We should be one step ahead of the enemy
“Whoever claim that he knows Istanbul is wrong. You do not have the chance to get to know a neighbourhood completely. We got a survey done. We have developed a program. This program brings Istanbul street-by-street in front of our eyes.
“Let’s say an incident took place in Halaskargazi Avenue. Those in the information centre will enter the code number of that avenue and the street or the avenue will appear in front of his eyes. Not only that: it will be possible to know quickly which streets and roads lead to this avenue and their alternatives. Even in a more advanced manner, the schools, hospitals and the location of the police station there, all will be seen.
“In the next stages, it will be possible for us to code the entire Istanbul house by house in the computer. Even the insides of the houses; in the first stage, however, our target is to monitor the streets of course. The naked streets.
“We have started another study. If there is an incident somewhere, how far can a person run away? How far can he go by car? Depending on the results of this study, we will have the opportunity to take the measures that would prevent the criminals from escaping by comparing the time that we were reported this incident and the time of escape., with a margin of at most 2 or 3 minutes.”
These words belong to Necdet Menzir, the Turkish police chef during the 1990s. For the ordinary people these words mean nothing more than how important are the cities, neighbourhoods and streets for the police and how well they utilize the technology. They mean, however, so many things for us as revolutionaries working in the legal or illegal environments. For the revolutionaries who fight, the most universal rule of the war is to turn the battlefield into their ally. This rule means that those who know and use the battlefield better would be in an advantageous position.
A good organizational activity is possible with a good street activity
The cities that emerged with capitalism have always been the field of class war. Despite the fact that it was the struggle of the labourer sections against the aristocracy under the leadership of the bourgeoisie, the war was shaped as a battle between the bourgeoisie and the labourer people eventually. The 19th century urban uprisings are full of experiments for the opposite powers. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the contemporary wide avenues of Europe was re-planned and built by the bourgeoisie after these uprisings.
For example, Paris was demolished after the Paris Commune of 1871 and rebuilt with straight and wide avenues and streets as if they were drawn with a ruler. The proletariat/workers of Paris had built barricades and resisted district by district and street by street and the bourgeoisie did not want give them this opportunity once again. Because bourgeoisie wanted to minimize the advantage of the proletariat offered by the irregular and complex urban structure. In other words, bourgeoisie transformed the city as a battlefield into a controllable state in order the gain advantage.
In this war of classes that has been going on for centuries, streets and the street activity is indispensably important for urban revolutionism. This is an unchanging reality. As the revolution advanced, the urban practice produced numberless experiences and knowledge that came to today. This is why, when somebody talks about being a revolutionary in the cities, we assume, in a sense that she is talking about the street practice or street activity. We should primarily understand that the enemy has a serious approach towards the warfare and that it is constantly renewing and developing itself. Therefore, we should technically and tactically attach importance and pay attention to the enemy within the framework of its existing capabilities.
A Revolutionary should be able to overcome the tactical superiority of the enemy
If we see the war as a life-or-death struggle, we should fulfil its requirements. Which means that we should be ten times more serious than the imperialism and fascism when it comes to war. Our political aim is to seize the power. Then, our entire policies should focus on this. Bourgeoisie is the most developed class of our times in terms of its consciousness of power. It cannot but have a serious approach towards war and it never hesitates to do whatever necessary. Its most important weakness, however, is its relations that are based solely on interests and its individualistic human material that was shaped on this basis: He worships the power and he is rotten. This is where the revolutionary struggle is advantageous. The revolutionary person is who overcomes the tactical superiority of the enemy with her courage, audacity, an intense love towards her people and with the way she merges with the people. Our comrades Şafak, Bahtiyar and Alişan, and our hundreds of martyrs proved this to our people.
Yes, we are going to take the enemy serious but we are never going to exaggerate it. Because there is no obstacle to a revolutionary whose brain was shaped with a socialist ideology.
Our superiority comes from our historical righteousness. She is a person who is shaped by the moral strength and the revolutionary ideology. Therefore, we should be conscious of the fact that the determining criteria are with us and that we are dozens of times more advantageous than the enemy. We should take the war serious as well. Because we want the political power. This is not a mere problem of faith. Moreover, the revolutionary faith can only be measured by the extent of the fulfilled requirements of the cause that we are fighting for. And the most important requirement is to have a principled and rule-based life and a war discipline. Fighting with an energetic creativity has a special importance that is indispensable to advance the war. The enemy does not remain idle as the war develops. They review the struggling methods of the revolutionaries, draw conclusions and try to adapt their techniques to these developments. This is not a contemporary attitude but a historical feature.
The powerful, fortified barricade wars of the 19th century, for example, lost its efficiency in the face of the light cannons and cavalry of the bourgeoisie. In the 20th century, in the Moscow Uprising of 1905 it took the shape of weakly fortified barricades with a few people that kept the enemy busy for sometime and was quickly erected in some other place. This is change that shows how the methods and tactics develop and improve. The number of these examples can be multiplied according to a specific period and its features up to today. This means that the revolutionaries are obliged to renew and go beyond themselves.
Compared to the superiority of the revolutionary will, the technical superiority of the enemy cannot stand a chance. Only, we should be able to completely utilize the advantages of revolutionary will in the war. Our practice is very teaching in that sense. We have an experience and knowledge that is impossible to underestimate. What we should understand is that every single method, every single technique and tactic that was introduced changes many things; like our approach towards the relations, systematics, forms of practical activity and tactics.
Revolutionary war needs to be commanded with a flexible and scientific thought that could easily adapt to the changes. A revolutionary should be conscious of the fact that every single element of the war, the methods and the forms etc. can easily become out-dated and obsolete. The answer to the question “Why do they become obsolete?” is given by the blows that were delivered to us and by the massacres that we sometime experience as a movement.
This is the new, defeating the old. It should become the indispensable principle of the war to timely find out our old, out-dated aspects and methods, to gradually liquidate the old by quickly developing the new that we create. It should not be forgotten: It is an objective necessity that every single revolution should be a new one that goes beyond the revolution before it, in every single aspect. That means, the life does not tolerate any second-hand, eclectic, copycat, dogmatic and bookish formulas and prescriptions. Those who fail to seize the dialectics, speed and versatility of the life, those who cannot adapt to its rhythm of development are going to face annihilation, sooner or later. On the other hand, nobody can prevent them from winning successive victories and advancing the war if they can keep up with it. We should be the ones that follow the enemy day by day; the ones that devise tactics accordingly; the ones that learn from people and teach to them. The creativity of our people during the June Uprising is an example to this. Policemen of the fascism were left helpless. People were quickly learning the methods of the police, taking measures accordingly, resisting behind the barricades and fighting.
Our people turned every single material into a weapon against the enemy. They were designing methods with their lemons and milk against the various types of gas bombs of the enemy.
We learn from our people and so do our people from revolutionaries. Our people, the young revolutionaries who resist on the streets and behind the barricades learn from the street clashes of Sibel Yalçın, an 18 year-old commander and from the resistance of Süleyman Örs. We know those streets much better than the enemy.
Sibel Yalçın sustained the skirmish as she retreated. She knew the streets and the people living in those streets very well. The labourers of Okmeydanı were living in those slums. She entered in one of those houses, took the people out and clashed until she fired her last bullet and she became a martyr. This time, enemy did not give his body to us. But there was a huge barricade war was launched that they, so that the enemy was powerless. It was the people who won after the barricade wars on the streets of Okmeydanı, Nurtepe, Gazi and Umraniye. Yes, we learn from our martyrs.
We can still make mistakes despite all these and our rich experiences. Naturally, in line with the qualities of the period that we have been in, sometimes our first mistake may become the last. Sometimes we may face the blows that we do not deserve at all. Here, at this very point we should have a good grasp on the process, the tasks of the process, the enemy, its tactics, and the values that make us, our culture. In other words, we should have grasp on the culture of war and the consciousness of a warrior and internalize them. Without internalizing and without grasping them, it is not possible to be one step ahead of the enemy.
We should become a whole with the people if we want to be one step ahead of the enemy!
The streets of the city are our battlefields. It is up to us to transform this field into a rich tactical opportunity if we can have the thinking of a commander. The enemy coded the city house-by-house, street by street into a computer. They devised various programs after thinking about the alternatives of the streets and avenues. When you search for an address on the internet, you can even see the picture of the house. The enemy can only do this through the technology, with the aid of a computer. We can, however, generate various creative capabilities by constantly renewing our methods, by mainly depending on the people and by reaching them and be one step ahead of the enemy. We have these opportunities. Because, in every urban area, even in the institutions and bases of the enemy, there is the people.
The only way to outflank the enemy is to turn this war into a people’s war and to become masters of war. No matter how creative a revolutionary is, if she does not depend on the people, does not become a part of them and does not constitute a whole with them, she would be defeated sooner or later.
Look what Hanefi Avcı, another former chief of police of the 1990s said in his interview to Cumhuriyet newspaper on 6th of April 2015:
“This organization [RPLP-F] is learning from the past and devising extraordinary methods to operate clandestinely. We can even say that, only an intelligence organization can utilize many of the methods that they use. They take measures as many as an intelligence organization. They have an unbelievable clandestine network…”
The enemy is taking “very complex” measures in the face of a popular war. The revolutionaries do not have huge technical capabilities against that. But it is the bourgeoisie who worships technical and physical force. Revolutionaries believe in the people and their capabilities. They trust the immense creativity and labour of the people.
Only a struggle that unites with the people can overcome the tactical superiority of the enemy and gain advantage. We can only collect intelligence about the enemy targets by depending on the people. Our organizational system of relations can only be kept confidential if we manage to melt it among the people. Only then we can concretize the principle of being a fish in the sea. Moreover, a revolutionary war that becomes a whole with the people can make the most technical capabilities of the enemy obsolete, thanks to the creative dynamics of the people. Only a revolutionary movement that has deep roots among the people can gain an endless flow of information and easily overcome the technical possibilities of the enemy.
Our resource is the enemy… The enemy never had such a capability and a chance and it can never have. The most developed systems of the enemy, its most advanced networks of informants, computer programs, technical capabilities can do nothing in the face of the possibilities and methods that are united with the people and shaped together with revolutionary creativity and initiative…
The biggest weapon is the will of the organized person!
The war grows and develops with the creativity of the people. The enemy will get ahead thanks to its technical superiority when there is no creativity. On the other hand, so far no enemy was lucky enough to annihilate the revolutionary struggle that is united with the people and their revolutionary creativity. The human material of the popular war represents a huge courage and a concentrated labour. This is our biggest strength.
We are obliged to know how to learn from the people and how to teach them what we know in order to develop the war. A war would get into a vicious cycle if it fails to incorporate the creativity and experiences of the people. The people is an unparalleled source of creativity.
Keeping all our values alive, continuously thinking about and working for the revolution are the keys to creativity. The biggest weapon is the will of the organized person. There is no war that cannot be won by those thousands and millions of people who know what they are fighting for, who has class consciousness and who are concentrated on the target of power. This will is superior to all the technical capabilities of the enemy.
Because it is our moral values that create this will: Audacity, self-sacrifice and love towards the people and the homeland. It is the organized labour that creates this will.
If we want to be one step ahead of the enemy, we should have the consciousness of becoming a whole with the people, we should constantly develop the revolutionary culture and the consciousness of a warrior and we should advance our practices in the urban and neighbourhood warfare.
We should not forget the fact that people is the sea. We can win any war that has the people in it. We can overcome any barricade.
All the neighbourhoods and streets will be ours. Getting to know the streets step-by-step means getting closer to the political power.
Yuruyus(magazine), 6th of December 2015, n. 498, p. 4-6