No to xenophobia against immigrants! Let’s unite in labor struggle!
As Erdogan and government officials keep declaring their determination to fight inflation at every turn, official inflation rate has reached 70% according to the latest statement of TUIK (Turkish Statistical Institute), and the actual inflation rate exceeds 150%. Despite this situation, the government seems resolute about not taking any steps to ameliorate wages, which drags wage-earners and retirees into terrible misery. Instead, and once again, the government is trying to suppress the growing reaction of the workers via hostility towards Kurds and refugees, and repressive polarization policies like the Gezi case.
Bourgeois opposition parties, by their very nature, prefer to express their opposition to the government on the basis of hostility towards immigrants, rather than raising their voices against anti-labor and anti-democratic policies. Racist groups such as the Victory Party, meanwhile, have been running a widespread campaign for the immediate deportation of all immigrants. Erdogan, on his end, talks about constructing houses in northern Syria and then sending 1 million Syrians back. The Ministry of Interior is once again hunting for “illegal immigrants,” which fuels racist attacks in society.
We need to be clearly aware that this new wave of attacks on immigrants is one of the main attempts to divide us, the workers, and to prevent the rise of a labor opposition. The source of the ongoing economic crisis and misery that we are in is not the immigrants who are forced to flee from wars and dictatorship regimes in their countries, but capitalism and the governments that pursue it. The establishment parties, which do not speak out against imperialist occupations, dictatorship regimes, or the bosses who see immigrants as a source of cheap labor, the EU that that has willingly made Turkey a border guard, and AKP’s hypocritical and self-interested immigration policies are the real fuels of xenophobia and racism, which particularly target refugees.
We, the workers, know that no one migrates for no reason. The destruction caused by imperialist occupations in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq has displaced millions of people. Today, a similar situation is happening in Ukraine because of Russia’s invasion of the country. While more than 10 million people had to leave their homes due to the occupation in Ukraine, more than 5 million people already left the country. In Syria as well, millions of people had left their country fleeing from the bloody massacres of the Assad dictatorship.
The AKP government, with its aggressive, expansionist, and adventurous foreign policy, has become one of the main responsibles for the region’s destruction. Moreover, by not granting the official refugee status to those who seek asylum, it has used refugees as a card against the EU and offered them to Turkish capitalism as cheap labor. It tried to create a new dynamic of division among the workers through these policies that paved the way for the rising racism.
We must not allow the government, or the bourgeois opposition parties to create such a division and conflict that rest on racism among the workers. Anti-immigration, racism, oppression of Kurds, discrimination against women and LGBTI+s… All these policies divide workers and strengthen capitalism. Socialists and labor organizations must prevent racism at all costs and find ways to include refugees in the labor struggle. A united plan of struggle against the oppressive regime of the AKP-MHP alliance and against the unprecedented misery that it is responsible for will eliminate artificial divisions among the workers and unite all class segments in the struggle.