Veli Güneş

VELI GUNES: “Either victory or death. We will win. Our party, our people will win!”

We are laying before you a 45-years-old life, which was concluded on the peak of heroism. This is the life of our comrade Veli. This life belongs to the Uncle Veli of the captives. Our comrade who has been carrying the experience and maturity of 45 years was like a huge oak amongst the fighters. He was born on January 1, 1956 in Ibis district of Kocakoc in Dersim. His family was poor, Kurdish (Zaza) and Alevite. He came to Istanbul when he was 13 years old. He worked in several jobs. When he was a teenager his mind was already occupied with Mahir Cayan and his comrades. He read about the actions of Devrimci Sol (Revolutionary Left) in the newspapers and became a sympathiser of the revolutionary organisation in 1977-78. In his own words, he became a Devrimci Sol supporter spontaneously.

Because of a non-political incident he was imprisoned between 1974 and 1983. He describes those years as follows: when I was in prison I had a goal. As soon as I was released I would be a guerrilla in the mountains. When I was released in 1983 I went to my village. There were torture centres in villages and the people were subjected to torture continuously. Because in almost every household someone was either a prisoner or sought by the state. Since those who are sought did not give themselves up, torture was carried out continuously. But he was not able to contact Devrimci Sol during those difficult days. During an operation in his village he was detained and sent to do military service. After finishing the service he went back to Istanbul in 1986. And in 1987 he finally established contact with Devrimci Sol. In 1989 he was on the managerial committee of Zeytinburnu Halkevi (Peoples House). There was no limit on the sacrifice he was willing to make.

Just one event in that period is enough to explain his contribution. One day my friends from the movement came to see me. They said they would help some of comrades to escape from prison and asked me whether I would enter the prison instead. I accepted without hesitation. I did not know much about the organisation and organised life as I do now, but since those who would be free could organise the masses and become more useful than me, I accepted without questioning. But there was one thing I was sure of, if you want to struggle you need to face all the consequences.

He was arrested on many occasions and imprisoned for short intervals. In 1990 in Esenler / Istanbul, he was arrested during the demonstration against the Imperialist war. He was kept in Bayrampasa Special type prison for 4 months. After being released he carried out revolutionary work in Umraniye, Sarigazi, Samandira and Sultanbeyli districts of Istanbul. He never forgot the promise he gave in prison and finally his wish became true. He was appointed in the rural area of Malatya. Together with our martyr Maksut Polat he took part in activities in this area. Later on, while continuing to carry out revolutionary work in poor shantytowns, he was arrested one more time. During the 1996 Death Fast he was a captive in Umraniye prison. As could be expected, he was one of the death fast volunteers. His turn to wear the red headband did not come. But he was at the front of every resistance. When the 2000 Death Fast resistance was on the agenda, his volunteering letter to our party was a repeat of his letter in 1996. Nothing had changed in my mind. In his mind there were the people, the homeland, revolution and socialism.

On November 19, 2000 he wore his headband as a member of the first team of Death Fast volunteers. During the last visit he told his last wish to his family:

“I hid my red headband in my coat. I was able to manage to hide it from the enemy. When I fall martyr put it on.
After being selected as a death fast volunteer the letter he wrote to the party is the summary of his life story: TO MY PARTY. You taught me to live as a human being and in dignity. You taught me to love our people and to die for the homeland and the comrades. You taught me to protect our values. You gave me power to live in dignity and and to be trustworthy. You expended effort for me. You taught me the meaning of the new man. By creating victories you let me share the feeling of being victorious. You became my hope. You made my wishes come true. You have done everything to make me happy. Now, you have given me this honourable duty and made another of my wishes come true. You have given me the greatest of all happiness. I will be worthy to my party in this duty as well. I am grateful that my party has given me the chance to contribute to the victory which will be achieved by my party. It is a happiness for me to add new traditions to the traditions of my party. I greet this victory of my party with my revolutionary ebullience.”

November 12, 2000. Veli GUNES.