Erhan YILMAZ

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Erhan YILMAZ (Kenan)

He was born in 1976 in Bismil district near the city of Diyarbakir as the son of a poor Turkmen family. (Translator’s note: the Turkmen of Anatolia are a distinct Turkic ethnic group, who were nomadic until the 19th century and who often played an important role in rebellions against Ottoman authority. They are not the same people as the Turkmen who live in the former USSR republic of Turkmenistan, northeastern Iran and northwestern Afghanistan.) He spent his childhood in the village. Since his family was poor, he had to work at various trades in order to be able to continue through middle school and high school. In his high school years he came into contact with revolutionary ideas because of his anti-system attitudes, since he had personally experienced the system’s injustice and tyranny. While in the beginning he already sympathised with the revolutionaries in a general way, the resistance of April 16-17, 1992 influenced him deeply. He got to know the ideas of Devrimci Sol. When he began his studies in Balikesir in 1993, he belonged to Devrimci Sol. With his activities among the students he developed quickly. He began to take on various forms of responsibility. Besides his activities in the university, he was also active as someone holding responsibilities in the areas around Balikesir, Bandirma and Susurluk. He took a direct part in in organising and building various mass activities. Sometimes he was an ordinary militant, sometimes he had specific areas of responsibility. While he was getting to know the Party-Front and the revolution, he was taken captive. Imprisonment was a turning point for Erhan. During his three and a half years in prison he settled accounts with the system. He got to know the Party-Front at a very young age. He experienced heroism and betrayal. In every fibre of his being he sensed that an honourable life was one in which the struggle was waged. He said: “For me the most beautiful and valuable work in the world is to be a revolutionary, a supporter of the Party-Front, and to fight for the freedom of our homeland and our people. For this reason I swear to belong to the Party-Front until my death. For this means to be proud and honourable , so I will safeguard it…” At the end of his imprisonment, he remained true to his oath. He rushed to fight for his homeland and his people. He was full of anger and rage. He expressed his thoughts with the words, ?I have a great urge to fight.” He had begun his life inside the Party-Front and he said, “I am proud of every moment of my life I spent within the Party-Front. ” He was ready to be sent to operate in every area. With his thoughts, his feelings, indeed every fibre of his being. But he wanted to fight, gun in hand. The Party sent him to command the rural guerrilla unit in the Aegean. And with pride in every moment of his life spent inside the Party-Front, on November 30, 1998 he kept his oath until the last breath passed from his body. Now in the mountains of the Aegean, the legends of resistance by Erhan and his comrade Mehmet have been written. Erhan’s life is an honourable past , an honourable history of how he stayed true to his word up to his last breath without betraying the Party. Before he went into the mountains of the Aegean, he said: “The days are near in which we will sing the march ‘We are falcons who will beat our wings in the mountains'”.

The Party taught him the revolution and a revolutionary personality. He became immortal by holding aloft the Party with his struggle, his life, his resistance, and he sowed the seed of guerrilla warfare in the mountains of the Aegean.