Socialist Worker

Turkey's uprising is against neoliberalism—not ‘Islamism’

Issue No. 2356

Socialists argue with Turkish nationalists

Socialists argue with Turkish nationalists (Pic: Carol Williams)

The opposition which found an echo with millions of people across Turkey is not in any way against the government’s alleged “Islamism”.

There were protests in staunch pro-government neighbourhoods. All the political forces took part.

The victory in Taksim Square was one of unity. 

Turk and Kurd, Muslim and atheist, gay and straight stood together against the police.

But when ordinary people began to return home or to work, uglier forces began to appear.

People carrying Turkish flags shouting, “We are Atatürk’s troops” moved in and began fighting with police. Atatürk was the founder of modern Turkey.

Many of the nationalists want to see the army overthrow the elected government and carry out an Islamophobic purge.

They oppose peace with Turkey’s Kurdish minority, recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915 and women’s right to wear headscarves.

This threatens to split and weaken the mass movement—not least since it includes Kurds, Armenians and women in headscarves.

The nationalists have not succeeded in hijacking the mass movement. But they must be silenced if it is to grow.

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