DHKC 288: Feride Harman: 102rd Martyr


Date: December 16, 2002 Statement: 288

We have also given Feride Harman as a martyr
Patient and resolute like on the first day!
For three and a half months the flag of resistance waved in the middle of İstanbul
From the day she started the Death Fast, July 28, 2001, to her martyrdom on December 16, 2002, the red headband she wore was the banner of her willpower.
Her name was Feride Harman.

And her resistance was a place that was a threshing-floor of resistance (note: threshing-floor is “harman” in Turkish), a place where the ripe ears of corn were separated from the chaff. They were the ripest among the people of Turkey, they showed responsibility and stood up to tyranny, and, in love for their people and homeland, in their courage and self-sacrifice, they were the foremost. Yes, there is the tyranny of oppression but there are also our Ferides.

In the face of the policies of imperialism and its politicians, in the face of fascist tyranny, our heroes exist. For this reason tyranny cannot triumph. It can kill, it can imprison, it can put people in isolation but it cannot triumph.
They are the heroes of our people from the Turkish and the Kurdish nations.

They are heroes who used their own lives and were able to build a barricade barring the way to tyranny.
Do not suppose that they are just a handful of people. Do not suppose that there are just a hundred or two hundred of them. Over 32 years, despite countless massacres, torture, executions, disappearances and imprisonment, their numbers are such as to be infinite. They are prolific and when they fall to the ground as seed, a multitude springs up. They are called Feride Harman.

We announce once again at the head of our comrade Feride Harman’s funeral bier that those who think they can finish us and destroy us are taking no account of realism, coherence or possibility of success. Once again we are teaching a lesson to those who come along and know nothing of the plans previous governments made to destroy us, and what came of these plans.


Feride Harman is the 102rd martyr of the resistance to the F-Type prisons and isolation which began on October 20, 2002. These are two years in which the tyranny of Turkey’s oligarchy and fascism was made concrete by December 19 and the F-Type prisons that followed it.

The democracy camouflage the oligarchy’s governments use when they talk about harmony with EU requirements is being scattered and dissolved by the reality of the tyranny practised in the F-Type prisons. Everyone knows and accepts that if tyranny is on the loose in the prisons of the country, if coffins exit from these prisons every day, and human beings lay down to die, both inside and outside the prisons, as a way of calling on tyranny to stop, then in that country democracy is just an empty word.

No government, no political force has been able to flee from the test that this resistance has set them, nor will they be able to. Is the AKP a continuation of the tyranny of imperialism and fascism, or is it Muslim and democratic? The attitude taken to the resistance is one of the most basic issues in which an answer to this question may be found.
No manoeuvre just for appearance’s sake can cause their attitude to the resistance to be forgotten.

Instead of trying to solve the problems of the F-Type prisons and of various sections of the people, the AKP government is trying to complete the work that the Ecevit-Bahceli-Yilmaz government left half-completed. And one of the things the AKP government is trying to finish is a draft legitimising intervention in Death Fasts. The Justice Minister in the Ecevit government, Sami Turk, wanted this very much but could not make it into law, and now if the AKP intends to do it, it shouldn’t try it because it’s not worth it.

You only need to read the things that were said on the morning of December 19, 2000 by Ecevit, Sami Turk, Tantan and people like them. A massacre never before seen in Turkey’s history was carried out in order to intervene in the Death Fasts and put a stop to them. And these people were so sure that they had put a stop to the Death Fasts that they even said it openly in statements. But they were forced to eat their own words.

The revolutionary prisoners who did not give in, the Death Fast resisters both inside and outside the prisons and finally the masses at the ballot box forced them to eat their words. Yet again we warn the AKP: those who say that if they bring out a law and do this or that the resistance can be broken should not live in a fantasy. You cannot escape the test that the resistance sets you. The degree to which you are democratic will be marked, based on your attitude to the resistance! We are patient and resolute. This is a certainty.


Feride Harman was a guerrilla in the mountains of Dersim. She opposed tyranny with gun in hand. She was captured. The oligarchy’s system took away her weapon.

But did it really? Was Feride really unarmed?

No, she sought out the greatest weapon that comes naturally to every victim of oppression who resists tyranny, and she embraced that weapon. This is one of the statements she made in one of her last letters addressed to our Front: “The Death Fast period in particular has been a great turning point for me. It was a period in which I saw my own strength. In particular I drew strength from the way that heroes were created when they were put in cells, and also both inside and the prisons…

Their strength came from this: they experienced the December 19 massacre, but they never gave in to tyranny.
They were thrown in the cells; again they did not bow down to tyranny.

While Feride was on the Death Fast, she was released on August 23, 2002. She did not give in to the state’s attempt at bribery; on the contrary she rejected the bribery, tied on the headband and turned it into a resistance banner waving in the middle of Istanbul.

Those who come and do not see the banner or the willpower are doomed to be erased from politics, irrespective of whether they are in power or in the opposition. Because politics is formed by the war between the tyrants and the oppressed. Feride is a heroine of the poor, the oppressed, our people. She resisted imperialism and fascism; that point is clear; Those who killed Feride are the representatives of imperialism and fascism; Those who remain silent about the murder of Feride are servants of the imperialist and fascist system, in one form or another.

Our comrade Feride Harman was born in September 1973 in Akcadag, Malatya Province. She finished high school at Kurecik. Her father is a retired teacher, her mother a housewife. She had eight brothers and sisters. Hers was like any one of the tens of millions of families that you would encounter in any part of Anatolia. Condemned to poverty, their national honour trampled on, experiencing repression, bans and punishments starting from primary school, suffering from tyranny like tens of millions of our young people, she became a revolutionary. In 1991 she became acquainted with our Front. In 1992 she became more active in the struggle. In 1993 she joined the Dersim Ibrahim Erdogan Rural SPB (Armed Propaganda Unit). She was a guerrilla for about four years. Then she was taken prisoner. During six years of captivity she did not give in to tyranny, when the system tried to intimidate her she developed and strengthened herself further.
As a resister in the 6th Death Fast Team she bore this strength for a year and a half, writing “victory or death!” on her banner of resistance.

Her last request was to be buried with a handful of soil from Dersim.

We will carry out this request but we will do one other thing. We will go to the cemetery and announce the good news of the resistance’s victory. This is our promise to our heroes who have represented our willpower and our determination.

Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Cephesi
(Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front)