At this critical historical threshold, the [self-claimed social democratic] CHP and [centre-right] Good Party oppose the one-man rule and aim to strengthen the Nation Alliance they have established and restore the system. On the other hand, they do not make concrete and binding commitments to meet the economic/political demands of the masses of workers and toiling people, which are waiting for an urgent solution, except for some minor improvements. They do not present a coherent programme for removing obstacles to the recognition and practice of democratic rights and freedoms.

The spokespersons of the Nation Alliance frequently state that they will “embrace everyone” and “not question or make anyone accountable for what was done previously”. These and other statements show that they will not hold anyone accountable for the repression exerted by the one-man rule and the Erdoğan-led alliance, their corruption, theft and plunder, and the country’s resources and savings handed over to foreign and domestic monopoly capital groups, especially their supporters. All they do is pacify the discontent and restlessness of the exploited and oppressed masses, weaken their struggle and keep them waiting in anticipation.

The Nation Alliance components promise a “return to the parliamentary system on a strengthened-improved basis” and propose this as a magic formula to get rid of all problems. This solution they propose to free the country from all problems is based on the continuation of this obsolete order in which the dependence on imperialism and the domination of monopolies continue in all areas, all resources are plundered, workers and laborers are exploited and oppressed to the bone. Yet, the basic conditions of ensuring a radical and permanent improvement in the living and working conditions of the workers, using all the resources of the country for the benefit of the people, preventing the country from being dragged into new destructions and disasters, gaining democratic rights and freedoms and securing all these are clear: i.e. the establishment of the people’s full sovereignty and the establishment of the people’s power, the termination of the relations of dependency, the destruction of the imperialist and collaborationist monopolies, and the building of a new social order.


The only way out for workers and laborers in terms of current conditions and the future is to unite, to be in solidarity and to fight to achieve economic and political rights. At the same time, this is the only way out that will save the country from the destruction it has been dragged into and that will enable concrete steps to be taken to solve the problems. Of course, elections are also part of this process. As workers and laborers heighten the struggle for economic and political rights and freedoms, they will intervene in the elections in line with their own independent political interests. Moreover, the growth and progress of this struggle will make it possible to reach a real people’s democracy in which relations of dependency with imperialism are ended and economic and political rights are safeguarded.

Being aware of this fact, our party has been working since the emergence of the Erdoğan-led alliance and the Nation Alliance to create the real alternative for the people against these two bourgeois options, one in power and the other in opposition. It continues its efforts to bring together all parties, trade unions and professional organizations, intellectuals, artists and scientists who are on the side of labour, peace, democratic rights and freedoms, and to act jointly at all levels, central and local.

This declaration contains the immediate steps to be taken to get out of the destruction which our country and our people have been pushed into. We call on the working class and working people of Turkey to join forces and raise the struggle for this purpose.

We call on all labour and democracy forces to join together to create a third option, a real People’s Alliance, that will destroy the alliance in power and resolutely defend the rights of the exploited and oppressed masses before the Nation Alliance.

A- For the democratisation of the governance of the country, for fundamental rights and peace

1- The one-man one-party administration of the country should be brought to an end with all its institutions and practises. A new constitution should be prepared within the shortest period of time by a constituent assembly composed of representatives elected by the people and with the participation of the broadest sections of the people, and should be put to people’s vote. This constitution should secure the country’s governance by an assembly of representatives elected by the people, as well as fundamental rights and freedoms. The state order should be reorganised in its entirety on this basis, and should be rid of all racist-fascist, putschist, sectarian elements. Structures such as special forces and rural guards should be abolished.
2- All appointed institutions such as provincial and district governorships should be abolished; regional and local administrative authority should be with elected local assemblies. The salaries of elected deputies, representatives and officials should not exceed the average wages of qualified workers; and the power to remove them from their posts and replacing them should lie with the people.
3- The intervention of the executive in judiciary should end; the judiciary should be independent at all levels. National and regional judiciary structures and judges should be elected by the people. The judicial system should be open to public information and scrutiny, and the people should have the right to remove judges.
4- All kinds of restrictions on the right to disseminate thought, press and communication, assembly, meeting, demonstration and protest should end. All citizens arrested and charged due to anti-democratic laws should be released. Racist-fascist organisation and propaganda should be proscribed.
5- The 10% election threshold applied to parties should be abolished; obstacles against the freedom of organisation and political activity should be eliminated. Lockouts should be proscribed, trade union thresholds should be abolished, all workers and labourers should be granted unlimited trade union organisation and all forms (right, solidarity, political and general) of strike and collective bargaining rights.
6- For genuine secularism, religion should be detached from the state and education. All the support provided and privileges granted by the state to all religions, sects and faiths, including by local councils, should be brought to an end. A genuine freedom of faith should be ensured on the basis of the impartiality of the state towards all religion, sects and faiths, which incorporates the right to believe and not to believe. Mandatory religion lessons should be abolished.
7- Education should be free, scientific and democratic at all levels. The Higher Education Authority (YÖK) should be abolished. A basic curriculum that considers science and art as the basis of education and development of new generations and that is not racist, chauvinistic, religious or sexist should be implemented. The right to education in mother tongue should be granted. Preparations for making distance education permanent should cease; and healthy school and accommodation facilities should be provided for students. All special educational institutions and boarding schools belonging to private individuals and agencies, charities and sects should be brought into public ownership. Student loan debts should be written off, all students in need should be provided free grants. The administration of educational institutions and boarding schools should be transferred to executives composed of representatives elected by students and staff.
8- Privatization in health should be ended; major private health institutions such as hospitals and laboratories, which are of fundamental importance in terms of public health, should be transferred to the public. The entire health system should be reorganized on the basis of providing preventive, quality and free health services to the public. Trade unions and professional organizations, especially those in the field of health, should have a say in the management of health institutions.
9- All privileges granted to domestic and foreign capital owners, especially those provided through credit provision and tenders, should be ended. Profiteering must be investigated, those responsible must have their assets seized and wealth taken abroad must be returned. The Canal Istanbul project must be stopped immediately. All payments for investments such as roads, bridges, airports, city hospitals must be stopped, and treasury guarantees cancelled. All income generated through these means must be used for public needs, starting with health and education.
10- Steps must be taken urgently and laws put in place to end violence against women which has been aggravated since the pandemic. Discrimination on the basis of gender identity, hate speech and oppression must end. Gender equality must be established in all areas of public life. Concrete steps must be taken to remove the weight of child care and elderly care on women, which has increased due to the pandemic. Local free, quality and widespread nurseries must be open, provision must be made for creche facilities, breastfeeding rooms and maternal leave at work places. Nursing homes for the elderly must become widespread and free.
11- The Kurdish question must be resolved peacefully and democratically on the basis of full equality of national rights. Forced single state language policy must end, the right to public services in mother tongues must be recognised for all nationalities and ethnicities.
12- Cross border operations must be stopped; expansionist policies for the redivision of the region must end; relations with all neighbouring countries should be developed on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, non-interference in internal affairs and respect for sovereignty and peace. All open and secret political and military agreements with imperialist countries and institutions must be terminated. There must be withdrawal from NATO; military bases in other countries must be closed and troops recalled; foreign bases in the country must be closed and their troops sent back. The budget allocated for armament and war for aggressive and expansionist purposes must be used for the needs of the people.
13- All investments that destroy nature and the environment for profit and rent, such as mineral exploration and extraction, luxury holiday resorts and housing construction, should be stopped. The owners of these investments and all officials who authorize them must be prosecuted and punished, especially for the compensation of the damages they cause to the environment and the public. . There must be an end to the pillaging of underground and over ground resources, especially agricultural fields, pastures, forests, mines, energy and water resources, by domestic and foreign monopolies.
14- Oppression, prohibition and censorship practices against art and artists, capital and market domination over the creative process of artists must end. All types of artistic activities which promote the progressive and democratic cultural level of the people must be supported at the central and local level. Literature and art must be accessible for the public in their daily lives. Means for different ethnicities and languages to develop their own culture must be opened up.


B- For the improvement of living and working conditions

1- Price hikes must be stopped and the existing ones withdrawn. The wages of workers, labourers and the retired must rise to a level where they will not be overrun by inflation and with which they can live a humane life. Minimum wage must be determined on the basis of the needs of a family of four, and all social security deductions must be met by the bosses.
2- Working time should not exceed 7 hours a day, 5 days a week (35 hours), and 5-hour work days should be implemented in the sectors involving heavy and dangerous work. Workers must be allowed to rest 2 days a week and 30 days a year without any interruption or deduction in wages. All barriers to women’s employment must be removed and equal work should attract equal pay. The use of child labour for those aged 18 and under should be prohibited.
3- All forms of flexible working, subcontractors, rentals, contracts, etc., especially working from home and short-term work, should be stopped; private employment offices should be closed; and permanent and secure work should be provided in all areas. In all factories, workplaces and areas of work, measures related to occupational health and safety should be determined and supervised by the boards, where elected workers and labourers make up the majority of representatives.
4- Layoffs should be banned, and everyone should be guaranteed by the state to have a job based on their abilities. The use of the Unemployment Fund for other purposes and its looting by capitalists should be stopped immediately, and the entire fund should be used for workers and their families. Unemployment benefit should at least match the minimum wage, the use of the fund should be supervised by unions and labour representatives.
5- Taxes on large capital and big landowners, especially banks and other financial institutions, monopolistic companies and shareholders, should be increased. Increased income and wealth tax should be taken from private and legal entities. VAT and other indirect taxes on basic consumer goods should be abolished and taxes on luxury consumer goods should be raised.
6- Gas, water, electricity, telephone-internet services should be free for every household with incomes below the poverty line or without any income. Credit debt of citizens in this situation should be written off and a minimum income should be provided to guarantee their humane living. A social security system should be established that covers all citizens, removes spouses from being economically dependent on each other and makes them entitled as individuals.
7- All debts of poor, small and middle income peasants to banks, imperialist and collaborating monopolies, loan sharks and large landowners should be deferred free of interest, their mortgage guarantees and other obligations should be abolished. Poor and small producers should be supported by interest-free loans; the basic inputs of agricultural production such as fertiliser and fuel should be produced in the country and provided cheaply. Councils including producer peasant organisations should have a say in the planning of agricultural production, marketing of products and determining prices. Co-operatives should be encouraged, intermediaries should be eliminated, agricultural and productive peasants should be protected against imperialist monopolies and collaborators. Necessary measures should be taken to make the country self-sufficient in terms of agricultural and livestock production.
8- Those seeking refuge in Turkey should be granted refugee status, except for those that committed crimes against humanity. Refugee workers should be allowed to work without the requirement of “employer consent”. Refugee and migrant workers should be given the right to join trade unions. The “Re-admission Agreement”, which turned Turkey into the migrant depot of the EU, should be cancelled. Peace should be achieved in the region, making it easy for the refugees that want to return, and the necessary infrastructure for equal citizenship for the rest should be established.