CPI Slams Conviction of Turkish Communist Leader Kemal Okuyan

The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) has condemned and denounced as unacceptable the conviction of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), Kemal Okuyan, by the Turkish courts to 11 months and 20 days in prison on the pretext that, in an article he wrote, “he insulted the President of Turkey, Erdogan.”

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), Kemal Okuyan

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), Kemal Okuyan (Photo: Sol)

The CPI sees in Okuyan’s conviction a provocation aimed at impeding the activity of the communists in Turkey who are playing a leading role in the struggle against the barbarity of the capitalist system and the anti-worker repressive political line unleashed by the Turkish government. Specifically, the aim of Okuyan’s conviction is to terrorize the Turkish people so that they refrain from organizing their struggles against the aggression of capital and its anti-worker political line.

The CPI statement published in the Communist daily newspaper in Arabic Al Ittihad and the Hebrew weekly Zu Hederech goes on to say: “We express our full solidarity with our comrades in the TKP and with the struggle of the Turkish people who have the power to decisively answer the attempt to terrorize them and overcome the repression that goes hand in hand with class exploitation and the capitalist system, evils which cannot be corrected, only overthrown.”

In the past week, the TKP criticized in a statement signed by the party’s central committee the military operation of the AKP government on Syrian soil which commenced on January 19. “Noting that Syria has long been turned into an arena for the bloody games of the imperialist powers, and that the AKP government of Turkey has sought ways to be involved in these imperialist projects, the TKP emphasizes that the AKP government’s recent military operation in Syria has nothing to do with any national interests or the security of Turkey.”

Recalling that Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance, the TKP blasted the hypocrisy of the AKP government for not “questioning the military presence of NATO in Turkey itself, but instead highlighting a threat from Syria.”

Claiming that AKP’s operation actually serves imperialist plans aimed at dividing Syria, the TKP emphasized that the people of Turkey “should not be deceived by alleged acts of heroism or nationalist demagogy. Rather, Syria must be cleared of all imperialist projects, conflicts of interests between the great powers and the fundamentalist forces of the region. And it is the Syrian people who will do this.”