WE HAD TO INCREASE THE STRUGGLE AGAINST FASCISM
After the oligarchy attacked the people, carried out massacres and tried to force the masses into passivity, we put the demagogy of the oligarchy, “left and right are fighting each other”, aside and we decided to lift the struggle to a higher level. To prevent that the masses would loose moral because of the fascist attacks, to break the attacks by fascism and to unite the masses in the struggle, we started to deliver harder blows against the oligarchy.
We aimed directly against the official forces and the torturers of the oligarchy and many were punished. Many police stations were disarmed. Several fascist bases were totally destroyed.
This was so effective and enticing that at first the status of the left in Turkey began to crumble. It was the first time in the history of revolution in Turkey that the struggle on a revolutionary basis clearly increased, the open struggle against all the institutions of the oligarchy and against the official fascist forces. The people gained courage and their hopes were revived after they had resigned and became tired because of the never ending funerals of revolutionaries, killed by the fascist terror.
The opportunistic left panicked most. They reacted by reserving entire pages of their magazines, written in dark rooms, remote from real life, to attack our movement. The oligarchy, opportunism, revisionism and the bourgeois intellectuals, almost all attacked us with their demagogic articles about terror. But they had only seen the first small flames, because we were just at the beginning of our way.
It was Devrimci Sol which dictated the agenda, which really did what it promised, which called upon the masses with their revolutionary struggle, inviting them to join. That’s how it, slowly but steadily, secured its leadership.
The rise of our armed struggle in the cities was to be accompanied by a similar rise on the countryside. The strength of our armed units there had to be increased. The weakness of the oligarchy had to made visible by showing that there was nothing we could not achieve if determined. In Dersim, a guerrilla unit – not really well equipped – had attacked the guarding post Deri Nahiye in Pertek. The soldiers were disarmed and there weapons were collectivised. Our fighters punished one of the soldiers, as they were trained to do, because he refused to surrender. Then they withdrew, without killing anybody else.
Nowadays such an attack would be considered a minor action. But in those days it had a major effect on the oligarchy and the people. It was a good lesson for our movement. Because it was the first attack against a guarding post in Dersim after the Kurdish uprising of 1938, the attack sent a message to the Kurdish people to raise their flag of rebellion and liberation once again. (1)
When the oligarchy heard about the news, they didn’t dare for days to tell the public about our action. If they wouldn’t succeed in punishing those who had carried out the action, it could spread like a fire across Kurdistan and bring the powers that be in serious trouble. A large man hunt was started. Thousands of heavily armed soldiers were mobilised. The oligarchy tried to intimidate the people’s masses by calling our action the beginning of a new `38. The opportunistic left on the other hand, stated: “This was a provocation, you’ll massacre the people, why didn’t you warn us”, thus overloading the people with futile proclamations.
The repression and threats of the oligarchy didn’t have any effect. Our armed unit returned to its base without any losses. Although the people were initially influenced by the opportunists, they began to develop a large sympathy for us went they saw the fear and the helplessness of the oligarchy. The people of Dersim, fed up with the confrontations and murders among the left, presented our action as an example to the opportunistic left.
The oligarchy started preparations for civic fascist mass massacres in the areas with a strong revolutionary presence. Especially in Corum, Tokat, Amsaya and the surrounding areas, where the Alevite and Sunni people lived together in peace, massacres were staged. We had to cross the plans of fascism. A line which only contains a defence against fascist attacks is a passive line which is unable to cross the plans of fascism. To destroy these plans, to unveil them and to make the people sensitive towards the fascist attacks, to increase their will to fight, we had to develop revolutionary tactics.
That’s why we had to punish one of the leaders of the fascist gangs to shatter them at a point where they would be hit directly, or at least get demoralised.
We punished Gün Sazak (2), the fascist chief of the MHP and former secretary of customs and state monopolies in the second government of the National Front (MC) of 1977. Gün Sazak, large landowner and leader of the fascist movement, was directly responsible for almost all fascist massacres and attacks. Because the civic-fascist movement and the government had not expected such an attack, they were very confused. The action was an answer to the tactic to force the people into silence and immobility by means of terror. It was shown to the fascist movement and the people of the world that the massacres by the fascist would lead to retribution on a higher level.
We did not pursue the tactic of other movements to withdraw from the political stage after the action, silently waiting for the danger to pass. On the contrary, in the most areas where we were organised, we did not allow the fascists to reorganise. We continued our attacks and punitive actions. The fascist movement was not prepared for these attacks and could not even launch counter attacks. Once again, the left was afraid and they denounced our actions as “provocations”. Some were even so half-witted and without a clue concerning the armed struggle that they claimed that someone like Gün Sazak could not have been killed by a movement, this action must have been carried out by the MIT and the CIA. They never understood what the fascist state was like, they never understood the struggle against the fascist state, how to cross the fascist plans, how to organise the people. Despite their revolutionary talk, they never surpassed the stage of a protest movement because they lacked the consciousness and the will to power.
Parliament, government, bureaucracy, political parties; almost all institutions went through a severe crisis. Influenced by the severe blow, the coalition partner MHP proposes new elections in parliament but is unable to push this through. They witness a grave crisis. Although the decision is taken to attack the Alevite, revolutionary and democratic people in Corum to neutralise the effect of our action, they were unable to achieve the desired result. Because the revolutionaries and the people were prepared for the attack. When they attacked Corum, they were met by the people’s masses behind the barricades, resisting fascism with a high moral. They were unable to change Corum into a second Maras. (3) The people resisted, the fascist suffered an unexpected defeat and had to withdraw. After our punishment of Gün Sazak, the fascist movement was morally shattered and they went through a noticeable decline, despite state support.
Our tactical line and concrete aims proved right in practice. The fascist terror could only be met with applying revolutionary violence on an even higher level. Only on this basis could the people’s masses be drawn on the line of the people’s war under the circumstances of that time.
After the increase of our armed offensive and the renewed appearance of the revolutionary potential after March 12, 1971, the CIA and the contra-guerrilla themselves took over the organising of the civic fascist government, letting it loose against the revolutionaries to push back the new revolutionary potential. When this failed, the only way left for them was to introduce overt fascism. In order to continue the struggle the struggle with more strength, even under the circumstances of overt fascism, to spread the struggle in the country and to fight against fascism and imperialism in a broad front, we were forced to speed up the development of our organisation and the preparations to build a party. For this reason we tried to bring ideological unity nearer and we stepped up the tempo of publishing our central press organ “Devrimci Sol” (4) and several brochures which presented our views. Our committees in the areas and regions and our armed units were checked again and strengthened. But we still carried many of the negative characteristics of the movement we stemmed from and which tried to stay within a context of spontanism and legality. Hundreds of our members were exposed. From the day we split from DY, its supporters started to speculate and gossip. A large number of our cadres were exposed because of this. Again, because of the nature of the spontanist struggle, it was impossible for to develop a stable underground organisation. While the step to illegality by the exposed persons created several paradoxes, the illegality could not be developed and realised according to its own rules. These were signs that we would have to endure great difficulties under the circumstances of overt fascism. To keep the war alive, to withdraw if necessary, to gather new strength and to attack, and to supply the organisation financially and technically, an armed revolutionary movement needs a rear front. We had lost a lot of time. Overt fascism was an imminent danger. We sent our leading cadres to the Middle East to try to establish relations of friendship and co-operation with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and all revolutionary-patriotic organisations on the highest level, to learn from experiences, to increase the fighting power of our co-operation and to collect weapons and ammunition. We were an organisation with a true and pure love for the revolution in our heart and we did not know what was known as pragmatism at all. We understood internationalism without prejudices, without seeking benefits, as solidarity between nations. We never saw the revolution in our country as separate from the revolutions of the other people in the world. Without expecting a reward, without seeking any benefit from it, we punished Efraim Elrom, the henchman of Zionism and we carried international solidarity to the highest level, proclaiming that revolutions can’t be realised when one is stuck in a nationalist quagmire on a regional level. We were the comrades of Mahir Cayan who had proven this all in practice, we were the heirs of the THKP-C.
One could say that we, the revolutionaries in Turkey, have challenged fascism and imperialism since 1971 and that we have kept the purity of Marxism-Leninism. Rising out of the quagmire of revisionism, fighting it, we were barely influenced by a profit seeking policy, as could especially be seen from the CPSU, because we possessed the positive characteristics of a revolutionary movement.
We were especially hindered by the fact that we were a very young movement and therefore did not know well enough revisionism which dropped socialism more and more, erasing its principles. The revisionists of the CPSU, the CCP opportunists and the Albanian Worker’s Party, contrary to all principles of international solidarity, always kept their own gains in mind when they decided whether they would support a liberation movement or not. This notion, alien to Marxism-Leninism and internationalism, developed nationalism on almost all levels.
Although we recognised this after some time, we were not able to reverse this because the organisations had become egotistic and rotten from the inside. Their strength was in the hands of the opportunists and revisionists. Marxism-Leninism and internationalism had become the victims. We did not have the necessary experience to push on our revolution in this quagmire of profit seeking and we did not know how to make use of the possibilities to gain new strength, opening a way to the future. However, we had to think through the benefits for our revolution within these objective circumstances because we could not change it. We had to find ways and possibilities to be able to act.
Because a rear front constituted a contribution to our activities and because we would face great problems under overt fascism, which could even lead to the dissolvement and defeat of our movement, we sent a member of the Central Committee to Europe to build op the organisation again and to strengthen the rear front. But because this CC member did not fulfil his mission, getting deeper and deeper entangled in treason, the desired development in this field could not be achieved. We will address this treason later on.
There was no other way for us than to continue the struggle against fascism although there were quite a few flaws and shortcomings within our organisation, our way of work, our ideological knowledge and although we were financially weakened as well. We had no other choice, the organisation had to mature in the struggle, we had to learn and teach in the struggle. The people and groups who didn’t learn in the struggle itself but took from the outside and returned to the battle zone with an abstract and distorted knowledge had to start from the beginning again painfully. That’s why we always rejected to learn outside of the struggle itself. We would learn the reality of the struggle among the people, together with our cadres, even if our heads would be bashed in.
Especially after the punishment of the fascist Gün Sazak and the impeding of the Corum massacre (5), planned by the fascists, the civic fascist terror policy, orchestrated by the oligarchy as an alternative, went bankrupt. Overt fascism was now on the agenda. Because the opportunistic and revisionist left could not comprehend this fact, they still occupied themselves with all kind of provocation theories, denouncing our revolutionary actions. But this only served the fascist to pacify the population. They cursed and accused us, claiming we were responsible for the coming junta.
As if they did not live in Turkey, they did not see the political and economic crisis of the governments of the oligarchy, they did not see that imperialism did not want to lose a collaborator like Turkey in the Middle East, they did not see how the growing revolutionary struggle posed a threat to the oligarchy and imperialism and they did not see their growing fear for the revolution.
From DY to the TKP, almost all came up with proposals to distance themselves from actions which supposedly were an invitation to covert fascism, arguing that mass movements had to be organised to prevent covert fascism. But curiously enough they were not able to realise this, despite all their proclamations. DY even doubted that there would be a fascist junta. Statements like “Overt fascism is not the only alternative of the oligarchy” showed they had not given up their secret hopes of these “alternative” forces. The people of Kurtulus had quite a different thesis. Listening to them, it seemed as if there had never been fascism in political history, at least all their energy went to such discussions. The TKP and alike probably relied on the strength of the CPSU and they came up with the slogan “There will be no transition to fascism”. How tragically, it were these revisionist countries which were the first to support overt fascism in almost all points. The TKP and alike later started to look for nationalist and progressive tendencies within the junta to exploit internal conflicts in stead of fighting overt fascism. They saw the junta as neutral and anti-fascist and they demanded that the known fascists should be punished.
Prior to the junta, fascism carried out several attacks, trying to immobilise and demoralise the masses. They wanted to create an atmosphere in which the junta could move more easily. Torture, arrests and attacks against known charismatic persons increased rapidly. Villages with a large revolutionary potential were surrounded by fascists for days to pacify this potential. The Turkish left did quite bad in this situation. Demirel was helped outright in his “Nokta operation” (6) in Fatsa which made history, in intimidating the people, forcing them into resignation. Fatsa had a very large revolutionary potential and even many official posts, even that of the mayor, were in the hands of the revolutionaries. The “Fatsa operation” forced to people to raise the white flag…
Surely, a revolutionary movement must apply the tactic to withdraw at certain times to prepare for a new attack, carefully evaluating the balance of forces. But Dev Yol did not have this intention. Under the motto of “the legal revolutionary borders”, they surrendered to bourgeois legality and they tried to organise the masses with this view. But this causes people, who don’t understand that bourgeois legality is transitory and fabricated, to surrender in stead of fighting when they see the truth, suddenly confronted with fascism and its naked violence.
Those who took their logic from the “civic society”, who didn’t understand fascism despite their radical words, who didn’t believe in the struggle of the people, have tried all their lives to manoeuvre within bourgeois legality. Personal worries were put first more and more, becoming the main priority. They are responsible for the fact that ten thousands of revolutionaries and patriots conformed to the rules of the existing order, ending their work within a revolutionary organisation.
The economic crisis was quite severe and the Demirel-government wanted the people to pay the bill. For this reason, they introduced the “24 January Measures” (7), leading to an increasing dependency on imperialism. More and more people lost their jobs, poverty increased and the moral of the people degenerated. Our movement analysed the people’s reactions and on February 14, 1980, we issued a call to the small merchants to close their shops to bring forward the strength of the masses. Life in Istanbul stood still. The official and the civic fascist forces were unable to force the merchants to open their shops, despite all their efforts and the violence they used. A lesson could be learnt from this action by the oligarchy, as well as the people. When the demands of the people are interpreted correctly, a good leadership is formed and the masses are given hope, then these will be prepared to become active under the leadership of the revolutionaries. The oligarchy and the left were perplexed again. The oligarchy used television, the press and all its media tools and told the people not be afraid of Devrimci Sol, the could rely on the state. When the opportunistic left, Dev Yol in front, saw that they had no contact with the people and that they could not organise and lead it, they started – after a few days of astonishment – to call upon the people – just like the oligarchy – : “The merchants are forced to close their shops. Open the shutters again!” Dev Yol did not overlook to spray their slogans all over Istanbul in an attempt to stop the action. Articles were written in their press organ “Demokrat Gazetesi” with the same tenor. Helpless like a child whose toy is taken away toward our revolutionary initiative, the revisionists and opportunistic formations did not hesitate to launch an attack against us, together with the oligarchy.
We were obliged to deliver a staunch reply to the oligarchy against the poverty which hit the people, against the torture, the pressure and the operations which aimed at passivity of the masses. That’s why we started the campaign “Struggle against Torture and Terror” in which we, besides punishing the torturers and destroying fascist hot-beds, punished Nihat Erim, the prime-minister of the March 12 fascism, the torturer, henchman and people’s enemy. After this punishment, the attacks against the fascist state forces and hot-beds continued, the traditional status quo was shattered once again and our actions on a mass basis were continued. It was our declared aim at that time to teach the masses the tactic of street battles. For this reason we organised large armed actions.
This punishment was a turning point which shattered the status quo of the left and pushed on the ant-fascist struggle. The contra-revolution was to receive our answer against the massacres and terror against the people on the highest level. Without doubt, the oligarchy was going to increase their pressure and terror because of the reality of the class struggle and this increase of the pressure and terror by the oligarchy was going to influence the development of revolutionary violence, it would unite the people around the line of the revolutionary struggle, forcing them to fight. It would lead to the line of the people’s struggle in which the people would begin to fight themselves more and more. Temporary setbacks and defeats in this struggle were possible. But whatever the circumstances, we had to set the aim to write history, increasing the strength of the people’s resistance. It can’t be the method of the revolutionaries to say “We will be defeated and we will suffer blows”, not organising the struggle of the people, not bringing closer the revolution step by step. Those who do not share this view will keep the people from the struggle permanently, they will protect themselves and distance themselves more and more from the reality of war and the revolution, they will choose the way of compromises with the bourgeoisie and condemn themselves to give up. No force can remove the history of our movement, written in blood and resistance, from the people’s memory. The history of society is full of examples like this which do not make us forget, although centuries might have passed, and some of these examples still lighten our road to the revolution. There is so much resistance shown in the social development of our people, emerging despite despotism and cruelty. The basis of this resistance is the fact that the people stood up against the despotic powers, resembling giants, that they led a life full of sacrifices for their beliefs, determined to shout the truth despite the cruelties and repression, not drifting away from their path when they sacrificed their lives. The history, the roots of the history of our movement, lie there. This means we will fight for the people under all circumstances, we will not be deterred, we will resist and not surrender. Only with such an attitude will we be able to organise the people and continue the struggle for a long time.
September 12, the defeat and the flight of the left.
And the resistance of our movement against the junta.
When 12 September 1980 arrived, the perspective of the left – regarding fascism and the struggle, be it ideologically or practically – was far remote from the reality of war. An organisation which does not look at the reality of the struggle, which has not created the appropriate traditions, principles and rules, and which does not possess a fighting spirit, can not succeed in leading the struggle. And in fact, many of those who constantly yelled about “the people’s struggle, fight against fascism” never fulfilled the necessary conditions to do so and in reality they pursued an opportunistic line, choosing a struggle within the limits of the system. This conduct caused a process of internal decay, envy grew, and fear and affectation emerged.
This left remained silent after 12 September, 1980. Later it became known that many fled abroad and prepared to leave the stage of the battle when they heard the steps of 12 September coming from a distance, using the pretext of a “tactic of withdrawal”.
Others, who probably never believed that the coup would bring overt fascism, began planning their escape immediately after 12 September. The ostensible so convinced and determined, but in fact hypocritical left abandoned the battle field and left the country, the people, many of the cadres and sympathisers alone to face fascism and they just ran away. Especially movements like DY and Kurtulus, possessing a certain potential, de facto dissolved themselves. Thousands of people, suddenly left without an organisation, not knowing what to do and how to do it, had to take care of themselves now. And there weren’t few who wanted to fight. But these people, left behind without organisation, knowledge and possibilities, couldn’t prevent that they were soon arrested when they attempted to continue the struggle in the cities and mountains in small groups, helplessly.
The coup of 12 September 1980 had delivered a psychological blow and it succeeded in causing chaos. How to act in this situation? Regarding organisation and equipment, we were in the disadvantage in many respects. But whatever the circumstances, we had to develop the struggle in battle itself, we had to learn, we couldn’t allow overt fascism to force the people to surrender by means of pressure and terror, at least we had to write a history of resistance.
Already in the first days after the coup, we announced to the public in Turkey and the rest of the world that we would fight the 12 September fascism, that we would not leave behind our country and our people.
We called for the struggle and proposed joint actions and co-operation with all those who called themselves revolutionaries, leftists, patriots and democrats. The actual target was concentrated at one point, overt fascism, that is to say the junta. We tried to reach all, from the TKP revisionists to DY without proscribing a certain line. But we never received an answer, not even a rejection.
Overt fascism continued to arrest the armed organisations at first, later the unarmed ones, then the reformists and in the end even the intellectuals and democrats, and they did so in large numbers. By eliminating all oppositional forces, they aimed at institutionalising overt fascism. We had to try to cross these plans. Most important was the fact that the operations against the revolutionary potential which developed before September 12, would become even more brutal in order to destroy it. It was obvious that the oligarchy would deal with the people which had always supported the revolutionaries, even though they possessed wrong or insufficient battle tactics, the people that trusted the revolutionaries in the struggle against fascism, which stood at their side and had resisted in one way or the other. We had to show the people that we would continue the struggle, whatever the circumstances, and we had to convince the people to fight the junta. Because it was predictable that otherwise the people would be intimidated in the end, that they would surrender and curse the revolutionaries. The revolutionaries had to keep their promises to the people. Running away, leaving the country, not fighting in one way or the other would be equal to treason. Our organisation, from the leadership to the sympathisers, had to motivate itself in the struggle against fascism. Not fighting and even the slightest hesitation in the struggle would have led from hesitation to panic and from panic to fleeing the country.
Our organisation declared war against the junta with the call “THE JUNTA CAN NOT FORCE 45 MILLION PEOPLE TO THEIR KNEES!” Our armed actions which developed into the punishment of the people’s enemies and the bombing of police stations, spread out all over the country, supported by large agitation and propaganda activities and mass protests.
We were able to give the junta an astonishing welcome by distributing hundreds of thousands of leaflets and handbills in almost all the regions and areas. At the same time banners were hung all over the country and dozens of enemy targets were bombed. We and the enemy forces were the only ones present in the political arena. The rest of the left was paralysed and kept silent.
Our decision to wage a battle against the fascist junta was as well a test for the people. This decision was meant as a indication for our bond with the people and the revolution, an indication we would sacrifice ourselves for this goal without hesitation.
The struggle was to be waged under even harder conditions. We knew our shortcomings and dead ends. During the first week of the junta, one member of the Central Committee and several leading cadres were arrested because somebody had talked under torture. These people were replaces and the struggle was continued. Five people were proposed our comrade Sinan – five people who had been thought of before but about whom no decision was reached – who were to take over the leadership of the movement in case enemy operations against the leadership required so. Because our struggle and the operations by the oligarchy continued, we could be confronted with all kinds of dangers anytime. We had to maintain the existence of our movement under all circumstances. Although it was impossible to wage a high-level struggle in the country itself, the people would see and feel that there was an organised force among them, ready at all times. That’s why it was regarded necessary to stay in the country in stead of going into exile. And it was determined that the struggle would be continued, according to the possibilities. After a short while, the leader of the organisation was arrested as well (8). This was a severe blow, hitting us together with the 12 September coup. Our organisation continued the struggle, led by a new central committee under the responsibility of comrade Niyazi.
Apart from the physical blow, delivered by the oligarchy against our movement with this operation, they also influenced our cadre M.K. ideologically, creating an element inside the movement who denied the past of the movement in a Menshivik-opportunistic manner, an element who presented views which were dubious and incomprehensible. This person was given an importance by the oligarchy and opportunism which magnitude we couldn’t imagine. They started their propaganda, leading him into splitting our movement. This traitor had been in our Armed Revolutionary Units, prior to 12 September, and he always had had a leftist ideology. He was a person who, after he had participated in some armed actions, began to see himself in another position and therefore he claimed special attention. When this leftist view and character deficiency to boast himself after a few actions were neglected, he started to feel uneasy and he look for minor problems to nag about. He couldn’t understand the policy, the perspective and the relation network of the movement and he isolated it from a left-wing view from its program, its tactics and way of organisation. He could only hear the sound of his own actions and he began to harm the movement chronically, showing an attitude which could be labelled as faction building. The foundation of this erroneous notion is formed by the views of the petite bourgeoisie which adores strength. When they get hold of such a strength, they begin to see themselves as the rulers of the world and the start to worship themselves. When they loose this strength, they bare witness of their inadequacy and they become influenced ideologically and psychologically – that is to say: totally – by those who are stronger. The traitor M.K. was such a person. The influence of the bourgeoisie, starting in the torture rooms, continued inside the prison and it would lead to a total loss of revolutionary characteristics.
Although the junta had arrested hundreds of our cadres and sympathisers, and although we went through some quite negative experiences, the junta was unable to realise its dream to split our movement to ensure it would destroy itself. The torturers of the junta, the state prosecutors of the state of emergency, and the prison directors tried to split the movement by means of a co-ordinated and carefully planned campaign of which one of the most important parts was to present a apparent hero. An intensive propaganda campaign was started. Main element of the propaganda was the falsehood that DK was a bad leader while M.K. supposedly was the person in the movement with probably the best leadership capabilities.
Part of the opportunists spilled no time to participate in this attack. Many magazines quickly published articles about a so-called split within Devrimci Sol. But they weren’t content with this, on the contrary, for a year they organised the distribution of M.K. notices from prison to prison.
The left was finished an saw no other way out. It put its hopes on this poor person because it didn’t really believe in the process of the revolution and it couldn’t understand the problems of the revolution. Because it didn’t represent a force against the oligarchy itself, it started to see a split within Devrimci Sol as something beneficiary. In their entire history, the opportunists spread lies and speculations about us and their distribution and the discussions about them became their life work. This attitude has been the same until today. We understand the fear for fascism. Fascism has become a master in finding and apprehending those revolutionaries who attack the foundation of their order. The reasons for the animosity of opportunism towards us also lie there. This animosity is deeply rooted. Opportunism felt pressurised because of our existence because they were far remote from the revolutionary war, because we made their opportunistic stand public, didn’t share their status quo, rejected their conciliation, and didn’t want to work as an affiliate of some other organisation.
When we emerged as a political movement, the opportunists took a stand together with the renegades of Devrimci Yol. Now they supported a traitor like M.K., together with the torturers of the junta, the prison directors and the state prosecutors in order to split our movement. But M.K. was finished, he had nothing of any use for opportunism or anybody else. The opportunists never understood the traditions, created by our movement. That’s why they expected a lot from M.K. And this one M.K. became “hundreds” in the words of the oligarchy and the opportunists. Opportunists in such a state can easily be destroyed, but those who believed Devrimci Sol would also fall apart had not understood the reality that Devrimci Sol wasn’t opportunistic. Despite all his efforts and pains, M.K. wasn’t even able to get a single person on his side and his attempts to split the movement totally failed. As a traitor, complimented by the oligarchy and opportunism, he firstly went to the independents and took over the role of helping the prison direction in destroying the will of resistance inside the prisons. After this he supported the ideology of the TKP. In the end, totally useless, he completely integrated in the system. And he’s still alive…
Parallel to the arrest of many of us, lacks in organising, insufficient preparations for the struggle and an amateuristic attitude became apparent. To compensate for our connections which were discovered and the shortage of cadres, we had to evaluate the structures of the organisation in a short time, considering the new circumstances. We had to take care of our inadequacies and mistakes. The rather open networks and connections, usual before, had to be reduced to a minimum as much as possible. Secrecy had to be introduced in this period of overt fascism. But primarily we had to strengthen the armed units which were to wage the armed struggle against the junta. Their secrecy and action capabilities had to be increased. Although we did continue the struggle, a certain demoralisation and panic could be seen during this first blow we had to endure. We needed time to realise the restructuring. To gain time, we had to develop a temporary tactic which prevented the junta from increasing their operations against us. Until the new structure was secured, armed actions were to be continued under the name of Türkiye Halk Kurtulus Savascilari (People’s Liberation Fighters of Turkey), not pointing to Devrimci Sol. Using this name, it was possible to prevent further demoralisation among the masses by selecting special enemy targets and carrying out actions against them with two or three carefully selected armed units. At the same time, the way of organising had to be evaluated and adjusted according to the circumstances. However, this proposal from inside the prison was misunderstood outside. The new name was used for almost all the actions and campaigns and its use for especially selected actions was gone. Using the name of THKS, the vice-chief of police of Istanbul, Mahmut Dikler, and his bodyguards were punished. But because the name THKS was also used for other forms of action in which some people were arrested, the police discovered who was behind it. But we continued the struggle against the junta, despite everything.
Many of the informers and spies, made useless and driven away by us from several areas and regions prior to 12 September, managed to return, drawing strength from the coup. To prevent their spy activities, we also directed revolutionary violence against these persons and they were punished. Next to the punishing of many large and small enemies of the people and the destruction of many holdings of the monopolists, the punishing of Mahmet Dikler and his bodyguards counted as one of the leading actions against the junta. Although the rural guerrilla was active during that time, regrettably it couldn’t be organised in such a way that it became safe-haven for the city. A lot of comrades, endangered by arrest, couldn’t be brought into the mountains.
1 In 1938, the Turkish government, led by state president Atatürk and prime-minister Demirel, crushed an uprising by Alevite Kurds in the region of Dersim, led by sheikh Riza. More than 90.000 Alevite Kurds were murdered.
2 On May 27, 1980.
3 In 1978, civic fascists murdered hundreds of revolutionaries, democrats and patriots in Maras. The police and the army didn’t intervene.
4 The first “Devrimci Sol” was published on March 30, 1980.
5 On July 7, 1980, civic fascists, supported by the oligarchy, attacked the Alevite left in Corum to carry out a massacre. Encouraged by the punishing of Gün Sazak, the people resisted on the barricades. The fascists didn’t succeed in intimidating the people by a massacre.
6 In Fatsa, a city where the Turkish left, especially DY, had a large potential, the policy and the military searched the houses for leftist people and patriots on July 12, 1980. People, denounced by civic fascists, were taken away by the police. Hundreds of people were arrested and tortured in an especially adapted factory. Although some resisted, the majority of the left surrendered. The attitude of the left in the Fatsa operation led to the people loosing confidence in the revolutionaries. A large revolutionary potential was betrayed.
7 After the date the decisions were taken, January 24, 1980. The decisions, prepared during 1979 and successfully implemented after the military coup, consisted of a wage freeze and the devaluation of the lira. The position of the monopoly bourgeoisie was strengthened. Besides the implementation of these decisions, trade unions – except the state loyal Türk-Is – were banned as well after the coup.
8 In October 1980, a few weeks after the September coup, Dursun Karatas was arrested during a police operation.