In this thread ...
... it was suggested that a thread be started on Israel-Turkey-US relations.
Because it interests me, I began searching for articles on the topic. A friend forwarded this, and I post it as a starting point:
The author, Sungur Savran, is editor of the newspaper Isci Mucadelesi (Workers' Struggle) in Istanbul, Turkey. S/he writes:
The first thing to be noted is that although the Left should, of course, be sworn enemies of nuclear weapons, there is no logic in denying Iran nuclear weapons when Israel manifestly possesses nuclear capacity (leaving aside, for the moment, the question of total nuclear disarmament). A nuclear-free Middle East, as a step toward a nuclear-free world, is the only policy that can be concretely counterposed to the unwarranted aggressive policy toward Iran followed by the Western powers in alliance with Israel. It should be clear that this means not only full accountability for Israel and destruction of its nuclear arsenal, but also the removal of NATO and U.S. tactical warheads from Turkish territory and the closing down of the U.S. bases in that country.
It is far from demonstrated that Iran is after nuclear weapons and, given its track record in Iraq, the U.S. may be legitimately suspected of aiming for regime change in Iran under the guise of trying to stop nuclear proliferation. Iran should unswervingly be defended against U.S. and/or Israeli aggression. This has nothing to do with defending the fundamentalist Iranian regime against the opposition in that country. And, in any case, any opposition worth supporting for socialists, in Turkey or elsewhere, should be expected to stand up against imperialist aggression on Iran.
Secondly, internationalist solidarity with an oppressed people should not be predicated upon socialists' approval of the political nature of the movement that leads the struggle of that oppressed people. It is not because Hamas (or Hezbollah in Lebanon) are Islamic organizations that the peoples in question support them in mass numbers. It is because they defend, arms-in-hand, their people from colonialist aggression and occupation. To turn one's back on the people of Gaza on the pretext that Hamas is a defender of religious fundamentalism is to abdicate one's internationalist duties.
Defending the rights of the Palestinian people, ranging from the simplest demand of the lift of the blockade on Gaza all the way to self-determination and the right of return (‘awda') is a fundamental task of the international movement, irrespective of the political and ideological nature of the Palestinian leadership. A subsidiary task of international socialism should be supporting those tendencies within the Palestinian Left that work toward a political break with the leadership of the PLO, as this organization has - probably irreversibly - descended into collaborationism with imperialism and Israel.
Thirdly, we should be clear that the Islamic movement cannot achieve the emancipation of the Palestinian people. More concretely in today's conjuncture, we must make clear to the masses, whether we are struggling in Palestine, in other Muslim countries or elsewhere, that the AKP government in Turkey and Erdogan personally are no saviours. It is true that a grassroots Islam that disregards the niceties of imperialist diplomacy seriously challenges the treatment meted out by Israel to the Palestinians. The IHH (Insan Hak ve Hürriyetleri ve Insani Yardim Vakfi - The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief), a rather enigmatic humanitarian foundation and the major organizer of the flotilla, probably mobilised people of such orientation.
The AKP, however, is not at all a party controlled by such grassroots people. On the contrary, the AKP is a party of the up and coming fraction of the bourgeoisie with an Islamist orientation: it is bound, hand and foot, to the capitalist system domestically and to imperialism internationally. In effect, it is precisely this contradictory nature of the AKP, divided as it is between a rank and file bent on questioning the imperialist status quo and a bourgeois leadership that is structurally unprepared to break with it, that explains both the vote in parliament in March 2003 that had an important impact on the Iraq war and the ongoing conflict with Israel.
To present Erdogan as a saviour for the Palestinian masses is to disregard a series of contradictions that hold his government hostage to the status quo in the Middle East. The first and most obvious is the utter hypocrisy of the AKP when it comes to the Kurdish question. The historical framework of the Palestinian and Kurdish questions differ considerably, but there is similarity in the way they are subjected to national oppression, by Israel and Turkey respectively (although in the case of the Kurds, there is the additional factor of the fragmentation of this people among many Middle Eastern states). To stand up for the rights of the Palestinians and yet deny the Kurds their most elementary rights is a contradiction in the simplest sense of the term and this is exactly what the AKP government is doing.