Communist Women's Organization Fighting For Revolution
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Fighting For Revolution

"Women revolution means destroying the social basis making woman an oppressed gender with a revolutionary upheaval. Our party MLKP, who approaches the topic within this scope, puts forward its will to solve this problem of vital importance, which has been postponed to after revolution until today. Women revolution means break with reactionary, social roles. It is the uprising of women against all kind of secondariness deemed proper to women in the patriarchal system. It is the systematic struggle against all thoughts and feelings pulling women back. It is the consciousness of us, the women walking towards the center of politics, trusting in our strength, interfering actively into life. It means action, touching life concretely. It means that we as women have a relation on a new level on politics, theory, leading, means of violence; things considered to be far away from women and we give them our own color. (...) As a woman member of the party, I want to state that MLKP is a women's party. The party approaches revolutionary struggle with the perspective of women revolution. Women revolution is the manifesto of liberation from the patriarchal capitalist system. Our Party MLKP adopted the line of women revolution in its 4th Congress and with preparation and orientation in theory, politics, ideology and organizations in the woman liberation struggle, raised the communist women's movement to a certain level. With the KKÖ, whose foundation was announced on March 8, 2015 by the women of the party, they brought this level to a new organizational form. KKÖ will show an important will in the struggle against any kind of patriarchal approach, style, mode and show a revolutionary practice in the struggle against the gender roles and the patriarchy. I am greeting our KKÖ from here."1
These words taken from the first defense speech made in the courts of the fascist dictatorship in Turkey on behalf of the KKÖ in September 2015 summarize the idea of women revolution, which is the programme of the Communist Women's Organization of the MLKP.

 

 

Foundation of the KKÖ - All beginnings are difficult!


From January 3-7, 2015, the first Communist Women Conference of the MLKP was held. The Conference was "an important turning point in the history of the communist women's movement, the women revolution, for women becoming leaders and commanders and for the efforts to find the according specific way of the organizational, political and theoretical development."2 The declaration of the Conference characterizes the most important characteristic of the conference will as follows: "As any revolutionary action, the conference did not come together under conditions it preferred but under given circumstances. The problems from which our party and the women's front suffered in the previous periods and some negative consequences also had an impact on the preparation period of the conference. Heavy results from the time when our party went through with a lack of center which hit the women's front twice and which also resulted in difficulties like a split development of the woman understanding and will, also were on the agenda of the conference. However, this situation did not keep it away from showing the will to fulfill its duty of a new leap! (...) This is the most important reality of the conference's will."3
"The 4th Party Congress of the MLKP had pointed out the main features of the fundamental views, which are also principal for the decisions of the conference and the KKÖ today. Starting from that, the congress had indicated the need of a discussion about a new organizational model and taken a corresponding decision. Although the decisions of the 4th Party Congress basically led the women comrades in the different fronts of struggle, to increase their levels of gender consciousness and their relations with the women's freedom struggle, the women's understanding and will, yet remained split among the different fronts under the conditions of that time. The fact of this split and fragmented situation of the understanding, which went up to "tunnel views"; views limited to its own area, could not been overcome before the conference by means of carrying out an internal discussion, that there was no mutual interference beforehand, was a handicap of the conference. However, thanks to the active participation of women comrades from all struggle fronts to the conference itself, uniting different experiences at different fronts and the interaction based on socialist democracy; a deepness in thoughts could be reached from which a common understanding came out. Maybe an even bigger disadvantage of the conference than the one mentioned before were the problems resulting from the period when they developed in the form of introversion; the accumulated distrust among the women comrades, in possible development of the potential of the women's freedom struggle, in the masses of women; the breaking of the will appearing here and there; the regression of the revolutionary cooperation among women and the feelings of woman comradeship and distrust in the understand of the party; lacking struggle concerning the topic and the questions of women's liberation struggle within the party organs, which all resulted more and more in decreasing will and hope to reach something in the women's freedom struggle."
There were different possibilities how to continue. The first option would have been to say "that happened to us due to our courageous steps", deepen the decrease of will and distrust even more and take the return path! The second option would have been not to agree with the existence of these problems at all, repeat the ideal in words and just say something on the level of abstract understanding! The third possibility was to correctly define objective reality and act parting from this real situation, concentrating in advancing through changing this situation! As underlined also in the documents of the conference, the third option was elected; the conference decided approaching with revolutionary realism to crash the given reality with a revolutionary spirit of breakthrough and change it."4
At this conference, the Communist Women's Organization (KKÖ) was founded by the communist women. The MLKP Woman leadership states that the foundation of the Communist Women's Organization is a new level the communist women have reached.

 

 

The Communist Women's Organization and organizational principles

The first issue the conference focused on was political continuity; the task to unite politically and organizationally with the masses of women and the second issue was with which organizational form this period may be led without interruption; that is to say the problem of organizational continuity.
The organizational logic of the KKÖ consists not simply in leading the area of "women's work" and concentrating on that. It is an organizational understanding with the aim to lead the woman understanding and the woman action organizationally, politically and ideologically within the party, to rise the woman action in all fields of struggle, to turn women revolution into a strong political movement with the central element of winning the masses of women to the struggle on one hand, and to build its organizational structure and leadership on the other hand. The unity of organization and policy; meaning that political continuity requires organizational continuity and the relation between organizational continuity and permanent political action has shown itself in our history from time to time that way, that when one of the two elements or even both were interrupted, this caused a retreat in the respective front. The correct approach on creating unity among organization and policy is the most important way for the materialization of the ideological knowledge accumulated in this front. The KKÖ is exactly the result of the efforts to establish this unity among organization and policy.
Why not an independent women's organization but organizational autonomy? Or why not a wing-type sub-organization but a form of political organization and political autonomy being the half of the party?
The content of the political action is the basis of the answer to the question "what kind of organization?". Given that the content of our political action; our programme of women liberation, does not consist of making the masses of women a "reserve" of the social revolution but given that the women revolution aims at a social revolution with which the social sexism will be abolished, the question of "what kind of organization" has to be answered according to this aim.
Fundamentally, the communist women's movement stuck in its own history into two types of organization.
On the one hand, there are independent women's associations, trade-unions and similar means of struggle organizing the masses of women in the political struggle or in the context of their own partial agenda. Although these independent woman organizations are today indispensable means, too, in order to mobilize the masses of women in the political and social struggle for change, they are no means which can make possible the march of women into the center of struggle for political power, the vanguard and leadership of a social overthrow in the extensions of women revolution.
On the other hand, there are types of organizations like commissions and wings, "sub-organizations" or "partial units" of different kinds of social organizations like parties, trade-unions or similar things. This kind of organizations are partial, they do not correspond to the needs of a party-like political organization according to the woman freedom programme and which can assume their leadership. In order to leap the struggle around an advanced political programme it was necessary to found a political vanguard, a subject which answers to the programme of a social revolution.
Furthermore, the organizational understanding which the KKÖ is based on is nothing new for our party. It is both the normal result of its history and line of the women's liberation struggle and in baselines also part of the decisions of the 4th congress. In the period after the 4th congress, some organizational experiences were made in the different front organizations parting from the same understanding. So what are the concrete changes, where are the differences of woman organization concerning the organizational functioning for the party and what are the main organizational lines of the KKÖ?
Firstly, the KKÖ is not only the organization of the communist women in the area of mass work among women but the organizations of all communist women from all areas, from the communist women underground to above ground, from Europe to Kurdistan, from the press to the political-military front.
Secondly, it is based on its woman and leadership understanding leading all fronts. The efforts within the wing-type organization, fundamentally trying to change, lead and form the whole which starts from the woman mass front, have natural limits due to their organizational form. Thus, the contradiction between content and form, between political/ideological content and organizational shape turns into an objective border of the efforts of the communist women. While as a part of the party, the woman leadership leading all fronts is led by the party, at the same time it leads the party in a dual relation on the whole and it is a form of solution according to the change of the gender problem aspired. In this sense, the women leadership, different from the past experiences, when it was mainly limited with organizational leading of the mass front of women and making political proposals for the whole, now has the position of a political and organizational leadership of the women's freedom struggle as well as the position of an operational and complementary element of the realization of leadership within the current organizational form of the party and at the same time the position of a changing ideological center for the whole party.
Thirdly, we have to mention the quality of the organizations which the new model of organization is based on. The 4th Party Congress had lifted the limitation of the woman organizations of being only commissions including the central woman organization, however the organization did not overcome the spirit of commission, neither the modus operandi, the function linked to that nor the party opened the way for these organizations to play a role more advanced than commissions. The organization of our women's front remained on a half-autonomous level and was not donated with mechanism and rights needed for the power of implementation of their decisions. Our new organizing model is fundamentally based on authorized organs, as the 4th Party Congress has foreseen it. Together with the other elements of the model and especially together with the organizational autonomy, a real entity from right, authorization and responsibility came into being and it became possible that the qualities aimed at really could put into practice.
Fourthly, we want to mention the form of organizational hierarchy. The former organizational system was allowing only to the extend which it was possible to have organizational relations among the woman leadership and the forces of women in a certain area, in which organs directly responsible for woman work were founded. Given the fact that authorities and responsibilities as well as planning, leading and controlling were split among different organs, the women's freedom struggle could not be led in an all-embracing way. But the new organizational model binds all woman forces in different ways to the woman leadership and opens the whole party work to the control of woman understanding. Thus, at the same time, the direct interference of the women's organization and leadership into processes of building the necessary woman quality for the foundation of the required organs on all fronts has become possible.
Fifthly, organizational autonomy is the crucial point which gives all this mechanism the quality of a real organization; which gives a real material existence, a real functioning to the organs, the organizational structures. The new model of organization caused - immediately after being announced and inevitably - doubts and questions concerning the "double burden". Why not only a certain number of woman comrades concentrate on the questions of this front and the others only on those of other fronts, but instead, additionally to those comrades in charge of this front, all woman comrades of all fronts are faced with additional responsibilities and duties? Does this model give additional responsibilities to the woman comrades who already have duties in different organizations? Does the model add another task to the dozens of tasks already existing? Yes, it does, however the problem is that this is objective. There cannot be another consciousness of gender and another struggle of gender. That is also not different for those women who selected a totally separate way of organizing with a practice leaving apart other social struggles, also for women who decided to be completely organist in the way of sub-organization and carry out a partial work in this area. Yes, to be present in all areas and to say your opinion objectively means additional tasks, additional responsibilities, "double work, double time".
However this is not a problem created by the new model, it just became more visible. Yesterday it did not look like that or not that clear. The new model makes the tasks, which already existed before, more visible. Thus, it should be even less legitimate for the communist women to abdicate from their responsibility. The new model did not create these disadvantages, on the contrary, it offers us a real concrete basis to overcome them. An organizational chain of the women's front with a leadership, which is really in the position to direct it with organizational autonomy, is the necessary condition. However, how much we will take advantage from that necessarily depends on the women's will. It is true that actually this was not different than before. To sum it up, double tasks require double rights. If the communist women, who are expected to raise women's liberation struggle on all fronts, to play a special role in education of woman cadres, to put questions concerning women's liberation on the agenda and produce solutions for the corresponding cadres; if they do not have "additional authorization" despite "additional tasks", or to express it in a different way, if they do not have the right to say something in the matter of cadres who should carry these out, or this right is not based on concrete organizational mechanism but depends on intention, understanding, capacity of this or that organ or cadres who "recognize priorities" and it is carried out only in a limited way; conditions for fulfilling their tasks would be limited from the very beginning. Apart from that, organizational autonomy is based on the idea which the point of view, the understanding and the priorities of women are taken as the basis for education, instruction of communist women and the solution for their problems. In a way, this is based on the understanding of the potential superiority of women concerning women issues. Thirdly, organizational autonomy is an answer to the need of taking decisions on our own, assuming responsibility for these decisions; also to learn, committing mistakes; to go forward leaning on its own experience, its own power and thus to strengthen the basis of revolutionary cooperation among women. Such an organization of women requires a high quality of cadres and at the same time, generates it.
Parting from this fundamental ideas our conference, constructed a model. At the same time, this model is in every regard, a state of transition. It is a state of transition regarding the adaptation with the general functioning and the constitution of the party. The model drafted in essentials and based on the present experience will find more real and concrete forms in the implementation. and it is a state of transition in this sense, too. The efforts to implement this model with a strong will, will create the basis for the model achieving further qualities."5

 

 

Uniting the Masses of Women with Women Revolution

No matter which kind of organizational model there is, without merging with the masses of laboring, working and young women, it is impossible that women revolution turns into a material force and takes the form of a concrete political movement. In this sense, the first Communist Women's Conference "calls upon struggle against any kind of hidden distrust and alienation from the masses of women in our ranks and underlines in this context, the need to develop politics on local level and to enrich the means of agitation, propaganda and organizing of the women masses".6 Doubtlessly, different forms of self-defense play an important role for the political activities.

 

 

Self-Defense and organizing of communist women in Kurdistan

The first action of the KKÖ right after the announcement of the foundation to the public took place in Rojava as a retaliatory strike for our comrade Ivana Hoffman (Avaşin Tekoşin Günei), who lost her life on March 7, 2015 when she was fighting at the front of Til Temir, Rojava against the IS. MLKP/KKÖ-Rojava said in the statement about the action which took place in Cizire: "We will continue to resist against the reactionary of the Islamic State, enemy of humanity and women just like our comrade Avasin Tekosin Günes by making our bodies a barricade."7 They also stated that they will follow the way of Ivana, that the weapons will not be quiet and that they will continue to be the nightmare of the woman murderer and raper Islamic State.
Commander of the MLKP Battalion Martyr Serkan, Hêvî Sarya greeted, in the name of the woman fighters of the MLKP/KKÖ, the YPS-Jin as self-defense forces in Northern Kurdistan saying that it is an important answer to the AKP fascism. YPS-Jin (Civil Defense Units - Woman) is a civil force of Kurdish women defending the resistance of self-governance of Kurdish people going on despite the barbaric massacres of the colonialist fascist state.
From 4-12 January, the Sarya Özgür Training Cycle was organized by the Communist Women's Organization in Rojava. The training cycle was dedicated to Berçem Renas and Ekin Su, who were martyred on December 22 in a heroic resistance in Istanbul and to the other martyrs of Northern Kurdistan.

 

 

The immortal woman fighters are the heart of KKÖ

Countless woman fighters, known and unknown, bravely opened our way. During different periods, they assumed important responsibilities and today KKÖ is rising on the shoulders of all these immortal woman comrades. The spirit of sacrifice of comrades Şengül Boran, Yasemin Çiftçi, Sibel Bulut, Ivana Hoffmann, Yeliz Erbay, Şirin Öter, Sevda Çağdaş, Berfu Canbay, Medine Özmez, Ayşe Deniz Karacağıl and Şevin Söğüt and the ideological leadership of Kutsiye Bozoklar show us the way and inspire us. The memory of the KGÖ members Büşra Mete, Polen Ünlü, Hatice Ezgi Sadet and the 7 other socialist women massacred by the AKP-IS murderers in Suruç will always keep our revolutionary spirit alive. The unified women's struggle develops also with all the contributions of the communist women who were and are in prison.
Today, we live in times of war and revolution in the Middle East, in Turkey and in Kurdistan. On the one hand, the reactionary states, first of which the fascist Turkish AKP regime, and their collaborators like the IS are committing one massacre after another beyond any humane understanding. However, on the other hand, there is a resistance of the peoples which cannot be stopped by anything, and it is the women who are in the first lines. Not only in Kurdistan, also in Turkey, this struggle goes on, reaches new levels and is led in many cases by revolutionary and communist women.
"On December 22nd , 2015, two commander comrades, comrades Berçem and Şirin, answered the counter-revolutionary police's annihilation attack and violence with their revolutionary will and revolutionary violence. They defended the party's base they stayed at with their lives. By that, they joined the immortal comrades dying in the struggle for the revolution and socialism. Both didn't only support the Kurdish freedom fighters' and Kurdish peoples' self-defense and armed resistance against the colonial occupation that has lasted for months from the West, meaning from Turkey, but also showed the way for strengthening the united revolutionary struggle and abolishing the colonial fascist dictatorship. They also gave us the message that the women's will and liberation could be won through revolutionary war practice and women's becoming commanders. (...) The MLKP has used any means and forms of struggle needed in the political struggle for the class struggle. Within its 20 years of struggle history, the party has used illegal and legal means, armed and disarmed means, the parliamentary and peaceful way as well as barricades and street resistances, unions and democratic organizations, cultural and sportive activities, strikes and boycotts, group and mass violence throughout its foundation and development. The members of the MLKP are trained as revolutionary fighters and militants foreseen by the statute and programme. They fulfill actions and take over duties needed by the party and class struggle. Comrades Yeliz and Şirin organized their lives and actions as wanted by the MLKP."8
Şirin Öter (party name Ekin Su) came from the revolutionary mass work in the laboring districts of Istanbul and joined the military work. Since 2011, she was one of the commanders of FESK (Armed Forces of the Poor and Oppressed).
Comrade Yeliz Erbay (party name Berçem Renas) was a delegate of 5th Party Congress and the first Communist Women's Conference. During 18 years of struggle, she was underground for 14 years. "Comrade Yeliz took part in the foundation of the Communist Women's Organization. By being good prepared, giving intensive intellectual labor, making proposals and presenting draft resolutions and actively discussing, she made important contributions. Believing strongly in the need of growing woman comradeship, gender consciousness and love, she struggled everywhere for the special organizing of the action and type of relation of the communist women. She internalized woman comradeship in her daily life, in her revolutionary work. (...) Comrades Yeliz and Şirin walked to immortality resisting side by side against the enemy in their surrounded base; this is the new level of woman comradeship."9
In times, where we receive again and again news of democratic, revolutionary and communist women being assassinated by the patriarchal spirit, by the fascist and reactionary regimes in the Middle East, the words of comrade Berçem may help us to understand, why women are so bravely fighting: "For my happiness, my womanhood, my gender, my freedom I am taking the risk of death. (...) In a country, where every day 5 of my kind are confronted with death due to reactionary violence of men, is that really so much, to embrace death in order to present a world, where women can freely fly? No, not at all. I am chock full with women understanding, women comradeship and militancy. Especially, after the communist women brought into being their own organization, these feelings are on the top. Now, I am looking more confidently to our struggle. I feel stronger, more organized. And more responsible at the same time. I am walking, feeling the alliance of the KKÖ, the united force of the communist women, deep inside in every single cell of my body. We created another position in the ideological, organizational, political struggle. To accept the programme of women revolution, the KKÖ or not is something we have to deal with as an ideological question. Developing the science of Marxism-Leninism with a woman understanding, will and initiative means strengthening Marxism-Leninism. In the era of revolutions of the 21st century, women revolution is clear half of these revolutions. In Rojava, the programme of women revolution came to power. Inevitably, the search of the oppressed women of the world will organize and give life to it everywhere. Equal, free, humane life will start after this is achieved."9
"The fact, that comrades Berçem and Ekin placed a cluster bomb of 40 kg material perfectly camouflaged, which exploded by remote control, in other words the technique they used and the fact that they targeted a bus full of policemen drove the enemy mad. It was not difficult for the enemy to guess that they will overcome the mistake of being 2 seconds late in future actions. Just like in the case of comrade Hasan, comrade Süleyman, the 33 comrades in Suruç, this time, the enemy gave its message by assassinating comrades Berçem and Ekin. They say: stop, do not go on on this line, with this tempo, do not raise the war to this level otherwise you will see nothing but death and tyranny!
Our attitude is clear. We remind again those who still did not hear it; our Red Detachments in the Black sea neighborhood in Istanbul shouted out our answer once again. We are ready to give everything we have in order to organize revolution. These are our last words."10

------------------- 

1 Taken from the defence speech at the court by MLKP-KKÖ member and communist prisoner Zeynep Yeter Gercek, published on September 18, 2015 in the weekly newspaper Atılım no. 191. She has been detained on September 25, 2014 and sentenced to 10 years of prison one year later. Send her a letter: Zeynep Yeter Gercek, Bakırköy Kadın Kapalı Hapishanesi, 34147, Bakırköy / İstanbul, Turkey.
2 Taken from the article "Let us raise the KKÖ with the spirit of the first Communist Women's Conference" published in Partinin Sesi (Voice of the Party), central organ of the MLKP, no. 85, August-September 2015, on this article is mainly based on.
3 Taken from the documents of the first Communist Women's Conference, quoted in PS no 85.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 From the documents of the 1st Women's Conference.
7 www.anfturkce.net, March 11, 2015, „Hoffmann icin suikast eylemi"
8 Taken from: International Bulletin of the MLKP no. 159, January 2016, see www.mlkp-info.org
9 Taken from: Statement of the MLKP-KKÖ, Women Leadership, December 22, 2015
10 From a letter by MLKP-FESK Commander Yeliz Erbay, posted in the newspaper Atilim, February, 5, 2016, no 210.
11 Taken from: Voice of the Party 87 January-February 2016, "We will never bow our head to the women massacres of the colonialist fascism"

 

 

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Communist Women's Organization Fighting For Revolution
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Fighting For Revolution

"Women revolution means destroying the social basis making woman an oppressed gender with a revolutionary upheaval. Our party MLKP, who approaches the topic within this scope, puts forward its will to solve this problem of vital importance, which has been postponed to after revolution until today. Women revolution means break with reactionary, social roles. It is the uprising of women against all kind of secondariness deemed proper to women in the patriarchal system. It is the systematic struggle against all thoughts and feelings pulling women back. It is the consciousness of us, the women walking towards the center of politics, trusting in our strength, interfering actively into life. It means action, touching life concretely. It means that we as women have a relation on a new level on politics, theory, leading, means of violence; things considered to be far away from women and we give them our own color. (...) As a woman member of the party, I want to state that MLKP is a women's party. The party approaches revolutionary struggle with the perspective of women revolution. Women revolution is the manifesto of liberation from the patriarchal capitalist system. Our Party MLKP adopted the line of women revolution in its 4th Congress and with preparation and orientation in theory, politics, ideology and organizations in the woman liberation struggle, raised the communist women's movement to a certain level. With the KKÖ, whose foundation was announced on March 8, 2015 by the women of the party, they brought this level to a new organizational form. KKÖ will show an important will in the struggle against any kind of patriarchal approach, style, mode and show a revolutionary practice in the struggle against the gender roles and the patriarchy. I am greeting our KKÖ from here."1
These words taken from the first defense speech made in the courts of the fascist dictatorship in Turkey on behalf of the KKÖ in September 2015 summarize the idea of women revolution, which is the programme of the Communist Women's Organization of the MLKP.

 

 

Foundation of the KKÖ - All beginnings are difficult!


From January 3-7, 2015, the first Communist Women Conference of the MLKP was held. The Conference was "an important turning point in the history of the communist women's movement, the women revolution, for women becoming leaders and commanders and for the efforts to find the according specific way of the organizational, political and theoretical development."2 The declaration of the Conference characterizes the most important characteristic of the conference will as follows: "As any revolutionary action, the conference did not come together under conditions it preferred but under given circumstances. The problems from which our party and the women's front suffered in the previous periods and some negative consequences also had an impact on the preparation period of the conference. Heavy results from the time when our party went through with a lack of center which hit the women's front twice and which also resulted in difficulties like a split development of the woman understanding and will, also were on the agenda of the conference. However, this situation did not keep it away from showing the will to fulfill its duty of a new leap! (...) This is the most important reality of the conference's will."3
"The 4th Party Congress of the MLKP had pointed out the main features of the fundamental views, which are also principal for the decisions of the conference and the KKÖ today. Starting from that, the congress had indicated the need of a discussion about a new organizational model and taken a corresponding decision. Although the decisions of the 4th Party Congress basically led the women comrades in the different fronts of struggle, to increase their levels of gender consciousness and their relations with the women's freedom struggle, the women's understanding and will, yet remained split among the different fronts under the conditions of that time. The fact of this split and fragmented situation of the understanding, which went up to "tunnel views"; views limited to its own area, could not been overcome before the conference by means of carrying out an internal discussion, that there was no mutual interference beforehand, was a handicap of the conference. However, thanks to the active participation of women comrades from all struggle fronts to the conference itself, uniting different experiences at different fronts and the interaction based on socialist democracy; a deepness in thoughts could be reached from which a common understanding came out. Maybe an even bigger disadvantage of the conference than the one mentioned before were the problems resulting from the period when they developed in the form of introversion; the accumulated distrust among the women comrades, in possible development of the potential of the women's freedom struggle, in the masses of women; the breaking of the will appearing here and there; the regression of the revolutionary cooperation among women and the feelings of woman comradeship and distrust in the understand of the party; lacking struggle concerning the topic and the questions of women's liberation struggle within the party organs, which all resulted more and more in decreasing will and hope to reach something in the women's freedom struggle."
There were different possibilities how to continue. The first option would have been to say "that happened to us due to our courageous steps", deepen the decrease of will and distrust even more and take the return path! The second option would have been not to agree with the existence of these problems at all, repeat the ideal in words and just say something on the level of abstract understanding! The third possibility was to correctly define objective reality and act parting from this real situation, concentrating in advancing through changing this situation! As underlined also in the documents of the conference, the third option was elected; the conference decided approaching with revolutionary realism to crash the given reality with a revolutionary spirit of breakthrough and change it."4
At this conference, the Communist Women's Organization (KKÖ) was founded by the communist women. The MLKP Woman leadership states that the foundation of the Communist Women's Organization is a new level the communist women have reached.

 

 

The Communist Women's Organization and organizational principles

The first issue the conference focused on was political continuity; the task to unite politically and organizationally with the masses of women and the second issue was with which organizational form this period may be led without interruption; that is to say the problem of organizational continuity.
The organizational logic of the KKÖ consists not simply in leading the area of "women's work" and concentrating on that. It is an organizational understanding with the aim to lead the woman understanding and the woman action organizationally, politically and ideologically within the party, to rise the woman action in all fields of struggle, to turn women revolution into a strong political movement with the central element of winning the masses of women to the struggle on one hand, and to build its organizational structure and leadership on the other hand. The unity of organization and policy; meaning that political continuity requires organizational continuity and the relation between organizational continuity and permanent political action has shown itself in our history from time to time that way, that when one of the two elements or even both were interrupted, this caused a retreat in the respective front. The correct approach on creating unity among organization and policy is the most important way for the materialization of the ideological knowledge accumulated in this front. The KKÖ is exactly the result of the efforts to establish this unity among organization and policy.
Why not an independent women's organization but organizational autonomy? Or why not a wing-type sub-organization but a form of political organization and political autonomy being the half of the party?
The content of the political action is the basis of the answer to the question "what kind of organization?". Given that the content of our political action; our programme of women liberation, does not consist of making the masses of women a "reserve" of the social revolution but given that the women revolution aims at a social revolution with which the social sexism will be abolished, the question of "what kind of organization" has to be answered according to this aim.
Fundamentally, the communist women's movement stuck in its own history into two types of organization.
On the one hand, there are independent women's associations, trade-unions and similar means of struggle organizing the masses of women in the political struggle or in the context of their own partial agenda. Although these independent woman organizations are today indispensable means, too, in order to mobilize the masses of women in the political and social struggle for change, they are no means which can make possible the march of women into the center of struggle for political power, the vanguard and leadership of a social overthrow in the extensions of women revolution.
On the other hand, there are types of organizations like commissions and wings, "sub-organizations" or "partial units" of different kinds of social organizations like parties, trade-unions or similar things. This kind of organizations are partial, they do not correspond to the needs of a party-like political organization according to the woman freedom programme and which can assume their leadership. In order to leap the struggle around an advanced political programme it was necessary to found a political vanguard, a subject which answers to the programme of a social revolution.
Furthermore, the organizational understanding which the KKÖ is based on is nothing new for our party. It is both the normal result of its history and line of the women's liberation struggle and in baselines also part of the decisions of the 4th congress. In the period after the 4th congress, some organizational experiences were made in the different front organizations parting from the same understanding. So what are the concrete changes, where are the differences of woman organization concerning the organizational functioning for the party and what are the main organizational lines of the KKÖ?
Firstly, the KKÖ is not only the organization of the communist women in the area of mass work among women but the organizations of all communist women from all areas, from the communist women underground to above ground, from Europe to Kurdistan, from the press to the political-military front.
Secondly, it is based on its woman and leadership understanding leading all fronts. The efforts within the wing-type organization, fundamentally trying to change, lead and form the whole which starts from the woman mass front, have natural limits due to their organizational form. Thus, the contradiction between content and form, between political/ideological content and organizational shape turns into an objective border of the efforts of the communist women. While as a part of the party, the woman leadership leading all fronts is led by the party, at the same time it leads the party in a dual relation on the whole and it is a form of solution according to the change of the gender problem aspired. In this sense, the women leadership, different from the past experiences, when it was mainly limited with organizational leading of the mass front of women and making political proposals for the whole, now has the position of a political and organizational leadership of the women's freedom struggle as well as the position of an operational and complementary element of the realization of leadership within the current organizational form of the party and at the same time the position of a changing ideological center for the whole party.
Thirdly, we have to mention the quality of the organizations which the new model of organization is based on. The 4th Party Congress had lifted the limitation of the woman organizations of being only commissions including the central woman organization, however the organization did not overcome the spirit of commission, neither the modus operandi, the function linked to that nor the party opened the way for these organizations to play a role more advanced than commissions. The organization of our women's front remained on a half-autonomous level and was not donated with mechanism and rights needed for the power of implementation of their decisions. Our new organizing model is fundamentally based on authorized organs, as the 4th Party Congress has foreseen it. Together with the other elements of the model and especially together with the organizational autonomy, a real entity from right, authorization and responsibility came into being and it became possible that the qualities aimed at really could put into practice.
Fourthly, we want to mention the form of organizational hierarchy. The former organizational system was allowing only to the extend which it was possible to have organizational relations among the woman leadership and the forces of women in a certain area, in which organs directly responsible for woman work were founded. Given the fact that authorities and responsibilities as well as planning, leading and controlling were split among different organs, the women's freedom struggle could not be led in an all-embracing way. But the new organizational model binds all woman forces in different ways to the woman leadership and opens the whole party work to the control of woman understanding. Thus, at the same time, the direct interference of the women's organization and leadership into processes of building the necessary woman quality for the foundation of the required organs on all fronts has become possible.
Fifthly, organizational autonomy is the crucial point which gives all this mechanism the quality of a real organization; which gives a real material existence, a real functioning to the organs, the organizational structures. The new model of organization caused - immediately after being announced and inevitably - doubts and questions concerning the "double burden". Why not only a certain number of woman comrades concentrate on the questions of this front and the others only on those of other fronts, but instead, additionally to those comrades in charge of this front, all woman comrades of all fronts are faced with additional responsibilities and duties? Does this model give additional responsibilities to the woman comrades who already have duties in different organizations? Does the model add another task to the dozens of tasks already existing? Yes, it does, however the problem is that this is objective. There cannot be another consciousness of gender and another struggle of gender. That is also not different for those women who selected a totally separate way of organizing with a practice leaving apart other social struggles, also for women who decided to be completely organist in the way of sub-organization and carry out a partial work in this area. Yes, to be present in all areas and to say your opinion objectively means additional tasks, additional responsibilities, "double work, double time".
However this is not a problem created by the new model, it just became more visible. Yesterday it did not look like that or not that clear. The new model makes the tasks, which already existed before, more visible. Thus, it should be even less legitimate for the communist women to abdicate from their responsibility. The new model did not create these disadvantages, on the contrary, it offers us a real concrete basis to overcome them. An organizational chain of the women's front with a leadership, which is really in the position to direct it with organizational autonomy, is the necessary condition. However, how much we will take advantage from that necessarily depends on the women's will. It is true that actually this was not different than before. To sum it up, double tasks require double rights. If the communist women, who are expected to raise women's liberation struggle on all fronts, to play a special role in education of woman cadres, to put questions concerning women's liberation on the agenda and produce solutions for the corresponding cadres; if they do not have "additional authorization" despite "additional tasks", or to express it in a different way, if they do not have the right to say something in the matter of cadres who should carry these out, or this right is not based on concrete organizational mechanism but depends on intention, understanding, capacity of this or that organ or cadres who "recognize priorities" and it is carried out only in a limited way; conditions for fulfilling their tasks would be limited from the very beginning. Apart from that, organizational autonomy is based on the idea which the point of view, the understanding and the priorities of women are taken as the basis for education, instruction of communist women and the solution for their problems. In a way, this is based on the understanding of the potential superiority of women concerning women issues. Thirdly, organizational autonomy is an answer to the need of taking decisions on our own, assuming responsibility for these decisions; also to learn, committing mistakes; to go forward leaning on its own experience, its own power and thus to strengthen the basis of revolutionary cooperation among women. Such an organization of women requires a high quality of cadres and at the same time, generates it.
Parting from this fundamental ideas our conference, constructed a model. At the same time, this model is in every regard, a state of transition. It is a state of transition regarding the adaptation with the general functioning and the constitution of the party. The model drafted in essentials and based on the present experience will find more real and concrete forms in the implementation. and it is a state of transition in this sense, too. The efforts to implement this model with a strong will, will create the basis for the model achieving further qualities."5

 

 

Uniting the Masses of Women with Women Revolution

No matter which kind of organizational model there is, without merging with the masses of laboring, working and young women, it is impossible that women revolution turns into a material force and takes the form of a concrete political movement. In this sense, the first Communist Women's Conference "calls upon struggle against any kind of hidden distrust and alienation from the masses of women in our ranks and underlines in this context, the need to develop politics on local level and to enrich the means of agitation, propaganda and organizing of the women masses".6 Doubtlessly, different forms of self-defense play an important role for the political activities.

 

 

Self-Defense and organizing of communist women in Kurdistan

The first action of the KKÖ right after the announcement of the foundation to the public took place in Rojava as a retaliatory strike for our comrade Ivana Hoffman (Avaşin Tekoşin Günei), who lost her life on March 7, 2015 when she was fighting at the front of Til Temir, Rojava against the IS. MLKP/KKÖ-Rojava said in the statement about the action which took place in Cizire: "We will continue to resist against the reactionary of the Islamic State, enemy of humanity and women just like our comrade Avasin Tekosin Günes by making our bodies a barricade."7 They also stated that they will follow the way of Ivana, that the weapons will not be quiet and that they will continue to be the nightmare of the woman murderer and raper Islamic State.
Commander of the MLKP Battalion Martyr Serkan, Hêvî Sarya greeted, in the name of the woman fighters of the MLKP/KKÖ, the YPS-Jin as self-defense forces in Northern Kurdistan saying that it is an important answer to the AKP fascism. YPS-Jin (Civil Defense Units - Woman) is a civil force of Kurdish women defending the resistance of self-governance of Kurdish people going on despite the barbaric massacres of the colonialist fascist state.
From 4-12 January, the Sarya Özgür Training Cycle was organized by the Communist Women's Organization in Rojava. The training cycle was dedicated to Berçem Renas and Ekin Su, who were martyred on December 22 in a heroic resistance in Istanbul and to the other martyrs of Northern Kurdistan.

 

 

The immortal woman fighters are the heart of KKÖ

Countless woman fighters, known and unknown, bravely opened our way. During different periods, they assumed important responsibilities and today KKÖ is rising on the shoulders of all these immortal woman comrades. The spirit of sacrifice of comrades Şengül Boran, Yasemin Çiftçi, Sibel Bulut, Ivana Hoffmann, Yeliz Erbay, Şirin Öter, Sevda Çağdaş, Berfu Canbay, Medine Özmez, Ayşe Deniz Karacağıl and Şevin Söğüt and the ideological leadership of Kutsiye Bozoklar show us the way and inspire us. The memory of the KGÖ members Büşra Mete, Polen Ünlü, Hatice Ezgi Sadet and the 7 other socialist women massacred by the AKP-IS murderers in Suruç will always keep our revolutionary spirit alive. The unified women's struggle develops also with all the contributions of the communist women who were and are in prison.
Today, we live in times of war and revolution in the Middle East, in Turkey and in Kurdistan. On the one hand, the reactionary states, first of which the fascist Turkish AKP regime, and their collaborators like the IS are committing one massacre after another beyond any humane understanding. However, on the other hand, there is a resistance of the peoples which cannot be stopped by anything, and it is the women who are in the first lines. Not only in Kurdistan, also in Turkey, this struggle goes on, reaches new levels and is led in many cases by revolutionary and communist women.
"On December 22nd , 2015, two commander comrades, comrades Berçem and Şirin, answered the counter-revolutionary police's annihilation attack and violence with their revolutionary will and revolutionary violence. They defended the party's base they stayed at with their lives. By that, they joined the immortal comrades dying in the struggle for the revolution and socialism. Both didn't only support the Kurdish freedom fighters' and Kurdish peoples' self-defense and armed resistance against the colonial occupation that has lasted for months from the West, meaning from Turkey, but also showed the way for strengthening the united revolutionary struggle and abolishing the colonial fascist dictatorship. They also gave us the message that the women's will and liberation could be won through revolutionary war practice and women's becoming commanders. (...) The MLKP has used any means and forms of struggle needed in the political struggle for the class struggle. Within its 20 years of struggle history, the party has used illegal and legal means, armed and disarmed means, the parliamentary and peaceful way as well as barricades and street resistances, unions and democratic organizations, cultural and sportive activities, strikes and boycotts, group and mass violence throughout its foundation and development. The members of the MLKP are trained as revolutionary fighters and militants foreseen by the statute and programme. They fulfill actions and take over duties needed by the party and class struggle. Comrades Yeliz and Şirin organized their lives and actions as wanted by the MLKP."8
Şirin Öter (party name Ekin Su) came from the revolutionary mass work in the laboring districts of Istanbul and joined the military work. Since 2011, she was one of the commanders of FESK (Armed Forces of the Poor and Oppressed).
Comrade Yeliz Erbay (party name Berçem Renas) was a delegate of 5th Party Congress and the first Communist Women's Conference. During 18 years of struggle, she was underground for 14 years. "Comrade Yeliz took part in the foundation of the Communist Women's Organization. By being good prepared, giving intensive intellectual labor, making proposals and presenting draft resolutions and actively discussing, she made important contributions. Believing strongly in the need of growing woman comradeship, gender consciousness and love, she struggled everywhere for the special organizing of the action and type of relation of the communist women. She internalized woman comradeship in her daily life, in her revolutionary work. (...) Comrades Yeliz and Şirin walked to immortality resisting side by side against the enemy in their surrounded base; this is the new level of woman comradeship."9
In times, where we receive again and again news of democratic, revolutionary and communist women being assassinated by the patriarchal spirit, by the fascist and reactionary regimes in the Middle East, the words of comrade Berçem may help us to understand, why women are so bravely fighting: "For my happiness, my womanhood, my gender, my freedom I am taking the risk of death. (...) In a country, where every day 5 of my kind are confronted with death due to reactionary violence of men, is that really so much, to embrace death in order to present a world, where women can freely fly? No, not at all. I am chock full with women understanding, women comradeship and militancy. Especially, after the communist women brought into being their own organization, these feelings are on the top. Now, I am looking more confidently to our struggle. I feel stronger, more organized. And more responsible at the same time. I am walking, feeling the alliance of the KKÖ, the united force of the communist women, deep inside in every single cell of my body. We created another position in the ideological, organizational, political struggle. To accept the programme of women revolution, the KKÖ or not is something we have to deal with as an ideological question. Developing the science of Marxism-Leninism with a woman understanding, will and initiative means strengthening Marxism-Leninism. In the era of revolutions of the 21st century, women revolution is clear half of these revolutions. In Rojava, the programme of women revolution came to power. Inevitably, the search of the oppressed women of the world will organize and give life to it everywhere. Equal, free, humane life will start after this is achieved."9
"The fact, that comrades Berçem and Ekin placed a cluster bomb of 40 kg material perfectly camouflaged, which exploded by remote control, in other words the technique they used and the fact that they targeted a bus full of policemen drove the enemy mad. It was not difficult for the enemy to guess that they will overcome the mistake of being 2 seconds late in future actions. Just like in the case of comrade Hasan, comrade Süleyman, the 33 comrades in Suruç, this time, the enemy gave its message by assassinating comrades Berçem and Ekin. They say: stop, do not go on on this line, with this tempo, do not raise the war to this level otherwise you will see nothing but death and tyranny!
Our attitude is clear. We remind again those who still did not hear it; our Red Detachments in the Black sea neighborhood in Istanbul shouted out our answer once again. We are ready to give everything we have in order to organize revolution. These are our last words."10

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1 Taken from the defence speech at the court by MLKP-KKÖ member and communist prisoner Zeynep Yeter Gercek, published on September 18, 2015 in the weekly newspaper Atılım no. 191. She has been detained on September 25, 2014 and sentenced to 10 years of prison one year later. Send her a letter: Zeynep Yeter Gercek, Bakırköy Kadın Kapalı Hapishanesi, 34147, Bakırköy / İstanbul, Turkey.
2 Taken from the article "Let us raise the KKÖ with the spirit of the first Communist Women's Conference" published in Partinin Sesi (Voice of the Party), central organ of the MLKP, no. 85, August-September 2015, on this article is mainly based on.
3 Taken from the documents of the first Communist Women's Conference, quoted in PS no 85.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 From the documents of the 1st Women's Conference.
7 www.anfturkce.net, March 11, 2015, „Hoffmann icin suikast eylemi"
8 Taken from: International Bulletin of the MLKP no. 159, January 2016, see www.mlkp-info.org
9 Taken from: Statement of the MLKP-KKÖ, Women Leadership, December 22, 2015
10 From a letter by MLKP-FESK Commander Yeliz Erbay, posted in the newspaper Atilim, February, 5, 2016, no 210.
11 Taken from: Voice of the Party 87 January-February 2016, "We will never bow our head to the women massacres of the colonialist fascism"