Sunday 29th December 2013
I first met Dogan Tarkan in the mid-1980s. He was then living in exile in London. He had been a leading figure in the Turkish far left during the 1970s, a period of intense class conflict that involved street warfare between the left groups and the extreme right. The military coup of 1980 sent Dogan into exile, along with many other Turkish revolutionaries.
It was during this period that he broke with the Third Worldist politics of his organization, Kurtulus, and began to develop a new understanding of Marxism centred on the self-activity of the working class. He and his comrades formed a new group, Sosyalist Isci (Socialist Worker), the origins of the contemporary Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party (DSIP).
The name Dogan chose for the group expressed a certain openness to the politics of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). Through Ronnie Margulies, he met Tony Cliff, the founder of ...