Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland sends its solidarity to the fighting revolutionaries of Turkey and Kurdistan on the 50th anniversary of the murder of TKP/ML founder Ibrahim Kaypakkaya. Kaypakkaya was an exemplary anti-imperialist born in 1949 in the ancient town of Alaca in the mountainous province of Çorum, close to the geographical centre of all land on earth. Having studied physics at Istanbul University, Kaypakkaya became involved in revolutionary political circles at an early age. Having been a part of many communist and radical organisations, Kaypakkaya travelled to work in the underdeveloped Kurdish region of Malatya, observing the situation around him and informing his ideas. He was a well-learned and avid young writer.
One of his seminal works, On the National Question, was written in 1971. This work addressed the need for Turkish communists to place priority on fighting for the independence and self-determination of the oppressed Kurdish nation, subjugated by the Turkish fascist state, as a prerequisite to their own liberation. Unlike many Turkish revisionists, Kaypakkaya correctly denounced the fascist genocidal ideology of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was often lauded as a progressive figure in Turkish history due to his formation of a secular republic at the expense of the Kurds and other ethnic minorities he ethnically cleansed. In this regard, this relationship is comparable to Cromwell and Ireland.
On March 12th, 1971, the need for the Turkish revolutionary movement to dig in and use its mass support to wage revolution came with a military coup d’etat, which installed a brutal fascist junta. Under the rule of the Turkish Armed Forces, the National Intelligence Organisation hunted down left-wing and communist activists and crushed dissident organisations with the aid of the Yankee CIA. On the 24th of April, 1972, responding to the inaction of communist leaders, Kaypakkaya and the revolutionaries of Turkey broke off from the opportunist movement to form their own revolutionary party, the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist, with its own people’s army, the Liberation Army of the Workers and Peasants of Turkey, or TİKKO for short. TİKKO went to the mountains of Turkey to wage a protracted people’s war against NATO forces in Turkey, bravely carrying out various guerrilla actions against a far larger and more well-equipped enemy.
Following a battle with the Turkish Armed Forces in his guerrilla war in January 1973, Kaypakkaya was wounded. He was captured five days later after having been ratted out by an informant. Imprisoned by the junta, Kaypakkaya faced constant interrogation and torture. The methods employed by state forces would have included those taught to them by the CIA, such as hanging, food and sleep deprivation, foot-whipping, or worse. Despite months of total isolation and constant routine torture, Kaypakkaya’s strong will never broke, and he never gave away any information about his comrades. Tortured to the brink of death, it became clear in May 1973 that Kaypakkaya would never betray his fellow guerrillas, no matter what pain and suffering he had to bear. As such, Kaypakkaya was murdered by the state without trial, cut up into pieces 50 years ago today.
Irish socialist republicans can admire Kaypakkaya as someone from the communist movement who lived absolutely true to his beliefs, representing its best and most honourable traditions. We salute his sacrifice and martyrdom, which is being held up by the revolutionaries of the Turkish people’s war today. A man taken from life in his young years, Ibrahim Kaypakkaya burned as bright as he could in his short life, blazing his name into Turkish history forever as an anti-imperialist, a partisan, and an anti-fascist. His cultural influence among the people of Turkey spreads far and wide, where he is still honoured with music and art among thousands. His legacy is one which even the political ruling classes of Turkey struggle to openly disrespect. On the anniversary of his death, Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland salutes our Turkish comrades in their mission to carry out his unfinished revolution.