TIP: The Turkish government and the war in Ukraine

We publish an article that originally appeared in TIP’s (Workers Party of Turkey) International Bulletin #25, published on February/March ’22, signed by Hakan Güneş

Istanbul hosted the important peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in the fifth week of the war in Ukraine, which had began with the Russian attack. The talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations did not produce a ceasefire but fueled the hope for peace. The AKP government has been presenting this as its own great accomplishment for days now. But their agenda has more to do with hypocritical opportunism than a genuine effort in peace-building.

Turkey is a member of the NATO. It still is a member of a military pact responsible for countless coups, invasions and civil wars. Turkey has signed agreements for military-industrial cooperation with post-2014 coup Ukrainian governments and it still sells drones there. Still the same Turkey refuses to embargo Russia, which has invaded Ukraine (even if it ends up being partial and temporary), and instead tries to bring the Russian oligarchs to Turkey. This equation is one of immense opportunism.

Had a genuine peace policy was followed Turkey would have had to leave its military pact, recall its overseas military bases and shut down US bases in its territory. Erdogan brags about Bayraktar drones whereas Turkey’s forests burned down last year due to the lack of firefighter planes. The government that turned the oldest center of grain production in the world into one of the top five importers of it tries to attract foreign capital to solve the bread crisis expected to unfold in the next months. And it must be kept in mind that all of this is during its last period in power prior to the presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

Erdogan desperately needs to shift focus from the crisis and inflation to the war in Ukraine. Erdogan desperately needs to make everyone forget his complicity in the civil wars and interventions in Syria and Libya, which had also caused the refugee crises, and present himself as a man for peace.

TİP had strongly denounced the Russian assault while emphasizing NATO expansionism as an under- lying cause to it. But what is more important than drawing conclusions on war is how you make policies to prevent war. TİP advocates a global reduce of armaments along with the total decommission of weapons of mass destruction. TİP denounces the establishing of foreign military bases in any country by any country. This applies primarily to NATO, but also to Russia and of course Turkey itself.

The only possible outcome of militarisation is war. Erdogan fails to give bread and jobs to the people of Turkey but simultaneously brags about selling drones to world markets while refusing to lose to anyone the role of the architect of peace in the war in Ukraine.

The real world is more than mere propaganda. The deceitful acts of ‘disciples of peace’ by leading champions of militarism like Biden, Putin, Erdogan and Zelensky can achieve no more than make for social media trend topics for a day or two.

Unless an international movement for peace and against militarism and armament is founded, there will be no world left for future generations to live in.

Translator: Devrim Umut Çelik & Özge Güzel Özçiçek

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