THE STATE OF EMERGENCY AND THE MASSACRES OF FASCISM AGAINST THE PEOPLE
Before the junta, the oligarchy introduced the state of emergency as a transition phase. Under these circumstances we were faced with the task to organise the masses and step up our resistance. The opportunistic and revisionist block were perplexed when the state of emergency was proclaimed. They withdrew in a political silence for months and watched the developments. Our movement evaluated the situation and announced the military coup. This situation demanded readiness and we called upon all anti-fascist and anti-imperialist forces to unite their forces and join the resistance.
With the massacre in Maras, the oligarchy opened a new chapter. They intended to intimidate the revolutionary-democratic forces and push them into passivity.
We had to prevent to consequences, the massacres by fascism, the tactics of intimidation and provocations between the Sunni and Alevites etc., the provocations on a religious and ethnic level. It was the oligarchy’s aim to move the confrontations and provocations into the areas where our Alevi and Sunni people were living together. The opportunist left remained indifferent towards these developments which were going over from fascist terror to open fascism. The endless talk about unity of these organisations resulted, months later, in insults and conflicts and superfluous calls for a front which might exist in name, but didn’t in reality. Those who can not stand up against the enemy in the political arena, who are always having difficulty to maintain their existence, are playing a game with the masses by exploiting their desire for unity to keep their own heads above water. That was the reason why are calls, “unity can only exist in the struggle, unity will be achieved by stepping up the struggle in all areas”, remained unanswered.
While the left remained silent and confused about the massacre of Kahramanmaras and the declaration of the state of emergency, Devrimci Sol carried out occupations of colleges, schools, factories and other workplaces, based on the “masses” and revolutionary violence. These actions included tens of thousands of people. A manifold of illegal actions were carried out nation-wide and fascist centres were destroyed.
While we continued our efforts to render the tactics of fascism to intimidate the masses futile and to realise a revolutionary order on a sound basis, we were confronted by a new and heavier attack by the oligarchy.
The massacre by fascism, carried out on 16 March at the University of Istanbul, was a first sigh that fascism intended to carry out large massacres in Istanbul as well. The left, remaining cold towards this massacre, could not understand what fascism was planning and what is was and it cleared the road for its tactics, leading to the massacre of Maras.
With the massacre of Kahramanmaras by the oligarchy, the people – already intimidated because of the daily executions of revolutionaries and democrats by civic fascists – became split and divided, ethnic and religiously determined confrontations, that is to day artificial conflicts, were created to divide this country, to incite a civil war and to destroy the revolutionary people’s forces.
Especially the Alevites war harshly attacked and presented as communists, because this made it easier to get the Sunni on a contra-revolutionary line. The failing practice and policy of the left, solely directed at the Alevite religious creed, facilitated the job of the oligarchy to get the Sunni on a line which was loyal to the state. From now on it was no secret that there would be more massacres like the one in Maras. Especially the cities of Elazig, Malatya, Sivas, Tokat, Corum and Amasya had the suitable characteristics to carry out massacres there and to divide the people.
From 1974, the oligarchy incited the civic fascists against the revolutionary potential and the people. From the point the civic fascists were insufficient, the state intervened itself. The main target of the civic and the official fascists was to crush the class struggle, despite all the side effects.
The oligarchy continued the civic fascist attacks, protected by the state, and propagated its neutrality despite this fact that, trying to distort the consciousness of the people with a so-called “conflict between the left and the right”. And it can be said that they were partly successful with this demagogy. One of the reasons for this success was that the opportunist and revisionist left interpreted the attacks by the civic fascist as independent from the state and that they saw them as attacks, merely carried out by the fascist MHP and its organisations. Many left-wing groups saw the MHP like this, they did not see that it was a party which was especially created and controlled by the CIA and the contra-guerrilla. Therefore they complained by the state, believing- pious wishes – that the fascist attacks would stop. The ostensibly most active left groups said that they could only pursue a defensive line, serving the security of the masses. The declare war against the fascist centres, active resistance and mobilising the masses against the fascists were seen by them as “letting yourself to be provocated and terror”. Although the strategy of the organisation “Revolutionary Path” (Devrimci Yol) was based on the people’s war – according to their own statements -, it led them to open revisionism. Whatever is said, these views were shared by all, from the reformist to the opportunist groups. They opposed revolutionary violence, aimed against fascism, and they criticised those who resisted actively. The representatives of this thought distanced themselves from organising the armed people’s struggle against fascism and when the repression and the violence increased, large numbers of the left dropped their theories and surrendered to fascism.
It was predictable that those who did not judge the situation on the basis of a Marxist-Leninist ideology would bow and surrender to organised fascism and the fascist methods and tactics. However, under the circumstances of those days and when all were preaching their own theses of “people’s struggle-armed uprising”, it was impossible to tell this to the people. That it was the truth was seen be all ten years later. These left groups who had no confidence in their own strength, who were unable to judge the reality in the country correctly, drew and nourished their theories mainly from revisionism and the ideology of the civic society. These deviant tendencies did not overlook the integration in the system when their former supporters, from which they drew their strength and whom they trusted, became less and less.
RISING FASCIST TERROR AND THE DEVELOPING STRUGGLE IN THE CITIES AND IN THE RURAL AREAS
The massive attacks by the civic fascists refuted the demagogy of “conflicts between the left and the right” of the state and they developed into a situation of permanently increasing attacks by the fascist state. The state could not prevent that the people’s masses developed a political consciousness and sided with the revolutionaries. And when they could not achieve results by using massacres, open fascism was their last resort.
We had to prevent the fascist attacks, we had to ruin their plans, cross their games of “divide and rule” and we had to extend our organisation, prepare for the phase of open fascism and increase the struggle in a situation in which all the freedoms, restricted before anyway, were totally abolished and in which the attacks and operations by the enemy constantly increased.
Devrimci Yol, become more and more spontanistic, did not deliver one voluntary contribution regarding strategic and tactical programs and because of them, years war lost in which strategic steps would have been possible. While open fascism was approaching, we were far away from serious organising to at least secure survival and continuation of the struggle. Before everything else, we were a young organisation and we lacked necessary experience and professionality. What we had achieved till then, what still had to be done and what had to be understood absolutely, were things, one might say, we learnt while confronted with the arrogance of the opportunists and traitors.
Because of the treason by the former revolutionaries, the revolutionary movement was faced by the danger to fight under the circumstances of open fascism without sufficient preparation. Despite years of struggle, we were far remote from realising the line of people’s struggle in practice, to organise the masses in the cities and in the rural areas and to convince the people to fight. After positive results by the “Armed Struggle Units against Fascist Terror”, we had to introduce these in the rural areas as well. That’s why we sent armed units in strategically beneficial areas in Kurdistan and the Black Sea region. The armed units were not yet able, technically nor considering equipment, to start an urban guerrilla. The revolutionary history of Turkey did not have any experience in this field which we could have accepted as legacy and on which we could have built. The armed units had to live in the rural areas and gather experience by directly facing the tactics of fascism. As long as possible, they should take precautions, gather experience and avoid attacks against the enemy forces. Only in case of an attack, they should have the perspective to protect themselves. In the field of urban guerrilla, our armed units – although we did not define them as urban guerrilla, had gathered considerable experience. Now it was possible to organise the urban guerrilla, based on the experiences of the armed units which could be called professional. But in this phase which pointed in the direction of open fascism and in which the enemy forces were strengthening in the cities, we absolutely had to find ways to spread in the rural areas to provide air for our cadres in the cities. Defeat and suffocation of the struggle in the cities would have been inevitable if this strategic line had not been deepened.
REVOLUTIONARY JUSTICE AGAINST FASCIST TERROR
The masses already witnessed in those days what our revolutionary justice meant. The massacres by fascism, against women, children and the elderly, and the arbitrary bomb attacks against residential areas created chaos. As the latter builders of revolutionary power, revolutionaries have to react sensitively regarding revolutionary justice, notwithstanding the circumstances. Guided by this line, which distinguishes us from the rest of the left, we even made a difference between the guilty and the non-guilty when we attacked police stations. Nobody was shot, only because he was a member of the state forces. Among the state forces, we found the guilty who shot our comrades and we punished them.
For example, the fascist gendarmerie chief commander Erdal Görücü arrested a group of comrades who had distributed leaflets. Although our comrade Hüseyin Aksoy surrendered, he was shot by Erdal Görücü. Thereupon we announced during a campaign in this area that we would punish the fascist Erdal Görücü in all cases. He was found later and punished. In the context of our actions in the “Campaign against Imperialism, Fascism, Price Increases and Unemployment” against speculators, a oil truck was confiscated and handed over in people’s property. The policemen of the Sisli police station attacked. Three policemen opposed the killing of our comrade Hüseyin Tas, only the fourth policeman, Ismail Top, advocated the murder. Because our comrade Hüseyin Tas was standing in front of a barricade, he had no possibility to escape and was mortally hurt by the bullets, fired from Ismail Top’s gun.
The policemen, knowing about our view of revolutionary justice, gave us the name of the guilty policeman. The guilt of Ismail Top was made public to the people, he was found later and punished, without the other policemen getting harmed.
Many other examples could be listed. Such a way of operating can be considered a luxury in these days when the struggle has taken another form and has increased. But at the birth of a revolutionary movement, achieving acceptance among the people, of which the cadres have internalised revolutionary justice and in which the justice of revolutionary power is reflected in the thoughts, this has played a mayor role.
The developments of these thoughts lead to the following: one chooses friends and enemy more carefully, friends are valued more, the masses are better organised, people are listened to better and confidence in the own strength increases. Those who have a contrary view about this can, if in possession of power and the state apparatus, not distinguish correctly between the guilty and the non-guilty, they will apply contra-revolutionary methods more and more, and they will not respect the other revolutionary forces. The weapons are determining their policy, their own non-revolutionary line is disguised by the revolution and they apply terror against the people. Although they might achieve temporary successes this way, internally they nourish mistrust. These developments will lead to an increasing contra-revolutionary attitude.
Many left-wing groups, far remote from the thoughts of Marxism-Leninism and revolutionary justice, opposed us as opportunists, reformists and Kurdish nationalists. In stead of using their energy and strength against the enemy, they directed themselves against revolutionaries and patriots and they destroyed these people.
This situation among the left and the nationalist groups facilitated the work of the oligarchy, the preparations for open fascism. The groups who had no confidence in their way of organising, in the ideological and armed struggle, liquidated each other, because they did not want to leave a strength behind which could have criticised their policy… This reached such a level that in some places, the politicised segments of the population became demoralised, just because of this reason, their confidence was broken, and they left the revolutionaries. The people could not see them as the future anymore and they questioned their capability to take power. Our movement basically trusted its own strength to organise the people and to increase the struggle. The view to wipe out the left from the arena first, to then start the struggle against the oligarchy shows a lack of ideological confidence. Even against those groups who massacred our supporters and cadres, no revenge was sworn, in stead it was tried to expose these forces in front of the people. In these attacks by the left, Kemal Karaca was killed by the Kurtulus Sosyalist Dergisi, the MLSPB killed Mehmet Bückün and the 10-year old son of our supporter, the TKP-ML murdered Mustafa Albayrak and Aydinlik killed Turgut Ipcioglu. Many comrades and supporters were beaten, many escaped assassination attempts, were wounded and sometimes saved from being killed by coincidence. Despite these murders of our comrades, our movement showed great ripeness and insisted that there should be no blood shed from revolutionaries. They called upon all left groups to oppose this fight, to prevent these fights, to look for solutions and establish a commission, approved by all groups, to go through the problems and find a solution. But the left rejected these proposals and was responsible that blood of revolutionaries continued to be shed until the coup of 12 September.
AND THE TRAITORS OF AYDINLIK
The summit of hostile attitude of opportunism towards our movement was formed by Aydinlik (PDA) with their contra-revolutionary attacks. With the slogan “Neither America, Nor Russia” and the theory of “social-imperialism”, the Aydinlik opportunists to over the paternity of the ideology of the opportunist left. Their revisionist thoughts did not aim at investigating imperialism from the perspective of Marxism-Leninism, the took the national bourgeoisie as the basis for their propaganda and erected even thicker walls between themselves and the revolutionaries. The Aydinlik group, behind the scenes of this tendency, directed the people’s masses to false targets, more and more they started to play a provocative collaborator’s role for the oligarchy, their systematic attacks, together with the oligarchy, were directed against the revolutionary forces. The resistance against fascism was seen as a conflict between the right and the left and the USSR were made the target of the people’s masses. Thus they disguised the real imperialism and proclaimed: “The greatest danger is social-imperialism”.
This view therefore supported the stationing of the 4th. Army Corps at the border with the Soviet Union as a defence against an attack by the USSR. The champions of this theory labelled all left forces (except Devrimci Yol) as “misguided left” and they adopted a contra-revolutionary line. Aydinlik was present as a counter-force at every resistance against fascism and imperialism. They reached a point of protecting the fascists and opposing the revolutionaries at the colleges, in the streets, the factories and the villages. They tried to justify their stand with the argument: “Anarchism is pushing national unity into chaos” and “a provocation by social-imperialism”. Everywhere where there were reactions against the national hymn, were there were protests against chauvinism, they raised the nationalist flag, together with the forces of the oligarchy.
Their view about the American imperialism was as follows: “The most dangerous imperialist, that is to say the imperialism of Russia, is hiding”, and in this way they wanted to re-direct the struggle against imperialism.
For years, this provocative group hid behind a “leftist” mask. It was the lengthened arm of the oligarchy, but it enjoyed an acceptance in the left arena. Parallel to the increasing attacks by the oligarchy, it attacked the growing revolutionary resistance to bar the developing struggle. That’s why they started their provocations and they attacked the revolutionaries.
Turgut Ipcioglu, a gymnasium pupil and a leading cadre of DEV-GENC, was shot in November 1978 because he tried to stop the provocations. In Elazig and other cities, they opened fire upon many comrades, protected by the police. Our comrades were targeted and betrayed to the police. This attitude was not only directed against our movement. All organisations which waged an armed struggle were targets of such attacks. One of their targets was the PKK. The PKK was, according Aydinlik, “the MHP of Kurdistan” and therefore everything was justified. The persistence in this view and the contra-revolutionary attitude showed their real face and these could no longer be tolerated by the left. Thereupon our movement called upon all revolutionary and patriotic forces to expose this view together. But the left did not answer this call. On our own strength, we succeeded to expose this view to the people in the colleges and other areas and we prevented their provocations. Although the majority of the left remained silent about our attitude towards Aydinlik, they distanced themselves from it and they avoided relations with them. The only exception was Devrimci Yol. It did not take a position and continued to carry out activities together with Aydinlik. Aydinlik was aware of the reformist closeness to Devrimci Yol regarding the view about the USSR. Mainly Aydinlik felt close to Devrimci Yol because of its practice which was close to the system and because of the lack of a power perspective and they tried to win them for their side. The roots of the friendship between Devrimci Yol and Aydinlik are located in this closeness between their lines.
Aydinlik had internalised the bourgeois ideology and they waged a struggle against the revolutionaries. When the revolutionary struggle and the attacks by the oligarchy increased, Aydinlik understood that there were plans made for a future junta and they recklessly increased their attacks against the revolutionaries. In publications like “The Unknown Left” and “49 Left Groups” in the daily newspaper Aydinlik, they mainly reported the addresses and names of those who defended the armed struggle to the oligarchy.
Aydinlik repeatedly emphasised that they would not attack the system and that they did not have any problem with the government. Furthermore they put the national character of the governments of those days first, putting up theses like the one that the real threat was coming from Russia and that all Third World countries had to create one united front against social imperialism and they offered the bourgeois parties a national coalition. The entire left, which rejected this view, was presented as “misguided leftists and provocateurs” and they asked fascism to take measures. With this policy, Aydinlik disturbed all and showed that they defended an even more chauvinist line than the MHP fascists. Aydinlik intended to proof themselves to the oligarchy. Despite their good services, some aspects did not quite please the oligarchy, such as some of their magazines (like the one about the contra-guerrilla). And when they found themselves in Mamak, to pay for these disturbing magazines, they made an effort to proof to the oligarchy what good services they had rendered and how heroically they had led the struggle against the anti-system left.
After the publication of the “The Fake Left”, almost the entire left distanced itself from Aydinlik and the contacts with it were broken off. In general Aydinlik orientated itself to the “national bourgeoisie”. The position of our movement towards the provocative policy of Aydinlik has not changed. In the important points, it has been proven right to keep this position, following our principles. In the years that followed, the opportunists began to flirt again with the contra-revolutionaries. They forgot that Aydinlik had betrayed revolutionaries, they forgot its real role which was to harm the struggle, derail it, even though they appeared with different faces.
This position does not only concern the provocative line of Aydinlik, it is also directed against the opportunists and the revisionists who unbalance the struggle and who try to diffuse the political line. This is the moment in which the foundation for ideological and organisational independence is laid. Those who have not past the tests will be judged. Depending on where the wind is coming from, they will, once turning to the left, then turning to the right, choke in their short-term gain seeking policy.
THE FIRST CONSPIRACY, VACANCIES IN OUR MOVEMENT AND THE VICTORY OF OUR NOTION OF DEMOCRACY
When the state of emergency was proclaimed, when the massacres against the population, the fascist terror and the operations of the military and the police became harder and when the oligarchy had to take measures to establish open fascism, we entered the political arena. We surpassed the organisational problems and took the mission on ourselves to lead our peoples and to increase the struggle. But those who could not understand this mission and our historical and political split from Devrimci Yol, slowly began to show their real, right, faces and they switched to stubbornness.
Despite its right-wing position and ideological-organisational unclearities, Devrimci Yol did have a broad basis. With this basis they were able to impress the opportunists, make them servile, and they increased there attempts to isolate our movement from the left. They did not shrink back from physical attacks. On the other side the boots of the 12th. of September could be heard….
Those who were not more as a mere bush fire, dreaming that the revolution was just around the corner, were startled when they realised that we were continuing the heritage of the THKP-C, that we were continuing straightforwardly, without deviating to the left or the right. They were scared because they saw that this heritage was not, as the opportunist-revisionist left tried to portray the THKP-C, the heritage of a movement with just a limited number of people who were just carrying out a few armed actions. On the contrary. We are a mass movement which unites the masses and revolutionary violence and continues the road of our conviction with determination. To bring our movement of the road the came up with totally different and devious calculations and they organised a conspiracy. There were 3 persons who had been assigned in new areas of our movement and who had taken sides with us since the beginning of the split with Devrimci Yol. But apparently they had never really understood the reason for the split and they saw the revolution and being a revolutionary as some kind of hobby. Although they were active in different regions and had no contact with each other, they met without informing the movement and the concocted a plot. It could be questioned whether these persons had internalised the revolution or not, and then we are not even talking about the fact whether or not they were able to lead a group or organisation. Because this requires political courage, something they lacked. It was Ertugrul Kürkcü who injected this courage into them and who sang songs of praise about imperialism during the THKP-C trials, who crept for fascism and who claimed that they had been used as puppets in a game.
After Ertugrul Kürkcü, who had not cared for the revolutionary struggle for years, saw that the THKP-C and its armed struggle were so big that they did not fit his small world, he made a U-turn, forgot all the provocation theories of imperialism and started to give interviews in the bourgeois press like “the THKP-C was a revolutionary movement”, thus attempting to re-enter the political arena. At first he flirted with the Kurtulus, then with Devrimci Yol. But he did not concretely engage in either. Although he was smudged, he intended to restore his name by using the THKP-C. He tried to justify himself and he tried to present himself as a force by drawing the THKP-C to his side. The conspirators within our movement offered him an opportunity to do so. The theories they championed were very interesting. They emphasised that Devrimci Yol, Devrimci Sol and Kurtulus should unite because there were no fundamental differences in their roots. Of course, this view was not according to the way of thinking of Devrimci Sol. The aim was to eclectically unite Devrimci Yol and Kurtulus and to destroy Devrimci Sol in this process. Despite the statement of E. Kürkcü, “the THKP-C was a revolutionary movement”, his right-wing views within the Kurtulus scene and his judgement of the THKP-C were known. When one realises what point the revolutionary struggle had reached and thinks about the dimensions of the clear front which had been built, it become obvious that these artificial theories could not gain ground.
Because the representatives of these theories were stemming from our movement, this attack was mainly directed against us. Looked at from a different angle, it was also a direct attack against the Kurtulus Sosyalist Dergisi and Devrimci Yol, independent from Ertugrul’s will, because it were not Devrimci Yol and Kurtulus Sosyalist Dergisi who were being discussed, it was us who were at the centre of the discussion. If these people had really had the intention to unite these three political structures, they would have continued their tasks within the organisation, they would not have conspired and left the organisation, they would have staid and become the ideological champions of these thoughts. However, they met in secrecy, they disclosed the relations of our organisation and chose the way of a split, without even thinking it necessary to inform the responsible mechanisms.
As a young, newly established movement which still carried the marks and the sediments of the past, we realised that we would leave these behind in time and that we had to continue our road.
We had to go through more of these abuses and wrongdoings, caused by the Devrimci Yol culture, in different ways. Furthermore, the left was totally split in this period. Devrimci Sol had to occupy its place in the political arena and we had to overcome the mentioned problems. We had to proof that we would honour the name Devrimci Sol and that we had a mission outside of the known left. We had to make this difference clear in our way of life, way of work, our view about actions, in everything.
We did not discover openness because of Gorbatsjov. We were a movement which represented trust in our cadres, especially the young cadres, and which saw collective participation as a way of education. Because of this basis of trust we presented these conspiracy activities by means of a brochure to our cadres and sympathisers. The conspiracy gang called itself a “platform” a couple of months later, but they were unable to draw people to their side. They were confronted by our indignant cadres and sympathisers and suffered complete defeat. These elements in our movement, trusting their charisma, rapidly started to look for a safe harbour for themselves. One of them sought refuge with Devrimci Yol, the other with Kurtulus Sosyalist Dergisi. And the third one tried, thinking about his personal gain, to organise a gang to make money fast by robberies, among others. However, this gang soon dissolved because of internal conflicts. Later one of three returned to civic society after a short while in prison and the other two chose for a life in exile in Europe. The revolutionary build up of our movement, our understanding of democracy and our policy of trust to our cadres had proven themselves in practice and the cadres had had the honour of making the movement their own. This feeling of unity would accompany us through our history it was to create a new spirit and a new understanding against the internal and external enemy and against all conspiracies. Our cadres and sympathisers, who went through a test with this conspiracy, clearly showed that there was no room in our movement for forming cliques and for conspiracies, that we would crush them under all circumstances and that we would maintain our ideological purity. This result became an important criterion as well that makes clear to anybody, whatever the position within the movement, who tries to divert the line of our movement to the right or the left, who plans the formation of cliques and conspiracies, has no chance of survival.
After the complete defeat of his conspiracy, the old-timer E. Kürkcü kept his silence. Not recognising the reality of our movement, he had to take the blow that he could not afford a second attempt and he preferred to go through life as a petite-bourgeois intellectual.
From now on, Devrimci Sol possessed the strength to continue its path, to overrun all the pacifists, bureaucrats and old-timers who’s revolutionary dynamics were gone, who were led by personal worries, to overrun them in case they would attempt to force their rooted views upon the young cadres and force the revolutionary movement to a standstill