Kalkan: Conflict arising because of internal contradictions within capitalist modernity - PART FOUR

Duran Kalkan analyzed the internal contradictions within capitalist modernity.

KCK Executive Council member Duran Kalkan analyzed the internal contradictions within capitalist modernity.

Part one of this interview can be read here, part two here and part three here

How can the global geopolitical developments of the past year be assessed – especially with a view to the ongoing armed conflicts? In particular, the new alignment of energy routes is currently being discussed a lot and appears to be hotly contested.

There is a conflict arising because of the internal contradictions within the system of capitalist modernity. It started in the early 90s with the Gulf War. After the US attacked Afghanistan and Iraq (following the twin tower bombings), and since 2010 with the so-called Arab Spring. Succeeding the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the war in Ukraine was launched. It is this war which has left its mark on history. The system’s internal relations, contradictions and conflicts continue. There is no change in this regard. But what is the determining aspect of 2023 in this environment of contradictions and conflicts? The Ukrainian war has not come to an end. New things happened there. It was called a war between Ukraine and Russia, but it turned out to be a war between the US and Russia over Ukraine. The US dragged NATO into this war. Russia also tried to get war support from its allies. As a result, Russia suffered in many ways. It could not fully achieve what it wanted, unlike America who gained important results. With the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO and the prevention of European trade with Russia, the US increased its economic and military influence over Europe, making them dependent on America. It put Europe in a position of weak will. I can state this clearly, America has never been able to establish this level of influence before. This influence had developed during the so-called Cold War, but it had never reached this level.

Russia, in its own way, tried to eliminate its own surpluses with this war. Just as the Ukrainian war was intended to warrant, some parties were purged. What happened? The Russian-Chinese alliance’s attempt to open an energy route to Europe through Ukraine was sabotaged and frustrated. NATO reshaped itself on this basis and new conflicts emerged. Following the G20 summit in India, it was announced that an agreement was reached on the energy route between India, the Gulf, Israel, Cyprus and Greece. What was the reaction of the Tayyip Erdoğan administration? Firstly, the war in Karabakh. Supposedly, Azerbaijan was going to take Karabakh, then they were going to take the Zengi Strait and connect a highway to Turkey. Thus, they were planning to reconnect Central Asia to Europe overland through Turkey. The Armenian community was massacred in Karabakh, a genocide was committed. But neither Iran nor Israel allowed this to go further. Turkey's plan was thwarted. Then, the Gaza war was brought onto the agenda in order to sabotage the path that was wanted to be organized under the leadership of the USA. In fact, the opponents wanted to sabotage it by turning it into a war zone. And those who wanted to open the routes wanted to eliminate forces like Hamas that posed a threat. In other words, the interests of both sides converged in this war. A war situation emerged, which was initiated by Hamas under the guidance of Tayyip Erdoğan, and which the US and Israel expected and wanted. In other words, the Gaza war marked the end of the year. Israel burned Gaza to the ground with more than 20 thousand civilian deaths being anticipated. Ceasefires are agreed on from time to time and supposedly this is being done for captives. Causing the death of 20 thousand people in order to release 50 captives is incomprehensible and inexplicable. There are those who see this as a success. This is not the case. So, on this occasion, I respectfully commemorate the victims of this war, the civilian victims. I share the pain of the Palestinian people. I also share the pain of the Jewish civilian people. There is a war of site clearing for the construction of an energy route. Both sides are covertly fighting over the route. On this basis, this war was brought onto the agenda.

What will be the result? On one side there is Hamas and Tayyip Erdoğan… sub-rosa, it is actually Turkey that is waging the war. Turkey is more involved in the Gaza war than Hamas. The Turkish press is already conducting the war to a large extent. It’s obvious, and the intentions are clear. The Tayyip administration have already met with Iraq to make them a party to the alternative route. The global capital system will not allow this. The Jewish capital is the dominant power within the global capital. Will Israel ever accept it being excluded from such a route? They used Tayyip Erdoğan in this framework. In fact, this situation showed us why they kept Tayyip Erdoğan in power again during the May elections. All along, the plan was to use him here because no one but Tayyip Erdoğan could have led Hamas to such an attack. Formerly, the jihadist gangs were on their way to Damascus when Tayyip Erdoğan turned them back to attack Kobane. Tayyip Erdoğan’s relationship with such organizations is based on interest and the global capital system uses this relationship. So they are actually using Tayyip Erdoğan. They hired him for this. Like a provocateur. In fact, they keep him in power without him realizing it, but others are also using him for their own interests.

The Tayyip administration does not have any contradiction or conflict with the US system, the global capitalist system of modernity and imperialism. Words implying otherwise are all lies being used to deceive the people of Turkey and some foreign circles, especially the dogmatic leftists. In fact, leftists in some areas have fallen for it. They have almost gone so far as to see Tayyip Erdoğan as anti-imperialist. Those who call Tayyip Erdoğan anti-imperialist should come to Kurdistan and see the truth. Therefore, we know who is what very well. We also know what these wars mean. No one can understand the suffering of the Palestinian people more than the Kurds. No people can share a relationship of empathy more than the peoples of Palestine and Kurdistan. This has been proven by their experiences and joint struggle. It was as such yesterday, and it is as such today.

What is the result now? In other words, Tayyip Erdoğan and Hamas claim that they will defeat Israel. They say that they are creating a contradiction between the state of Israel and the US, and they are propagandizing this to the people of Turkey. This has nothing to do with reality. Just as the US established control around the Gulf during the war in 1990 by landing troops in Saudi Arabia, it has now brought its warships to the Eastern Mediterranean and established control over the route. They are trying to neutralize Hamas. This is their goal. They are inflicting this war as a way to clear the site from threats. Then they would probably create a route through Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus. China is not in contradiction with this, it is as if they are in agreement. It seems China had agreed to this route by the US when there was no Ukrainian path.

Iran is also involved, evaluations regarding US – Iran conflict have fallen into void. Therefore, one should not speak by rote. Theory does not mean repeating memorized things. Those leftists who repeat what they memorized in their youth will continue to say “Lenin“ until they die. You shouldn’t be that kind of leftist. In other words, it is necessary to be able to see and understand developments, to see change, to experience a change of thought. In this respect, there is no antagonism with Iran as before. On the contrary, there is partnership and harmony. This is why there are not many problems regarding the route about Lebanon.

We don’t know if there will be a conflict with Russia in Syria. Russia has not reacted much regarding Israel. Russia is also involved. If that is overcome, it will be Cyprus and Turkey’s turn. Turkey will once again square up with the system of capitalist modernity of which it is a part, in a way similar to the world war a hundred years ago. That looks almost certain. It will have a punishing effect on Turkey.

What effect does this have on the policy of the Turkish state?

The Silk Road is a great trade route that is thousands of years old. It used to pass through Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Iran and reach China, but that route was cut off. The Berlin, Baghdad, Basra (more precisely the Europe, India trade route) line established in the early 1900s. After the First World War was fought on this road – the route was disrupted and cut off. That route passed through Turkey. In the Second World War, fascist Hitler sought a way to keep Turkey out of war for this route. Turkish politicians say that the genius Turkish administration and rulers politically managed the situation allowing Turkey to stay out of war. This has nothing to do with reality. Turkey had been tried but it failed. The Hitler administration did not want to try again and risk losing the route. They failed in the past and they fail again in the present. Now they have frustrated Turkey’s path to Ukraine. The one Turkey wanted to develop with Azerbaijan has come to naught. In the current situation, they actually wanted to pass this road through Northern Syria. Turkey sabotaged and opposed it. The US allowed Turkey to stay Jarablus, they put troops in Afrin, they officially declared war on Syria and officially entered Iraq. When this place became a war zone, the capital did not find it stable for investment. As a result, the capitalist circles made an alliance on the current path and they have excluded Turkey. Of course, it also excludes Kurdistan in some way. But Kurds have other channels. The main thing was the exclusion of Turkey. Until now, Turkey was a bridge between Asia and Europe. Turkey was called a strategic position. Based on this, they created Turkey, the Turkish state, to keep the Middle East within the system of capitalist modernity, the nation state system. Now all these functions have disappeared. Kurdish hostility has led to this.

In other words, Tayyip Erdoğan won and stayed in power, but Turkey lost as a result. Turkey was excluded from the system. Why was it excluded? Why couldn’t this route happen? Because of the war. Because of the anti-Kurdish fascist, colonialist, genocidal mentality and politics that the AKP-MHP fascism and the Turkish state in general have been pursuing over the last hundred years. Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration has excluded Turkey from the system. They brought Turkey head-to-head with the system. It has led to the loss of its advantages within the system. In exchange for what? In exchange for his remaining in power. Therefore, Tayyip Erdoğan’s interests and Turkey’s interests are not the same. Turkish society, revolutionary democrats, everyone should see this well.

Our allies in the United Revolutionary Movement of Peoples (HBDH) did not understand this well, and they should explain it better. They should explain and show the public how Tayyip Erdoğan is leading Turkey to disaster, how its resources are drying up. Turkey is now in this situation, what will happen? Either it will settle for what it has. It will settle for being excluded and living in a weak position. If they engage in conflict, this could actually lead Turkey to internal conflict. Years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, how many times did Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] evaluate and make calls. He said don’t do it. If you do this, it will lead to disaster. They will take you to disintegration. They will take everything away from you and exploit you.

We could not make the Turkish society understand, and the current administration did not believe in this and did the opposite. It actually saw its own interest in implementing the opposite. In fact, Rêber Apo’s evaluations are now being confirmed. It is no longer possible for Turkey to become effective in the system and to have a strategic position with its position as an occupying warrior in Kurdistan. Therefore, a developing Turkey can only be a democratic Turkey if it solves the Kurdish problem and recognizes Kurdish freedom. This has been clearly revealed and seen today. We have made so much effort for this, in fact, we have struggled. We have formed alliances for the democratization of Turkey, for the solution of the Kurdish question in the field of democratic politics, in the field of revolutionary struggle.

In fact, as the HBDH, we also waged a very important struggle against this. In order to prevent the AKP-MHP fascism from causing Turkey to fall into such a state of exclusion and consuming its own resources in war. But if we pay attention, it did not yield results. Our efforts were too little. We need to struggle more, we need to understand better. In other words, we need to see what the anti-Kurdish, fascist, genocidal mentality and politics of the Tayyip Erdoğan mentality has brought to Turkey, how it has caused such a crisis in Turkey, and we need to save Turkey from this mentality and politics. It is absolutely necessary to save Turkey from the Tayyip Erdoğan administration. Otherwise, this administration has nothing to offer Turkey but oppression, exploitation, exclusion and disaster. If this continues more insistently, there will be worse consequences. Everyone must come to their senses. Rêber Apo’s warnings were very important. We see and understand them very well now. Therefore, those who love Turkey should see this and oppose it absolutely.

In 2023, there was no such approach that everything would be fixed with the elections. But the election was also an important opportunity for antifascist struggle. This opportunity was partially utilized. In fact, it was evaluated well in terms of understanding, it was put forward, it was seen. By developing a new method of struggle – or precisely by broadening the current methods – anti-fascist struggle was strengthened. We did this by developing the struggle in revolutionary alliances and guerrilla warfare. Democratic politics tried to do this. Women’s and youth struggles tried to do this. Overall, an important struggle was waged. The importance of the election was also seen. But there was also this. I mean, how shall we say, were the elections always wrong? Not exactly like that, actually. How much the election was an election is debatable. There is no such thing as a fair, equal election. Wether there was even an election is debatable because those who assigned Tayyip Erdoğan to lead the international conspiracy still want to use Tayyip Erdoğan. That was made clear. The opposition tried to create some alternatives and they also created some hope with Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s “Six Table“, but it was the AKP-MHP fascism that best waged the Kurdish war. It was the Tayyip Erdoğan and Devlet Bahçeli administration that responded to the needs of the system to the detriment of Turkey. For this reason, internal and external circles of interest wanted to keep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP-MHP alliance in power and use them a little longer. As the saying goes, when crossing a bridge you don’t change horses. They did not want to change horses. They considered it inconvenient and harmful for themselves. Therefore, the end of the election was planned in advance.

How fair was the election? Whether these votes were actually taken is a matter of debate. Nobody knows. There are many who say it wasn’t like that. And that is the right thing to do. But the outcome is important. What did they do after that? They used Turkey both in Karabakh, in the Central Asia-Turkey line and in the Gaza war. They used the Tayyip Erdoğan administration in line with their own wishes, they became tools. Tayyip Erdoğan speaks against them. And everyone believes him. It has not been revealed how big a fight he has with them. Even during the Gaza war, the country with the most commercial relations to Israel is Turkey. And the children of Tayyip Erdoğan and those in the AKP administration are doing this. These have been publicly announced and exposed. Everyone must see this. Therefore, the truth of the matter is that Tayyip Erdoğan is being used. It is not very clear where else they will use Tayyip Erdoğan and what will happen. So the elections and the post-election process showed this. Tayyip Erdoğan won the election. The so-called life of the government had been extended, but Turkey was marginalized, it lost its strategic position. Turkey lost many things as a result of this. I repeat, no one should see Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration and Turkey’s interests as the same, they are opposed. If Tayyip Erdoğan wins, Turkey loses. Turkey will win only when Tayyip Erdoğan loses. The post-election process has shown this very clearly.

So what will happen and where will this situation lead? We can say that the countdown for Tayyip Erdoğan has already started. There is now a process of collapse. Will they use him for internal or external interests, we don’t know. Is there really any value left to be used? It seems not much. In that sense, Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration has no future, it is coming to an end. There is a process of dissolution and collapse. Everyone must see this. Those who say that they will make progress, do business and make gains based on the current Turkish government, AKP and MHP fascism are wrong. They will no longer be able to make gains. The dirt and rust is already showing every day. It is being revealed how much crisis and chaos this administration has created, how much dirty work it has done, from all kinds of marijuana and heroin trafficking to black money and collapse. Economic crisis, political crisis, social collapse and decay are developing under this administration. These are very clear. In that respect, the end of the road is in sight. We can say that. We don’t know exactly when and what will happen. We hope that 2024 will be the year of the total collapse of this administration. It will be the year of the collapse and defeat of fascism. This is our hope and wish. Our struggle will be on this basis. As the Kurdistan Freedom Movement, as the Democratic Forces of Turkey and as revolutionary democratic forces, we will always struggle on this basis. I can express the following. If not to accelerate this destruction, to bring it closer, to realize it if possible, that is, the other process seems to be more imminent. Because there are elections in 2024. Its results will show many things. It is obvious how difficult the current situation is for the AKP administration.

It seems that the general elections will be lost, there are also local elections but it is not easy to achieve the same level of effectiveness as in the past. On the other hand, there are also elections elsewhere. The year 2024 is also an election year for the US in terms of many things. From now, it is not clear whether such an energy route will mean everything for capitalism or whether it will be even be carried through with. If it does be constructed, will it really be able to withstand the Third World War? Or will it alleviate the crisis and chaos?

On the contrary, fascism is on the rise in Europe and America where right-wing neo-fascist movements are becoming more prominent and coming to power. They are candidates for power though they cannot become a solution to problems. On the contrary, they will deepen the contradiction and conflict. Is it possible that a solution arises from fascism? Democratization could only do that. What will really happen? It looks like 2024 will pass with some preparation, but the aftermath bears important changes. There can definitely be very serious political developments and changes in the world and in Turkey in the coming year and beyond. Of course, we will fight with all our strength to realize this in Turkey in 2024. We want everyone to see and believe this. Especially the society, intellectuals, politicians, artists, revolutionary democratic forces in Turkey really need to see this, to become conscious, to organize and to develop a common antifascist struggle on this basis. If we do it this way, we will definitely win. Everyone must believe in this. We can make 2024 the year of victory of the anti-fascist democratic revolution in Turkey. This is our goal. We will fight for this. We call on everyone to fight with this belief and attitude.

The current system of governance in Turkey should not be seen as a political system or a political change. Rêber Apo said, “The coup mechanism is working“. Everything happens on the basis of coups and provocations. Especially the current AKP-MHP fascist alliance, Tayyip Erdoğan and the ‘People’s Alliance’ administration use this in many ways. They use everything. They are trying to win the local elections over the blood of the people of Gaza. They turned it into election propaganda. They have no support for the Palestinian people or the people of Gaza. Yes, they are trying to save Hamas. Because one of the leaders of Hamas is Tayyip Erdoğan. AKP and Hamas are left in a fix. They were defeated in other areas. Now Hamas is being crushed. Then it will be AKP’s turn. Tayyip Erdoğan is already fighting for his life. Look at his demeanor, it is the demeanor of a person struggling between life and death. With a provocation, 21 thousand Gazans were killed. In order to keep Hamas alive or for Tayyip Erdoğan to win re-election, they have driven so many young people out of Turkey’s borders. Tayyip Erdoğan bought those people like they are for rent, using the money of others. They are driving those people against the Kurds and guerrillas, to destroy them. If one of them dies here in the snow during the winter, they try to turn this into election propaganda. You saw what happened in Amasya. What did they do to the CHP administration? I mean, I expressed it before, is this the way to approach the situation? If they really believed that those people were martyrs, would they have turned a martyr into a tool for election propaganda? But this is what the Tayyip Erdoğan administration, the AKP and the MHP administration have become.

The Sheikh Said issue is also a provocation. Some people say out of the blue that Hezbollah, the new ally of the AKP, wants this. Supposedly the trustee administrator of Amed is implementing this. So they are doing it themselves. Someone is cursing, someone is affirming. There is such a provocation. A very shameless provocation. AKP is at one end of this and Hezbollah is at the other. The mob called Hüda-Par is a contra. Everyone should see this. We must be very careful in this regard. Everyone must be careful. Especially the Kurdish people and patriotic circles should be very careful. They will do anything for their own interests. They can turn it into a tool, they can use it as an instrument. Since they used a historical figure like Sheikh Said, they will definitely use anything.

In this regard, especially Sheikh Said’s close circles, family circles, those who love Sheikh Said should be very careful. They had someone insult them. They made a despicable attack. Some people are trying to capitalize on the basis of the insult. Supposedly, they will get votes from Diyarbakir or from those who love him, they will win local elections. This group called Hezbollah is also doing this. These circles should be very careful. We should definitely not be a tool in this. Let’s not forget Sheikh Said, a historical figure. He is one of the vessels of the Kurdish national resistance. He cannot be used for such things, that is a despicable attitude. All Kurds, patriots, those who love Sheikh Said must take a stance, they must answer accordingly in the elections. The leaders of the Kurdish national resistance, their bloodlines cannot be used in such a way. They continue to live through the struggle for freedom, they live in the resistance of the guerrilla, they live in the struggle of our people and the Kurdish freedom movement. They constitute its historical foundation. Neither this manipulation by the collaborators nor the despicable attacks of the fascist genocidal diminish the importance of these historical figures. We have not allowed this until now, and we will not allow it in the future. We hope that those who love and admire Sheikh Said will also take such an attitude. Those who try to profit from this will be given the harshest lesson during this election process.