“Our hostility is a spreading flame””

Revolution against all governments: Critical reflections on the attitude of the Syrian opposition towards Turkish politics

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Syrian Revolution | No Comments »

Translators intro: I chose to translate this text because there aren’t many texts circulating in English critiquing the complicity of the Syrian opposition groups in Turkey with the increasingly authoritarian position of the Turkish government, especially not from an anti-authoritarian perspective. Though I do consider this text to be substantially  anti-authoritarian for its insistance that revolt must not confine itself to a single country or tyrant, the author situates his argument relative to several categories that are essentially authoritarian, particularly “state-building”. Though state-building is often presented as nearly a synonym to “peace-building” and the word “state” is sometimes carelessly used to mean “society”, the author doesn’t get into enough detail on these concepts to allow us to understand them other than literally. That said, “state-building” and “the rule of law” are juxtaposed with radical Islamist groups and “developing citizenship” is presented as an alternative to the sectarianism pushed by meddling foreign states — this is a context for which anarchists in North American or Europe have no comparison. That’s why, in spite of the references to “state-building”, “citizenship”, “rule of law” and rights discourse, I still consider this text to be of interest to anarchists and to anyone interested in understanding grassroots struggle in the Syrian diaspora.

Translated from Tamaroud [At the time of posting, tamaroud.com seems to be offline… text is available in google’s cache]

Some quick critical reflections on the practices of the Syrian revolution, taking its attitude towards Turkish politics as an example:

As a refugee or resident in Turkey, I’m overcome by contradictory feelings when I talk about this country, which has taken in millions of refugees, particularly from Syria and Iraq. Its political elites are engaged in several ongoing regional issues, notably Syria with all its ramifications. What I find striking here is the widespread attitude of support for the Turkish government by a large section of the Syrian opposition located in the territory of this state that seems to defend the cause of the Syrian people. This raises major doubts about the solidity of their values, which have in turn led to popular protests in Syria about the suitability of the opposition and the effect of passing on their views to future generations.

The question is this: why would Syrians in Turkey defend the politics of the Turkish government and justify most of the recent decisions and behaviours of its disgraceful ruling party? Especially as this party sets caution aside to proceed with lightning speed towards a classic form of authoritarianism following the failed coup attempt? Prominent opinion makers in Turkey keep their mouths shut, especially those who find themselves in official positions in the state. Read the rest of this entry »