Turkish anti-imperialist protest repressed by police. Movement demands no intervention in Syria.

Tayfun Gol

Protesters face off against police in Hatay, Turkey, on the border with Syria, April 15.

Marchers stopped from going to Hatay march in Ankara, April 15. Banner reads: “AKP, get your hands off Syria! Turkish Communist Party”

Turkish police repressed a peace action against imperialist intervention in Syria April 15. Earlier, the Turkish Communist Party (TKP) had sent out a call for an all-out peace march to the Turkish city of Hatay, on the Syrian border, to say no to imperialist intervention in Syria and the war-mongering policies of the ruling AKP party, which acts as an imperialist guard-dog in the region.

The AKP government has been funding and training terrorist groups that fight in Syria, fueling the civil war and helping to set the stage for military intervention. The march was planned to end with a rally at the Syrian border, with a declaration of peace between the peoples of Turkey and Syria.

On the evening of April 14, the Turkish police blocked activists from cities all over Turkey from traveling to Hatay for the event the next day. While TKP members in Ankara and Eskişehir were not even allowed to leave their cities, others able to get closer to Hatay were blocked by the police from entering the city. The excuse given by the police for this blatant repression of freedom of travel and speech in the so-called Turkish democracy was that there was a “potential for civil disorder.”

TKP members who were not allowed to leave the city took to the Ankara streets and marched to the Prime Ministry. Slogans displayed included: “We will not be American soldiers!” and “No to AKP fascism!” In front of a huge “No to War!” painted on the wall of the ministry, a press statement was read: “AKP, get your hands off Syria! The voices of the people that say no to war will not be stifled. This is a war for the interests of the rich and the imperialists. Only death, poverty and lies await the working class as usual.”

On April 15, despite all the police repression, members of the Hatay branch of the TKP and a large group of supporters gathered for the declaration of peace between the people of Turkey and Syria. After pointing to the imperialist plans for regime change in Syria and the role of the AKP in supporting these policies, the Turkish puppet government was denounced as an enemy of not only the Syrian people but the Turkish people as well. The declaration ended with slogans from the crowd militantly cheering:

“Down with imperialism and its puppets! Long live the brotherhood of peoples! Long live freedom and socialism!”