Monday, June 3, 2013

Turkish protests continue: Erdogan calls them "Terrorists"

Some thoughts about Turkey

I see that Turkish Premier, Tayyip Erdogan has publicly denounced those demonstrating against the increasingly authoritarian nature of  his regime as being "Arm in arm with terrorism".

The protests have not abated and the state has responded with tear gas and water cannon.  The Erdogan regime is seen as slowly increasing religious influence in government and there is a strong secular presence in Turkey.  The Turkish economy has been doing well under Erdogan and his allies in the west have considered his regime as a model for the Islamic world but the recent riots have shown how fickle and unrepresentative stock market indicators are of real social moods.

The term "terrorist" has become very fashionable  to describe any opposition to the status quo or mass movements of any kind against capital.  A strike, from the bosses point of view is mass terrorism.  All the laws put in place since 911 will be applied not only to "official" terrorists by US government definition, and I mean that to mean acts of indiscriminate violence directed at civilians like bombs in buses or theaters, schools and the like.  These laws will be used against any social  movement aimed at changing or reforming society.  The only protests that are acceptable to Washington are those that are not affective.

The FBI's definition of terrorism is intentionally vague. According to the Code of Federal Regulations terrorism includes, “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).  

Domestic terrorism is defined as:  "the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives" 

A strike clearly  falls under that definition  I seem to recall in the aftermath of 911 there were some strikes in  Minnesota during which the T word made an appearance and it was also rumored the ILWU had been warned that its actions shutting down the west coast ports amounted to terrorism.

We should keep Erdogan's words in mind as we will be hearing similar accusations being used against workers more and more here in the US as we are forced to take the battle against the capitalist offensive to the streets, workplaces and universities.  The state security forces have been beefed up considerably in the aftermath of the Occupy Movement, including the use of drones.

We should watch carefully the events in Turkey as this government is an important ally of US imperialism in its continued efforts to plunder the regions resources.  Only Israel is more important than Turkey, and certainly more reliable.  The Turkish public sector Unions are planning a one day strike June 4th to oppose the governments response to protests which is an important development.

The situation in Syria also comes to mind.  The support that the US gives to the Syrian opposition does not go unnoticed among Turks and is most likely not appreciated by everyone.  These developments in this "stable" ally of the west has shaken things up and is a powerful reminder of the volatile situation that exists in the entire region.

Video from Reuters

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