Leon Trotsky was the most significant figure in the history of socialism during the first four decades of the twentieth century, and his legacy remains the critical and indispensable theoretical and political foundation of the ongoing contemporary struggle for the victory of world socialism.
On August 20, 2023, Trotsky’s four-year exile in Turkey from 1929 to 1933 was honored at a major event on Prinkipo, an island in the Sea of Marmara off the coast of Istanbul. Trotsky took refuge on Prinkipo following his expulsion from the Soviet Union by the Stalinist regime.
The commemoration, “An Island at the Center of World History: Trotsky on Prinkipo,” coincided with the 90th anniversary of Trotsky’s departure from Prinkipo in July 1933 and fell exactly on the 83rd anniversary of his assassination in August 1940.
The principal speakers were David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site; Ulaş Ateşçi, an editor of Mehring Yayıncılık and a leading member of Sosyalist Eşitlik Grubu [Socialist Equality Group] in Turkey; and Eric London, an editorial board member of the WSWS, who has written extensively on the assassination of Leon Trotsky.
Professor Mehmet Ö. Alkan, the chairman of the History Foundation in Turkey, moderated the event. The commemoration was sponsored by the Prinkipo (Adalar) Municipality, led by Mayor Erdem Gül, with the contributions of Adalar City Council, led by Chair Ö. İskender Özturanlı.
While in Turkey for discussions with the comrades of the Socialist Equality Group (Turkey), David North visited Trotsky’s final residence during his exile (1929-33) on the island of Prinkipo, and paid tribute to the life of the great theorist of world socialist revolution.