Present-Day Meaning of The National Question

Present-Day Meaning of The National Question

This article, written by Dr. Doğu Perinçek -Chairman of the Patriotic Party (Turkey), was published in TEORİ, September, 1992.

Before the October Revolution

The national question appeared with the rise of capitalism and came to this day through various stages.

West Europeans, who led the capitalist development, formed the first nations by eliminating the feudal fragmentation and rallying around one market. Central-national states were products of this process.

After West Europe, the process of forming nations started also in East Europe. But here, the central states appeared earlier due to the Turkish and Mongolian threat from the East. At that time feudalism was not abolished and nations were not taking shape yet. That’s why such states as Austria-Hungary and Russia, included various nationalities. Later, with the development of capitalism, the ruling nations and depended nations began to differentiate from each other. East Europe became a hot bed of national questions and today, too, is in a turbulent situation.

Having formed the first national states, the West Europeans shared vast areas of the world among themselves, first by means of colonialism, and later, towards the end of the 19th century, by means of imperialism. The peoples who hadn’t yet entered into, or were on the threshold of the capitalist development were drawn into its relations of exploitation.

The national question, which was an inner-state problem in pre-imperialist period became in the imperialist period a world-wide problem viz an inter-state problem. By using their military might, a small number of big and financially strong states put vast areas of the world under their own domination and engaged in a struggle of domination against each other, which sometimes resulted even in wars. Thus, at the beginning of the 19th century the mankind was divided into oppressor and oppressed nations.

Beginning from the first years of the World War I, Lenin made this fact the axis of his analysis of the world; he often pointed out that the world was divided into two main camps. This analysis was adopted by the Communist International upon Lenin’s proposal:

“The characteristic feature of imperialism consists in the whole world, as we now see, being divided into a large number of oppressed nations and an insignificant number of oppressor nations, the latter possessing colossal wealth and powerful armed forces. The vast majority of the world’s population, over a thousand million, perhaps even 1,250 million people, if we take the total population of the world as 1,750 million, in other words, about 70 per cent of the world’s population, belong to the oppressed nations, which are either in a state of direct colonial dependence or are semi-colonies, as for example, Persia, Turkey and China, or else, conquered by some big imperialist power, have become greatly dependent on that power by virtue of peace treaties. This idea of distinction, of dividing the nations into oppressor and oppressed, runs through these theses.” 

In his “Report of The Commission on The National and the

Colonial Questions” Lenin underlined that it is this division what separates the socialists from “bourgeois democracy”. Having used the same analysis in his “Report on the International Situation and the Fundamental Tasks of the Communist International” Lenin stated the following:

“I would like to remind you of this picture of the world, for all the basic contradictions of capitalism, of imperialism, which are leading up to revolution, all the basic contradictions in the working-class movement that have led up to the furious struggle against the Second International É are connected with this partitioning of the world’s population.” 

Under the post-Great War conditions, Lenin divided the camp of the suppressed into three categories:

1- Colonies.

2- Semi-colonies like Iran, Turkey and China.

3- Those countries which, having lost a war launched by an imperialist state, came under its domination by virtue of peace treaties.

As it is seen, such countries as Austria-Hungary, Germany and Bulgaria, which were defeated in the war and came under the domination, or such countries as Soviet Russia, which were under the threat of imperialism, were regarded in the camp of “the oppressed nations”. For Lenin, these “defeated” countries were “combined with the exploitation of the whole of the East”  Furthermore, the contradictions between the victorious and those that came into the orbit of financial exploitation by them form “the main factor of destroying the world imperialism”. 

These assessments are of immense importance. The hierarchy between the capitalist countries might have changed due to uneven development or to the use of power, but these categories continued to exist up to the present day.

The struggle of hegemony and wars between the imperialist great powers gave way to “a number of transitional forms” of national independence or rather national dependence. Lenin defines the situation of these nations as follows:

“… politically, are formally independent, but in fact, are enmeshed in the net of financial and diplomatic dependence…” 

After the October Revolution 

The October Revolution took place in a world in which the mankind was divided into two as “East and West”: On the one hand, the centres of financial exploitation and, on the other hand, the areas of colonies and dependence.  At that time the division of “East-West” was a term defining the division of the world into “the oppressor and the oppressed”. The Soviet Union as the first socialist country of the world disconnected herself from the capitalist system and got out of the realm of national oppression and exploitation. Socio-economically, the socialist Soviet Union was not a country of the East, but politically was in the same front with the East. She was a country of the East in political sense. Now the oppressed nations had a powerful ally.

Lenin and Stalin analysed the three contradictions of capitalism in the age of imperialism.  These contradictions were: The contradiction between labour and capital; the contradiction between the imperialist countries and various financial groups themselves; and the contradiction between the oppressed nations and the oppressor imperialist nations.

After the October Revolution one more contradiction was added to these: The contradiction between the capitalist system and the socialist countries. Formerly there was one capitalist world economy, but now there were two conflicting systems. 

Adherents of scientific socialism deemed the national question, both before and after the October Revolution, a part of the question of revolution. 

In Western Europe where the bourgeoisie led the process of nation-building, the national question was solved by bourgeois revolutions.

With the emergence of the working class as a socialist political movement, a new alternative of solving the national question was brought about. The struggle against all forms of national dependence and exploitation was included in the programme of the socialist movement and the claim by the working class on leadership in the democratic revolution was put on the agenda of the history. The revolutions were not anymore the results of the class struggles within individual countries; they became a problem of solving the global contradiction on the basis of one country. Thus, the national questions became for the proletarian revolutionaries a part of the problem of waging struggle against imperialism. The October Revolution introduced this question into the realm of practice and by this way made it more perceptible.

The world became a scene of unprecedented changes in the age of proletarian revolutions and national liberation wars, which was initiated by the October Revolution. From 1917 to 1975 the imperialist system experienced traumatic changes.

After the second war of repartition, China broke with the imperialist system and engaged in a struggle of building socialism, and brought a radical solution to the national question. Imperialism lost one of its regions of domination, which was the biggest both in population and territory. Post-war revolutions in Eastern Europe, Korea and Vietnam delivered staggering blows to imperialist-capitalist system and brought about important changes on the world balance of powers. The Soviet Union was not alone anymore and a socialist camp was born.

This counter-balance vis-à-vis imperialism created favourable conditions for liberation wars of the colonial countries. These countries cast off the colonial yoke one after another. With the liberation of Algeria in 1962 the liberation of African countries was almost completed. And later, in 1974, with the liberation of Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde from the Portuguese colonialism, and in 1976, with the independence of Djibouti and then Zimbabwe and Namibia, the last citadels of colonialism in Africa were torn down. Today the heritage of colonialism is alive in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Cuban Revolution took place in 1958. By overthrowing the Batiste regime and thereby delivering a heavy blow on American imperialism in its “backyard”, the Cuban people embarked upon the road to socialism and engaged in a decisive battle against imperialism. And in 1975 the peoples of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos put an end to the existence of USA imperialism in Indochina.

The tendency of the bourgeoisie of the oppressed countries within the world capitalist system towards protecting their own interests against the imperialist centres was encouraged by the post-World War II process. A rising revolutionary movement, the existence of the socialist camp at the beginning, and later the transformation of the Soviet Union into a social-imperialist state and the rivalry between the two super powers for domination gave a large room of manoeuvre for dependent and semi-dependent countries. The Third World and the non-aligned movement which made its first stand out at the Bandung Conference on April 1955 was led by such socialist countries as China, Yugoslavia and Cuba, and stood on a basis of demands put forward by the bourgeoisie of the oppressed countries. These countries made the United Nations an arena of struggle. They formed various unions and took different actions in order to protect their raw material resources, strategic energy resources like oil and sovereignty rights on coasts. Although these struggles were still within the framework of the capitalist system, on the final analysis they weakened imperialism because it did harm on the centres of capitalism and especially on USA, and opened new areas of development for revolution and socialism.

Consequently, on the threshold of the 1980s there had been important changes in the situation, which was described by Lenin during and after World War I. More than 100 states were founded in the vast areas of colonialism. Although these countries were still kept within the world capitalist system through various economic and diplomatic ties, they established their own administration and won their political independence. If one remembers that the natural tendency of imperialism is colonization and dependence and full monopoly on every field, then we realize that this is a development in spite of imperialism.

Restoration and Fragmentation in the Soviet Union 

From October 1917 to 1960s the world had experienced a period of revolutionary rise, though with some wavering. The beginning of the restoration process in the Soviet Union towards the 1960s had a negative impact on the world balance of powers and the revolutionary movement came to a standstill. Despite such a general balance-sheet, one could see that the revolutionary advance was still in progress, though sporadically. Nevertheless, one could also see that in its rivalry with USA for domination, the Soviet Union, which assumed the character of a social-imperialist state played the role of a “natural ally” with the national liberation wars. Some liberation movements came under new bonds of dependence. That’s why there appeared a new weakness in solving the national question. Such attempts of completing the national liberation with a socialist revolution, as by the revolutions in Cuba, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, were negatively influenced by the Soviet Union and today these countries are facing economic, financial and military threats from the imperialist system.

Vietnam was driven into fraternal Cambodia by the Soviet Union, and this created serious problems both for Vietnam and Cambodia. This had very negative effects on the attempts to build socialism in Indochina. As for Cuba, the country is now paying the bill for building an economy, which was so dependent on the Soviet Union; under grave conditions, she is being forced to new relations of dependence.

The process of restoring capitalism in the Soviet Union ended towards the end of 1980s. The process, which began towards the 1960s today reached its destination with Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Soviet Union abandoned “socialism” even in phrases and openly declared its state-monopoly capitalist character. The process of forming a capitalist class ended in free market. This process was led by no other than party and state leaders. The ruling class, which took shape, began to appropriate the means of production. And as for the international arena, the Russian administration threw in the towel in the struggle for the world hegemony. In this way, the capitalist system began to move from the period of polarization between the two super powers, which was one of the determining factors of the world, towards a period of polarization between four imperialist centres. Japan and Europe, gathered around Germany, joined to the category of imperialist great powers, as USA and Russia.

The Present –Day Division: North-South 

In some respects the world situation is resuming the picture of Lenin’s days. The population of the world is once more divided into a handful of imperialists and many oppressed nations, which make the majority of the world. This is the determining contradiction, the main contradiction among principal contradictions. Lenin named this contradiction “the East-West division”. And today this division is named “North-South division”.

With the October Revolution, the Soviet Union aligned with the oppressed peoples of the East as an important power. In the course of the period, which is now behind us, the East-West relations and the relations within the East passed through different stages.

After the October Revolution and up to the eve of World War II, the contradiction that was on the foreground was the contradiction between the imperialist powers on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other. The Soviet Union was the most consistent and the advanced power of the East.

Shortly after Hitler came to power in Germany, the contradiction between the imperialist powers themselves assumed a determining character. The war began as a war between the imperialist camp of the fascist Axis states and the imperialist camp of the Western states. Thus, the West-West contradiction became the determining contradiction among the principal contradictions. And the Soviet Union entered into alliance with the “democratic” Western powers.

Following the war, the contradiction between the imperialist Western powers and the socialist camp of the East came to the foreground again. Yet, with the transformation of the Soviet Union into a country of state capitalism after a while, the polarization between the USA and the USSR assumed the character of a contradiction between the imperialists powers.

Meanwhile, the struggles of liberation waged by the colonial nations of the East, especially during the 1950s and 1960s, sharpened the contradiction between the oppressed and the oppressors and made it more important. Until the mid-1970s the East-West contradiction, in the sense of rivalry between the USA and the USSR and in the sense of confrontation between the oppressors and the oppressed, were often intertwined and overlapped. The reason for this was that the alliance of the USSR and the oppressed nations against the Western imperialists, which was formed when the Soviet Union was still a socialist country, was alive. Which one was the determining pole of the East? Was it the Soviet Union or the oppressed nations? This is an important question and still open for discussion. One may also pose the question in the following way: Which one of the two contradictions was of determining character? Was it the struggle for hegemony between the USA and the USSR, or the contradiction between the Western imperialist powers and the oppressed nations?

After the Soviet Union gave up the rivalry with the USA, this question is not actual anymore. Russia, which replaced the USSR, wants to join the Western Club of the Rich; in other words, she describes herself as a Western power. Nevertheless, both in her own country and in the West there are those who regard Russia “a country of the Third Word” or a country which is becoming one. And it is known that the ruling class of Russia is divided into two: Those who support the Western Club, and those who are known as the “Eurasians”. The Eurasians maintain that the genuine friends of Russia are to be found in Asia and the South. In fact, these two different positions are an expression of Russia’s dual character. Due to the great descent the country is experiencing, Russia as one of the industrialized countries of the world, finds herself somewhere between the North and the South.

The East European countries, too, are in a similar situation. The North does not accept their admission among its own lines. On the other hand, these countries’ level of development is quite ahead of the South. And in respect of the solution of the national question, these countries became “the countries of the South”. They are under the same threat as the South is. In other words, they are subject to imperialist repartition. The category described by Lenin for the countries, which were defeated in World War I is appropriate for these countries, too.

When we look at the world today, we see two areas of aggravation for the national question:

1- In the area between the North and the South- the national questions created by the partitioning of the Soviet empire and the Eastern Europe.

2- In the South- the problem, faced by the poor countries of the world and the oppressed nations, of resisting the imperialist assault.

The National Question in the Transitional Area 

The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the fall of the state-capitalism in East European countries created a transitional area between the North and the South.

The Soviet Union once brought the most progressive solutions to the national question under the difficult conditions when the country was advancing on the road to socialism. When this country became a social-imperialist state ruled by a state-bourgeoisie, the national oppression and inequality came back to the agenda. The nations within the areas of Soviet influence, too, became dependent. The invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and of Afghanistan in 1979 laid bare the inclination of the Soviet Union to create national oppression and expand to the entire world. Today, national fragmentation and national struggles comes into the light after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The nations, which constituted the Soviet Union, broke with each other. Even the Russians, Ukrainians and Byelorussians couldn’t manage to form a “Slavic Union”. In Caucasus and the Central Asia various ethnic states emerged. The Turkic peoples, which were formerly united in Turkestan are now organized in different states.

East Europe, too, is undergoing a national fragmentation while it is integrating with Western capitalism. In former Yugoslavia, where important gaining was obtained in the fraternity and equality, the peoples are now strangling each other. In Czechoslovakia the Czechs and the Slovakians broke with each other. In Rumania and Hungary national questions are getting aggravated. The only development in the new situation towards the national unity was the unification of Germany. A nation in the centre of capitalism got unified, while the nations in the periphery are getting fragmented and fighting each other.

The area controlled formerly by the Soviet social-imperialism is thrown into a chaos, which may last 15-20 years. This area is being divided among and shared by the imperialists. And it is this struggle of partition, which is the main creator of the grave national problems.

Two different types of national questions are seen today in Europe. The first is the contradictions and disagreements between the nations of East Europe. In the area of former Yugoslavia one can see contradictions between the Serbs and Croats, Bosnians, Slovenes, Macedonians, Hungarians, Albanians. Only the Serbs and the Montenegrins managed to form a new Yugoslavia. They could not reach an agreement with other nations and are engaged in a bloody struggle. In Rumania the problems between the Rumanians and the Hungarians are, for a long time, being provoked. And it must be noted that there is a question of Gagauzians, too, in this country. Meanwhile, the Rumanians in Moldova want to unite with Rumania. The

Hungarian minorities create problems not only in Yugoslavia and Rumania, but also in Slovakia. Czechoslovakia is divided by Czechs and Slovakians. Bulgaria inherited a Turkish problem from the former regime. Greece is disturbed by the Macedonian question. There are problems between the Greeks and the Albanians.

The other type of national questions is the one, which is created by the partitioning of East Europe by the great imperialist powers. This is the determining question. Indeed, the problems between the East European nations were aggravated by Western powers. Therefore, the national questions cannot be solved by the struggles between these nations; on the contrary, national question will become even more grave. By making use of these conflicts and contradictions, the Western imperialists are taking East Europe under their domination and bringing these nations within the relations of dependence.

The German policy of “Drang nach Osten” is being given a new life. Although Germany is now somewhat introvert due to the “digestion” of East Germany after the annexation, she is trying, by giving a low profile, to enlarge her area of influence in East Europe. It is seen that Germany is trying to develop strategically relations of dependence with Ukraine. The USA and Japan, too, are joining the struggle of repartition in East Europe. Other big powers of Europe are also there. Russia has newly lost that area; but as one of the two strongest military powers and one of the four major economical powers of the world she will never be indifferent to what happens there, and will soon join the struggle of repartition. Thus, Russia is at the same time both in a position of reinvaded and re-divided.

The parts of the transitional area, which are closer to the South, are in the Caucasus and Central Asia. These areas, too, are the scenes of struggle. In the Armenian-Azerbaijani and Georgian-Aphasia conflicts, even weapons are used. Russian-Ingush and Chechen problems are not yet solved. In Kazakhstan there is a Russian question. And in Uzbekistan conflicts between various nationalities are being provoked. All these problems are interconnected with each other due to the civil war in Afghanistan, Turkish-Iranian competition of influence, contradictions between Turkey, Iraq and Syria, and the Kurdish problem. The national question in the Sing kiang region of China provoked by the USA. As it is seen, the Caucasus and Central Asia are advancing along a line of “Southernisation” despite its quite developed infrastructure, culture and human material.

National Question in the South 

The oppressed world made a considerable attempt to free itself from colonialism. Now we are witnessing a counter-attack by imperialism. The nations, which to a certain extent, freed themselves of colonialism and various relations of dependence are now being again drawn into these kinds of relations, which are even more oppressive than before.

As a matter of fact, it must be boldly expressed that this is a process of colonization. Imperialism’s inclination is towards establishing an absolute monopoly; towards eliminating its rivals in the areas, which it dominates; and forming its own monopoly and destroying the independence of the oppressed nations. Due to its nature, imperialism cannot give up this inclination. And that’s why it needs military power. The main character of imperialism is the rivalry between few great powers for world hegemony through the use of power. The military power is needed in order to push the exploitation to the extreme, and to establish an absolute monopoly. It is not for nothing that Japan is building military power capable of undertaking operations 1000 miles away from her own country, and increasing her military expenditures to the level of the USA.

In this picture, two types of national questions are seen in the South:

The first: The problems between the various poor nations of the South. Unlike the European nations, the peoples of the South did not form nations on the basis of a developed capitalism. The possibilities for these nations to develop capitalism were stopped up by the colonialism and imperialism. The nations of the South formed independent states following struggles against imperialism and without having the possibility of getting into the process of capitalist nation forming. Borders of these independent states were drawn through the colonialist partition. More than one people or tribal communities within the borders of a colony together formed a state. Before leaving the colonies to native peoples, imperialism provoked ethnic conflicts.

In the majority of the colonies and semi-colonies, independent states were formed by native bourgeoisies, and these states embarked upon the road to capitalism. Of course, this way of development led nowhere. They had no chance for joining the developed capitalist countries. These peoples trapped by dependent and underdeveloped capitalism. And it is known that, due to the economic conditions and to the nationalist ideology of the bourgeoisie, these relations are constantly creating national problems and ethnic conflicts. National conflicts are provoked by imperialism and the tactics of divide-and-rule are producing national problems in the South.

The main national question in the South is generated by imperialist exploitation and domination. The imperialism has launched its biggest attack on the oppressed world since the October Revolution. Increasing inequality in the distribution of income, the change in trade tariffs between industry and agriculture in disfavour of the latter, the use of the world of the poor as the junkyard of the rich and various other indicators show that the imbalance between the North and the South is getting worse, the exploitation is becoming more intense and the contradictions are being sharpened.

The political and military oppression also reached to an unprecedented level during the last 70 years. The Gulf War illustrated how unbridled the imperialist aggression is. The plan on a “New World Order” led by the USA is imposing the dictate of the North, especially of the USA, to the peoples of the South. “Human rights” are being used as the ideology of this dictate. Countries are being divided, governments are being overthrown, operations are undertaken and borders are being redrawn. Although NATO lost its reason of foundation against the Soviet Union, it is being kept by the USA both for playing a role of gendarmerie against the South and as means of exercising political influence over Europe.

The Kurdish Question:

On the Basis of North-South Contradiction 

The area where the Kurds live is divided between four Middle Eastern countries. This division took place on two historical stages. On the first stage, the majority of the Kurdish tribes were annexed into Ottoman lands following the recognition by the Ottoman Empire of the autonomous status of their chieftains; and a minority remained on the Iranian side. This partition became established after Kasr-e Shirin treaty in 1648.

On the second stage, the Ottoman Empire itself was divided by the imperialist powers after World War I. Indeed, Kurdistan was not divided by Turkey, Iraq and Syria, as Ismail Beşikçi argues. Because, Iraq and Syria could not be a part in any partitioning. These countries were themselves colonies; they themselves were subjects of imperialist partition. Turkey, too, was in a similar position, although she had her own state. The principal reason for World War I was the partition of the Ottoman Empire. Imperialism seized the bulk of the Ottoman lands by using military force. And in his “Report to the Second Congress of the Communist International” Lenin analysed the situation as follows:

“Furious wrangling over the partitioning of Turkey, Persia, Mesopotamia and China is going between Japan, Britain, America and France.” 10

The thesis that the Kemalists partitioned Kurdistan through cooperation with imperialism has no serious basis. Simply because Kemalists wanted to possess the entire Kurdistan. This is the reason why they described Turkey as “the country of the Turks and the Kurds”. In Lausanne Turkey did not agree to the British control over Mosul and Kirkuk, on the grounds that these towns were populated by the Turks and the Kurds; but she had to recognize the British occupation by a treaty signed in 1925, after the rebellion led by Sheik Sa’eed.

After Iraq and Syria gained their independence, Kurdistan became divided by four Middle Eastern states. The frontiers were not drawn by the people of the region, but through imperialist force.

The policy of transferring the Kurdish problem over to each other’s shoulders, pursued by the four countries, is playing a very negative role and deepening the contradictions within the South. In this way, the Kurdish problem is becoming a part of the disagreements between the countries of the region and gradually moving towards the centre of these disagreements. Syria, Iraq and Iran are trying to tilt the Kurdish problem over to Turkey’s shoulders. Turkey is meddling with the Kurdish problem in Iraq. Iran and Iraq are giving support to the Kurdish movements against each other. And Syria has always used the Kurdish problem as a trump card in her disagreements with Iraq.

Thus, the Kurdish problem became a part of the water problem between Turkey and Syria; of the problem of controlling Azerbaijan and rivalry in Central Asia between Turkey and Iran; problem of Nagorno Karabakh between Armenia on the one side and Azerbaijan and Turkey on the other; of the territorial problems between Iran and Iraq; and of disagreements between Syria and Iraq.

These conflicts between the countries of the South create a very favourable condition for imperialist hegemony and exploitation. Thus the Kurdish question ceased to be only an inner-South problem and turned to be an important factor of the North-South contradiction. The fact that the Kurds are sitting on oil fields enhances this importance. Indeed, the Gulf War, which began as a problem of Kuwait, finally developed into a Kurdish problem.

Consequently, the Kurdish problem can be regarded on the basis of three different contradictions:

– The one between the North and the South

– The one within the South

– And the one among the Kurds themselves.

The fact that the Turkish, Syrian, Iranian and the Iraqi ruling classes pursuing only their narrow nationalistic interests created an extremely favourable condition for imperialism. Of course, the international relations and class characters of these ruling classes must be seen and the difference in their positions must be taken into consideration. The Turkish administration allowed the USA to use her territory. Syria took part in anti-Iraqi coalition. And Iran, on the one hand, tried to keep a distance with the American imperialism and, on the other hand, gained benefits from the weakening of Iraq. Today, too, Iraq is a target of USA imperialism and under the threat of being partitioned.

On the other hand, imperialism is dividing the Kurds by making use of the contradictions between the countries of the South. During the wars between Iraq and Iran in the 1960s the USA imperialism developed close relations with the Iraqi Kurds via Iran. The Shah of Iran who gave an immense support to the Kurdish movement in Iraq exercised severe oppression on the Kurds in his own country. And during the war in 1980s the Iraqi Kurds maintained their alliance with Iran, now governed by Islamists, while the Kurds of Iran allied with Iraq. As a result of this, Kurds confronted Kurds.

Today, too, the Kurdish organizations are divided into rival camps. The organizations of Iraqi Kurds led by Barzani and Talabani are cooperating with Turkey, while the PKK is in the same camp with Iraq. The USA and Turkey are pressing the cooperating Kurdish organizations to take military operations against the PKK, which is taking parallel steps to Baghdad. Meanwhile, another question to be asked is how the changes in the Turco-Iraqi relations will affect the positions of Barzani, Talabani and the PKK.

Here, we face an important fact: The confrontation between the countries of the East put them in a position of dependence to imperialism. Those who are seeking the support of imperialist world in order to dominate the others and to impose a solution favourable only to themselves are bringing the problems to an impasse. Imperialism is nothing but a system of exploitation and oppression. Cooperating with imperialism brings the problems to a dead end, and this is true not only for the Kurdish question but also the national questions of other peoples and countries of the region. Besides the question of gaining by the Kurds of their national rights, there are the national questions for Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran of being independent of imperialism. Imperialism, as a whole, is the principal force preventing the solution of all these national questions. Seeking its support is nothing but allying with impasse. Furthermore, the national questions are getting even worse and becoming gangrenous. It is observable that Iran, concerned by the warmth of the Turco-American relations, is trying to develop close relations with Germany.

From the Kurdish point of view, the situation is even more severe. Having set off for solving the national question, various organizations of the Kurdish people came to a position of confrontation with the organizations of the other parts of the Kurdish nation. Because the Kurdish organizations divided into the various countries of the region, they were not able to find the common basis for a national strategy. This common basis is the principle of fighting imperialism and solving the national question with this anti-imperialist perspective.

Nevertheless, because of their adherence to the Theory of Colony , the Kurdish organizations are basing their struggle against the state of the country where they live. Whether this state is coming closer to, or getting away from imperialism, makes no change in their policies. Consequently, aside from not being able to find a common basis for a national strategy, which may unite the Kurdish organizations of these four countries, they confront each other. They start off for obtaining the national rights and unity and reach to national yoke and fragmentation.

The Gulf War is very instructive in this respect. During the war almost no Kurdish organization took a clear attitude against the American aggression. This is true for PKK, too. The communiqué released by PKK at the beginning of the war is still remembered by everyone. After defeating Iraq, USA provoked an uprising in Southern Kurdistan. And the Iraqi regime suppressed this uprising violently. PKK, which failed to support Iraq during the war against USA, gave its support, though indirectly, during the suppression of the Kurdish uprising. In an interview given to “2000’e Doğru”, PKK Chairman A. Öcalan underlined that the Iraqi regime was passing through “a test of democracy” . But anti-imperialism required to pursue just the opposite policies than those followed in both stages. In other words, Iraq had to be supported against the USA aggression, and the Kurdish people had to be supported against the Iraqi aggression.

As it is seen, the narrow nationalistic policies followed by Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria against each other is being reflected to the various parts of the Kurdish people. And these parts can even not have an undivided Kurdish nationalism. Their perspective is too narrow to embrace other parts than only their own; that’s why they stick to narrow-part-policies.

The Kurdish organizations in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria are trying to justify their narrow-nationalism and narrow-part-policies by referring to policies pursued by other Kurdish organizations and maintain that they have no other choice. Indeed, when the conflicts assume an armed character, these organizations, driven by the instinct of survival, especially the weaker ones cling to every available power. These powers are the countries of the region or imperialism, and in most cases both of them. And when the region turns into a hell as it does from time to time, taking an anti-imperialist attitude is deemed a fantasy by those who face the death.

The organizations led by Barzani and Talabani say that opposing the Poised Hammer  is a luxurious attitude cannot afford taking. As for the PKK, it regards cooperation with Iraq is justifiable vis-à-vis the policy of violence pursued by Turkey, even if this cooperation works, on the final analysis, against the Iraqi Kurds as well. Furthermore, PKK started making such assessments as assuming that NATO began to worry about the fates of the small nations, and gave its support to Croatians . PKK regards every demand of national statehood positive even though it strengthens imperialism, and promotes fragmentation in the Caucasus and the Balkans. And Ismail Beşikçi openly supports the idea of Kurds’ entering into an alliance with the USA and Israel. Daily Özgür Gündem publishes articles supporting an alliance between the Kurds on the one hand and the USA and Israel on the other . Chairman of HEP (Peoples’ Labour Party) stated, after a visit to the officials of the US Embassy, that they held similar views with USA .

The one who is first out to justify the policy of trying to solve the problems in cooperation with the USA is, of course, Turkey. And this policy is continuously generating its reply like a voice is echoed in mountains. Consequently, the organizations and states of the nations which all are, to this or that extend, exploited, oppressed and threatened by imperialism drift apart from the basis which may unite them and take positions against each other. When the national question is disconnected with the struggle against imperialism it turns into strife of the Turks, Arabs, Persians and Kurds with each other and into an inner strife of the Kurds and the Arabs. In these strives there is no victory for any part and no national gain. Concessions to imperialism and new relations of dependence pave the way, especially in the long run, to a negative balance in the national balance-sheet.

In this complex picture the situation is getting more and more difficult to settle. By making use of the inner conflicts of the South, imperialism is about to turn the Middle East into an ocean of blood like the Balkans and the Caucasus. The only way out for the countries of the South can be found by directing the struggle against imperialism. Of course, this is not easy to do and one cannot always expect that all the parts take the same anti-imperialist attitude, because they are trapped in the net woven by imperialism over the centuries. Nevertheless, if a phenomenon exists, undoubtedly it brings its own alignment of forces, too. The greatest and the most decisive phenomenon of our age is the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed countries and peoples. And this contradiction will, to a varying degree according to their class positions, force all peoples and all states of the Middle East to an alignment against imperialism. What is important is how to work out policies on this basis and how to carry them into practice, starting from today. And what is even more important is to realize that the anti-imperialist struggle has an objective basis for all the nations of the Middle East. National demands require to meet on this basis and enter into dialogue. And it is precisely this end of the thread to be followed in order to untie the jumbled ball of thread.

Imperialist Inspired Thesis of “Imperialist Turkey”

And under these circumstances, thesis of “Imperialist Turkey” is being introduced into market. 

Let’s first look at the socio-economic plane. Turkey with her annual income of $ 2000 per capita is not even an economically advanced country of South with such a level of accumulation of capital, let alone being an imperialist country. The road to developed capitalism for Turkey was blocked at the beginning of the 19th century. No single country can be named which managed in the 20th century to jump from among the oppressed nations into the category of imperialist countries. It is no longer possible to catch up with the developed capitalist countries through the capitalist way of development.

As regard to the political plane, imperialism is a system of rivalry between a few developed capitalist state for world hegemony. Turkey is not among such countries of this plane as USA, Japan, Germany and Russia, nor among such second-class imperialist countries as Britain, France, Canada and Sweden.

Turkey cannot be included into such border-line countries (i.e. the countries between the North and the South) as Spain, Portugal and East European countries either.

Turkey’s position on the map determines her place in the socio-economic division of the world. Turkey is an Asian country of the Third World. To use the term of the present-day, she is a country of the South. In the 19th century Turkey entered into the process of colonization and at the beginning of the 20th century resisted to this process by waging an anti-imperialist War of Independence, and started an experiment of developing a national capitalism and fell back into the relations of dependence to imperialism again. Nevertheless, in the world of the oppressed, like China and Persia, Turkey inherited a heritage of an Empire. She has never been a colony and has always had her statehood. What’s more, she has a century long tradition of struggle for freedom, and by abolishing the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of this century; she experienced a secular and bourgeois democratic advance. Especially her political experiences gave Turkey a leading position among the countries of the South. Her geographical position which stretches from Asia to Europe “like the head of a mare” symbolizes the potentialities of a revolution which Turkey represents among the ranks of the countries of the East. But this revolution cannot be a capitalist revolution, but an anti-imperialist democratic revolution which will uninterruptedly develop into anti-capitalism. The experiment undertaken by Turkey is the most evident example which proves that a country of the oppressed pole of the system cannot jump over to the oppressors’ pole. This is impossible also in the future. A revolution led by the bourgeoisie aimed at turning Turkey gradually into an imperialist country is impossible.

Turkey’s relations with the Middle Eastern and the Central Asian countries cannot be included into the category of the contradiction between imperialism and the exploited countries. Due to the Kemalist Revolution Turkey created a relatively developed human material for industrialization. This human material with its capabilities in business organization, engineering, technical level and relatively qualified working power is undertaking projects in such oil rich countries as Saudi Arabia, Libya and the Emirates. As for the Central Asian countries, the situation in these countries is quite different. The human materials in these countries are not less, but more developed than Turkey. Turkey is trying to enter into these countries by making use of her experiences in establishing and running the mechanism of market. Due to her biggest population among the Turkic Republics and her traditions of independent statehood which she inherited from a huge Empire, Turkey is seen in a position of elder brother by these republics. However, this position cannot generate relations of dependence between an imperialist country and an oppressed country, or imperialist oppression and exploitation. Turkey cannot be an imperialist country on her own behalf, she can only be a bridge between Western imperialism and these republics, or can function only as a subcontractor. And to function as a subcontractor is not so easy, because the Central Asian countries are trying to preserve some of the gains of socialism. Furthermore, they have a tendency of making use of their neighbourhood with China in order to defend their independence. They are also trying benefit from the rivalry between the various imperialist states.

The thesis that Turkey is an “imperialist” or a “sub-imperialist” country is untrue also in regard to Turco-Kurdish relations.

In the central-feudal Ottoman Empire there lived not only Kurds, but also various peoples. The relations between the Empire and these peoples can neither be characterized as imperialism nor as colonialism. At that time, the nations had even not yet come into being. Let alone reaching developed capitalism, the Ottoman Empire itself, even before reaching the preliminary stages of capitalism, had been caught, first, by the net of foreign trade, and later of capitalism at its imperialistic stage. During the Ottoman period, the relations between the Turks and the other peoples had never been, in the scientific sense of the term, a relation between the oppressor and the oppressed. All the peoples, and even Christians, had their own feudal lords and trades folk, as well as peasants and artisans. And it is true that trade was mainly under the monopoly of the Christians and this gave them an economically superior position. In his articles on the Eastern Question Marx and Engels describe, in detail, the economically weak position of the Turks within the Ottoman Empire, especially in comparison with the peoples of the Balkan . The national oppression on the Kurds began and intensified in parallel with the rise and development of capitalism.

As regards to the relations between the Kurds and the Turkish nation-state founded by the young bourgeoisie following the War of Independence, they are based on national dependence and inequality, and not on imperialist oppression and exploitation. There is no export of capital to Kurdistan. And agricultural lands were not seized by the “colonialist Turks”, but continued to be possessed by the Kurdish landowners.

At the beginning of the 20th century and during the War of Independence Lenin included Turkey in the category of semi-colonies and pointed out repeatedly that she was under the threat of being colonized. And on October 1920 he points out that Turkey was “enslaved” . After the War of Independence Turkey had always been regarded a part of the world of the oppressed, although she was within the capitalist system .

In our age colonialism is under the monopoly of the imperialist states; it has been a part of imperialism. That’s why, the thesis that Kurdistan lacked any scientific substantiation . The thesis that “Turkey is an imperialist country” is an attempt to provide this. Indeed, the theses on Imperialist Turkey-Colonialised Kurdistan are forming a pair challenging the facts.

The thesis that Turkey is an “imperialist” or a “sub-imperialist” country is not an innocent fantasy or mere absurdity. One cannot fail to note that these theses are fabricated in imperialist centres. Recently, there are a lot of articles being published in the Western press about the conflict of hegemony in the Caucasus and the Central Asia between such imperialists as Turkey and Iran. It is being alleged that in the 21st century Turkey is going to form an empire stretching from the Balkans to the Sea of China. It is being written scenarios on “Turkey as the great hegemonist of the 21st century”. All these remind the stories about Iraq being “a regional hegemonist” or stories about “the Arabian imperialism”. On the basis of such kind of analyses, the Gulf War, too, was characterized by some short-sighted wise guys as “a war of reinvasion between the two imperialist powers”.

The oppressed countries of the capitalist system are being proclaimed “imperialists” in order to hide the real imperialists and to provoke wars between the peoples of the South. The ruling classes find channels and forms of reproducing their own ideologies within the ranks of the classes which they oppress.

Some intellectuals who failed to impress the working class of Turkey adopted an attitude of enmity and began to insult their own people. They rolled up their sleeves and started an activity of changing the justifiable reactions of the Kurdish people who live under the oppression and terror of the Turkish state, into a national hostility and hatred. They fabricated lies that the miners of Zonguldak provoked the gendarmerie forces against the Kurdish guerrilla and used this lies as headlines. In this way they take their revenge from the working class and socialism which they adhered once. They do their best for getting the Kurdish nation to loose all hopes of friendship with the working people of Turkey. Yalçin Küçük’s anti-turkism reached to such racist theses as that the Turks lack any talent for music. They reached to a national nihilism of despising everything that is national. It is observed that these nihilist intellectuals seek refuge under the wings of the Kurdish revolutionaries and make flattering them a way of earning livelihood. What’s more, this attitude is being made a way of chilling and breaking the relations between the two nations.

The thesis on “Imperialist Turkey” blocks the way to the Kurdish national liberation. The truth is revolutionary. Those who proclaim Turkey “imperialist” are undermining a united front of the peoples of the East against imperialism as well as dividing the Kurdish people instead if uniting. Turkey, called “imperialist” by them, is characterized by such people as Talabani and Barzani as “liberator” and “the most democratic country”. Someone else may proclaim Iraq and Iran “imperialist”. And in this way the differences between countries like USA and Germany on the one hand, and Middle Eastern Third World countries on the other, become erased.

This is a way of getting away from the basis of fighting imperialism and loosing the possibilities of struggling against the oppression and terror of the Turkish state. By this way one fails to establish ties for uniting the peoples of the Middle East.

The content of internationalism cannot be reduced into supporting the Kurdish people alone.

The most significant way of solidarity is organizing and mobilizing the working class for struggle against the ruling classes. Internationalism requires defending the future of the Arabian, Persian and the Turkish peoples. Supporting the long oppressed Kurdish people is a very high moral principle. Yet internationalism also requires a material basis besides moral principles. And this material basis is the common interests against imperialism. By proclaiming Turkey an imperialist nation like American and German nations, the thesis on “Imperialist Turkey” aims at undermining this common basis. By this way one speaks ill of Turks to the Kurds. And the Turkish chauvinists speak ill of the Kurds to the Turks. Thus the common class instincts and ties between the two peoples continuously are targeted and the ideological hegemony of imperialism is strengthened.

The so called scientific pillars of this ideological hegemony are being built, as well. Bigoted Turkish nationalists are trying, for a century now, to propagate the theories that the history is made by the struggles between the nations. They claim that the weak nations are sifted out and enslaved and that in the arena of nations the Turks had become the “master nation” due to the strength of their fists.

It is observed that the Darwinist racist theories  are being propagated among the Kurdish people. Thesis by Ismail Beşikçi that the history is made by the struggles between the nations takes one step further and suggest, on the political level, an alliance between the USA and Israel, on the one hand, and the Kurds, on the other. According to this way of thinking, in the scene of history where the nations are slaughtering nations, the best policy is entering into alliance with the powerful ones against the likes of one’s own.

The history and the division of society into classes were born at the same time. The history of mankind is the history of the struggle between the classes. And anti-imperialist struggle is the international form of the content of class struggle. The thesis on “Imperialist Turkey” is targeting this content.

Conclusions and Policies 

1. Struggle waged by the South against the North.

“National oppression is a system wherein the oppressed nations are plundered by the imperialist circles (my italics-DP).”  In our age, the national question has moved from the basis of East-West alignment to the basis of North-South alignment. Nevertheless, essence of the problem is the struggle waged by the oppressed nations against the imperialist states, as it was at the beginning of the century. If we

express it more concretely, national question today has turned into the problem of the struggle by the South against the North which exercises a national oppression and exploitation on the world scale.

2. The right to secession must be supported in cases when it delivers a blow at imperialism.

When the bulk of the world’s population lived in colonies the demand to establish a national state was opposed by imperialism. Because establishing a national state was possible only by liberating oneself from the political administration of imperialism. Often there was a natural and direct relation between organizing as a separate state and waging an anti-imperialist liberation war.

There are no colonies now except South Africa and some other exceptional cases. On the other hand, having assimilated some small nations on the road to capitalist development, the big nations of developed capitalist countries formed a stabilized structure a long time ago. With the exception of some national questions like that of Ireland, they don’t face any secessionist demand.

As regards the countries of the South, the ethnical mosaics are still alive, since, in almost all of them, the processes of nation-forming have not yet ended. That’s why, the countries of the South, and the peoples of the Transitional Area where the former Soviet Union’s control fell to pieces, are continuously put against each other by the demands to form separate states. The peoples who once established friendly relations now break with each other and organizing themselves in new and smaller states, and thereby becoming weaker against imperialism.

The demand on “national state on all costs” must be examined more carefully and questioned today. Because this demand is slowly ceasing to be a demand on “national state” and turning into a demand on ever diminishing ethnical state. And the source of the demand is nothing but imperialism.

Except some exceptional cases, the right to secede has lost its former anti-imperialist meaning and gained a content which reinforces the relations of dependence to imperialism. We see the most illustrating examples of this in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. That’s why, the principle that the demand to secede must be supported when in delivers a blow at imperialism, gained today a greater importance than before.

3. The criterion must not be the demagogy of “human rights”, but the attitude against imperialism.

In order to keep the oppressed humanity under its domination and to intensify the exploitation, the bourgeoisie is making use of such values as “humanism”, “human rights” and “democracy” which were inherited from an age when it was still a progressive class. The ideology of “human rights” in their hands, the imperialist states are posing as the protector of the peoples strangling each other and they recourse to military interventions “on behalf of the humanity” under the pretext of establishing the peace, and take off for the role of “the gendarmerie of the peace”.

Under these circumstances, the criterion for the proletarian revolutionaries is not the demagogy of formal “democracy” and “human rights”, but the struggle against imperialism. The Leninist principle which “requires an assessment of the national movements not in respect to formal democracy, but to the actual results in the balance-sheet of the general anti-imperialist struggle” is more current today than ever.

4. “The New World Order”: Civil War in the South and the Transitional Area.

“The New World Order” means nothing but stability and order in the North and civil war and disorder in the South and the Transitional Area. Opposing the New World Order which tilts the national question over to the shoulders of the poor and turns it into a fight among the poor themselves, today means struggling concretely against the imperialist system of oppression and exploitation. In our age, the solution of the national question runs through the struggle against the New World Order on the basis of world politics.

5. Unity of the South and the peaceful solution.

In present era, imperialism has managed to make the national question cease to be a question of liberation from imperialism, and to tilt it over the shoulders of the South and the Transitional Area. Imperialism’s principle is constant provocation of national and ethnical conflicts and exploitation of the national demands rising on a basis of national inequalities for getting the nations of the South strangle each other. It can be noticed here that imperialism is not backing any nation or ethnical group in the civil war in the South for it does not want any of them to win. The imperialist states are not backing any of the parts, they are backing the strangling each other, since a continuous fight makes the oppressed nations much more in need of imperialism. These nations give great concessions to imperialism in order to win its support against each other and fail to shift the front against imperialism due to their involvement to fights against each other. And these wars between the nations help quelling the revolutionary civil war as the struggle of the working people against the ruling classes.

By benefiting the advantageous situation created by the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the weakening of the unity of the Third World, imperialism is dividing and dismembering the South and the Transitional Area. It is creating an ever increasing number of new national questions. The divisions are giving rise no new divisions and this not coming to an end. The state of war between the nations of the South is creating vacuums of power and room for interventions by imperialist big powers. The peoples set at loggerheads with each other due to narrow-national interests, chauvinism and ethnic bigotry and even clan fights, cutting each other’s throats in a savageness similar to that of Middle Ages and of the capitalist bourgeoisie.

Under these circumstances, anti-imperialist efforts for unity and solidarity of the South have a great significance. The only policy effective against imperialism is solving the problems between the nations and the peoples of the South in a peaceful and fraternal way and by combining the interests of the parts in a justifiable way. The united front of the South can only be founded on a basis of peace, fraternity, reciprocal interests, equality and freedom.

6. The unity of the South and the socialist countries.

In the period behind us, there was a socialist camp with the country of the Great October Revolution and other socialist revolutions, which was an ally of the peoples aspiring for national liberation and the countries fighting for liberation. This socialist camp was dissolved following the transformation of the Soviet Union into a social-imperialist country. Today, the independence of such socialist countries as China, Korea, Vietnam and Cuba, who are in the same camp with the oppressed nations, are under the threat of imperialism. That’s why there is an objected basis for the cooperation between the socialist countries and the oppressed countries of the capitalist world system. Socialist countries bear a great responsibility in building and strengthening this solidarity.

7. To transfer the civil war over the North.

In the period behind us, the rivalry between the two big imperialist powers, namely the one between the USA and the USSR, was leaving room for breathing and creating possibilities of resistance for the oppressed world. After the capitulation of social-imperialist Gorbachev and Yeltsin and co. to the USA these possibilities slimmed. Nevertheless, new poles among the rich of the North are rising. The North is shifting from a bipolar to a quatre-polar alignment of forces. In the future the contradictions between the USA, Japan, Germany and, despite the deep crises she experiences, Russia will be sharper and sharper. The rivalry in the North will create favourable conditions for the unity and struggle of the South. The countries and peoples of the South can defend their positions against imperialism only by making utmost use of the contradictions within the North but without capitulating to any Northern power. The policies aiming at this must be worked out and strengthened on a concrete basis.

The policy pursued by the North to tilt the civil war over the shoulders of the South must be responded with a policy of tilting it to the centre of the North.

8. Bankruptcy of capitalism and bourgeoisie. Radical solution: Classless society.

The bourgeoisie went bankrupt once more in the solution of the national question. The latest attack by capitalism proved this once more. The nations who had been fractionalised and united by the October Revolution and the Yugoslavian Revolution were set at loggerheads with each other by capitalism. The revolutionary solution of the national question received two heavy blows: First the transformation of the Soviet Union into a social-imperialist country, and now the process of integrating the areas controlled by her into the world capitalist system. What socialism liberated from imperialism is now being fragmented and made dependent by capitalism.

On the other hand, the independent states founded under the leadership of bourgeoisie in the world of the poor could not manage to give ground for the nations to live peacefully. The bourgeois states are oppressing the nations and minorities; they make territorial claims from their neighbours and enter into narrow-national strives; they cooperate with the big imperialist powers and deliver their own peoples to imperialist exploitation.

Because of all these reasons, the national question cannot be separated from the problem of revolutionary conquer of power by the working people. National question is an manifestation of the class struggle on the international level and it can gradually find its solution and be solved finally in the classless society which will be built through various experiments of socialism. Unless the classes and all the social differences based on them are abolished, the national question cannot be finally solved. That’s why, for a lasting solution of the question it is necessary to deal with the solution of the national question with a working class perspective of socialism leading to a classless society.

9. Proletarian internationalism, not nationalism.

Regardless if it belongs to the oppressor or to the oppressed nation, nationalism is the ideology of bourgeoisie. Even during the periods when it gains an anti-imperialist character, the limitations and incapacity of the bourgeoisie to find a solution manifest themselves in the nationalist ideology. Especially today, the nationalism is provoking enmities and narrow-interests conflicts between the oppressed nations. Therefore, waging an ideological straggle in order to defend proletarian internationalism against the bourgeois nationalism and carrying the brotherhood of the peoples into the practice is more important than ever before.

10. Turkey must pursue a policy of a Southern country

Within the imperialist-capitalist system Turkey is a country which finds itself on the pole of the oppressed. In other words, Turkey is on the South of pole of the North-South division of the present world. Against the policies of the ruling classes of Turkey to cooperate with imperialism, the interests of the people require pursuing an anti-imperialist policy. The policy of the ruling classes to make Turkey a wedge of the North driven into the South must be resisted by the working class with a policy based on the consciousness of being a Southern country. Turkey must develop her relations with the Third World countries. This policy has the possibilities of establishing alliances with the tendencies of independence in the countries of Eastern Europe subjected to imperialist partitioning and with the potential tendencies of cooperation in Asia and the South.

11. A peaceful solution of the problems between the Kurdish organizations of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, and freedom to the Kurds.

The problems between the Kurdish organizations of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria must be solved by peaceful means barricading imperialist interventions, and with an understanding of each other’s rights and interests.

At the centre of the problems between these countries is the Kurdish question. The policies of tilting the Kurdish problem over each other’s shoulders serves only in aggravating the contradictions and making them unsolvable. Therefore, solving the Kurdish question, in such a way that the aspirations of the Kurdish nation can be met, gained a decisive important in respect to defending and strengthening the independence of the countries of the region against imperialism. Kurds’ right to self-determination is in conformity with the common interest of the peoples of the region and using this right will open the way to a more sound unity between the peoples and the countries of the region.

12. Anti-imperialist solidarity with the Caucasus and the Central Asia.

Turkey has common interests with such Caucasian countries as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Iran. These countries are, at the same time, targets of repartition of the lands of the former Soviet Union. Solving the problems of the countries of the Caucasus and the Central Asia by peaceful means is in the interest of these peoples.

Relations between Turkey and the countries and peoples of the Caucasus and the Central Asia developed not as a sub-contractor for the USA, but on the basis of equality on every area and mutual interests are beneficial for Turkish people and the peoples of the world since these relations will on the one hand limit the possibilities of imperialism for oppression and exploitation, and on the other hand strengthen the ties between the oppressed nations. The linguistic and cultural ties between the Turkic peoples, which have their roots in history, must be used for anti-imperialist democratic aims. Left movement in Turkey must get rid of such complexes as Turanism and take an appropriate attitude in conformity with the daily and long-run interests of our people and the peoples of the world. There will always be Kurdish elements in Turkey, no matter Kurds secede or not. Cultural relations with the Kurds living in different countries must be made use of in regard to developing fraternal relations with the countries and peoples of the Middle East. The Kurds can serve as a glue holding the peoples of the Middle East together.

On the other hand, the proposition made by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan on Asian Security and Cooperation Council which will embrace all the Asian countries from Turkey to China must actively be supported.