REVOLUTIONARY PEOPLE’S LIBERATION FRONT
Date: December 23th 2000; Statement: 136
The authorities are celebrating over our dead bodies. Before the eyes of the entire world, our country has witnessed one of the most comprehensive attacks in its history. We are replying to this attack with one of the biggest acts of resistance in our history. Thousands of revolutionary prisoners and every single one of our comrades in the wrote pages in the history books on December 19. Hundreds wrote their heroic names in the legend of the December 19 resistance. Tens of thousands of soldiers and police, equipped with heavy weaponry as though they were launching a military operation against the beaches of Cyprus, killed, threw people in cells but did not make people surrender. Victory is ours from this day forward. With something like 30 martyrs, hundreds wounded and on the 65th day of hunger, we are continuing our march towards death and victory, with hundreds more resisting the murderous attack by starting hunger strikes and Death Fasts.
The massacre was not just directed at the prisoners but at the whole people. The resistance which began on October 20 as an Indefinite Hunger Strike and was converted into a Death Fast followed all the classical patterns since that time that are characteristic of such actions. The authorities, who do everything on the orders of the imperialist monopolies, who take on new roles in the Middle East, Balkans and Caucasus in the name of imperialism, want to create an environment in which the imperialists and monopolies can easily engage in plunder, and this cannot be done without defeating the opposition forces. The opposition which is part of the system was not a problem for them, in the final analysis. So it was the revolutionary and democratic opposition which had to be annihilated.
The prisons were always a priority target for having a special place in the material and moral conception of our revolutionary struggle. The prisoners from our front gave the appropriate response to this attack. The resistance was started on October 20, the announcement of the Death Fast by 100 Free Captives on November 19 marked a new escalation in the resistance. In connection with this we saw the democratic opposition grow step by step. This was the point at which the plans of the imperialists and the oligarchy came to nothing. The resistance had spread beyond being a prison resistance, and people were starting to say “the system is disintegrating”. The oligarchy, to get back the initiative, prepared for a massacre and began to play games about intervening. They tried to create conditions for this with propaganda about “pressure from organisations”.
At this point, from trade union confederations to legal political parties, various democratic associations said “Quit,” not to the authorities but to the revolutionaries, and they tried to create “pressure from public opinion” so the situation was such that the authorities could intervene. In this way the authorities found the circumstances needed to carry out an intervention and massacre. They saved the day for themselves today, but tomorrow belongs to those who have resisted. On December 19 the authorities went over to the attack and carried out the most comprehensive prison operation in the history of the Republic of Turkey. The state behaved with insane boldness in massacring hundreds of prisoners. We were up against a government that can run nothing and has no authority anywhere but wants to prove itself by carrying out a slaughter. It burned, destroyed and killed. The authorities showed their true face. However, they showed that they can conduct bans, repressions, slaughter and violence. They tore down and burned their own prisons, saying, “I made them surrender, I conquered.” Is this anything other than an image of powerlessness? What could be simpler than slaughtering human beings who were already behind the four walls of prisons? The authorities are shouting their victory chants. True, if destroying their own prisons is a victory, they won a victory.
True, if slaughtering dozens of prisoners behind prison walls is a victory, they won a major victory. But this is not a victory that any government can profit from. Today they saved themselves, tomorrow they will lose. The revolutionaries were right. Today everyone is admitting that the revolutionaries turned out to be right. They were right. Because they recognise this government for what it is. From life, they recognise those who have worked to organise the people’s fight for liberation. They know that in this country there is fascism, both secret and open. Various mass organisations, trade unions, chambers and intellectual circles have erred or simply been deceived into not recognising this reality, or despite knowing that this is the truth, they have worked to protect the status quo. Everyone who has lived through the events of October 20 to the present, day by day, hour by hour, has been able to scrutinise them. The authorities are working to deceive public opinion. They are trying to deceive by a policy of saying, “Look at the good intentions of the state.” Closing their ears to all warnings, those who told the hunger strikers to “quit” were being used. The prisoners from the point of view of ideology and politics, are clear and correct. Their strength and their rightness come from this. Those who said “Quit”, still cannot stand up straight in the face of their own bourgeoisie.
This is not democracy or revolutionism. They must think about how they were made use of and how they came to such a pass. And they must take a stand. It was not just the prisoners, not just the revolutionaries who were repressed, but human rights associations, intellectuals, even doctors whom they tried to silence; through the terrorism of arrests they sought to deny the “right to protest”, and today they want to eliminate all the democratic forces, so it is time for those who are for democracy, rights and freedoms and the right to life to stand on their feet and be counted. Everyone must stop and think: we lay down to die for our beliefs, we were slaughtered for the sake of our right to resist. Our prisoners also reckoned with the possibility that there might be an intervention. They resolutely put their lives on the line, saying “If you have courage, then come on.” In a regime where those responsible for prisoners’ lives murder them and it is obvious to the whole world that this is a regime that does not keep its word, how can a prisoner seek what is right? By laying down to die. It was necessary to put our lives forward for the sake of our thoughts, for the sake of living. The authorities say no, you have no right to resist. Those who have been developing philosophies about death are running away from this truth. Those who say, “Death is not a matter of politics,” must think about this: why is this a country in which such an act of resistance is possible? They must ask themselves: when and how did this turn into a country where people die and kill like that? Did we kill, did we make executions a daily event in this country? Without examining this aspect, you cannot think realistically. While dying, we are also resisting the oligarchy’s ideology and culture. The type of person the system wants will not be able to discuss anything, will not question anything, will not read, will be ignorant about the world, will resist nothing, and will say nothing about freedom and what is right. Society will be reduced to nothing more than a magazine colour supplement. The talk shows are running their programmes over our dead bodies. But our deaths and our resistance are also striking the greatest blow at this culture. We are shaking the minds of those who were narrow-minded, those who used not to ask any questions. We are making them think and making them start to ask questions. We say we are dying for the country, for the people, for democracy, for honour and freedom. A government has come which has condemned 70 million people to poverty, turned the country into a lake of blood and does not even heed those who cry out from on top of the ruins. This is a regime which has placed itself under the arbitration of the IMF, and which even obtained its designs for prisons from the USA. It is the revolutionaries who do not accept this. The revolutionaries who struggle against this.
Those who say “do not die” are those who have surrendered to this tableau of dependence, poverty and tyranny, and they also want us to surrender like they have. The defenders of the ‘F’ Type prisons and those who defended their own work to bring about the ‘F’ Type prisons are responsible for burning, riddling our dead bodies with bullets and tearing them apart. The people that defend the ‘F’ Types are responsible for all the torture, murder and harassment that is happening in the ‘F’ Type prisons right now. With this murderous attack, the prisoners were tortured, killed, then the survivors brought to the ‘F’ Types and tortured again. The hair of the prisoners was shaved. In the cells they were not given clothes or any belongings. On December 22, during the visit by lawyers, they only had a sheet to cover themselves. The heating system of the prison was not switched on. Amid enormous harassment, they are kept hungry, thirsty and naked. The defenders of the ‘F ‘ Types – come and see how contemporary, modern and humane your prisons are! See this and say sorry to the people and to the revolutionary prisoners. You will give a self-criticism or else you will render an account. You cannot say that yes, we defended the ‘F’ Types but we did not want anyone to be killed like that. “The ‘F’ Types mean a massacre,” “Intervention means a massacre,” we said this for months and months before this happened. You, justice minister, for months you presented the ‘F’ Types as being humane. Now show openly what the ‘F’ Type prisons are really like. Reveal openly what kind of harassment you engaged in there. Open them so everyone can see your role as dungeon-keeper, open them so people can see how persons in isolation cells are resisting. These bloody pages, these pages of harassment are yours. But these pages of resistance are ours. You cannot defeat us, you cannot wipe us out. The ‘F’ Type prisons too will not make us surrender. You will see. They are saying that “we dispersed their bases,” “we finished them.” You could not finish off anything. We will show you. On March 12 and September 12, they said the same things. Still, they are having to deal with us. In this country, still, there are two main powers – the state and ourselves.
The people who say “we finished them” have no connection with science and have no information about the country. “Since 1991.” they are continuing to yap and snap at one another like dogs. In every period that we were in prison, with our ideas and our values, we continued to exist. Even the September 12 military coup could not prevent this. We will be everywhere and we will defend our beliefs. They said, we dispersed their bases. Every cell will be our headquarters. They could not finish anything with the ‘F’ Types. The ‘F’ Types will also be a centre of resistance. We will continue our education, we will continue to be organised. The basis of the ‘F’ policy is to turn the revolutionaries into persons without an organisation and “rehabilitate” them into the kind of people who defend the Susurluk state. They cannot succeed in this. The defenders of the ‘F’ Types will only find a place in history as perpetrators of massacres. We are fighting an enemy who is without ethics and morals. This unethical enemy seeks to use the media to transmit this lack of ethics to the people. The media is giving disinformation for the state and is transmitting information without value. Since the first days that Death Fast started, they engaged in a great deal of speculation, we called them many times, we said, “Go and speak with the prisoners,” but they did not, because they feared to confront reality. We can discuss with everyone what is “pressure from organisations”, what “death” is, what the relations of life and death are. Those whose own ideas are eclectic and stolen from all over the place cannot give advice to our prisoners. Stop engaging in speculation in your newspaper headlines, stop slandering the prisoners, give ear to the prisoners who are in the cells and the hospitals still continuing the Death Fast. If you have any honour, if you have any objectivity at all, you have to show society the reality. Then your readers can make decisions. You love to say things like, “Our readers will decide.” The media is actually in a rush to try to prove that the massacre was justified. It is a massive slandering machine. Everything is in a rush, everything is screaming, they are trying to hide the fact that the government cannot rule. Every one of our comrades who was massacred or died in the Death Fast or will die in the coming days was killed by the government and the government’ s collaborators. The government rushes to say, “I didn’t kill, they burned themselves,” but the witnesses to this massacre are still alive. Nobody can cover up this massacre. They cannot do it. It is the government that is responsible for every death. Our prisoners’ organisation had declared on December 17 that “Every kind of attack on the Death Fast resisters WILL TURN OUR BODIES INTO TORCHES OF REVOLUTION, WHEREVER WE ARE!” With this aim in mind, during the attacks to massacre them, some comrades responded by indeed turning their own bodies into torches. When we receive all the information, we will clarify what actually happened in this regard. At this point the oligarchy’s attitude to carrying out a massacre is becoming more and more clear – despite the declaration by our prisoners, they still launched their attack. The state used this declaration to cover up their own massacre plans. That is why they massacred many of our comrades by burning them. It is certain that six women prisoners were burned alive in Bayrampasa Prison. In Umraniye, our comrade Ahmet Ibili turned his body into a torch against the murderers, and even then they shot him dead. The tyranny could not find fear in our eyes. The Free Prisoners could not be made to surrender. For the last two days the world’s television watched the massacre, as our comrades continued to shout our slogans against the hundreds and hundreds of torturers and murderers. They are shouting out their resistance during an atmosphere of tyranny. History records all this. They are releasing in the media all these things in order to intimidate the people, but these tactics are counter-productive. It will rebound on them! Every second or centimetre of the attacks met with resistance. There is a heroism and courage that is taking a weapon from the hands of a government that can only succeed by killing. Neither the Justice Minister, nor the intelligentsia which has no idea about real life because they are cowards who have no real aim in their life can comprehend this heroism. At the end of the day the Justice Minister had to say that if the prisoners used this energy and determination for the homeland, it would be much better. We say to him, do not worry – our comrade’s energy and beliefs are already used for the benefit of our people. If in the midst of this poverty and tyranny, there is still hope and resistance, this is because of their beliefs and energy, efforts and courage. Despite dozens of martyrs, they showed that the government cannot do everything they want. Because of their ideological superiority and power of their beliefs, they resisted. They showed everybody the reality of Turkey in the manner of their deaths. In dying, they educated everyone in how to win rights and freedoms in the struggle for democracy. The people who are trying to give “our young people in the prisons” condescending advice must understand. The prisoners are ideologically and culturally the most experienced section of people in the country. They are not “young people in prisons, or children”, but are those who want power. Why are they so determined? This is the answer! Because they are persons in a movement whose purpose is to gain power. This is why they are so determined and serious. They are not playing around. They are not on an adventure. They are fighting the government to become the government. They are fighting to win democracy, justice and law for this country. The Free Prisoners are our honour, our future and our tomorrow. They are the managers of the country’s future. The people who do not have any single opportunity behind four walls have nonetheless left the oligarchy in a very poor condition. Their power, creativity and determination cannot be disputed. This belief and determination will direct this country. The resistance will carry on as the resistance of democratic powers, but under worse conditions.
The authorities showed that they are not rescuers, but murderers. Today, they admitted that they want to make the democratic opposition surrender. It came out that the massacre was not to “save” lives. About 30 prisoners were massacred by their “rescuers”. The Death Fast also continues. Who did you save? You managed to massacre but saved nobody. If somebody believes in the comedy the authorities are playing, they have a mental problem, or they are collaborators who believe everything they are told in the most cowardly fashion. After two days everybody understood that the demagogy of “saving” them and “returning them to life” was merely meant to cushion what they were actually doing. They attacked the Death Fast because, as the Justice Minister said, this resistance was growing greater and greater as part of a hotbed of the struggle for democracy. They attacked the Death Fast because, as the gendarme commander said, the ‘F’ Types would remove terror from the agenda of the country. They are continuing tyrannical attacks outside the prisons to make democratic organisations surrender. After the December 19 resistance, we are entering a period that will be harder than the December 19 resistance itself. It means we will pay a higher price. The resistance is carrying on in new areas and new conditions.
The government wants to put an end to the struggle of the democratic opposition and the struggle for rights and freedoms by means of the December 19 massacre and the opening of the ‘F’ Type prisons. Right now the resistance mainly comes at this point. The content of the resistance is its conversion into the resistance of all sections more than was the case previously, the resistance of those who live in this country and demand rights, liberties and freedoms. The dividing line between those who support the state or not, support fascism or not, will be more clear. Our resistance that started on October 20 and ended on December 22 gave dozens of martyrs and is continuing in the cells, is a world-wide resistance. Lies and censorship, cells and forced feeding will be destroyed by the power of the Death Fast resistance. Everybody will start to speak of the Death Fast action again, and we will emerge from the struggle with victory.