November 20, 1922



Communist International

Forth Congress

November 1922






OPEN LETTER


TO THE COMMUNISTS AND WORKING PEOPLE OF TURKEY


ADOPTED AT THE FOURTH COMINTERN CONGRESS




EXTRACTS


20 November 1922, Thesen und Resolutionen, iv, p. 119






The fourth congress of the Third International, which coincides with the fifth anniversary of the great proletarian revolution, sends its warmest greetings to the workers and peasants of Turkey on the success of their heroic struggle for independence against western imperialism. Turkish comrades! It is you who have given the entire enslaved East and all colonial countries the living example of a revolutionary independence movement.

But the latest events have shown that the nationalist bourgeois Government wishes to appropriate to itself the fruits of this victory won at the cost of your immense sacrifices. The nationalist Government in Ankara is ready to come to terms with the imperialists for the sake of certain concessions in favour of the Turkish grand bourgeoisie.

It is inaugurating this new policy by dissolving the party, suppressing all its organizations, making mass arrests, treating the arrested comrades barbarously, and finally by closing down the Turkish workers' union in Constantinople. The Communist Party of Turkey has always supported the bourgeois national Government in the struggle of the working masses against imperialism. The Communist Party of Turkey even proved its readiness, faced by the common enemy, to make temporary sacrifices in regard to its programme and ideals.

The attitude of the Government towards the Communist Party can be explained by the fact that they want to get rid of the class-conscious representatives of the working class and the peasantry, who will demand the fulfilment of the promises of democratic reforms made in order to win our support, and to appear at the Lausanne conference as a truly bourgeois Government. The bourgeois Government of Turkey dares to commit crimes against you and your representatives which are bound to arouse the greatest indignation among the entire world proletariat, at whose head stands the Russian proletariat who, at the most difficult moment, when all the imperialist and capitalist classes joined forces to strangle the working people of Turkey, shrank from no material sacrifice.

In preparation for an understanding with imperialism, the nationalist Government wants to annihilate your real representatives and separate them from your friends outside.


The fourth congress of the Communist International protests emphatically against this barbarous act and considers it its duty to declare solemnly that it is willing to support any government or political party which does not play the part of a gendarme of imperialism, which will continue the fight against imperialism and reaction, and will bring about democratic reforms in favour of the Turkish working masses.


Arrested comrades!


The Communist International, as the general staff and defender of the entire world proletariat, greets in you with the greatest warmth the class-conscious and most devoted representatives of the Turkish working masses.


Do not forget, comrades, that the darkness of prison can never blot out the sun of revolution.


Do not forget, comrades, that on the eve of the victory of the revolution the powerlessness of the ruling class is expressed in their greater brutality. At the moment when capitalism is breaking down under the weight of its own internal contradictions, and the conflicts within imperialism reach their highest point, the international bourgeoisie double their persecutions of the protagonists and builders of the new communist society.


But no white terror can intimidate those who believe in inevitable and final victory. And in the place of every comrade thrown into prison or shot, hundreds of comrades come forward from the ranks of the exploited proletarian masses to carry on the struggle for liberation with greater strength.


Comrades!


The Third International considers it its most important task to do everything it can to rescue you from your executioners.