(Yürüyüş magazine No.61, April 8, 2018)
Our sons and daughters inside and
we are on the outside: We resist! We will win!
They are beating on the
doors of tyranny of AKP fascism
Yet again, they are the ones raising the
flag of solidarity
TAYAD: THE FORTRESS OF RESISTANCE AND
THE VOICE OF FREE PRISONERS THAT CANNOT BE SILENCED
the darkest period of the junta years they took their place alongside their sons
First they were their sons and daughters, later their
Previously they only wanted to make their voices heard, later
they understood the rightfulness of their struggle, and later still they became
part of it.
TAYAD (Solidarity Association of Prisoners' Families) is
another name for courage, continuity and decisiveness.
AKP fascism is
preparing a prison uniform attack in the prisons. A number of sectors have
stated that they are against prison uniforms. But there is only one force
resisting the attacks at present and which will resist them in the future – the
Free Prisoners and those close to them in TAYAD.
On March 14 the TAYAD
families wanted to start a march from Galatasaray High School to Silivri
They were six mothers and fathers. They had banners with “We are
not criminals, we are revolutionaries – we will not put on prison uniforms –
TAYAD families.” Courageously they sat down in the middle of the
Opposing them were a lot of TOMAs, armoured cars and police, all
to confront six people.
They were so afraid that when they took their
first step, they stopped them and began to threaten the TAYAD
“We warn you, you cannot march, if you march we will detain
But aware of their rightness and legitimacy, Mother Naime did not
take a step back but said, “No, we will march. IT IS WE WHO ARE WARNING YOU. We
are mothers, our sons and daughters are in prison. Do you think you will change
anything by arresting a couple of mothers?”
Another mother continued to
challenge the police: “We came here in the conviction that this march is
But they could not continue, the police savagely attacked
and Naime Emlik, Fatma Yayla, Nurdan Ayna and Mulla Zincir were detained. In the
police vehicle ant at the police station there was so much torture that Mulla
Zincir’s lower back was broken in two places.
The repression against
TAYAD continued on March 23 with the raid on the houses of Kemal Gun, who had
resisted for 70 days to get back the remains of his murdered son, and TAYAD’s
Feridun Osmanaoğlu – they were both detained.
FASCISM’S FEAR OF
Why is the fascist AKP government afraid of six elderly mothers and
fathers in such a way? Why can they not even tolerate a march opposing prison
It was not hundreds of people who joined the TAYAD march to
Silivri, but six. Mass participation was perhaps on the low side but police
participation was very high.
They are afraid of TAYAD because as in the
past, today it is only the Free Prisoners and TAYAD which is close to them which
is able to frustrate the fascist policies of the state.
They are very
afraid: because only the revolutionary prisoners and those close to them are the
bearers of a history of resistance with roots, and the creators of new
Prisons and prisoners are like mirrors of a country. The
oligarchy’s policy of making people surrender started from the prisons. Get the
revolutionary prisoners to surrender and you get the people to
For this reason in 2000, we able to find the following words
by the then prime minister Ecevit BEFORE and AFTER the December 19 prison
Before the massacre Ecevit said:
“To implement IMF
policies it is necessary to solve the prison problem.”
And after the
massacre the same Ecevit said:
“Henceforth they must understand that they
cannot overcome the state.”
All the policies, practices, torture,
repression, detention, confiscation of rights were about implementing
imperialist policies. This is all about protecting the interests of their
imperialist masters and their collaborators.
Revolutionaries are a very
serious obstacle to exploitation and plunder by imperialists and their
collaborators, so all their policies are about eliminating the
The junta of September 12, 1980 wanted to suppress the
revolutionary struggle. For this hundreds of thousands of progressives,
revolutionaries and democrats were imprisoned and tortured and gallows set
While the September 12 fascist junta practised every kind of terror
outside, to bring about the definitive surrender of the people, policies to make
the prisoners surrender were brought onto the agenda. The junta selected three
prisons in particular – the targets were PKK prisoners in Diyarbakir, Devrimci
Yol prisoners in Mamak and Devrimci Sol prisoners in Metris Prison.
PKK and Devrimci Yol prisoners surrendered by accepting fascist pressure and
sanctions and not putting up an organised resistance. The state brought them
into line with its desires.
While continuing tyranny in the prisons,
outside democratic mass organisations were closed and organisations broken up. A
number of political movements claiming to be the vanguard either surrendered or
escaped abroad as refugees. Total silence reigned among the social
But in this environment there was one voice outside the
prisons. The voice of TAYAD.
TAYAD, in a Turkey in which a large section
of the left had surrendered, was the owner of a resistance line of the mothers,
fathers, spouses, engaged and close friends of those who belonged to Devrimci
From the start their first concern was to be the voice of their sons
and daughters. Later when they learned from their own experiences of the prisons
and the reality of fascism, they became the comrades of their sons and
daughters, making their beliefs their own.
While Devrimci Sol inmates
were resisting in the prisons, their families became step by step a force in the
resistance outside. The junta’s tortures grew worse as it sought to bring prison
uniforms on the agenda. In the face of this repression a great many political
movements created theories legitimising surrender while Devrimci Sol Trial
prisoners and in 1984 TIKB Trial prisoners began Death Fast
The prisoners broke through the darkness of tyranny with the
death fasts while TAYAD took on the same mission outside. They went out to
Taksim Square and laid a black wreath. It had the words “Change the prisons –
end the Death Fasts”.
This was the first action in the city squares after
the junta. Ten people: in an environment where organisations and trade unions
were intimidated, they had the courage to go out into the squares. The source of
their courage was the determination to show solidarity.
Today once again
TAYAD do not even think of refraining from the actions that others do not have
the courage to do perform. In conditions in which political movements and trade
unions developed surrender theories maintaining that “nothing can be done in
state of emergency conditions”, the supporters of TAYAD open banners in the
squares, carry out sit-down actions with slogans, and go in front of prisons to
show solidarity with prisoners. And they decided to march from Istanbul to
From DİSK to KESK, from the TMMOB to the TTB (translator’s note:
trade union federations and civil society groups in Turkey) unions, and chambers
with hundreds of thousands of members have not taken even a step onto the street
in support of their members’ rights, while TAYAD had the courage for a long
march. This means that “the number of members” is not what determines the
people’s struggle. It is not how “crowded” it is that is important – what is
important is that it is able to do what must be done!
And to be able to
do this takes courage, determination and will!
And this is written into
Under conditions of OHAL (the state of emergency) the
AKP has sought to silence all opposition forces with the KHK legal decrees and
appointing governors to take away the powers of municipalities. Fascism has
imprisoned dozens of the HDP’s parliamentary deputies. Governors are appointed
to municipalities and take them over using force. But the HDP has not put up
even the slightest resistance to this. Quite to the contrary, they do not give
up their hopes within the system and in municipalities that have been seized,
they continue to work under AKP administration. They have been subjected to
every sort of humiliation in parliament. Several days earlier their newspaper
and publishing house were seized. Again they were capable of no sustained or
AKP fascism has gained courage from these
aggressive policies which have yielded results, and now seeks to get the
revolutionary movement and Free Prisoners it sees as the actual obstacle to
In these conditions of repression, which surpass even Turkey’s
junta years, TAYAD supporters have been one of the forces that have been able to
show militant resistance to the fascist policies of the state and develop
The reason for this is quite clear: as was made clear in the
statement when TAYAD’s Kemal Gun and Feridun Osmanaoğlu were detained, “We will
continue to resist under every condition. No force in the world can prevent us
from resisting AKP fascism and defeating it. Our strength comes from us being
right and being the people!”
The Aggressive Policy In The
Fascism somehow could not and cannot get revolutionary prisoners,
DHKP-C Trial prisoners in the jails of Turkey to surrender. Both inside and
outside resistance goes on uninterrupted.
To get prisoners to surrender,
fascism attempts diverse aggressive policies. Against revolutionary prisoners
the state has never dispensed with a policy of aggression.
The policy of
aggression is lessened in some periods, while in others it is stepped up but the
essence of policies aimed at bringing about surrender never changes.
about a year and a half fascism has been stepping up its attacks. And for the
one and a half years revolutionary prisoners have been resisting.
resist through every type of action, with hunger strikes, pounding on the doors,
sending faxes, refusing roll call.
As the attacks are not new, the
history of resistance by Free Prisoners is not new either. The attack aimed at
imposing prison uniforms is not new. As we mentioned above, these attacks
started with the junta of September 12, 1980. They were repeated in various
forms with the 1984 attempt to impose prison uniforms which was beaten off in
1984, and the cell attacks of 1991, 1996 and 2000. The prisoners inside and
TAYAD outside paid a heavy price.
Exile To Remote Prisons, Ill Prisoners,
Physical Torture… AKP Prisons Are No Different From Those Of September
One of the policies of fascism today aimed at making prisoners
surrender and intimidate their families is exile to remote prisons. The prisoner
is not told beforehand he or she will be moved. There is a sudden raid and the
prisoners are removed from their cells and put into very narrow compartments in
the prison vehicles. When prisoners are brought to the new prison they are
stripped naked and strip-searched. The aim is to cut prisoners off from any form
of organisation, and intimidate them with the thought that they can be sent
elsewhere at any moment and repeatedly tortured. Any collective life of
prisoners is to be disrupted.
This kind of transport into exile of
prisoners has been particularly used by Spanish fascism against Basque ETA Trial
prisoners and Spanish GRAPO prisoners.
The AKP has another policy to get
prisoners to surrender and to deprive them of their right to a court appearance
or a defence. Prisoners are not brought to court, instead they are made to give
a statement via what is called SEGBIS, an electronic system. (Translator’s note:
this is a TV screen in a room in the prison linking an inmate to a courtroom
outside. There is no provision for a defence lawyer to be present, either in the
prison or even in the courtroom.)
Grup Yorum member Dilan Ekin was
brought to Caglayan Palace of Justice on March 19 but was not taken to the
courtroom. It was a game that both denied her a right to a defence and also
prevented her from being released.
In the prisons at the moment there are
reports that people “cannot stay in prison”; but there are more than 950 ill
prisoners who are not released. Fascism does not release them and denies them a
right to treatment.
As a case in point, the right to medical treatment
for Grup Yorum members Dilan Poyraz and Dilan Ekin is being
Dilan Ekin is at risk of a stroke. Doctors of the Mengele
type say, “In the worst case you should perform the namaz prayer five times a
day”, and in this way they show that they are practising tyranny in the service
The TAYAD families have struggled in the past for the rights
of ill prisoners to receive treatment and will also do this in
For decades TAYAD has struggled for the release of ill prisoners.
TAYAD is the only force that persistently supports sick prisoners. The campaign
for the release of Güler Zere, a Free Prisoner who was ill with cancer in 2009,
went into history as a role model for the world in this type of
When her cancer was in its early stages, her treatment was
obstructed and it spread to the point of being mortal.
Later she could no
longer be treated in prison but they did not want to release her, even to die.
At that point Güler Zere was not just dealing with CANCER, but she was condemned
to struggle against it in ISOLATION CONDITIONS. However a determined struggle
united with all democratic forces finally succeeded in winning her
There were three important reasons for our ability to free Güler
Zere from the hands of fascism:
First, our line of rightfulness and
legitimacy. Second, our persistence and determination in the democratic
struggle. Third, our ability to unite.
TAYAD Is The Creator Of New
In many countries of the world, there are prisoner
support organisations like TAYAD. For decades these organisations have struggled
for prisoners in countries like Spain, Ireland and Argentina. However, their
struggles could not remain lasting despite all self-sacrifice and despite their
martyrs. The reason for this is being connected to political lines or being
affected by them that openly seek conciliation. The result of such lines is that
with the passage of time these prisoners’ organisations become
Whereas TAYAD has waged an active struggle since 1983 and
been able to ensure its continuity and permanence.
Because TAYAD defends
a particular world view and believes in the rightfulness and legitimacy of their
sons’ and daughters’ struggle against imperialism and fascism.
struggle in Turkey continues, there are Free Prisoners: and for the Free
Prisoners there is TAYAD. And there will continue to be TAYAD.
started its organised work in 1983. On February 3, 1986 TAYAD was officially
In 32 years it has created FIRSTS of a kind not seen
elsewhere in the world.
Between the years 2000 and 2007, in the Great
Resistance, they put their lives on the line, themselves took part in the Death
Fast, creating another first in world history.
Those on the outside close
to prisoners started the Death Fast together with the prisoners inside. For the
first time in a Death Fast in the world, prisoners’ relatives outside went on
the Death Fast together with prisoners in jail.
After fascism sought to
break the Death Fast resistance with the December 19 prison massacre,
Küçükarmutlu became a location of the Death Fast on the outside.
first year of the resistance, when the censorship was at its heaviest,
Küçükarmutlu became a door opening the martyrs’ resistance to the world
Here, together with Front prisoners, the TAYAD resistance
position made them into actual fighters.
TAYAD’s Şenay Hanoğlu turned her
house into a resistance house.
From the TAYAD families, the Canans,
Şenays, Gülsümans, Zehras and Hulyas were martyred in the resistance
Here are the names of TAYAD members who were martyred in the
Gülsüman Dönmez, Canan Kulaksız, Şenay Hanoğlu,
Erdoğan Güler, Zehra Kulaksız, Hulya Şimsek, Abdulbari Yusufoğlu, Özlem
Durakçan, Arzu Güler and Sultan Yıldız.
A History In Hand
maintained resistance in Ankara for 1,230 days and was a monument to TAYAD’s
history, showing how much determination it had crafted.
received the name of the Abdi Ipekçi Park Resistance and started with a 10-day
sit-down action. The TAYAD members for those 10 days were a voice in the park
announcing the Death Fast of their sons and daughters. But fascism attacked this
action, starting on September 16, 2003. The police attack on the sit-down action
turned it into a war of wills. And certainly the winner of this war would be
TAYAD members added another first to world history. What started
as a 10-day action went on for 1,230 days. Not only was it day and night, but
every day for 24 hours there was every kind of terror from the police,
provocations by civilian fascists, the difficult natural conditions of Ankara in
summer and winter, they had to resist heat and cold. And despite 17 members of
TAYAD being jailed, the resistance ended in victory after 1,230 days. They never
gave up the fight against isolation.
A resistance epic was established in
Abdi Ipekçi Park, of patience, belief, determination and
Sevgi Erdoğan’s House Of Farewell
Sevgi Erdoğan was a
martyr in the Death Fast of 2000-2007. Today there is a House Of Farewell named
after her that was opened in Küçükarmutlu. The House Of Farewell was a place
that became necessary for TAYAD to give support to the families of our martyrs
and prisoners in particular.
Our mothers and fathers, who showed every
kind of self-sacrifice for us, paying a heavy price being detained, tortured and
not begrudging any sort or moral or material support, are now aged and it is our
turn to look after them. The system puts them in “retirement homes, whereas we
regard our mothers and fathers as the jewel in the crown.
Erdoğan House Of Farewell” was opened with this understanding. This house is a
unique example in the world created by TAYAD of a house of farewell.
Again, TAYAD Were Present In The Nuriye-Semih Resistance
The latest like
in the TAYAD chain of resistance was the Nuriye-Semih Resistance. Two TAYAD
supporters, Mehmet Güvel and Feridun Osmanaoğlu also went on hunger strike with
Nuriye and Semih.
Certainly there were thousands, tens of thousands, who
supported the resistance. But theirs was a special sort of resistance. Two TAYAD
supporters stated that they would support Nuriye and Semih TO THE END and that
if they died, they would die with them.
There is no doubt that this
support went well beyond ordinary solidarity and was a product of TAYAD’S 32
years of history.
Two TAYAD supporters were partners of Nuriye Gülmen and
Semih Ozakça in their hunger strike. Two TAYAD supporters gave the loftiest
example of solidarity and self-sacrifice by maintaining a hunger strike, one for
209 days, the other for 166 days, by saying “If they die, I will de
Again TAYAD Supporters Are There To Oppose Fascism’s Torture In The
Prisons And The Attempt To Impose Prison Uniforms
Despite the oligarchy’s
use of terror through imprisonment against the People’s Front, it cannot silence
the supporters of the Front. They cannot get a result in the prisons, despite
all their repression and terror directed at revolutionary prisoners.
they resort to other forms of arbitrary behaviour. They use executions, and ban
books and magazines.
They do not put into practice the right to
conversation achieved at a high price by prisoners.
There are bans on
communication as a punishment, lasting for years. One Free Prisoner has had 272
years of such a punishment, another 45 years of a ban on using the telephone.
Every day reports come of prisoners having their hair pulled out or their arms
broken. Every day there is another torture operation.
But the oligarchy
still cannot get what it wants. Just like it could not get the result it wanted
on December 19, 2000 with the savagery of its attack aimed at opening the F-Type
Fascism cannot prevent organised and collective life in the
prisons; nor can it get revolutionaries to give up the struggle. As soon as
revolutionary prisoners are released, they pick up the struggle where they left
off. Against this the latest policy of AKP fascism is to re-arrest people at the
doors of prisons on their release.
And the AKP, still unable to get a
result from all this tyranny, now wants to impose prison uniforms.
they will not succeed.
Because they are up against great
The determination of the Free Prisoners of the Front and
After the latest attacks TAYAD made the following
“Even if they pour concrete on us, or chain us up, we will
not let them impose prison uniforms on our sons and daughters. We will always
continue to resist alongside our sons and daughters.”
And this is the
essential matter. This can be said.
The supporters of TAYAD said this
when they went out to Taksim Square in 1984. Whatever the tyranny, this has been
their attitude for 32 years.
The AKP cannot rule the country. It cannot
even profit from the system of repression called OHAL. The people are not
pleased, the country is in a deep political and economic crisis. Even if the AKP
looks very strong, it knows very well that the people could explode at any
moment. So the AKP knows that it has to resort to stepping up and spreading
Revolutionary prisoners gave four martyrs in the junta
period, and were a barricade against the politics of surrender and prison
uniforms. Today there is no doubt they will resist whatever the
Because PRISON UNIFORMS are not a simple matter of clothing.
Prison uniforms are an ideological attack.
AKP fascism wants to make the
people surrender by getting the prisoners to surrender, give up revolutionism
and break up organisational life.
Because of the historical experience of
revolutionary prisoners and TAYAD families and their class consciousness, they
have no vain expectations as regards fascism. The only way to beat off attacks
The Free Prisoners and those close to them are
The TAYAD Families will do today what is necessary, just as in the
Perhaps they will be detained, perhaps tortured and imprisoned.
Fascism is tyranny and devoid of values. They practise every kind of repression,
it doesn’t matter if people are old or are mothers or fathers. But just as this
is certain, so is resistance also certain.
TAYAD FOLK SONG
soil was dry, the sky dark
One by one we were silent, we were mothers and
The shout from the September dungeons woke us up
We awoke from the
dream of fear
Resistance walked tall in the dungeons
We put real
pressure on tyranny
We gave a real voice to sons and daughters
the fortresses of fear
Until we have broken captivity’s chains
shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart
Our honour with our carnations
the squares resound with our march