The Working Class Movement in Turkey and the Party of Labour
Brief information on Turkey
Turkey is located within a ‘triangle of troubles’ where there is a heated struggle for imperialist domination, with already entangled problems having been knotted. Being in a region where the three crisis regions opening to the energy corridors intersect one another, Turkey is the focus of the inter-imperialist struggle for domination.
It is a country dependent on imperialism, with an intermediate level of capitalism with semi-feudal remnants still existing in certain regions of Kurdistan. Another characteristic of the country is that political democracy has never been achieved in its entire history.
It has a population of 70 million, 60 per cent of whom live in the cities. Nearly 20 million of the population are Kurds. Despite such a great number the Kurds, leaving aside the early years, have been regarded as ‘non-existent’ since the establishment of the Republic. Currently, although references are being made to Kurds on occasions, their existence as a nation is denied and their basic democratic demands are not addressed.
Economy: Shares of different sectors in the GNP in the latter half of the 1990s are as follows: agriculture 15%, manufacturing 26%, and the service sector 50%. Between 2000-2003, the GNP has fluctuated between 170 and 200 billion dollars. In almost all significant sectors such as automotive, steel, textile and energy there are many big factories and enterprises, a significant part of which are in foreign partnerships, with considerable number of workers. The public sector, prior to the privatisations, had a significant position in the country’s economy.
Especially since 1980 Turkey began to implement the IMF programmes in the name of ‘stability’ or ‘structural adjustment’. Post-1990 has been a period when the economy is caught more tightly in the claws of the IMF and the World Bank in the interest of international capital and imperialists.
The spiral of debt-repayments: The Turkish economy has turned into an economy of debt repayment. Between 1983 and 2003, a total of 316 billion dollars of internal and external debt interest have been paid. Even if the country was not to borrow anything from now on, it still has to pay 147 billion dollars of foreign and 123 billion dollars of internal debt until 2010. The ratio of the expenditure of interest to national product reached 14% in 2003 from 3.2% in 1983.
Privatisations: The last couple of years have seen privatisation policies being implemented more fiercely. In 2003 alone, 33 public enterprises were privatised. There are plans to finish this year the privatising of all public sector enterprises, ranging from energy to TEKEL (the tobacco and alcohol regulator and monopoly), from telecom to road works to state banks and bridges. Similarly, all public services from health to education have seen speedy progress in becoming services that are paid for.
In dependent countries like Turkey privatisations, together with ‘structural adjustment programmes’, mean to eradicate whatever remains national within the country and transform it into literally an ‘open market’ for imperialism. Indeed, Turkish agriculture and its agriculture-based industry have mostly been destroyed in the period we left behind.
Working conditions: Different sources put the total number of workers around 8-10 million, about 2.5 million of whom are employed in the manufacturing industry. According to the official figures, 4.8 million workers are covered by the national insurance scheme. In other words, about 50% of the workers have no social security. The number of public sector workers is around 2 million.
In the official figures of 2000, the average weekly working time is given as 51.5 hours. But this does not reflect the full reality. Especially within the Organised Industrial Regions, alongside the great scale of uninsured work, 6-day weeks and 10-12-hour days are common practice.
Earnings: 54% of those in insured employment work for the minimum wage, which is about 150 dollars a month. Indeed, the vast majority of those who are in uninsured employment work for incomes well under the level of minimum wage. Only around 800 thousand workers benefit from the right to collective bargaining.
Trade union membership: Trade union rights are considerably restricted in Turkey. The public sector employees do not have the right to collective bargaining or industrial action. Alongside the prohibition on the right to strike in some sectors, in sectors where there is no prohibition, the ‘right to strike’ is dependent on the ‘whim’ of the government, which reserves the right to ‘call off’ strikes under the pretext of ‘national security’ or ‘public health’. For trade unions to be recognised as a party to collective bargaining negotiations, they need to have had organised at least 10 per cent of the workers in their sector and 50 per cent in the workplace.
Although the number of unionised workers is 2.8 million on paper, the real figure is as low as 700-800 thousand. Previously, too, union membership was low among workers, but it has deteriorated even more in the past decade. Due to the fact that the vast majority of unionised workers (70-80%) are in the public sector, the privatisations taking place in this sector also contributed to the loss of membership in the unions.
Unemployment: 20% of the workforce is unemployed. Mass dismissals are experienced quite frequently, and in 2001 alone 1 million workers were laid off.
The gap between the rich and the poor: In 2003, while the earnings of the richest 20% of the population were 51.4% of the total income; the share of the poorest 20% was only 5.3%.
According to the 2003 figures, one fifth of the population live in the line of starvation. 14 million people live on 1 dollar a day, 14 million on 1.8 dollars, and another 14 million on 2.4 dollars.
The history of the working class movement in Turkey
In Turkey, capitalist relations and hence the working class began to emerge much later than they did in a lot of European countries. The first capitalist enterprises were established with the investments of Western capitalists. ‘The enterprises with the highest number of workers in the early 20th century, the mines, railways, ports, the tobacco monopolies were enterprises with vast foreign capital.’ (From the programme of EMEP – The Party of Labour)
In the 1920s, in other words in the aftermath of the collapse and disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, and during the founding period of the Republic as a result of the war of independence conducted against the imperialist occupation, the number of workers in the country was estimated to be around 100 thousand.
The first workers’ organisation was established in 1894 and managed to survive only a year. In 1908, there were attempts on the part of the workers again to centralise and get organised. But especially under the imperialist occupation after the First World War, further attempts to organise could be observed among the workers who had a leading role in the struggle waged by the populace against the imperialist occupiers and their collaborators. In the early years of the establishment of the Turkish Republic, with the cleansing of the country from its occupiers – in a matter of a few years – there had been an increase in the number of different kinds of workers’ associations and organisations. But this did not last long and in 1925, with the introduction of a special act, all workers’ associations were banned like the other opposition movements. Despite this, the attempts among workers to assemble and organise continued.
In the aftermath of the Second World War the workers’ movement experienced a mobilisation, especially in the form of unionisation. Consequently, the right to unionise had to be compromised to the workers. In order to control this movement, with a ‘superimposed’ intervention, Türk-** (the Turkish Trade Union Confederation) was established in 1952 as the first workers’ union, characterised by a yellow-collaborating policy.
Even though the union was established in 1952, the legal recognition of the right to strike and collective bargaining arrived many years later in 1963. Widespread mass workers’ actions and demonstrations played a determining role in this. The 1960s witnessed the workers’ movement, actions such as strikes and occupation of factories, spreading to a national scale and the gaining of a number of rights as a result of the struggle. At the end of the 60s, due to the reaction from the grassroots against the yellow-collaborating policies of Türk-**, a different vein of unionisation was sought, which resulted in the setting up of a new confederation called DISK (the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions). This union had a stance to the ‘left’ of Türk-** in the years following its foundation; but, despite the phrase ‘revolutionary’ in its name, it could not go beyond a reformist line as it was under the domination of the revisionist-reformist current.
The 12 March 1971 military fascist coup primarily targeted the working class and their rights. However, the workers’ movement began to gain momentum once again in a relatively short time. From the mid-1970s to the 12 September 1980 coup, the workers’ movement, despite its ups and downs, experienced an expansion and rise. It was in this period that, for the first time, alongside mass workers’ strikes and acts of resistance, widespread May Day demonstrations began to take place on a mass scale and at a national level, which previously had been limited to one or two major centres like Istanbul, now gradually became a tradition.
Following the 12 September 1980 military fascist coup, which aimed to smash the social opposition as a whole, mainly that of the working class, and prepare the grounds for the implementation of the ‘stability programme’ imposed by the IMF, the workers’ movement needed a relatively long period to reassemble itself and mobilise the struggle to regain its previously lost fronts.
From the second half of the 1980s, workers began to stand up without restricting themselves to the legislations which were full of bans, and made use of different forms of struggle from work stoppages to demonstrations. In terms of the scale of the spread of strikes, acts of resistance, their mass base and continuity especially the 1989-91 period constituted a peak, which was not to be attained again later. With metal workers and miners leading, wide sections of workers went on to strikes and struggles, including a general strike, in hundreds of enterprises of varying sizes. This struggle, in the industrial centres in particular, got the main body of the working class moving and broadened the ranks of the advanced workers. This also brought along with itself, albeit partially, in certain ‘renewals’ in the trade unions and in the administrations of some branches and unions.
This rise in the workers’ movement was significant in terms of coinciding with a period when the revisionist bloc collapsed and when the renowned fierce campaign of onslaught against the cause of socialism blossomed, and in the sense that it stood against that reactionary and counter-revolutionary wave.
It also gave courage to other sections of labourers, in particular the public sector workers, to struggle. It was also in this period that the Kurdish national struggle opened out and gained a mass basis.
In spite of all the positive consequences it led to, the spontaneity and weakness of the political aspect within this movement limited the prospects of taking the movement to more advanced fronts and of attaining achievements from an advanced position.
From 1991 to the present day, the conflicts in collective bargaining have once again constituted one of the grounds for developing workers’ actions. However, especially from 1995 onwards, the struggle against privatisation, subcontracting, flexible working and mass dismissals has been another issue of emphasis of workers’ actions. Currently privatisation is based on the privatisation of the enterprises of high economic value such as the energy, telecom and petrochemical industries that are significant in terms of the country’s national industrial policies. Demands centred on unionisation were among other reasons for the increasing workers’ actions in the form of sporadic and essentially illegal strikes and acts of resistance taking place during this period. Similar actions were observed mostly in organised industrial regions or industrial sites (*) where employment is mainly based on no insurance, low wages and 12-14-hour working days.
In the past fifteen years the working class of Turkey has conducted unprecedented actions on a mass scale. On the national scale, there remains no section of the working class that have not been involved in strikes, acts of resistance or another form of action. This is also true for public sector workers.
Nevertheless, leaving aside the 1989-91 period, the movement could not gain stability. The actions that developed in those sectors that were the target of the attacks remained in effect restricted with these sectors. The struggles and actions have developed independently of one another. They could not achieve forming links of a united resistance and being transformed into a united movement that would repeal the attacks.
Despite the fact that there were other factors that caused the lack of stability within the movement, the determining factor is the weakness in the organisation of the working class as an independent political force and again, in connection with this, not being able to break the domination of the bourgeois-reformist current and union bureaucracy over the trade union movement.
The developments and the data of recent months point out that the labourers’ movement will enter into a new revival and ascendance in the upcoming period. A few months ago, in an Aegean city called Usak, the resistance which exploded with the unionisation demand of thousands of textile workers employed in an organised industry region and which lasted for weeks; the decisions in various sectors to go on strike; the actions developing in the enterprises due to be privatised or targeted for privatisation; and finally, the mass demonstration in the capital city Ankara, which saw the participation of around 100 thousand workers and labourers, despite the lack of a call by the administration of some trade union confederations like Türk-**, against a draft legislation that was brought to the agenda as part of the IMF’s and the WB’s ‘structural adjustment programme’ to reduce the number of public sector staff and to further raise the charges for public services! The demand for a ‘General Strike!’ became one of the most widespread slogans of this demonstration.
It can be observed that in the forthcoming period the struggle against privatisations and the ‘structural adjustment programmes’ imposed by the IMF and the struggles focused on the demand for unionisation will have a greater place in the workers’ movement. On the other hand, it is important to emphasise that the developments indicate that alongside the advanced workers and combative trade unionists greater sections of workers are beginning to feel the strong need to unite their actions and construct a united movement based on common demands.
The workers’ movement and the party
The working class of Turkey came into being late and its historical experience was essentially confined to a struggle based on partial, trade union based demands. The emergence of trade unions and a mass based struggle mainly arose in the 1960s. As opposed to the experience of the West, it lacks examples of working class uprisings with their own class demands, as an independent mass political force, with their demand for political power.
The first initiative to form a communist party (TKP, the Communist Party of Turkey) was in 1920 by a group of students-intellectuals and former prisoners of war in the Soviet Union. However, with the assassination of its founders who came back to the country to take part in the national liberation war against the imperialist occupation, the party was essentially liquidated in its early days. Later attempts to revitalise the party did not go beyond a small group. It had orientated towards the right, then, starting from the 1960s it fell into the orbit of Soviet revisionism, then came its disintegration in the 1990s.
Another party that is worth mentioning is TIP (the Workers Party of Turkey) that was founded in 1960. It was initiated by a group of trade unionists that were later joined by intellectuals. It was successful in attracting the collective experience of socialist intellectuals and a significant section of the advanced workers of the day. In its early days this party attracted mass support amongst the workers and working people in general and was represented in parliament. However, its reformist-parliamentarian line did not/could not allow it to become an instrument for the working class to organise as an independent political force against capital.
The 1968 Youth Movement was sparked by university students with democratic and anti-imperialist demands and gradually united with the peasants’ and the workers’ movement. Out of this movement emerged numerous maoist, debraist, castroist, guevarist, etc. petit-bourgeois left-adventurist groups. This tradition is the source of a great majority of bourgeois, petit bourgeois liberal or semi-anarchist ‘left’ currents and groups which define themselves as the ‘left’ in Turkey.
The Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) was formed in this process of the unification of socialism with the workers’ movement on the basis of the criticism of all these opportunist, revisionist and modern revisionist currents on the ideological, political and organisational fronts. It was founded in February 1980 as an illegal revolutionary party of the working class.
The Party of Labour (EMEP) as an open workers’ party
The workers’ struggle that developed after the mid-1980s has generated a new section of advanced workers. Partial renewal in the trade unions has brought about local trade union platforms in Istanbul and in various other cities. This was also accompanied by the debate among the advanced workers and combative trade unionists on the need for an open workers’ party. These developments ‘mobilised’ the top trade union bureaucracy and, for all known reasons, even the best servants of capital among the trade union bureaucrats began to talk about ‘the need for a workers’ party’! As an open mass workers’ party EMEP was founded in these conditions ‘as a result of the need to politicise and unite the working class movement that ascended in the late 1980s shaping the struggle as the most serious social movement despite its weaknesses’ (EMEP documents).
Following the spread of the workers’ and the mass movement, the Marxist current launched the debate for an open mass workers’ party as early as 1992. In addition to the discussions carried forward within the sections of the advanced class-conscious workers and trade unionists, from 1994 onwards, practical work was also commenced to organise an open mass workers’ party from within the ‘rank and file’. In 1996 the foundation of EMEP as an open-legal mass party of the working class was made public. This was an organisation that developed from the base.
If we leave aside the revolutionary Marxist current, in connection with their being ‘petit bourgeois left’ or bourgeois liberal, and independently of the objective conditions and their concrete situation, the ‘left’ in Turkey has always considered an open-legal party either as something ‘dirty’ and synonymous with parliamentarianism or as a denial or liquidation of illegality. For the petit bourgeois ‘leftist’, ‘illegality’ means the denial of the legal one, which is for the bourgeois liberal the liquidation of illegality. These two approaches, despite their contradictory appearance, are in fact the two sides of the same coin, one being the upside-down form of the other. As the revolutionary-Marxist open mass party of the working class, EMEP has been founded on the basis of the criticism and condemnation of these two ‘right and left’ deviant approaches, and as an expression of the dialectical unity of the two sides of the movement and the struggle in concrete conditions.
The foundation of EMEP has also proved the end of the pre-1980 monopoly of reformism and revisionism over the advanced sections of the workers and the great majority of progressive intellectuals. Having based itself on the collective socialist experience in the country, EMEP has succeeded in uniting – today as well as at its foundation process – in its ranks a significant section of the advanced workers, class-based trade unionists as well as revolutionary intellectuals who are devoted to socialism. EMEP has been the embodiment of the mass unity of the workers’ movement and socialism on a new and more advanced basis.
According to the materials of the Second Congress of EMEP in 2000, the composition of its members is as follows: workers 50.8%, women 24.3%, and 18-35 year-olds 58%.
The Party Programme and Aims
EMEP describes itself on the basis of the division and contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and between labour and capital’. It sets its role ‘as a party to assist the workers, first of all, to take part in politics, to learn how to fight against the bourgeoisie in the political arena by joining their own party,... and to seize political power’. As an inheritor of the historical gains of socialism it draws a definite line of demarcation between itself and all kinds of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois currents of socialism, including the Khrushchevites and Euro-communists.
In the programme of EMEP where its ideology is set out to be ‘scientific socialism’, the short term and long term aims of the party are described as follows: ‘EMEP aims to establish a democratic people’s power as a first step towards socialism; as independence, democracy and political freedoms are gained and established, then to go for an uninterrupted socialism, and ultimately to create the conditions for the eradication of all kinds of oppression by wiping out classes’ (Party Programme, Article 2).
In the documents of its Congress it is emphasised that especially in the last decade the fight against imperialism has meant to carry out a struggle ‘against the attempts to colonise Turkey’, and that the anti-imperialist struggle has acquired a broader context. Also emphasised was the necessity of ‘the struggle against all policies imposed by imperialism and supported by their local collaborators, policies such as privatisation, casual work, ... the collapse of agriculture, ... to have an anti-imperialist context’, and that the party carries out educational work in this direction.
The internationalist character of the party, on the other hand, is outlined in the Programme under the heading ‘EMEP and internationalism’:
‘Ultimate emancipation of the working class and labourers cannot be achieved without a profound social unrest; only a revolution can open the path for the emancipation of the oppressed. This revolution and the very cause of the emancipation of the working class is national in form but has an international character in context. It is for this reason that EMEP, though its main field of struggle is Turkey, considers this struggle as part of the international cause and struggle of the working class and sees itself as the political organisation of the Turkish branch of the working class of the world.’
EMEP advocates the principle of democratic centralism as an organisational norm, and is organised in almost all cities of Turkey, especially where the industry and working class is intensified, as well as in almost all the main Kurdish cities.
In the party documents organisational and practical work on the basis of factories and workplaces takes up a special emphasis. In its programme it is stated that ‘EMEP’s another great difference from all other parties is its style of organisation which reflects its ideology and the characteristics of the class it is based on’, and that EMEP was born ‘not inside offices but as a party which is in the process of organising in the factories and workplaces’.
‘EMEP considers as its organisational basis the factories and workplaces where the energy and skills of the working class for struggle and organisation emerge, and where the forms of struggle, action and organisation and class solidarity and consciousness is brewed. This is a precondition for being a workers’ party. A workers’ party with a mass basis either becomes a sum total of the factory based organisations or it cannot be called a workers’ party.’
In addition to the big and strategically important workplaces EMEP gives special importance to the work in the organised industrial regions and industrial estates where almost half of the working class is engaged. Especially in big cities the party has a large contact net with the workplaces that are of some importance in terms of the workers’ movement, though the level of work varies from place to place. In almost all workers’ demonstrations and acts of resistance EMEP is either the sole organiser, or one of the organisers, the most active participants or supporters. With the perspective of organising a united movement and developing the sentiment among workers of being a member of the same class, organising solidarity with existing workers’ acts of resistance has an important place among EMEP activities.
Alongside the weaknesses in its own work, widespread redundancies, where advanced workers are the first ones to be targeted, are outlined among the factors that have a negative effect on the work in factories and workplaces to become stable and embrace greater sections of workers.
The party work in the units, especially in factories and workplaces, has been one of the subjects on which there had been great debates on the 2nd and the 3rd congresses in 2000 and 2002. Among the things emphasised were the facts that the party organisation in workplaces was not yet ‘on a level to change the character of the working class movement, ... or to penetrate into the movement’, that there was lack of intervention on the part of the party in the workers’ movement on the level of workplaces. Special decisions had been made on various issues such as having systematic and continuous daily work in workplaces, having efficient educational work among workers, appointing advanced party cadres for the work in factories, etc.
EMEP has widespread organisation and activities in the fields where other labouring sections live and work (such as neighbourhood organisations) as well as its work in the factories and workplaces being the fundamental one.
The question of cadres and professional work is another theme which is most highlighted in the organisational work. Emphasised in the ‘Decisions of the Congress’ was the necessity to prevent amateurism in the work, and to help more and more young cadres to become professionals through appropriate appointments and education and preparation in the course of the struggle in order to achieve a more professional level of work.
Trade Union work and EMEP
There are three workers’ trade union confederations and a public workers’ confederation in Turkey. (**) The trade unions that are mostly unionised in the public sector have been weakened even more due to privatisation. Although the figures appear to be bigger on paper, only about 8-9% of the workers are unionised.
As disclosed in the documents of EMEP a conciliatory understanding of trade unionism dominates the trade union movement in Turkey. In terms of the workers’ trade unions, with the exception of some trade unions at the central level, combative understanding of trade unionism is mainly seen in branch level administrations. Within KESK (Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions) there are more members from left political groups at central and branch levels than the other unions.
In addition, since the beginning of the 1990s, initially in Istanbul but also in other cities there has been an increase in local platforms of trade union branches. These platforms, mainly composed of opposing-fighting branches, can become enlarged or shrunk depending on the situation and conditions. There are periods in which they are very active and lively and likewise there are periods where activities are at a stand still and nearly fizzling out. These platforms, as far as they can relate to the rank and file, have worked and are still working as a lever to encourage unionising at the rank and file level.
Since its establishment EMEP has given great importance to the trade union activity, gained various positions in different unions, played an active role in the establishment of local trade union branch platforms. It sums up its politics and responsibilities in this area in the 2nd Congress Decisions as follows:
‘to break the conciliatory, bureaucratic trade union domination; in order to achieve this the party organisations to try to bring over struggling trade unionists that are on the side of the labourers to the trade union management, to back up candidates with these qualities and to carry out an intense and enlightening campaign against bureaucratic and conciliatory trade unionism...’
‘In order for organisations like local trade union platforms and trade union associations to become a focus for struggling trade unionism they must draw a clear line between the trade union bureaucracy and themselves and must base their activities on factories and workplaces. This is indispensable both for the workers’ trade unions and public workers unions.’
‘Another base for the struggling trade unionism is the trade union activities carried out in the organised Industrial Regions. The devoted work of the young struggling workers’ generation for unionisation in this area is well known. In these areas it has become an apparent need to set up new trade unions (or other organisations) on the basis of workplace organisation or activities."
EMEP and the youth
The student youth movement was crushed with the 1980 military coup and before they were able to pull themselves together it was faced with the known reactionary wave of ideological attacks in the 90s. The disorganisation within the ranks of this movement is still continuing. Although, at times, there are signs of revival, a mass university youth movement has not emerged yet. The weakness in the movement of this section which constitutes the main and dynamic part of the intellectual potential also plays a part for the instability experienced by the workers’ and mass movement which is deprived greatly of this dynamic that is also significant for the struggle in general.
EMEP states that ‘the youth, just like all the other sections of society, are going through a period of disintegration. Their ties with the system are loosening and with the help of the young politicians of the working class they will re-establish themselves, unifying with the idea of socialism’. It has an organisation called the Labour Youth organised on a national level as well as in the Kurdish regions. The party and its youth organisation are carrying out activities targeted at the youth section at universities and high schools, education-training bodies, industrial sites, neighbourhoods and the villages. In addition to the demands such as ‘Free-democratic education’, ‘scientific, democratic-autonomous universities’, ‘education in ‘mother tongue’ for Kurdish student’, ‘jobs, trade union-pension-satisfactory pay and humane condition’ demands with anti-imperialist and democratic characters are being put forward.
The Kurdish question and EMEP
‘The Kurdish question has gained an international dimension in the last 15 years. Imperialist countries, headed by the USA, in relation to their plans over the hegemony in the region have used this question especially. Almost all the neighbouring countries have become involved in some way in the Kurdish question. The imperialists, reactionary forces in the region and Turkey among themselves have turned this question into an important element in their blackmailing and threatening diplomacy.’ (Extract from the Congress Decisions)
As stated in the EMEP documents ‘the Kurdish question remains to be an important agenda for the country’, ‘the only democratic and popular solution to the Kurdish question is in the hands of the working people’, and in this sense, it has been emphasised that it is the problem of the Turkish workers and working people.
EMEP carries out continuous and systematic activities to ‘further the consciousness and initiative, especially of the Turkish workers and labourers, for the unified struggle to solve the Kurdish question based on equal rights for the Turkish and Kurdish workers’, and to bring this question ‘onto the agenda of the common platforms formed by trade unions and mass organisations to be fought for’.
Daily newspaper as an essential weapon of struggle
Evrensel, as a daily workers’ newspaper has been coming out for ten years now. It is the only daily for the workers, and it relies on the sacrifices and devotions of the workers, labourers and the youth since its first day.
Evrensel, is the strongest voice for the workers and labourers in the struggle against the reactionary dominant class, government and parties and the bourgeois-reactionary lie machines which are at their services; it is the strongest major weapon for the workers, labourers and revolutionary youth who are taking part in the struggle.
The Party of Labour considers Evrensel as a main tool for propaganda, agitation and organisation activities that are being carried out on a daily basis in workplaces in the first place but also in all its units. It is being emphasised that as much as the party members and party organisations base their work on the newspaper, and the newspaper is considered and understood on this basis that the activities can truly be revolutionary.
For some time now, a new campaign has been carried out. The aims are to take Evrensel to greater number of readers who will also consider the paper as their own, and to re-establish on a more advanced level a direct relation between the paper and the party’s many-faceted work of exposure, agitation-propaganda and organisation carried out among the masses on a daily basis. In many places, including the big cities where the campaign has been planned and carried out in line with this understanding, it has been stated that the circulation has increased by 100%.
Also, a monthly theoretical journal called Ozgurluk Dunyasi (World of Freedom) published since 1987 as well as a culture-arts-literature journal called Evrensel Kultur (Universal Culture) being published for about the same time are tools that are being used by the Party in its struggle in various fronts. In addition, a bi-monthly culture-art journal called Tiroj (Light Beam) where most of the articles appear in Kurdish has been published for about a year now.
We must also add the quarterly journal Bilim (Science) to this list, which is being published for the last few years. This journal is made up of articles published between the 1930s-50s in the journals such as La Pensée, The Modern Quarterly, Neue Welt where topics from scientific developments to philosophical problems were discussed and summed up with a Marxist approach against the bourgeoisie ideology at the time and which are thought to be still relevant for today’s ideological struggle as well. Starting in May 2004, this journal is going to be replaced by a half-yearly publication in book form where articles in some topics will be compiled and will serve the ideological-theoretical struggle in a more extensive manner.
(*) These industrial sites are ‘industrial domains’ where thousands and tens of thousands of workers are employed and where great number of small and middle sized enterprises are amassed together.
(**) The Workers’ Trade Union Confederations in order are: Turk-Is, DISK (Revolutionary Workers’ Trade Union Confederation) and Hak-Is. Turk-Is is the one with the most members. Public Workers’ Trade Unions are KESK (Public Workers Trade Unions Confederations) and the Turk Kamu-Sen. The latter was formed later with the directions of far-right nationalist forces and supported by the government in order to divide the public workers and their struggle.
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