Taking Back Turkey

Turkish demo flyers. Berlin, June 7th.

Don’t let his pro-Palestinian rhetoric fool you. Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains a close ally of the United States. The head of a socially conservative Islamic political party, the Turkish Premier nonetheless believes Turkey to be an integral part of the west, no less deserving of EU membership, for example, than decidedly secular, northern European states such as Germany. After all, nearly half of the country sits in Europe. Not to mention that fact that its military has been part of the NATO alliance for over six decades.

Erdogan isn’t  the only Turk who feels this way. The country’s business class is especially smitten with the west. Between its deep trade relations, and European investment in core Turkish industries such as automotive manufacturing, there are many reasons why Turkey’s alliances disproportionately, some would argue, veer towards the Atlantic. There are dissenters, though. Particularly in regards to strategic concerns, as in recent years, Turkey’s relations with neighboring Iran, as well as Syria, have dramatically deteriorated.

The following translation, of two Turkish-language protest flyers posted in Berlin, are a good example. Professing a distinctly anti-imperialist point of view, it’s not too hard to determine their ideological leanings. Despite, that is, the overt Kemalism, in praise of modern Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Coinciding with the Occupy Gezi protests, this political line similarly documents a significant stream flowing through the protests that have swept Turkey the last two weeks. Not necessarily predominant, but influential.


Flyer I (Left)


By uniting, we will triumph!

The Turkish People, on May 31 2013, had with dignity opened the red flag to Tayyip Erdogan government and his F-type gang. The USA’s Greater Middle East Project (GMEP), staffed by Tayyip  Erdogan and his government, effectively has ended. Our people, the AKP (Justice and Development  Party) used cruelty and illegality in the face of legitimate resistance against the dangers of the GMEP partner presidency’s instigations to civil and external war.

Our people will never (approve of) the instigations by US imperialism, and by the Tayyip Erdogans, to violent  ethno-sectarian fighting, to shooting wars against our neighbors.

The nation’s masses, in all four corners of the squares, have set a historic stage with our star and crescent flag and their Ataturk posters. Our people, as one, who are pursuing the 200 year struggle for freedom and independence, will greatly surpass the victories of our lifetime. Our Turkey will once again be governed from Ankara.

Our patriotic pioneers bringing of leadership duties to the laborers and segments of population who are in uproar is unavoidable. This is our day’s burning need.

We, as patriots living in Europe, invite our Turkey’s national strength: we call all our patriotic government party members, unionists, mass organizations, bar associations, professional organizations, patriotic intellectuals, and artists to unite by our Great Ataturk. Leading the strong cries of our patriots and the republic’s burning demands for the immediate resignation of Tayyip Erdogan – a rising people’s movement – is a historic task.

We (are) united in Ataturk!

Resignation of the government, the ‘exalted’ Tayyip to the divan (old Ottoman couch)!

Everywhere is Taksim, Everywhere is Resistance!

A National Parliament, a National Government!

Peace with Neighbors, Peace at Home!

(Kemalist Thinking Berlin Organization| Turkey’s Berlin Youth Alliance| CHP Berlin Alliance| Workers Party Berlin)


Flyer II (Right)


We (are) united in Ataturk!

Everywhere is Taksim, Everywhere is Resistance!

Date: June 8, Saturday

Time: 16:00

Place: An Der Urania, Wittenbergplatz

The Turkish People are on Their Feet


Translated from the Turkish by Jeremy Bender. Introduction and photograph courtesy of Joel Schalit.

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