It is often said that the first victim of war is the truth. What is ignored in this common sense wisdom is that all war is, among other things, a war between truths, a war for the creation of truth. In the age of Empire, of global systems of control, the distinctions between internal and external enemy, combatant and non-combatant, vanish. They have of course always been fragile, but the contemporary State, a security node in the network of global capital, can only act to contribute to the undisturbed flow of capital. And the greater the pacification, the greater is that State’s capacity to function as a temporary pole for primitive capital accumulation and exploitation.
Turkey’s new declared “war on terror” can be read against this background. Erdogan and the AKP’s authoritarian reign in the country has sought to secure the conditions for wealth accumulation in ways that few governments in turkey before it could have imagined possible. With a militant, but largely pacified/repressed (since the post-1980 coup)”traditional” left, a kurdish nationalist movement until recently compromised by negotiations with the AKP, and a completely corrupt kemalist nationalism, the first serious opposition to the AKP emerged with the Gezi park inspired uprisings. These new, along with older, enemies from within have now been assimilated to those from outside; indeed, the distinction is today ever more evidently false and meaningless. The AKP has supported and used ISIS (the Guardian 26/07/2016). If today the “monster” is out of hand, it remains far less of a menace to the AKP’s ambitions than a mass movement that creates possibilities of social life beyond capitalism.
The turkish state’s purported military intervention against the ISIL/ISIS, after the bombing in Suruç which killed over thirty socialist and anarchist youth meeting under the banner of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) and preparing to set off to Kobane, in syria, to contribute to the re-building of the city, has become in effect an intervention against kurdish autonomist organisations in iraq, syria and turkey (the PKK in turkey and iraq, along with the PYD in syria), as well as general assault on turkey’s “left” – the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), and other organisations and activists. To date, over 1,300 people have been detained throughout the country (Today’s Zaman 29/07/2015), not to speak of the many dead beyond turkey’s borders. In parallel, protests and demonstrations are banned or quashed, media are censored, access to social networks blocked, and all dissidence against the “war on terror” and national unity is effectively banned. The AKPs’ war is not against ISIS, but against its own people and those in the region who aspire to more than the pharaonic developmentalist-capitalist fantasies of an Erdogan and those like him.
We publish, in solidarity, a statement from the turkish media collective sendika.org (25/07/2015) …
We won’t accept oppression, and we won’t bow to censorship: Sendika.Org will not be silenced!
The censorship against the free press is an attack against the people’s right to news by a fascist government that has stooped to launching a war and exploding bombs, all with the goal of staying in power. It is not simply a question of obstructing access to a few oppositional news sites; it is an attempt to obstruct access to democracy. In short, it is fascism. Against this fascist attack, we will not retreat; we will do what is necessary to battle fascism. During this battle, Sendika.Org will continue; it has not been silenced, and it will not be silenced!
To the attention of friend and foe alike:
Amid its murder of socialist youth via the jihadist gangs that it has fed at the cost of many lives in the Middle East, its call to war amid the bombing of Kandil, as well as its operations against socialists and the Kurdistan Freedom Movement under the pretext of fighting ISIL, the AKP has not hesitated to also impose draconian censorship measures.
While giving the order for war, war criminals Tayyip Erdogan and Ahmet Davutoglu have also moved to silence the free press. On the morning of 25 July, access to Sendika.Org, ANF, ANHA, DIHA, Rojnews, Yüksekova Haber, Özgür Gündem and BestaNuçe was all blocked.
The Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) justified its action by invoking technical and legal reasons. But what has occurred is nothing to do with technical and legal requirements; it is overt fascism.
The censorship against the free press is an attack against the people’s right to news by a fascist government that has stooped to launching a war and exploding bombs, all with the goal of staying in power. It is not simply a question of obstructing access to a few oppositional news sites; it is an attempt to obstruct access to democracy. In short, it is fascism. It is an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes as the AKP, which is staying on its feet only as its stutters and lashes out, attempts to avoid collapse. This aggression, however, will not save it!
This country has experienced numerous episodes of censorship in which there were attempts to silence the free press – all without success. Today, too, the free press will not be silenced.
Sendika.Org will not be silenced!
Sendika.Org began its life, saluting the proletariat as it paddled against the current in an age when the capitalist world loudly proclaimed that “the working class is dead,” as well as the “end of history.”
In its 14 years, Sendika.Org has stood next to the working class, oppressed people, the poor, women, youth, the LGBTI community and those struggling for their towns as well as nature on the street, at school, in factories, in the country and in cities.
Throughout the AKP’s time in power, Sendika.Org has reported on the party’s attempts to silence journalists, the Kurdish politicians who have filled the country’s jails, dissidents, university students and the censored free press, all while focusing on solidarity and struggle.
During the June Revolt, Sendika.Org provided minute-by-minute blows from the Gezi Park resistance, as well as from the barricades and town squares in the four corners of the country, becoming one of the prime sources for news against the penguin media.
When Tekel workers established their tents, when Roboski was bombed, when explosions rocked Reyhanli, when Gezi revolted, when the dominant media was silent on the Soma massacre and when black propaganda was the order of the day during the 6-7 October Kobane Serhildan, Sendika.Org was the defender of the people’s right to news and the voice of the people’s revolt.
When Kobane was under siege, we were there with minute-by-minute news, and when the time came to rebuild Kobane, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
We lifted the lid on the AKP government’s relationship with jihadist gangs, as well as its crates of ammunition that have turned life into hell for the Middle East’s peoples.
We have accomplished all of this with completely volunteer labor, from the technical infrastructure to the writing process, and with a budget of next to nothing that relies on donations, mobilizing innumerable volunteer writers, translators, reporters and collective editors. Our friends include everyone from professors to university students and from union experts to unorganized workers who are simply chasing a paycheque, to unify our destiny with that of the working class and oppressed peoples. We engaged in none of the sophistry of impartiality; instead we took the side of the oppressed against the oppressor, and the truth against lies.
Based on all these examples, it is clear why the AKP government wishes to silence Sendika.Org; likewise, the same examples show why Sendika.Org will not be silenced! We will not become afraid of reporting on the Kurdish people’s resistance just because we have seen the weapon of censorship in the hand of the AKP – just like how we will continue to be the news site of the worker, the poor, women, the LGBTI community, the youth and all those who are oppressed. We will engage in solidarity with all elements of the free press. Against this fascist attack, we will not retreat; we will do what is necessary to battle fascism. During this battle, Sendika.Org will continue; it has not been silenced, and it will not be silenced!
Our friends can access Sendika.Org at Sendika.tv, while you can also follow us at twitter.com/sendika_org and www.facebook.com/www.sendika.org.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0 212 245 90 37