On January 18, 2018, a court in Istanbul ordered a prison sentence of 11 months and 20 days against comrade Kemal Okuyan, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) on charges of “insulting the President of Turkey” based on an article he wrote in 2015.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) denounces in the strongest terms this outrageous act of repression by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) targeting Okuyan. We demand that all charges against him be dropped immediately.

Under AKP rule, there is an outright war waged against the workers by the substandard labor conditions forced on the working class as a result of 15 years of ruthless neo-liberal policies. In the year 2017 alone, more than 2,000 workers were killed in workplace accidents. These were avoidable deaths except for conditions reminiscent of the 19th century that have become the standard.

Under AKP rule, women are murdered by the hundreds in Turkey, with 365 women murdered in the first 11 months of 2017. This is the result of an ever-increasing reactionary religious drive that sees women as nothing more than child-bearing machines who need to be confined to home.

Under AKP rule, Turkey has a record number of journalists in jail with 262 put behind bars In 2017.

Under AKP rule, Turkey’s working and poor are pushed into reckless military adventures in Syria as the regime continues to pursue its Sunni-extremist, neo-Ottomanist dreams of expansion with the blood of thousands on their hands, having funded, armed and supported murderous gangs in Syria.

While the repression against comrade Okuyan is vile and appalling, it is not the least surprising. Rather than a sign of AKP’s power, it is a sign of its weakness and desperation. It is only normal that AKP would attempt to stifle the voice of comrade Okuyan, the leader of TKP, the revolutionary force in Turkey that relentlessly continues to organize the working and poor against AKP and the capitalist bosses it serves who have nothing but more and more misery and poverty in store for the masses.

As the Party for Socialism and Liberation, we stand in solidarity with comrade Okuyan and all the members of TKP who with great determination wage the struggle for socialism against the reactionary AKP.

Long live TKP!

Long live socialism!

Victory to the people’s struggle!