The Socialist Refoundation Party (SYKP) is a communist party operating in Turkey.
The Party’s emblem is a three colored stars on a white background; the red from these colors symbolizes the struggle of the working class, the green symbolizes the nature and the struggle to protect our habitat, the purple symbolizes the struggle for freedom of women.
The definition of the Party is made as follows in the by-law (Article 2): Of those located on the progressive and the revolution pole of the conflict in the whole continent of the world and the carriers of the forward movement of the history are especially the working class, women, youth, advocates of nature and the life, and all workers, and the oppressed. That “the all written history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”, today, is also verified on a global scale. The working class and the oppressed are able to succeed in this struggle, only when they become organized and confronted as an organized force against the sovereign power. The Socialist Refoundation Party (SYKP) established to respond the need is the communist party of the working class and all oppressed. SYKP is aware of that it becomes necessity of refoundation of the working class movement and the socialist movement passed through historical conjuncture, and serving it sees itself as a primary mission.
The Establishment of SYKP and Its Today
Actually, SYKP is not fundamentally a new party by reason of which was founded by revolutionaries -many of those have fighted for socialism since 1960s. But, however, it is a new party because not only established concretely in recent history but also owning a new program formed basically different from those of the other revolutionaries, socialists and communist parties in Turkey.
Our party was founded on 24 June 2013. Four groups and parties integrated in SYKP with the many independent socialist, after they had discussed and agreed with the main ideological and organizational issues for two years, decided to the establishment of the party on 16 June (the anniversary of the great struggles of workers in 1970). On the other hand, because of taking part actively in another public resistance (Occupy Gezi or June Movement) the preparations for the foundation were delayed for a while. In this context SYKP is both a student and a child of Occupy Gezi.
Prof. Dr. Nejla Kurul ve Tuncay Yılmaz, our comrades, were the founding chairman and chairwoman of SYKP. Comrade Tülay Hatimoğulları and Comrade Ahmet Kaya were taken the helm in the 2. Conference and the Congress held on 24-25-26 June 2016. As Sevim Belli, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Mahir Sayın, Kenan Kalyon, many working people of the communist movement in Turkey are among the party’s founders.
Today, SYKP is organized into 30 metropolitans (population over a million) and the other half in some provinces of Turkey.
The Communist Movement and SYKP
The Turkey Left has been pulled to pieces on account of separations of arising in 1968 and of lasting increasingly in 1970s. Unfortunately, the united party attempts in the 90s could not be long-lasting, besides the former separation, it appeared some secession resulted from new theoretical, strategic and tactical problems. Apart from SYKP, there are a lot of parties, groups and social environments aiming for socialism. Furthermore, in Kurdish political movement, it is reality that there is a strong socialist tendency, as well as another and even contradictory dynamics. SYKP does not argue that it completed the refoundation of the communist movement in conjunction with its formation, and also it is open and ready to the new alliance processes.
The Party, regardless of the ideological, political and organizational differences, regards everyone who aims for communism as a communist. It critically stakes a claim the heritage of the other revolutionary parties and groups and also tries to learn from their experiments.
Our party takes into consideration to have been composed of the favorable objective conditions that lead to overcome the separations which were occurred in the history of the communist movement. It assumes the fading of the historical feud among those of regarding themselves as
communist, even if they were involved in Stalinist, Trotskyist, Maoist, Enver Hoxhaist or focoist movements, and recognizes gladly the enlargement for the facility and grounds pertaining to the common struggle –and it promotes the process on this way. However, it keeps in mind that the fundamental differences occurred of understanding, behavior and organizational style through long ages could not be surpassed in a trice.
As a party that has carried it out its own part, SYKP anticipates that in the future it could be come in contact with communists into the single organization coming from different ideological and political structures. It discusses, on the one hand, on ideological issues, on the other hand it looks for making an alliance with the other social movements to act in unison for the class struggle.
Why SYKP, not HDP?
SYKP is a communist party. It considers at all times that in the last analysis all socials problems and conflicts are resulted from the exploitation of labor and class antagonisms, and it envisages that these problems and conflicts could be overcome by the revolution which the proletariat guide associated with the other people’s power. In this context SYKP is homogeneous party consisting of the militant who aim for the communism in the light of all the facts mentioned above; in other respects, SYKP is also one of the constituent components of HDP.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party, however, is a heterogeneous party which is composed of the people belonging to the different associations and non-governmental organizations, different ideologies, different political parties, trade unions in order to fight for peace, democracy and freedom. And also it is relatively the same coalition with SYRIZA in Greece. It is taken especially heed of that HDP has a lot of representatives, alongside with the majority of those is comprised of Kurds, including also Turks, Arabians, Armenians and Assyrians. One of the main reason of why HDP is close to the left-side is communists and Kurds revolutionaries; nonetheless the priorities of the Kurdish Freedom Movement with the priorities of the communists, intrinsically, are not always compatible. Moreover, in addition to these it includes left liberals, Alevis, anti-capitalist Muslims, devout Sunni Kurds too, many of those, especially the latter, are troubled with its left-side, representatives of the LGBTI, and Marxists by claiming that they are “more” effective in the party.
Many articles of the HDP’s programme are matched up with the those of the SYKP programme. The fact remains that it is inadmissible that the communists lose themselves and their goals among the various and contradictory components in HDP. For this reason, our party insists of preserving its independent lines and its organizational structure.
The followers of SYKP have defended for a long time that not only have revolutionary and democratic forces in Turkey to struggle in solidarity, but also it should be created the common ground for the struggle by establishing permanent connection with the Kurdish Freedom Movement. HDP is the most appropriate political framework that has been found so far to do so. On the invitation of Kurdish political leadership, the common ground as a result of the studies performed since 2003 has evolved to Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) in 2011, and to the founding of HDP in 2013 to participate in the elections and to conduct an effective struggle in the parliamentary system. SYKP has taken actively part in this process since starting from its pre-establishment. Most of our comrades take currently on responsibility in HDP General Assembly and its managing bodies.
One of the founders of SYKP, Comrade Ertuğrul Kürkçü takes in charge as the founder co-chairman of HDP and HDK. Kürkçü is presently honorary president of HDP and its Izmir deputy.
General Objectives and Orientations of SYKP
The objectives and orientations of SYKP are summarized as follows in its programme:
- The final target of the Socialist Refoundation Party (SYKP) is a communist society in which capitalist exploitation and all forms of domination, all inequalities, all hierarchical and exclusionary social relations are eliminated, in which division of labor is gone beyond, and that the solidarity and the cooperation become an internalized feature of human existence. In this society, rural/urban and head/arm of the labor conflicts are solved, the dominance/dependence relationship among the sexes is ended, all social relations and human-nature relationship are transformed within the context of production and consumption perspective which is accordant with a sustainable evolution and the ecological balance. That communist society in which private property is annihilated, and over which in pursuit of the stage on which dominated by the norm of “to each according to his work”, the motto “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” have control.
- Such a society could be solely realized in the scale of the whole world. SYKP makes the starting point the fact that the transition from capitalism to communism is the world-historical and universal process in the last analysis. It does not respect any local or “national” conception of and programme of communism that holds socialist left in a national scope and imagination, that reduces socialism only to developmentalism, to state ownership, to nationally allocated of productive forces and the social products, that strengthens the state by pretexting “obligations” instead of fading it, so within this context to eliminate socialist democracy step by step, and to distort the perspective of communism. On the contrary it comprehends socialism as a process in which labor and production processes, all social relations without exception, and the human itself are transformed.
- Path to a universal communism that it will be the product of the world revolution is going to be possible in the world communes’ republic in which the borders, nations and nation-states are eliminated, in which people stakes a claim the earth as their common homeland, and in that finally the ideal of “humanity” that is noised as an abstraction around the revolutionary period of the Enlightenment is materialized. Local and national revolutions could serve for the ideal of communism and a global transition process in case of making determinedly progress in this direction.
- However, the expectation of the world revolution starting all countries, regions and continents in simultaneously manner and progressing in parallel with them is unrequited to the future as in the past.
- SYKP understands the transition from capitalism to communism, in terms of its main character, as a process of socialist social revolution throughout the world. But some countries could get involved on this process with the revolutionary-democratic initiatives that it has often been in this manner in the 20th century.
- On the basis of the facts SYKP fights for democratic and social republic going towards the revolutionary-democratic transformation and socialism in Turkey. It sees democratic social republic in Turkey as the moment of the conquest of political power by the proletariat, as a specific form of its power; and as the only goal that brings the revolution in one country together the world revolution. Nevertheless, it keeps in mind the fact that the proletarian revolution in one country has the risk to its evolution to restoration unless it progresses to the world revolution and gives a new impulse to it. If the revolution is not continuous, it would fall and be girded by the capitalist world.
- For resolving, or at least minimizing, the risk, SYKP must completely focus on passing beyond the concept and comprehension of bourgeois, it must make contribution to radicalize the revolutionary breaking, it must have a local program, it must take an active role in constructing the new civilization, it should inspire global anti-capitalist struggle with self-presence and its experience. In this context Turkey as a bridge between West and East is one of the key countries in which it could be possible to do this, for Turkey is the country accumulating contradictions of the capitalist system. The history invites Turkey socialist movement to play this role.
- For this reason SYKP argues that permanent revolution must not be rooted to the spot the space and time, it has to protect the deepening, expansion and perfecting impulse at all times and the last one it should accelerate to the process of the social revolution.
- As Marx said the republic that is not a “social” is definitely not “democratic”. No matter how democratic, the republic that is not social, that does not concentrate the social interest, that does not reduce the size of the accumulation of capital and of realm of existence of the market, not laying the foundations of a society beyond capitalism, ignoring the ideal of “the expropriators are expropriated” transforms readily and eventually one of the instruments of capital.
- SYKP regards the abolition of bourgeois private property as expropriators the means and conditions of the production to its reappropriation. This historical step bridges over easing of the disconnection between producers and the material conditions of the production. This means that the productive forces treasure turns out to be collective ownership. And also the overcoming of the alienation is to be open in every aspect of individuals to access and to take advantage of social wealth.
SYKP esteems itself as the successor of all the past experience of the world revolutionary process; however, gets an itch to be a party of it not as is but by bringing a critical approach. In this context, it disregards the explanations explaining the collapse of reel socialism by coincidence, and supporting this explanation by linking it to “revisionist” politicians of those came to power after the founder revolutionary leaders were died. It is obviously that such as tunnel visions are both contrary to dialectical materialism and serve no purpose than hides real problems. The only thing that matters is that real socialism needs to be reappraised from the point of view of its acquisitions and of its dilemmas. It is essential for the refoundation of socialism. The comprehension of the Party concerning this issue is explained under the title of “The Course of the Interrupted Revolution Has Leaded the Way”:
The downfall of “real socialism” symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 caused primarily to be dispossessed the social acquisitions for which millions workers have obtained by fighting. The belief in “Another (socialist) world is established” that the worker has presented to the humanity starting with 1848 and the Paris Commune has been heavily wounded under the Wall. The collapse of the entire global resistance centers and their articulations to capitalism have played a central role in the process of which capitalist globalization, started in 1980s, has developed uncontrollable against the humanity, and in which capitalist globalization has been blessed as “a victory against socialism”.
However, this interregnum is over from now on. Now, “millions of workers who has rised against the capitalist globalization in North and South, in that reason, even if they have directly fired arrows of criticism to capitalism, in the meantime they have dealt a blow to the practices and doctrines of “the collapsed socialism” from the “inside”. Just as it was in 1848, the revolution of the 21st century “has continuously self-criticized, has gone back to being completed by bursting upon its development, and has picked it to pieces without considering its instability, frailty and weakness in the maiden effort…”
“Socialist” development criterions, production techniques and the desire to dominate nature acquired by the “capitalist modernization”; the control of the workers is alienated from the planning and the production; “forced collectivization”; the proletarian dictatorship degradation towards the “one-party dictatorship”; the rejection “socialist democracy” and political pluralism; the restrictions of freedom of religion, of expression, of criticism and of organization; limitation of academic and artistic freedom, giving up internationalism in favor of raison d’état and international communist movement is subjected to the duty of the defense for “socialist homeland”; enforcement of a “model” ignoring locality; maintaining patriarchal domination on sexual choice; assimilation of the ethnic and regional differences; all of them rehabilitate to Marxism as “criticism of all that exists”. And whenever global rebellion shows itself, whenever its international motto embraces the masses, all attempts aimed at the realization of the ideal of “Another world is possible” coincide with the political and philosophical heritage of Marxism. A comprehensive explanation concerning the crisis of capitalism is seeked and found in Marxism. On the other hand, Marxism deepen itself both theoretically and practically from the criticism towards the global capitalism; and it has the opportunity to repair the destruction created by the economism of Second International that this economism has turned into “official ideology” for decades.
A resistance has rised against all forms of domination and of oppression in all over the world. This resistance has drawn its strength from, notably the class struggle, the legacy of progressive, libertarian and critical thinking.
Marxism, with the revolutionary and internationalist character, on the one hand has benefited from the “revolutionary” contributions of the multidimensional and multicomponent global resistance, on the other hand has elaborated once more the working class with a revolutionary worldview in spite of the fact that they could go into orbit of the nationalist, communitarian and global reformist movements. Marxism brings the relation to pass between the working class and the multidimensional and multicomponent global resistance; and by this means, it takes the resistance into the scope of the class struggle.
The By-law of SYKP
Article 1: The Title of the Party
Socialist Refoundation Party. The abbreviated name of the party is SYKP. The center is in Ankara. The Party’s emblem is a three colored stars on a white background; red, green and purple.
Article 2: The Definition of the Party
Of those located on the progressive and the revolution pole of the conflict in the whole continent of the world and the carriers of the forward movement of the history are especially the working class, women, youth, advocates of the nature and the life, and all workers, and the oppressed. That “the all written history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”, today, is also verified on a global scale. The working class and the oppressed are able to succeed in this struggle, only when they become organized and confronted as an organized force against the sovereign power. The Socialist Refoundation Party (SYKP) established to respond the need is the communist party of the working class and all oppressed. SYKP is aware of that it becomes necessity of refoundation of the working class movement and the socialist movement passed through historical conjuncture, and serving it sees itself as a primary mission.
Article 3: The Target of the Party
The final target of the Socialist Refoundation Party (SYKP) is a communist society in which capitalist exploitation and all forms of domination, all inequalities, all hierarchical and exclusionary social relations are eliminated, in which division of labor is gone beyond, and that the solidarity and the cooperation become a internalized feature of human existence. In this society, rural/urban and head/arm of the labor conflicts are solved, the dominance/dependence relationship among the sexes is ended, all social relations and human-nature relationship are transformed within the context of production and consumption perspective which is accordant with a sustainable evolution and the ecological balance. That society in which private property is annihilated, and over which in pursuit of the stage on which dominated by the norm of “to each according to his work”, the motto “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” have control.
SYKP regards the abolition of bourgeois private property as expropriators the means and conditions of the production to its reappropriation. This historical step bridges over easing of the disconnection between producers and the material conditions of the production. This means that the productive forces treasure turns out to be collective ownership. And also the overcoming of the alienation is to be open in every aspect of individuals to access and to take advantage of social wealth.
Such a community could be solely realized in the scale of the whole world. SYKP makes the starting point the fact that the transition from capitalism to communism is the world-historical and universal process in the last analysis. Path to a universal communism that it will be the product of the world revolution is going to be possible in the world communes’ republic in which the borders, nations and nation-states were eliminated, in which people stakes a claim the earth as their common homeland, and in that finally the ideal of “humanity” that was noised as an abstraction around the revolutionary period of the Enlightenment is materialized. Local and national revolutions could serve for the ideal of communism and a global transition process in case of making determinedly progress in this direction.
On the basis of the facts SYKP fights for democratic and social republic going towards the revolutionary-democratic transformation and socialism in Turkey. It sees democratic social republic in Turkey as the moment of the conquest of political power by the proletariat, as a specific form of its power; and as the only goal that brings the revolution in one country together the world revolution. Nevertheless, it keeps in mind the fact that the proletarian revolution in one country has the risk to its evolution to restoration unless it progresses to the world revolution and gives a new impulse to it. If the revolution is not continuous, it would fall and be girded by the capitalist world.
Article 4: The Nature and Principles of the Party
a) SYKP as a political organization takes its power from the facts described in Article 2 and from legitimacy of the defense of these requests. The Party is the communist political organizations of class and social forces indicated in Article 2. The basic political purpose of the party is to provide being effective of these fact in every field of life.
b) The Party has the members accepting and working for the purpose clarified in the programme and the by-law. All party members benefit equally from the rights set forth in the by-law. The basis of party unity is formed by the programme, the by-law and combat comradeship.
c) The Party is a political subject converting activities and actions of their members to a collective will in the frame of the described in the program and the by-law determining the legal personality.
d) The unity of action in the party is sine qua non and the differences are legitimate. When to make a decision, in principle it is came to a mutual agreement. In case of disagreement, it is decided by the two-thirds of the members of the respective bodies concerning in the matters of the programme and by-law changes, of the dissolution of the Party or of merger with other parties and the formations; in other cases, it is decided by absolute majority. Some of the members of the Party disapproving of the decision taken in the party organs possess a right of nonparticipation in the action; however, they could not take the attitude that will prevent the implementation of the decision, could not organize simultaneous operations. Party members have the right to participate activities not subjected to the decisions of the party bodies as an individual. Annotated and rejected suggestion(s) is announced to the party decision with bodies.
e) A part of members of the Party could constitute some platforms in accordance with the by-law on the purpose of infusing their approaches and opinions into the Party. Activities and functioning of the platforms takes place in an open and transparent to the rest of the party. The platforms could not strike an attitude against the collective will of, political unity of and the functioning of the party bodies. In addition to this they could not take binding decision for the members. They could not set their own budgets outside of party’s finances, and the finally it could not gain supporters for themselves within the party instead of bringing members to the party. The principles and procedures providing the unity of action of the party and describing the rights of minorities are regulated by a by-law.
f) Women is applied positive discrimination to all areas and levels of the party life, especially in the party bodies. The positive discrimination could not be left to any bodies or person’s intention or initiative. It is systematically developed effective methods in line with the realization of the positive discrimination into the party.
As a consequence of this positive discrimination it is applied to fifty percent quota for female members in the election in all bodies. This is the essential purpose of the Party, except for temporary and exceptional circumstances. Party organizations that do not meet this standard and that could not apply the fifty percent women’s quota due to the lack of sufficient demand are obliged to resolve the problem by increasing the participation of women to the party or by holding extraordinary congress. Party organizations neglecting to implement the requirement of this quota in the period between two ordinary congress is abolished.
If any female candidate takes vote equal with any male candidate in the election of any party bodies, the female candidate would be elected for the body. In case of a female member to resign from authorized bodies, instead of her, this gap is filled by the other alternate female members.
The positive discrimination could not contravene the principles of democracy and of equality among the members of the party. The female members of the party make a regulation to describe their relationship and functioning.
Women belonging to different feminism, which is a component of the Women’s Liberation Movement based on the independence from capital and men could become the member of the party.
SYKP is in charge of strengthening the organization and the politicization of women in the party, of creating instruments for the struggle against male dominance and sexism, and of making way for assessing perspectives, policies and institutions of the party in terms of feminist politics.
g) It is applied the positive discrimination to the members of LGBTI in the Party.
h) SYKP supports the participation of the youth into the resolution and implementation process of the party, then pursuant thereto it is applied twenty percent of quota to them that the rules mentioned in paragraph “f” also applies to it.
i) The members of the party have the opportunity to acquisition of knowledge, gathering, declaration and dissemination of their opinion. They could express their opinion to public opinion or to the other members of the party. Each member benefits equally from the opportunities of the Party (publication, communication, etc.). It could not be granted privileges to any member.
j) All activities in the party is carried out in complete openness. The whole members and organizations of the party have the right to access directly and freely to the information about the work of the party. Likewise, they could control the work. Party bodies are obliged to respond the written application, criticism and suggestions through an official channel. All activities and financial position of the party is open to the inspection of the members. Related party bodies are obliged to regulate the functioning of the certification and the inspection.
k) It is essential for members to have a say in the party. It is provided to declare directly or through representatives the will of the members.
l) The members of the managing bodies are determined by the election. The members have the right to audit and to recall their representatives. The process of the recall is taken place according to the correlation between the method of the election and the choosing organ of the party. The party attaches importance to the collective work. “Personal responsibility and collective management” is sine qua non in the bodies and committees of the Party.
m) The Party determines its election methods and rules so as to preserve its plural structures. The Party implements proportional representation system guaranteeing the minority rights; by means of this the members reflects democratically their personal and collective will. It is applied to majority election system (open list) in the absence of the proportional representation and in the uncontested election. The principles and procedures of the election is arranged in accordance with the election regulations.
n) It could not be taken place for more than two terms in a row at the same managing organ. (A period is the period between two ordinary congress.) However, after a term, it might be a candidate for the same managing bodies. Within each period (except for the presidency) the renewal of one third of the managing organ is required. In the event that there is not a sufficient number of candidates, these judgments are not the subject of the nomination process.
o) The center of the party, its provincial and district organizations could broadcast the publication for the party of the public in case of the need. The publishing policy of these could not be contrary to the programme.
p) The functioning of the party bodies is open to the review of the members. The meetings of authorized bodies, the party would be followed the members of the party of who authorized.
q) Behaviors incompatible with the membership of the party are imposed sanctions in the way that described at the by-law (especially violence and harassment against women, party members, revolutionaries, the people; and charge of embezzlement etc.).
r) All organizations of the party are autonomous the activities in their respective areas.
s) The members of the party who play a part and work in the independent anti-capitalist and revolutionary-democratic dynamics, organizations and movements could make to the organizations being capable of achieving the level of the Council within the party. Thus the members could both ensure a coordination between each other and develop policies for the relevant fields. The policies developed by these organizations are put into final form by the party bodies. In other respects, the policies set by the Women’s Council and its decisions are accepted as is by the party bodies.
t) It is applied the positive discrimination to the disabled members in the party.