For another Turkey, socialism!

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ENGLISH (06.10.2006)- The social forums which represent the parliament for discussions by the anti-imperialist globalisation movement took place in Istanbul, Turkey for the first time ever. The Social Forum of Turkey, organised on September 30 and October 1, gathered together journalists, authors, intellectuals, trade-unionists, revolutionaries and the progressive forces in the meeting halls of Gülhane Darphane-i Amire, Istanbul Chamber of Doctors and the Journalists` Association of Turkey.

The Socialist Platform of the Oppressed (ESP), the Federation of the Socialist Youth Associations, the Association of Labourer Women (EKD) and BEKSAV joined the social forum and condemned the terror of the anti-terror law. Publishing houses, democratical mass organisations, political parties and platforms as well as socialist and revolutionary magazines and newspapers organised stalls and exhibitions. Everyone experienced the enthusiasm of sharing collectively. The social forum attendees danced the traditional halay while singing marshes and pointed to the fact that another world is possible. Meals were taken in together and slogans shouted at once together, too.

Revolutionary and socialist weight at the TSF

The forum which was organised on September 30, the global action day, became the united international voice of the anti-war forces. The anti-imperialists who came to Istanbul from various cities and provinces of Turkey met with the oppressed of the world and were looking together for a new world. The TSF hosted rich discussions. 40 seminars and workshops were organized. Despite some minor technical problems, the forum was very productive and lively discussions.

TSF hosted collective sharing and nice togetherness. The forum with the desire for "another world" lasting from the first until the last moment stressed that socialism is the only possible alternative to imperialism. It was also pointed out that stronger and more determined steps have to be undertaken in the oppressed people's struggle for freedom, justice and equality. The terror of the anti-terror law on the ESP was condemned at the forum as well. The TSF displayed a huge participation of socialists compared to the forums which took place in the other countries. Especially ESP was one step ahead.

The free expression of revolutionary ideas from the podium and the participation of mainly revolutionaries as speakers at the seminars created a revolutionary atmosphere at the forum.

This time Gülhane, remaining from the Ottoman Empire, did not reflect the echo of "Hattı Hümayun", but the manifests of the anti-imperialist revolutionary forces. The TSF also gave messages indicating the anti-fascist struggle for a democratic solution in the Kurdish question, support for the people's resistance against imperialism and against the anti-terror law. Therefore, it presented the opportunities of a united struggle and expressed that the 2nd Social Forum of Turkey will pass even more united and crowded.

March for another world, another Turkey

On the first day of TSF, more than 1000 people marched to the Sultanahmet Square with the slogan "Another world, another Turkey is possible" which was written on the main banner. After the main banner, all forum attendees joined with their own banners and posters. At the beginning of the demonstration the police negotiated with the forum organisers about the ESP bloc and this showed how scared the state is of the communists` determination for revenge for the terror of the anti-terror law. The ESP was the most crowded organisation of the demonstration with 300 people in its bloc. Because of its enthusiasm and performance, it drew special attention to itself. ESP joined the march with the banner saying "Hope is standing tall. Socialism will free the world" and called out the terror of the anti-terror law. At the Sultanahmet Square, Mehmet Soğancı, chairman of TMMOB (Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects), announced the beginning of the social forum in the name of TSF. Author Tarık Ali, who joined the forum from England, expressed that it is necessary to create a strong and crowded movement against imperialism.

ESP dispersed hope

During the social forum, the Socialist Platform of the Oppressed (ESP) drew continuously attention to it due to its preparation, impact and crowded participation. As hundreds of ESP activists came to Istanbul from other cities to join the forum, ESP became the most interesting group of the TSF. Despite the arrest and imprisonment terror, it was possible to see the ESP activists with their red t-shirts and hats at the seminars, demonstrations, music performance, everywhere, saying "Hope is standing tall". The speakers at the seminars on behalf of ESP put the alternative socialism on the agenda and answered the question "of another world" by saying "Socialism will free the world". The energy and determined stance of ESP performed against the whole state terror showed the attendees of the forum the determination to lead the oppressed and enlighten them about socialism as well as giving them revolutionary dynamism. The ESP activists offered to share their food with the forum attendees. They also sold our newspaper in a common action in front of Eminönü İskelesi by making agitation speeches. The police, who do not hesitate to molest the ESP activists at any time and any place, threatened some ESP activists with their automatic weapons when they left the forum to buy some food. Together with ESP, the Socialist Youth Association (SGD), the cultural and educational centre BEKSAV and the Association of Labourer Women (EKD) joined the TSF in a remarkable way.

On the second day of the forum, the ESP activists gathered at Darphane-i Amire and wanted to march to the Sultanahmet Square with their banner "Cancel the anti-terror law. Stop the state terror." However, the police blockaded the way from the entrance of Gulhane Park on and did not allow them to march. Therefore, ESP made a press release in the entrance of Gulhane Park and demanded the release of those having been arrested due to the terror dispersed by the anti-terror law. The mass shouted the slogans "You are not strong enough to beat us, we will win" and "ESP has never been quiet and will not be quiet".

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