With pyrotechnic force we smashed the front door of SwissGlobalEnterprise in Zurich (SGE) last night. The SGE is an organization of Swiss capital, founded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) with the aim of promoting Swiss investments in the world. Investments, for example, in countries such as Turkey, for which the SBU has a special country advisory on offer this month, for Swiss companies looking to gain a foothold in Turkey.
While the SBU advises Swiss capital on the possibilities of investing in fascist Turkey, SECO is working diligently to further improve these possibilities: In the near future SVP-BR Guy Parmelin (Minister of Economy) wants to conclude the renewed free trade agreement with Turkey - an expression of support for the fascist regime in Ankara. We say: Down with fascism and capital!
Switzerland, as a member of the EFTA countries (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway), has been negotiating a renewed free trade agreement with Turkey for several years. The previous free trade agreement was already established in 1992 and regulates the free trade of goods. Currently, the textile industry in Switzerland in particular benefits from this, as it has its products manufactured in Turkey under lousy working conditions and then sells the T-shirts etc. here for a fat extra profit. About 35% of all imports from Turkey to Switzerland are in this sector.
The renewed free trade agreement should now also include services. This would mean (similar to the TiSA negotiations) that companies from both countries would be able to offer services such as customer care, tourism or nursing care in the other country without any hurdles. Presumably, Swiss capital would benefit more from this liberalization than Turkish capital, which would find even more favorable conditions for exporting capital from here to there. In particular, the tourism sector, which is central to the Turkish economy and in which many people work, is likely to play a major role.
First and foremost, free trade agreements generally mean improved conditions for the bourgeoisie to exploit labor in other countries. From their point of view, the interests of working people are not merely secondary or marginal, but obstacles in their profit maximization. No free trade agreement in this world meets the needs of the people; they serve and are shaped by economic interests. They are class warfare from above against below.
Secondly, a free trade agreement with Turkey means support for a fascist regime, on different levels. It supports the regime economically - the Turkish economy is in a long-lasting crisis, investments from abroad are essential for the survival of the AKP-MHP regime. It supports the regime symbolically at home and abroad - while other international power blocs (such as the U.S. or the EU) are considering sanctions against Turkey for their own interests, Switzerland is leading the way and forging new deals with the dictator.
The second point in particular cannot be ignored. Turkey is at war. Domestically against the Kurdish population and against the progressive movement, whether trade union, workers, anarchist, feminist, socialist or communist in nature. In northern Iraq, Turkey (with the support of the Barzani clan) is waging war against the PKK and its allies, in the Medya defense areas (including the Kandil Mountains) and in Shengal. In northeastern Syria, Rojava, Turkey attacks incessantly and has now occupied areas along the Turkish-Syrian border for years. In Libya, Syrian mercenaries and Turkish drones are present to defend Turkey’s interests. In Azerbaijan’s war against Armenia, support from Ankara - a hundred years after the Armenian genocide - was again secured by means of Turkish drones. Around Cyprus and Greece, Turkey is permanently playing with the fire of a warlike escalation.
Turkey is at war - and Switzerland is doing business. It is pure calculation and hypocrisy when Parmelin temporarily “put on hold” the ratification process of this agreement in October 2019, because at that time Turkey had launched a renewed war of aggression against Rojava and a ratification of the agreement just did not seem opportune. Economiesuisse already then addressed the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament, put pressure for the agreement and reminded them that “The supreme goal is optimal framework conditions for the Swiss export economy compared to international competitors.” So who seriously believes them that war would ever get in the way of the interests of the local economy? Cynically, Bern today says that the new agreement is a step forward because it “addresses the human rights situation.” What use is this “thematization” to all those who are tortured, raped, enslaved, murdered under Turkish occupation or for Turkish interests? Who seriously believes that these diplomatic phrases really have any meaning?
We don’t. And that is why we have and will continue to attack those institutions that are leading the drafting of the new free trade agreement and the promotion of exports to Turkey. We stand in solidarity with all the forces that are positioning and taking a stand internationally against Turkish fascism. We stand in solidarity with all those who resist the occupying forces - from Bakur to Rojava to Bashur. Let’s thwart the interests and propaganda of the powerful, let’s attack and attack their crimes, let’s make it clear that we are fighting shoulder to shoulder against fascism and capital!
Fight for Rojava!
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