CPGB-ML » Posts for tag 'turkey'

J’accuse: Turkish lawyers confront Erdogan over war crimes

Mercenaries from all over the world are using safe houses in Turkey as a base for jihadist attacks on Syria

Mercenaries from all over the world are using safe houses in Turkey as a base for jihadist attacks on Syria


The cornered rats infesting Syria are being driven into an ever-deeper hole by the patriotic forces. As they descend deeper into murderous internecine squabbling within their own ranks, the West is finding it ever harder to prevent a true and shameful record of the proxy war from swimming into clearer focus.

One shining example of this is the comprehensive report, signed off by numerous prominent Turkish lawyers, intellectuals and journalists, which was issued in December 2013 under the title War Crimes Committed Against the People of Syria.

Put together by the Peace Association of Turkey and Lawyers for Justice, the report sets itself the task of drawing up a charge sheet of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed not only by the terrorist gangs themselves but also by those who support these gangs from the outside – not least Erdogan and his cronies.

Origins of the proxy war

Running through the background to Syria’s crisis, the authors suggest that, whilst popular democratic concerns over neo-liberal aspects of the government’s economic policy and decreased agricultural subsidies underlay some of the original protests, what was opened up by the ‘Day of Rage’ in Dera’a on 15 March 2011 rapidly took on a quite different political colouration.

Despite the accommodating responses by the Ba’ath-led coalition in succeeding months (including the 19 April end of the long-standing state of emergency and the constitutional referendum of 26 April, endorsed by 89.4 percent of voters, under which the state guaranteed multi-party elections and a legal opposition), the jihadist grip on the opposition, running to an agenda set by imperialism and played out by its lackeys in the region, very rapidly made itself felt.

The report makes it clear that armed gangs had already emerged from the shadows before the end of March 2011 – an armed ‘opposition’ with zero interest in Syria’s secular and democratic development.

The main body of the report provides a harrowing but invaluable record of the subsequent long and bloody trail of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the West’s stooges, constituting a body of evidence that cries out for a Nuremberg Tribunal to put it into practical effect and bring the perpetrators to justice.


Of particular interest is the part of the report that throws light on the Turkish state’s reactions when the Turkish border town of Reyhanli was bombed on 11 May 2013 in a murderous car-bomb attack.

It will be remembered how Erdogan and his western backers instantly tried to pin the blame on Damascus, before even bothering to look at any evidence. Yet a subsequent leak of police correspondence proved that the authorities knew as early as 25 April that such an attack was planned by al-Qaeda … and did absolutely nothing to stop it.

Having failed to back up with any evidence the accusation against Damascus, the authorities did the next best thing – and pinned the blame on a non-existent group called the ‘People’s Liberation Army of Turkey’ – a group that turned out to have been defunct for the past 20 years!

Erdogan’s laborious efforts to avoid drawing the obvious conclusion – that the outrage in Reyhanli was in fact the work of the very terrorists to whom he offered aid and succour – were not helped when al-Qaeda itself belatedly laid claim to the deed.

The authorities then demonstrated that they were more interested in punishing alleged whistleblowers than catching terrorists. The report notes that “Officials focused on finding whoever leaked the document instead of inspecting the criminals of the explosion and bringing them to the court.

To this end, a private was accused of involvement in “leaking the documents regarding state security and its political interests”. However, the case against him collapsed in November 2013 when, says the report, “it was seen that statements of witnesses were contradictory while the evidences were unlawful”.

Reyhanli appears elsewhere in the report, this time in the context of cross-border smuggling – to which the authorities also turn a blind eye.

It seems that the streets of Reyhanli frequently play host to luxury cars driven over from Bulgaria with a view to purchase by gangs in Syria. There is also a brisk trade in four-wheel drives from Hatay, some of which go on to be kitted out with heavy weaponry for use in Syria.

As the Turkish report notes:

It is not possible for the Syrians in our country to organise this illegal trafficking without the support of our government or a mafia structure.

Turkey’s ‘refugee’ camps

The report is also illuminating on the status of the camps dotted along the border that Turkey shares with Syria.

For years, the public has been told that the 20 or so camps along the Turkish side of the divide are ‘safe havens’ for ‘innocent refugees’ fleeing the Syrian army. The reality, however, is that the whole border area has been transformed by years of proxy war into a hellish war zone within which there is little safety or comfort for anyone, Syrian or Turk alike.

The camps, laid on by Ankara at a cost of US$1.5bn, give sanctuary to the armed gangs that hold sway in those areas – enabling them to ply their evil trade in Syria then melt back across the porous border.

It is clear that Ankara’s funding for these camps has been motivated by anything but humanitarian concerns.

It was pointed out by the Humanitarian Aid and Solidarity Platform, in a letter to the UN High Commissioner for refugees, that the “establishment of the refugee camps a few kilometres close to the border is both against the Refugee Law and also poses a risk for the unarmed refugees”.

This is especially so when the same camps also harbour armed fighters – as was admitted and ‘justified’ by foreign affairs minister Davutoglu when he told the Turkish parliament: “It must be appreciated that order is necessary to avoid problems. It is normal for refugees who are also security elements [!!] to be specially treated.” A statement in direct contravention of the provisions in the UN charter requiring universal disarmament in the camps.

Also running counter to international law has been the transformation of the camps into a political circus – with Erdogan sharing joint platforms with ‘opposition’ luminaries to cheer on the troops.

A report from the Turkish human-rights association IHD cites another flagrant abuse in the systematic discrimination practised in the camps, with Kurds, Circassians and other war victims barred on sectarian grounds.

The report includes the moving testimony of the father of one young man who has been misled onto the path of terrorism.

Twenty-two-year-old Burak Yazici was sent to Syria by jihadist groups. Before he left, he told his father: “I have to cut off the heads of Assad’s men and become a mortar. I cannot answer to God if I fail.”

His anguished father points the finger of blame for his son’s death at the Turkish government:

How did he cross the border? I am calling out to the minister of foreign affairs and the interior minister: how do these kids go to Syria? How does my son travel without a passport? Does not this country have a border?

We welcome the courageous decision by progressive Turkish lawyers and writers to publish what amounts to a charge sheet detailing the crimes for which their own government deserves to stand trial, and we look forward to the day when not only Erdogan and his cronies but imperialism and all its lackeys come to face the court of revolutionary justice.

On Erdogan’s current performance, this day might come sooner rather than later.


Report: War Crimes Committed Against the People of Syria



No cooperation with the criminal war against Syria

This motion was passed unanimously at the recent CPGB-ML party congress

This congress salutes the people and leaders of Syria in their continuing resistance to the murderous islamist rebellion fomented by the West, and sends its congratulations to the Syrian army for the strenuous measures it has been undertaking in Aleppo and elsewhere against the armed rebellion and its foreign auxiliaries.

Congress denounces the vicious imperialist meddling in Syria’s internal affairs, which has for its goal the forcible removal of Syria’s president and the sectarian destruction of Syria’s unity and independence.

Congress further denounces the role played by Turkey in providing the rebels with a military base area, the role played by Saudi Arabia and Qatar in arming and funding the insurgency, and above all the barely-concealed imperialist, primarily US imperialist, hand that lies behind the proxy war being fought out by the incompetent thugs of the misnamed ‘Free Syria Army’ (FSA).

In particular, this congress denounces the pipsqueak British foreign minister William Hague’s recent proposal to funnel “humanitarian aid” through the FSA.

This congress applauds the steadfast refusal of both Moscow and Beijing to aid and abet the West’s criminal adventure in Syria, and congratulates them on having decisively wrested the diplomatic initiative from the warmongers, leaving imperialism without a fig-leaf to camouflage its warlike intentions.

This congress notes with satisfaction the declaration by Iran’s envoy Saeed Jalili that Iran stands with her neighbour in an “axis of resistance” which cannot be broken, and urges British workers to likewise stand shoulder to shoulder with Syria in our own unbreakable “axis of resistance”.

This congress reaffirms its belief that an anti-imperialist victory for Syria will in turn weaken imperialism’s axis of oppression – a welcome setback not least for our own British imperialist ruling class.

Congress therefore calls on workers in Britain to refuse to cooperate with the criminal aggression against Syria, whether by fighting directly, making or transporting arms, or assisting in the broadcast of slander and lies demonising the Syrian leadership, and resolves to do all in its power to spread awareness of the need for such active non-cooperation.

Victory to Syria!
Victory to President Assad!
Death to imperialism!

Syrian ‘rebels’ being armed by imperialism

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 3 December

The Arab League has allowed itself to be persuaded to announce sanctions against Syria, as have Turkey and Jordan. Syria has been expelled from the Arab League, and international sanctions are in place designed to make sure it is unable to export its oil or import essentials.

The justification for these sanctions is supposedly that the Syrian regime is ‘killing its own people’, which is especially rich coming from the likes of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which have both been drowning the Bahraini protesters in blood.

China and Russia are resisting allowing any resolution to pass the UN Security Council that opens the way for military intervention in Syria by imperialist forces, but it is clear that the so-called ‘rebels’ in Syria are being given armaments and military support from outside.

On 20 November, the so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ launched a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the headquarters of the ruling Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party in the heart of Damascus. Three days earlier they had attacked an air force intelligence complex in a Damascus suburb.

The myth of ‘peaceful protesters’ has been well and truly exploded – and it turns out that most of them are not even Syrian!