Doğu Perinçek: Our aim is to complete the Kemalist Revolution
Exclusive interview of Geopolitica.ru with the presidential candidate in Turkey, the Chairman of the Vatan Partisi (The Patriotic Party) Doğu Perinçek. General elections are scheduled to occur throughout Turkey on 24 June 2018.
In your opinion, what is the biggest problem of Turkey today (inside the country)?
Today, economy has taken the position of the most important problem in front of Turkey. Until very recently, the struggle against terror, the resistance against US threats, the cleaning of the PKK and the Islamic State were the priority of Turkey. But right now, suddenly indications of an economic earthquake have appeared and the economy has gained the priority.
But there are important challenges ahead. Take for example the joint military maneuvers that the US, Israel, Greece and the Greek-Cyprus Republic have held against Turkey very recently in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. So within the challenges, the priority might change again suddenly.
- In what most important points VATAN`s program is different from Erdoğan`s line?
Vatan Party leads a struggle aiming to complete the Kemalist Revolution. This is party`s defined strategic program. The government of Erdoğan is instead not valuing, not trusting the Kemalist Revolution, and it does not follow the path of enlightment or secularism. Declaring that Turkey cannot become a country of sects, religious leaders, sheiks, religious organizations, the Vatan Party places democracy upon its concerning social and political bases.
The Erdoğan Government instead consists of the coalition of leaders of different religious sects and groupings. The economic program of the Vatan Partisi foresees a planned, popular in the sense of narodniki, public lead mixed economy. The Erdoğan government was brought to power in 2002 according the US war time planning and within their economy of debt, an economy based on constantly importing hot, speculative money from the West. Therefore, also in the economy we are in opposite positions. They favor the economy of debt, we stand for the economy of production which is public lead, popular, planned.
But in the contemporary process, especially from 2014 onwards, due to the decided struggle of the Vatan Party and the Turkish nation, Turkey`s necessities and dynamics have set the Erdoğan Government straight in some areas. In a sense, they have taken Erdoğan into custody and are pushing and forcing him into a certain direction. For example, Erdoğan has been brought to power fully under the control of the Atlantic System, he was presenting himself as the “Co-Chairman of the Plan of the Greater Middle East”.
But due to Vatan Party`s struggle against this US-Plan of the Greater Middle East, from 2014 on the Erdoğans got under the influence of the Vatan Party. The whole international press, the US, German press, the leading newspapers and TV Channels are stating this. Secondly, the Erdoğan Government had an alliance with the Fethullah Gülen Terror Organization (FETO), and we were jailed. Our 40-years-struggle against the Fethullah Gülen Terror Organization has bore fruit and as a result, the Erdoğan Government that was in a coalition with FETO has come to the position of the Vatan Party to fight against FETO.
Thirdly, in the 2010s, under the labeling of the “Kurdish Opening”, the Erdoğan Government was following the line to solve the Kurdish Issue by negotiating with the PKK. We stated that the PKK-conflict was a conflict with the US and that this armed organization was equipped by the US. And we concluded and declared that this organization could only be suppressed by armed response. And the end, the Erdoğan Government ended up in the strategy of terminating the PKK within Turkey and the borders militarily. Thus, they again ended up in the line we were defending. But today, in the politics towards Syria, which is of key importance, we represent fully opposite positions. Erdoğan is not capable to reach his hands to Syria, no matter what happens. We on the contrary defend the position that cooperation with Syria means cooperation with Russia, Iran, Iraq and is therefore of historical importance. Referring to the points where Vatan Party has set straight the Erdoğan Government: The current government`s politics of friendship towards Russia and Iran are fully result of the work of Vatan Party. Erdoğan was back then proud of having downed the Russian military jet, but as a result of our work, he has reached his hands towards Russia and President Putin. Again, Erdoğan was blaming Iran for Persian nationalism. After our interventions in Turkey and our meetings with the highest representatives in Iran, in this area also he changed to the line of friendship towards Iran and the process of Astana could thus start.
So, the trio of Russia, Iran and Turkey came together thanks to the interventions and work of Vatan Party in Turkey. In this sense, Tayyip Erdoğan has approached the political program of Vatan Partisi.
- Mr. Perinçek, recently you told that in case of your victory Turkey can leave NATO. Is it technically possible? What potential difficulties do you see in this process ?
Leaving NATO is technically possible; it is the other way around, staying inside the NATO is the impossible. For example, yesterday the US Secretary of State declared they were trying to include Turkey again into the NATO. That means that Turkey has already left NATO, and the US is trying to include it back.
In the NATO maneuver in Norway some months back, the enemy definition of the NATO included Erdoğan and Atatürk. That means NATO was targeting Turkey. And again, just recently the US, Israel, Greece and the Greek Republic of Cyprus have held military maneuvers and targeted Turkey. So, NATO is holding military maneuvers targeting Turkey.
Therefore, Turkey is not inside the NATO anymore but part of the enemy concept of that organization. Turkey is the target of NATO.
Therefore, the contradiction between Turkey`s official membership in the NATO and it`s given and active position as a counterforce is deepening day by day.
- In your opinion, how to improve the relations with Damascus today?
In Turkey, 95% of the population, including the basis of the AKP-Government has friendly feelings towards Syria and considers positive relations with Bashar al Assad as necessary. And in spite of all the resistance of the Erdoğan Government, it is possible to lead the Turkish-Syrian relations to a positive direction by pressure from the public opinion the influence of the Turkish Armed Forces.
- You`ve also told recently, that in case of victory you are ready to invite Bashar al-Assad. What would you like to discuss with Syrian leader?
First of all of course the Turkish-Syrian relations. Both in the fields of security and economy. Concerning security, there are terror organizations on Syrian territory. Our outmost priority is to terminate them in all regions by cooperation.
Secondly, Turkey and Syria are almost complementary countries to each other. During history, both Turkey and Syria were part of the same state and geography. Therefore, there is also a very fertile ground for the development of very strong economic relations between both countries. And in the coming period, we will plan and develop this economic cooperation with Syria.
Among these terror organizations are the PKK and ethnic separatists as well as groups that present themselves to be Muslim Brothers, which are fanatic and religious terror groups. The first mission that we confront is to clean them all up by Turkish-Syrian cooperation.
- Is there some solution to the Kurdish problem?
The Kurdish Problem is being solved now already with arms. After 24th July, 2015, the Turkish Armed Forces and the Turkish police have buried the PKK into the trenches that these had dug in the Southeast of Turkey. After that, on the 24th of July 2016, with the operation Euphrates Shield, the Turkish Armed Forces have intervened in the American-Israeli Corridor in the north of Syria. And as the last step, the Turkish Armed Forces destroyed the PKK in Afrin in spite of US protection with the Operation Olive Branch. With this armed interventions and struggles, the Kurdish Problem has been solved and is being solved to a great degree. Here, the key mission is the armed termination and elimination of the PKK organization.
- How do you see the future of Turkish-Russian relationship?
The Turkish-Russian relations have strategic character. Both countries interests demand to stand together in the 21st century, both in the fields of security as well as in the economy. Turkey and Russia are facing the same threats. We face the threats of the US. This threat is targeting from the East Mediterranean, the Aegean, the North of Syria and Iraq at Turkey.
The same threat is targeting at Russia via Ukraine and Crimea. And Turkey and Russia are obliged to cooperate against the common threat. Without reaching the hand to each other, it won`t be possible to face the common threats easily. Therefore, Turkish-Russian cooperation in the field of security is a must. And in the economy, Russia is our second most important trading partner. Last year, it was our trading partner number one.
Therefore, the Turkish and Russian economies are completing each other. This is also not cooperation on the tactical but strategic level. Therefore, if we consider the challenges and balances of the 21st century, the Turkish-Russian cooperation is of strategic value. The history of Turkish-Russian cooperation is also very interesting and enlightening. The Turkish and Russian revolutions proceeded during the 20th century hand in hand. In 1905 the Russian Revolution occurred, after that in 1908 the Turkish Freedom Revolution, the Revolution of the Young Turks took place. In 1915, our war in Canakkale, Galipoli started, followed in 1917 first by the February and then the October Revolution in Russia. If we had not resisted against the British and French imperialism in Canakkale, these imperialists have had saved the Tsarist regime.
But thanks to the Turkish Revolution, they were not able to save the Tsar and the conditions developed for the October Revolution. The October Revolution followed the February Revolution. And thanks to this revolution, Turkey was freed from an enemy like the Tsarist Regime and won a friend. The Bolshevik revolutionaries took the side of the national liberation of Turkey. Therefore, the Turkish Revolution was able reach the definitive victory thanks to the support of the Russian Revolution. In summary, our resistance in 1915 opened the way for the Russian Revolution, and the success of the Russian Revolution made very important contributions to the Turkish Revolution. Furthermore, if we took a glance to the 1920s, we see how Russia heads to the New Economy Policy. In the same period, Turkey followed an economy policy dominated by the private sector. But after 1929, after the collectivization of lands in Russia, in Turkey also began the period of public lead, people oriented economic policy and in the 1930s, Turkey collaborated deeply with Russia in the field of economy. And between 1930 and 1940, these two countries were the fastest growing economies in the world.
So, when we look to the 20th century, we see that the Turkish and Russian Revolutions advanced hand in hand. Their decline also went hand in hand. After Turkey entered the Atlantic domination after 1945, Russia started the process of regression from Socialism. In other words, after the Second World War, the Turkish and Russian Revolution declined together. The conclusion of all this is: When Turkey and Russia act hand in hand, they gain success, make revolutions, modernize and lead a honorable existence. But when they fall into contradictions and conflict with each other, both countries suffer dark developments. Atatürk was very aware of this fact. 1938, just before dying, he called his closes friends, the Prime Minister Celal Bayar and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tevfik Rüştü Aras and his close friend Kılıç Ali to his side. He said to them:
“My last will from you and my testament to you is: After my death, you shall not leave the friendship with the Soviet Union”.
Atatürk was dying and Ismet (İnönü) Pasha and his closest friend, his school mate and brother in arms Ali Fuat Pasha visited him in Dolmabahçe Palace to say farewell. Atatürk declared the same last will. He said to them:
“I leave only one last will to you: You will never give up the friendship with Russia.”
Because Atatürk was an important strategists and he was seeing clearly: Given the conditions the country was in when Atatürk was dying, if Turkey was to give up the friendship with Russia after the war, it would fall under the control of imperialism. And truly, with what we lived after 1945, we understand fully the worth of this last will of Atatürk.