“We have carried out 1000 operations.” This sentence was uttered by the former minister, one of the chiefs of the contra-guerllas, Mehmet Agar. After the Susurluk accident, in order to save the rotten fascist regime, Agar revealed the 1000 “operations” carried out by the state against the people and revoutionaries. Of course, the “operations” he spoke of were noumerous massacres, murders, disappeareances, acts of savotage and provocations.
In the last issue we published the crimes of the state against the people from the Republic of Turkey’s foundation until 1971. In this issue we will publish the crimes of the contra-guerrilla. up to the 1980s.
THE CONTRA-GUERRILLAS STEP UP EFFORTS TO ORGANISE FASCIST BANDITS
In a report of the year 1971, advice was given to Alparslan Türkes, the leader of the fascist MHP (Nationalist Action Party), on how to extend his organisation in big cities, and especially in Istanbul:
“Associations that have already been established, like Ülkü Ocaklari (Idealist Hearths, associations of the fascist Grey Wolves), Ülkü Sen and Ülkücü Isciler Birligi shall be extended and led by the chairman of the Party.”
“People who believed in the legitimacy of the organisation were sought out everywhere in Turkey and they were given tasks to perform which were generally to be done secretly.” “To take the pressure of the growing struggle against hostile organisations off the (fascist) students, modern and legitimate methods should be used under the direction of retired officers und police who should organise the defence forces and who are known only to the city chairmen (of the MHP).”
This is no different from the advice that the CIA gives in its contra-guerrilla book on how to organise more effectively among the civilian population.
After that, preparations were made and the Ülkü Ocagi Dernegi was formed again in April 1974.
Immediately the fascist attacks increased in number.The number of associations was increased in the year 1976 to 600. During a search of the fascist MHP headquarters, the secret organizing plan of the Party was found, which was drawn from the general staff’s contra-guerrilla book “Training instructions for combating irregular forces”. The plan included information about how to organize against communists and instructions on carrying out sabotage actions.
The high-ranking officer, Mehmet Alanyuva, who worked for both the MHP and the Special Warfare Department, had given them the plan.
IYÖKD – THE ASSOCIATION OF STUDENTS STUDYING IN ISTANBUL – IS FOUNDED; THE ATTACKS OF THE FASCISTS BEGIN
The defeats and immorality resulting from the March 12, 1971 junta were first overcome by young people.
The resistance in Kizildere created great sympathy and revolutionary potential in the whole country, especially among the youth. At the end of 1973 the struggle again intensified. The IYÖKD association, which was founded at the end of 1973 by sympathizers of Dev-Genc and some other political groups, became a mass organisation and the central organisation of youth.
Its first actions were carried out to demand the nationalisation of the private schools and university faculties.
The contra-guerrillas were not slow to react against the rise in the struggle of the revolutionary youth.
At that time the contra-guerrillas preferred to make use of the civil fascists. After those first actions the fascist attacks increased. By occupying high schools,and launching attacks on the boycotts, the fascists tried to crush the struggle of the revolutionaries in its infancy. At the same time in Ankara, the democratic high school association ADYÖD was founded. The existence of that association did not last long. The attacks of the fascists were continuously intensified. They were turned into armed struggle.
The police took the flight of students into the association after an armed clash with the fascists as an opportunity to arrest 163 students. After that the association was closed in December 1974, allegedly because of the stand it took with regard to the intervention in Cyprus.
DURING THE MC (NATIONALIST FRONT) GOVERNMENT THE CONTRA-GUERRILLA ATTACKS ARE INSTITUTIONALISED
After the CHP-MSP coalition government was dissolved on September 18, 1974 and a government supposedly above parties was formed on November 16, 1974, headed by Sadi Irnak, the fascist attacks spread over a wider area.
Sahin Aydin, a member of the IYÖKD administration, was knifed to death by fascists in front of the Istanbul architectural and engineering academy in December 1973.
On January 23, 1974 Kerim Yaman, an engineer at the Istanbul Vatan firm was killed in a fascist attack. On April 24 Abdi Gönem was killed in the Istanbul University student dormitory, on April 27 Mehmet Toprak was killed in Koca, and on May 13 in Sivas the teacher Hüseyin Esen, a member of the TÖB-DER – the Revolutionary Teacher’s Association – was killed.
The massacres and attacks were not just aimed at revolutionary students, but also at revolutionaries and democrats from all sections of the population.
In 1974 in different towns, the workers Ümit Tok, Mehmet Filiz, Yusuf Vehbi Yilmaz and Ibrahim Kocakarin were killed in fascist attacks.
On 23 February 1975, anger among Sunni Muslim people was whipped up with the assertion that “mosques and prayer houses will be set on fire”. This was an attempt to bring about a massacre of “communists” and “Alevis”. In the resulting clashes which spread to small villages, a 13-year-old boy was killed and 70 people injured.The shops of Alevis and members of the social democratic CHP were blown up.
In the time of the first MC government, the coalition between AP, MSP, MHP and CGP (all right-wing Turkish nationalist parties), under Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel, the atmosphere was ripe for fascist attacks and attempts to build their organisations.
At the 12th party congress of the MHP, on May 19, 1975, the fascist leader Alparslan Türkes marked the heightening of terror against the people as follows: ” may bring you the message that events are running in favour of the Turkish nationalists. We have reached the point of taking action, we have even crossed it. (…) We will pull off the heads of the traitors and their instigators who have used the designation “the Turkish people’ for themselves.”
As he indicated, the fascist attacks had been stepped up. Supported by police and soldiers, the fascists raided and occupied student flats and progressive associations. After those attacks, the police arrested the revolutionary and democratic students and with this, fascist terror greatly escalated.
The number of persons killed in fascist attacks in January 1976 was 22. Between February and May 25 persons were killed. In that period fascist terror was spread from big cities to the whole of Anatolia. Of the 42 killed between June and September, 31 were killed outside the major cities. In December 1976 the number of murdered persons was 27. Of 116 people killed in 1976, only 18 were fascists or radical rightists. And of those 18, two were fascists who were punished by their own people for deviation and another two died in accidents. In the period of the second MC government from July 21, 1977, the fascist terror and organisational recruitment outstripped the terror under the the first MC government. In the five months of the second MC government, more than 100 people were murdered. Fascist terror took the form of sudden raids on neighbourhoods and spraying bullets at people standing at bus stops or sitting in restaurants. This was an attempt to increase the state of terror and make the people surrender.
FASCIST ATTEMPTS TO ORGANISE IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
Value was placed on having the education system dominated by fascists.
There were two reasons for this: first, to neutralise the opposition of young people who play a major role in society, and to weaken their potential; secondly, to make youth tractable and willing to surrender to the fascist regime.
Although the Minister of Education, Ali Naili Erdem belonged to the AP, in personnel matters he agreed with the MHP.
Within seven months of the MC government coming to power, seven teachers were killed in fascist attacks, 18 arrested, 14 injured and 5,000 were illegally transferred elsewhere in the country.
While the TÖB-DER association, in which revolutionary democratic teachers were organized, was closed down several times, the Ülkü Der (Idealist Association) in which fascist teachers were organized with the support of the state, increased the number of its branches between 1975 and 1976 from 160 to 350. Teachers were forced to be members of the Idealist Association. In 1976 fascists were able to influence enrolment at teachers’ training colleges by subjecting candidates to “verbal examination” of their political opinions. In this period, 2,000 students were expelled from teacher training colleges..
The national head of the teacher training colleges, the contra-guerrilla chief Ayvaz Gökdemir, expressed himself at a seminar in 1976 as follows:
“All staff of the colleges, from the director to the lowest ranking janitor, should be nationalists. In none of the colleges should people who think differently be employed. All of them should belong to us. In this matter we have to be severe, not tolerant. The more we follow the military principle in administering the people, the more we will solve our problems. To free the people, we will have to cut off some heads…”
IN OTHER INSTITUTIONS
Although the MHP was the third party in the MC coalition government, the deputy prime minister and the one responsible for security matters was Türkes, who, from time to time chaired the National Security Council and cooperated with the police, and had more influence in nominating personnel.
Several high-ranking officials in the ministries came from the MHP and the MSP (National Salvation Party, right-wing and Islamist, the ancestor of the Refah Party).
Through an edict of the Minister of the Interior it was declared that graduates of middle school (in other words, people who left school at 14 or 15) can become police officers before performing military service, so that those who graduated from Koranic (religious) schools and members of the idealist associations could become policemen. Police officers who were democratic or progressive were either suspended from duty, given unimportant tasks or replaced. Fascist police officers and commissioners were appointed to the most important tasks. A fascist arrested by mistake would be released immediately.This was the result of fascist personnel organising in the police force.
During the time in office of the second MC government, fascists recruited in the Trade Ministry, whose minister, Agah Oktay Güner, belonged to the MHP, and in the Customs Ministry, whose minister, the leading fascist Gün Sazan belonged to the MHP too.
Thirty MHP supporters, who were installed as controllers in the Customs Ministry, used their positions as a cover to train party members throughout Turkey. They held meetings and seminars in the whole country on “theoretical and practical matters” and educated hundred of fascists, like Abdullah Catli, Haluk Kirci, Ibrahim Ciftci, Mehmet Ali Agca, Ferhat Tüysüz, Veli Can Oduncu, Cengiz Ayhan, as cadres.
Some of them, Muhsin Yazicioglu, Namik Kemal Zeybek, Türkmen Onur, Ramiz Ongur, Lokman Abbasoglu, Muzaffer Sahin, Mehmet Sakarya, Seyfi Aydin, Riza Müftüoglu, Mustafa Mit and others, act as mediators between Türkes and local organisations.
In the army, the Special Warfare Department increased its influence and power and took the army under control. Through its own secret service it kept an eye on all the personnel in the army. It played a major role in promotions and sackings in the army.
MIT – The national intelligence service – was recruited only from people who had worked in the Special Warfare Department.
DGM – STATE SECURITY COURT – SHALL BE LEGALISED
The DGM’s status, which was installed at the end of the March 12, 1971 coup, should have been abolished according to a resolution by the Constitutional Defence Court.
A special law was made so it could remain. The MC government made special efforts to keep the DGM in existence.
The CGP (Republican Confidence Party) wanted to introduce paragraph 163, but the MSP rejected this. Because of the lack of unanimity in the coalition government, the closing down of the DGM could not be carried through.
MASSACRE ON MAY DAY 1977
The May Day celebrations, which had been organised both in 1975 and 1976 by the DISK – the Revolutionary Workers Trade Union Confederation – and in which 100,000 people took part in 1976, were likely to attract even more people in 1977.
The increase in the people’s opposition and its politicisation, its connection with revolutionary forces and its ability to give the people of all classes a sense of their own power, were intolerable to the contra-guerillas.
Because fascism was not able to mobilise the people, it was trying to find a solution in massacre, terror and making the people passive. This massacre was an experiment for the contra-guerillas: if the result of that massacre was successful, it could continue working in that way. Some good conclusions could be drawn from it.Although the revolutionary forces could reveal the violence as a provocations, the contra-guerrillas succeeded in confusing the people and making them fearful. In the 1977 May Day, 500,000 people participated, in 1978 it was only 200,000.
The Hotel Intercontinental, from which shots were fired at the people on May 1, belonged to the ITT company, which financed the coup against Allende in Chile and was on good terms with the CIA.
Three days before May Day the hotel was emptied of guests and no reservations were accepted. But on May 1 a group of foreigners entered the hotel. Later the hotel was taken over by a company and its name was changed to “Marmara Hotel”.
Although at the time of the massacre all the surrounding streets were under police control, shots were fired from a white Renault car which then fled the scene and was never found.
A photo of police officers who fired into the crowd from the water supply office, and a recording tape on which radio messages could be noted, were given to a court investigating inquiry. Both items of evidence disappeared. In the affair two men were implicated. One of those was Demirel’s man and a contra-guerrilla chief, Orhan Bakircioglu, who earlier has been state minister, the other one was a member of MIT and afterwards a mafia lawyer, Necdet Kücük Taskiner.
THE MASSACRE OF MARCH 16 IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ISTANBUL AND THE NEW STRATEGY OF THE CONTRA-GUERRILLAS
The massacre, in which seven revolutionary democratic students lost their lives and hundreds were injured, was the start of a new contra-guerrilla strategy.
With this strategy the contra-guerrillas orientated themselves towards new aims. One of these was the Maras massacre and its aftermath.
Fascist terror was organized well, was centrally controlled and employed systematically. For that of course there were reasons. Through Dev-Genc a campaign against the fascist occupiers of schools and colleges had begun. The anti-fascist struggle was stepped up and in several faculties the fascist terror was halted. The fascists did not expect the reaction they received in the universities, and the fascist plan was destroyed as a result.
To win back the control it was losing in the university faculties and to put a stop to the rising struggle, it reacted with an even bigger bloodbath. On the day of the massacre Abdullah Catli was seen in Istanbul.The explosive that was used for the massacre was procured by him.
In a confession the MHP supporter Ali Yural said the following: “Abdullah received a half full chest of TNT, which was produced by the army, from the MHP supporter and officer Mehmet Ali Ceviker.” Afterwards it was distributed in Istanbul and Ankara. It was also used in the March 16 massacre. One week before the plan for a massacre was leaked to the police, but nothing was done.
The chief of police, who was responsible then for the police based in the universities employed – police, the murderer Resat Altayli, rose high in the force afterwards. The massacre was carried out before the eyes of the police, who stood at the outside door, but nevertheless the murderers were able to escape. One of the perpetrators was a police officer. Although the name of those police officer was discovered, it was never discovered where this policeman was based. After the massacre another name emerged, Oktay Engin, a member of the MIT intelligence service. In 1956 he had placed a bomb in the birthplace of Atatürk in Salonika, Greece, which showed he had a track record as a provocateur.
MASSACRES WERE CARRIED OUT IN CITY NEIGHBOURHOODS
From 1977 the revolutionaries built up good relations with the population in big city neighbourhoods, especially in Istanbul.
These areas were freed from fascist repression and turned into resistance fortresses in the course of time. This was an obstacle to the state’s role as an occupying power oppressing its own people. Therefore it was not without good reason that the state refused to make a distinction between revolutionaries and democrats. It was the state’s desire to force the people to their knees and prevent them from causing it any trouble. So in the period before the September 12 coup, dozens of massacres were carried out. Some of them, which the people will never forget, are:
October 8, 1978: seven members of the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TIP, a left-reformist party which tended to favour the Soviet Union) in Ankara/Bahcelievler were killed by torture, some were strangled and others shot. Abdullah Catli planned and participated in carrying out the killings. Amongst those who took part was Haluk Kirci.
On August 10, 1978, a cafe was fired on. Fourteen people were wounded. The perpetrators, the MHP member Mustafa Pehlivanoglu and Ali Yurtaslan, stated that the deed was planned by Abdullah Catli and he gave the order to carry it out. Catli was arrested with Pehlivanoglu on August 25. Muhsin Yazicioglu succeeded in having him released. The other participant who had talked about the attack was punished.
In October 1978, fascists killed four students.
On May 16, 1979 a coffeehouse was raided in Ankara. People were forced to lie on the floor and then shot. Six people were killed.
On November 28, 1979 contra-guerrillas shot dead six people in a coffeehouse in Kayseri.
On December 16, 1979 a coffeehouse favoured by revolutionary democratic students was bombed and five people were killed.
THE LAWYER DOGAN ÖZ WAS MURDERED, INTELLECTUALS, WRITERS AND UNIVERSITY LECTURERS ARE TARGETED
After the March 16 massacre, on March 24, 1978 the deputy state attorney for Ankara, Dogan Öz, was murdered. He was a deliberately chosen target. He had instituted court proceedings against the Idealist Hearths and at the start of March had authorised a search of a student hostel inhabited by fascists. A number of weapons were discovered there. In the course of his investigations he noted that the contra-guerrillas existed and in a report he had stated:
“…The aim is to destroy any hopes for democracy; instead a fascist system is to be placed on the agenda and put into practice… Military and civilian security services are behind all this work. The contra-guerrillas are subordinate to the Special Warfare Department (Özel Harp Dairesi). MIT and police of the Number One Precinct are deployed as civilian security force members. All these activities are guided by MHP members and cadres.”
The murderer of Dogan Öz was Ibrahim Ciftci. At his trial before a court-martial, he was identified by witnesses and confessed to his guilt. He was sentenced to death three separate times. Each time, the highest military court did not recognise the decision of the court which tried him. The law of the contra-guerrillas takes such a form. Finally the court decided: “The murder of the state attorney Dogan Öz is an established fact. But we cannot appeal against the decision of the military court. The accused is released.” With the murder of Dogan Öz, servants of the state were sent a message that the contra-guerrillas were more powerful than they were and they could attack anyone they wished.
The police chief of Adana, Cevat Yurdakul, was killed under similar circumstances. However, the list of targets was much broader. Besides anti-fascists, progressives and democrats, liberals, writers, lecturers and trade unionists prepared to make compromises were targetted by the fascists: indeed everyone who was not a fascist was at least potentially a target. The university lecturer Bedrettin Cömert, Professor Bedri Karafakioglu, Professor Cavit Orhan Tütengil, Professor Ümit Doganay, the lecturer Orhan Yavuz, Professor Dr Necdet Bulut, the lecturer Ümit Kaftancioglu, the journalist Abdi Ipekci and the DISK general secretary Kemal Türkler were all killed. The intention was for fascist terror to make itself felt among the masses.
The murderer of Bedrettin Cömert fled to Germany. The court which dealt with the case issued an arrest warrant for Abdullah Catli. Catli and Oral Celik played a major role in the escape from prison of Mehmet Ali Agca, who had murdered the journalist Abdi Ipekci. Although the responsible state officials declared that an escape was impossible without outside help, no proceedings were instituted. Celik returned and was acquitted. In another hearing in Malatya he was also acquitted because of the destruction of files and the absence of evidence.
Yilma Durak said after the September 12 coup that the person who murdered Orhan Tütengil was the president of the ÜGD Idealist (fascist) association, Recep Öztürk. He was exonerated and it was made possible for him to flee abroad.
THE KAHRAMANMARAS MASSACRE
It was not a new thing for the fascists to try and stir up religious hatred among Sunnis against the Alevis. This was attempted on several occasions in previous years. But the massacre of December 24, 1978 in Maras was different from anything previously experienced. Other attempts before had been local and spontaneous but this was not the case here. This was planned and prepared in advance. Explosives were sent to the scene of the crimes by the retired army captain Ali Ceviker who was later caught with the same explosives.
After September 12, a search of the MHP central headquarters revealed plans and notes for the massacre which had been stored there. A further detail was that a CIA agent, Robert Alexander Peck, active in the US embassy who also had good ties with the MHP general secretary Necati Gültekin, had visited this area in the same year and checked it out. In a report given to the Interior Ministry, it was stated that the murderers who had taken part in the Bahcelievler massacres, Haluk Kirci, Ünal Agaoglu and Ahmet Ercüment Gedikli, the murderer of the DISK president, Kemal Türkler, had all stayed in Maras.
Everything was planned in advance, the army and police were told of the provocations and fascists were organised to carry out murders. Military forces summoned by the wali (governor) were not sent to the area.
THE ATTEMPTED MASSACRE IN CORUM
At the end of July, an attempt was made to carry out in Corum the scenarios which had already happened in Maras. Before the massacres, the CIA agent Peck had been in the area. In the summer of 1979 he came to Corum and held talks with the governor and the city chairmen of the AP, MHP und CHP. He made enquiries about the special characteristics of the area’s people. Policemen who had been transferred to other cities following the events of May Day took part in the massacre.
The resistance of the people living in the Alevi area, who with the help of revolutionaries put up barricades, prevented a massacre which would have been a second Maras. After this failed attempt at a massacre by the contra-guerrillas, the high-ranking officer who on the orders of the governor tried but failed to break down the barricades by force was dismissed. By stirring up Sunnis against Alevis, Turks and Azeris against Kurds, with attempts to carry out massacres like in Maras, Corum, Sivas, Malatya, Elazig, Tokat, Erzurum, Mus and Kars, the contra-guerrillas tried to intimidate Alevis and communists. At the same time they tried to radicalise Sunnis and win them over. This was a contra-guerrilla tactic being put into practice.
THE CONTRA-GUERRILLA DEATH SQUADS
After the Kahramanmaras massacre, in 1979 Ecevit’s government ordered a state of emergency in 13 cities. Under the state of emergency, with the help of the military they tried to terrorise the people. In order to make the state of emergency more solid, massacres and attacks were concentrated in cities where no state of emergency had been proclaimed. But in the cities in which there was a state of emergency, nothing happened in the way the fascists intended. The state of emergency could not prevent the revolutionary struggle, it was the fascists who lost strength. At the start of 1978 Devrimci Sol stepped up its struggle. To protect the lives of the population, a defensive approach was abandoned and the FTKSME1 and the Armed Revolutionary Units began to attack the fascist movement. This caused other left groups to do the same, and the MHP began to get into difficulties. The MHP began to lose strength and had to go on the defensive. In the same period the contra-guerrillas reformed their structure. Frequently the “death squads” mde their presence felt under various names. They were set up by the contra-guerrillas and were responsible for torturing, murdering and making a number of people disappear. Since fascism was losing strength and support in the struggle against the revolutionary movement, the contra-guerrillas began to form bands of professional killers. The death squads were formed to combat the armed struggle and the urban guerrillas. They wanted to keep massacres secret, intimidate the people and conceal the role of the real terrorists, the MHP.
In the anti-fascist struggle up to September 12, Devrimci Sol lost 100 martyrs. The number of people killed by the contra-guerrillas, who became more aggressive the more they lost strength, went into the thousands.
THE DEATH SQUADS AND THE MAFIA WORK TOGETHER
From the beginning the death squads and organised crime were interwoven. These ties were revealed by some peoples’ confessions. The MHP confessor, Ali Yurtaslan, said that after the Bahcelievler massacre, Abdullah Catli fled to Bulgaria. “After the massacre, Catli flew to Varna und worked with the Turkish mafia. I knew names of people like Abuzer Ugurlu and Oflu Ismail. These persons provided the MHP with weapons. If they wanted payment for the weapons, heroin was sent to them. The Grey Wolves were involved in the heroin trade and used the profits to buy guns. The Istanbul MHP organisation had ties with mafia groups which it concealed. I learned that Oflu Ismail gave donations to the MHP Istanbul branch. After Oflu Ismail fled, his brother-in-law Dondar Kilic came in his place. He also helped the MHP. It is claimed that Yasar Okuyan was trained by Oflu Ismail. ” also learned that when he was in Istanbul, Catli built good links with counterfeiters. Yilmaz Durak, who before September 12 was called “leader of the Orient” and was Number Two in the MHP, told the police on November 30, 1980: “Recep Öztürk provided the organisation with weapons. He knew Cayirovaler Osman. He made promises to Recep about weapons. One day he phoned us. We met Celal Adan, then the Istanbul DYP chairman – and Ali Dogan in Sultanahmet. Recep Öztürk received more weapons from Cayirovaler Osman. The money to buy weapons was collected from party members and rich people in Istanbul.”
A book, “Türkes on September 12” was written by Dr Selim Kaptanoglu, the physician of Turkes. “One day someone rang the doorbell of Türkes’ house. This time Turgut Özal came with his chief employer Sakip Sabanci. He said the following to Türkes: “You are Turkey’s greatest leader and a banner of the anti-communist struggle,’ and he gave him a large quantity of money.” The mafia who had good ties with the MHP in Bulgaria, are Bekir Celenk and Berker Inanoglu, who was active as chairman of the MHP in Istanbul. Berker Inanoglu had a hand in the murder of the DISK general secretary, Kemal Türkler. It was an advantage for the mafia and its activities and control of the heroin trade that the MHP controlled the Customs Ministry under the MC government.
1 FTKSME – Teams Waging an Armed Struggle Against Fascist Terror