(Yürüyüş magazine 62, April 15, 2018)
They hanged, they cut throats, they slaughtered and imperialism said, here you are, Anatolia is yours!
They want to turn Anatolia into a rose garden without thorns for imperialism and its collaborators. They will not succeed! We are here, we are not defeated and we are not destroyed!
We are revolutionaries, a rose for the people, a thorn for the imperialists! While we are in this land, there is no rest for the imperialists!
WE ANNOUNCE TO ALL IMPERIALISTS AND COLLABORATORS WHO WANT TO SLAUGHTER AND DESTROY US THAT ANATOLIA WILL BE A HEAVEN FOR THE PEOPLE OF ANATOLIA, A HELL FOR IMPERIALISTS AND COLLABORATORS!
They have imprisoned artists of the people. They have imprisoned lawyers of the people. They have imprisoned engineers and architects of the people. They imprison members of the People’s Front.
They kill the Gunays, the Leylas, the Inancs, the Bilgehans.
We could explain the answer to the question at great length.
But the answer can be summed up in a statement made years earlier (in 1971) by a prime minister of the Republic of Turkey, Nihat Erim:
Prime Minister Erim said the following in a special statement to the American agency AP after a massacre of revolutionaries:
“THE LEFTISTS HAVE BEEN CRUSHED. FROM NOW ON THE AMERICAN FLEET CAN COME.”
Under this heading the following was written:
Associated Press journalist Nick Ludington spoke to Nihat Erim, who said that Turkish-American relations, spoiled by pressure from extreme leftists, were on the way to being repaired.”
The essence and the summary of policies is this – torture of us, bans to isolate us, the imprisonment of us, disappearances and attempts to make us surrender in the prisons.
Imperialism is the reason our blood is spilled!
A lot of our blood has been spilled since we raised the flag of independence against imperialism, and started our people’s liberation war for revolution and socialism. The torture chambers have worked to get us to give up the liberation war, we have received thousands of years of jail.
Opening the banner of liberation from imperialism, Mahir and those like him called out to the “workers, peasants, soldiers, patriotic intellectuals, our people.” They called the peoples of Turkey to the liberation war. They took up the gun.
Against whom and what are they fighting?
They said it in the THKC’s No.1 Bulletin:
“American imperialists and their dogs have been looting our country for many long years: they took away whatever we had. They have stolen what our working people toiled to gain. All our wealth, our oil, our chrome, our copper… They confiscated all our natural wealth. They left us hunger and unbearable poverty that condemned thousands of us to infectious diseases, and condemned us to live in ignorance.”
These words began to be reflected in the skies of Anatolia in May 1971.
The claim was a clear one: it was American imperialism that is plundering our country, exploiting it and condemning our people to poverty and misery.
And they did not confine themselves to simply making the claim.
“We, the People’s Liberation Front of Turkey (THKC) say that:
1 – The only way to bring down the sovereignty of American imperialism and the classes of its local servants and exploiters is armed liberation struggle to gain independence.”
They said the words and did what the words demanded.
They started armed liberation war against American imperialism and its collaborators. And from that day to this, one of the most basic aims of American imperialism and all pro-American governments in our country has been to destroy us. This is why they killed us in Kizildere. This was the basic reason for the fascist junta of September 12, 1980.
The supporters of the Front, who continue under all conditions to wave the banner of Mahir, have for decades been the target of America and the pro-Americans. On July 12, 1991 and April 16-17, 1992, this was why leading cadres of Devrimci Sol were massacred. This is why we were put on lists of “the most dangerous organisations”. This was why prices were put on the heads of our comrades.
Whenever they struck a blow at us, the American government and the administrations of the Republic of Turkey both celebrated together. Whenever the Front struck a blow at them, they mourned together and plotted their revenge.
In 48 years the fear of the Front harboured by imperialism and the pro-American governments in our country has not declined, on the contrary it has grown.
Because whatever they do, they cannot destroy the Front, nor stop its development, nor draw it over to conciliation, surrender and liquidation.
Because of this, whatever belongs to the Front, whether connected closely or distantly, whoever defend the Front’s ideology and politics, the system has declared them to be an ENEMY.
All Operations And Massacres Have The Same Cause: To Bring “Calm” To The 6th Fleet, Imperialist Companies And Collaborationist Bosses
All juntas, martial law, OHAL (state of emergency), executions, massacres, yes, ALL WITHOUT EXCEPTION, are the work of imperialists and collaborators so that they can loot and plunder more easily.
We mentioned it above, let us mention it again:
1971: Prime Minister Nihat Erim, together with the military coup, started a “sledgehammer operation” against the people and revolutionaries and dozens of revolutionaries were massacred, thousands were imprisoned and he said: “The leftists have been crushed, the American fleet from now on can come.”
1980: After the September 12 fascist junta began work,
a – American officials said “our children have done it”.
b – Halit Narin, the spokesman of the American collaborationist monopoly bourgeoisie in our country, said, “From now on we are the ones who are smiling.”
It is clear in whose interests the junta was carried out…
1990s: On July 12, 1991 and April 16-17, 1992, massacres and executions followed one after another.
President Demirel said: in the MGK (National Security Council) we talked about the prisons on 30 occasions… Outside and inside the prisons, massacres continue and on the same dates imperialist companies proliferate in our country and use privatisation to engage in plunder.
2000: Imperialism and the oligarchy prepare a comprehensive new attack on revolutionaries. The excuse for this is explained very clearly by those who operate the state:
Prime Minister Ecevit: “Without solving the prisons problem (that is, the revolutionaries) we cannot put into practice the IMF programme.”
The general director of prisons, Ali Suat Ertosun: “This project will be carried out. We want to eliminate a belief system in our country. We will remove the belief system at whatever cost.”
The security chief in Bayrampasa prison, Zeki Bingol: “The operation was conducted against the DHKP-C.”
The operation was carried out! 28 prisoners were killed! Thousands of prisoners were tortured and then thrown into F-Type prisons. Like in the March 12 Sledgehammer operation. And just like Nihat Erim, after the massacre Ecevit said, “Solving the prison problem in a factor in looking to the future with hope.”
2004: The AKP and the imperialists carry out a simultaneous operation in five countries. They say German, Italian and American imperialist companies will be able to come to our country more easily.
2014: AKP fascism attacks in order to suppress the June Uprising. Berkin Elvan is murdered. Prime Minister Erdogan says, “I gave the order.” Six people are killed in the June Uprising on Erdogan’s orders. So as not to spoil the atmosphere of “peace and confidence” for imperialism and its collaborators, and exploitation and plunder can continue.
THE POLICY OF FASCISM: DESTROY ALL WHO ARE NOT OF ME AND DO NOT SURRENDER TO ME!
They have not destroyed the Front over decades, in spite of their massacres. In these decades the Front has experienced many military, physical blows. But it was not defeated. Because those who do not surrender cannot be defeated. Ideologically the Front has never been removed from the scene!
Institutions that operate with the Front’s ideology, politics and tradition of resistance are not defeated and cannot be defeated.
TAYAD is one example of an institution that for decades has been subjected to any number of raids, closure of associations, hundreds of people imprisoned, but it has not been possible to destroy it.
For 32 years Grup Yorum has also been among those that they cannot destroy, with its folk songs, marches, which find a resonance in the mountains, plateaux and in the streets of the impoverished city neighbourhoods in Anatolia.
At the moment, Grup Yorum has 11 members in jail while another six are being searched for after “rewards” were offered for them. But Grup Yorum CAN NEITHER BE DESTROYED NOR SILENCED. Yorum, despite these imprisonments and prices placed on their heads, continues to reply with new songs and concerts.
What does the system want? It wants the artist to be at the service of the system. If you call yourself an artist, whether you come from a rich or a “society” environment, or from the people, you must be ready to enter the service of the bourgeoisie. Your “art” must not be the art of the people but must be about consumer culture, sexuality and apolitical.
If you call yourself a lawyer, be an official of the state or the monopolies. Defend their rights. Say you are a lawyer, think only of money, not of rights, take the side of “money”. Say you are a lawyer and seek a place within the system, dance attendance on the system parties in order to become a member of parliament. Call yourself a lawyer and defend bourgeois politicians, mafia members, rapists. There is no place within the system for another sort of lawyer! Say you are an engineer or an architect, be at the service of construction monopolies. Make plans and projects to throw dust into the eyes of the people. Your occupation is one of serving deceitful companies in the architectural or engineering offices. What does “architecture for the people” mean? What does a “people’s garden” mean? What does making Ferhat Gercek walk again mean to imperialist firms who would not do that? (Translator’s note: Gercek was a youth shot by police and left paralysed. People’s engineers designed a special machine to assist him in walking again.)
In short, in this system there is no room for people’s artists, people’s lawyers, civil servants for the people, people’s engineers or people’s architects.
But we, blow for blow, paying a price, open a way for ourselves.
Everywhere we have acted, we have always been an ALTERNATIVE to system artists, lawyers and engineers.
This understanding is not destroyed by throwing lawyers, artists and architects into prison.
There are two basic characteristics of Grup Yorum as artists of the people: one – being an ALTERNATIVE. Two – for this reason it is DANGEROUS for the system.
However much it wants to, the system cannot stop it from being either a danger or an “alternative”.
Because in the prisons, they also do not surrender ideologically.
We Use Our Musical Notes To Strike At The System Ideologically
What frightens imperialism and its collaborators is not the number of weapons in our hands, or our bombs: IT IS OUR IDEOLOGY.
There was no People’s Law Bureau (HHB) until the middle of the 1980s. Nor was there Grup Yorum. There were no architects and engineers of the people and no people’s gardens. There were no projects like the Walker (used by Ferhat Gercek) or the cultivation of mushrooms. There was nobody giving concerts for hundreds of thousands of people, in those days we did not even dream of it. Three million people attending the funeral of a Front supporter was not even a figure we could imagine in the history of Turkey.
All these are from popularising the revolutionary struggle, its development. This is the revolution being built up.
For example, this is not just the work of a handful of lawyers and artists. People’s artists, lawyers of the people, architects and engineers of the people have been turned into an institutionalised force of the people with the aim of government. This fight for power is not a fight within the system, it is a fight for revolution. The march of these forces is a MARCH TO POWER.
If there is not a claim to revolution and a claim to power, there might be hundreds of lawyers or dozens of music groups, but the system has no fear of them.
The fear of imperialism and its collaborators is based on us targeting their vile system.
Imperialism and its collaborators do not essentially see things in terms of who has how mny weapons, but in terms of ideology.
Let us recall how the US report refers to the DHKP-C.
When American imperialism says that the DHKP-C for the imperialist system is “one of the most dangerous organisations”, they do not mean the number of rocket launchers, Kalashnikovs or bombs it has.
Today Grup Yorum prisoners do not have in their hands saz or guitar, yet they continue to come under fire from the class enemy. Their musical compositions and concerts continue to strike at the enemy. Lawyers defending their own rights and the law in this way subject the system to judgment, and this war continues.
IT IS THE PEOPLE’S CHILDREN THEY ARE UP AGAINST!
The system’s ideology divides the people in two:
“Those at the foot” and “those at the head”.
In their system those at the head rule and “those at the foot” are ruled and must never mix up in governmental affairs.
According to them, the children of the people can do nothing. Those who have not passed through their conservatories or their firms, have not been moulded by them, cannot aspire to be “artists”.
There is only one condition for children of the people to be “raised” in the system: to bow down to it and to SERVE it.
Grup Yorum did what the system said “could not be done”.
Despite all the bans, repression and imprisonment, it has produced for 33 years without interruption. It has sold millions of albums. It has gathered a million people together, something no system artist has been able to do despite the support they get.
Grup Yorum has done what they said could not be done.
The system then said it was permissible to kill them.
THEY SAID art cannot protect the labour for the children of the people, the honour of the people, to establish the future and build up hope.
The people’s artists WERE ABLE TO DO what the system said could not be done.
The system then said it was permissible to kill them.
Grup Yorum’s name became identified with the word “prison”. It became identified with bans. But Grup Yorum continued to undermine their system, standard and status quo when it came to art.
They were imprisoned but this did not work.
Prices were put on their heads but this did not work. Grup Yorum did not fall silent.
Last week in a European newspaper the following headline appeared:
“GRUP YORUM: THE JAILED BAND TURKEY CAN’T SILENCE.”
(The Guardian, April 4, 2018)
This is what The Guardian writes:
“Eleven members are currently in jail, thanks to their uncompromising – and hugely popular – protest songs…”
Fans will do battle for them while the authorities are afraid of them.”
Later Grup Yorum spoke to the newspaper:
They “never get scared because they are so used to it…. They’re always waiting for that moment. They know it’s going to happen. But they’re used to what’s happening in Turkey. They see themselves as the voice of the voiceless.”
All the world sees this.
It is not a matter of a few folk songs: the feet are marching in order to become the head.
Grup Yorum is at the head of those who march, and sings their folk songs.
The lawyers of the people, at the front, have made historic defences in the courts of fascism.
The people’s engineers and architects, at the front, present examples of how socialism will succeed. Despite lack of means, they do what the engineers of the monopolies cannot do.
The children of the people can do nothing, according to the system. Are they not enraged to see that in fact the children of the people can in fact take action?
How it must enrage them when the children of the people do not content themselves with this BUT DEMAND POWER. And this is why they cannot tolerate us.
WE ALSO SAY: every section of the people can succeed in everything with the Front’s programme.
The People’s Front is on the march.
We are the people, we wage the people’s struggle, we defend people’s power.
And this is what it is about.
Our minds never surrendered to neo-colonialism, we will make imperialism surrender!
Everyone can see clearly what the reason for our struggle is:
We struggle so there are no imperialist bases in our country, our forests and our water are not plundered, our children are not addicted to drugs and our daughters are not prostituted.
As we struggle in every sphere, we also struggle in the sphere of art.
Can a revolution be made through art?
No: but a great barricade can be set up using our folk songs and marches, between the people and corruption, between youth and the system, between patriots and traitors.
Grup Yorum, for sitting up this barricade, for attracting millions to the slogan “Independent Turkey” against the American government, today has 11 members in jail and six are on the wanted list.
We will demand a reckoning from those who are stealing our future!
Grup Yorum makes folk songs of people’s war. Later, folk songs are also a means of fighting. The power of art is as such.
AKP fascism cannot overcome this power
Previous fascist governments had also failed.
We are the ones who chant the tilili (translator’s note: high-pitched trilling chant, often an expression of joy or defiance, particularly popular in Kurdish areas). We are the ones who count beads, we are the ones who squeeze the trigger. We are the ones who dance the halay and the horon.
This is a fight for the children of the people.
Our folk songs and our appeals reach the poorest and most disadvantaged.
Because only they can achieve an independent, democratic and socialist Turkey.
Neo-colonialism was organised from scratch by the army and the police. It was formed in the economic arena. Bilateral agreements were organised in the political, parliamentary and governmental spheres. Court and judicial principles were determined by the imperialists.
And of course, above all, they want the values of culture, art and our people to be destroyed and imperialist culture to dominate.
But your strength is not adequate to this.
We have defended and protected the values of Anatolia even when they were buried seven storeys deep. We have protected and given life to thoughts of rebellion that imperialists would even delete from our minds. We have continued the claims to revolution and socialism that imperialists want to destroy.
This war is going on…
They want to destroy and not just eliminate thoughts of independence, but even to remove the word from our language. But they cannot succeed in this – because this is a people that has folk songs like “Murderer America” by people like Mahsuni and Grup Yorum. They cannot succeed because there are Front heroes who go to their deaths with the slogan “Long live independent Turkey” on their lips. They cannot succeed because this is a people that, when their guns run out of ammunition while attacking the American consulate, the fighters hurl stones instead.
They could not get us to surrender but imperialism will give in to this determination! Like in Vietnam, like in Cuba, they will hang their heads and flee from this land.
Betrayal, Collaboration And Corruption Cannot Be Art!
While on the one hand the system tries to silence and intimidate revolutionary artists with bans, imprisonment and putting prices on their heads and even massacring them, on the other it seeks to create alternatives to them.
They have slaughtered, imprisoned and censored and succeeded in doing that.
But they have not succeeded in creating an alternative. Nor will they succeed afterwards.
Because colonialism, collaboration, betrayal, corruption and debasement are not art. What folk songs will they compose, what novels will they write, and what films will they make?
What alternatives to revolutionary art and artists are they coming up with when they put forward Necip Fazil, Yavuz Bingol, Ferdi Tayfur, Bulent Ersoy, Coskun Sabah, Seda Sayan and people like them?
They may be able to have their photos taken cheek by cheek with Emine Erdogan, Tayyip Erdogan and Hulusi Akar. History will only remember them having their photos taken with the layabouts and prostitutes of bourgeois politics.
They receive invitations to the Palace, people like Grup Yorum are thrown in jail.
They are invited to the Palace but they will end in the dustbin of history. Those who are in prisons are written into the history of the people. This is how it is!
Who did Grup Yorum make their songs for?
Let us take a look. They made folks songs in 1984 about the Death Fasters in the prisons martyred defending the honour of humanity and their own political identity. While imperialism tried to get the whole world to accept that socialism was dead, they made folk songs about people like Sabo who waved the hammer and sickle flag of socialism in Ciftehavuzlar. And they produced songs about the miners murdered in Yeni Celtek and Soma and the oppressed in the city neighbourhoods.
They made Feda (“Sacrifice”) about the 122 martyrs of the Great Resistance with folk songs and marches. They made folk songs of the massacres on March 16, Lice, Gazi and Sur… They became the memory of the people… After the Sivas massacre only we described the pain… Engin Ceber, who went from being dependent on drugs to becoming one of the heroes of the people, was written into a legend… Again, after an earthquake it was only Grup Yorum who gave a voice to those buried in the rubble, using the notes of their music… Hasan Ferit, Berkin Elvan and people like them – what folk songs about them are there, apart from Grup Yorum’s?
24 albums… The albums are present at every stage of the class struggle in Turkey. Those who have defeated death with their folk songs have a right to victory. THEY KNOW THIS.
OK, none of the system’s artists can write or say any of those things. What can they do?
Other than immorality, the consumer culture, emptiness, corruption, servility, depoliticisation, nothing else remains to them.
Against System Art, There Is Grup Yorum!
GRUP YORUM IS THE SUN LIGHTING UP THE ART OF THE PEOPLE.
GRUP YORUM IS THE VOICE OF THOSE WHO LOVE THE PEOPLE AND HOMELAND, THOSE BESIEGED FOR THEIR STUBBORNNESS AND RESISTANCE AND WHO DO NOT GIVE IN.
GRUP YORUM IS THE SWORD OF BABA ISHAK AND SHEIKH BEDREDDIN, AND THE BELIEF OF KOROGLU, DADAOGLU AND PIR SULTAN ABDAL AND THOSE LIKE THEM.
IT IS THE FIST OF THOSE LIKE MAHIR AND THE COURAGE OF ALL OUR MARTYRS OF REVOLUTION.
GRUP YORUM IS THE VOICE OF ANATOLIA.
GRUP YORUM TURNS THE SAZ INTO A WEAPON AND ITS WORDS INTO CARTRIDGES. AND IT HAS NEVER BEEN SILENCED BY ANY REPRESSION, VIOLENCE, IMPRISONMENT, TORTURE AND MASSACRES, IT IS THE REPRESENTATIVE AND CONTINUATION IN OUR DAYS OF THE REVOLUTIONARY MUSIC TRADITION.
Grup Yorum was not alone in the field: there were dozens of political movements expressing their thoughts through music groups. But look, there are none of them today.
Because it is not simply a matter of being organised.
It is also a question of principles and rules.
It is the same in war, it is the same in art.
Our superiority in in principles and rules and in created values.
Grup Yorum is an ideology. A tradition. A claim. Courage. The source of all these is not system culture but socialist culture and Front culture.
Those Who Say This Land Is To Be A Base, A Farm, A Brothel For Imperialism Are Imprisoning And Murdering Us!
The only reason they want to intimidate and destroy us is TO DEEPEN IMPERIALISM’S OCCUPATION OF ANATOLIA, TO STRENGTHEN ITS SOVEREIGNTY, AND TO REMOVE ALL OBSTACLES TO COLLABORATIONIST TRAITORS TO THE HOMELAND IN PLUNDER AND PILLAGE.
- On March 12, 1971, a coup was carried out to destroy the armed revolutionary front, and to destroy the relative democratic rights that were an obstacle to imperialism and the collaborators.
- The September 12, 1980 junta was set in motion to carry out the January 24 IMF decisions and allow the USA to use Turkey more easily as a base.
- In the 1990s, so as to leave not even one force capable of a military action against imperialism, a policy of executions began directed at the revolutionary movement. Such operations even had CIA participation.
- The December 19, 2000 massacre was carried out to render the revolutionary movement ineffective as it is not possible to implement IMF policies without rendering the revolutionaries completely ineffective”.
- In the 2010s, AKP fascism carried out all its massacres, imprisonment, raids, bans and closures for the same reason.
In our country from 1945 to the present, for 73 years traitors to the homeland have ruled.
These collaborators are so vile that when US Navy ships visited our country, it was seen as a “duty” to prepare brothels for them.
But again, their greatest crime was not pimping for American servicemen.
They are GUILTY OF SELLING THE ENTIRE PEOPLE!
Gaining an honourable life depends on us winning independence from imperialism.
Let us whose fate has been stolen write our future together. Those whose land, water, forests and villages have been plundered and their labour confiscated, let us come together and wage a war on imperialism and for independence!
When Tayyip Erdogan said of artists who took part in the June Uprising, “We have crushed the artists, if you make a noise you will burst,” he undoubtedly realised that there were those who had not been crushed.
So to crush them, they were attacked again.
Yorum was jailed so there would not be one voice saying, “Down With America”.
People’s artists and lawyers were jailed so nobody would remind others of the Soma massacre. Yorum was put in jail to liquidate revolutionary artists – Yorum was jailed as a way of saying to youth, “Take types like Metin Hara as a role model instead.”
They want to draw all the youth into imperialism’s swamp of corrupt culture. But while we are here they cannot do that.
Everything stolen from us will be revolutionised, while a reckoning will be demanded from those who have stolen our lives and our futures, we will fight and build up the fight. At the same time we will make art. The art of warfare, we will fight with our art!
Torture, imprisonment, prices on our heads, attempts to break us down and destroy us with death threats, these are don by them to ensure their own future. They will not succeed!
They will not succeed! There is no place in the future of the country for America and the pro-Americans, the future is ours! People’s artists, lawyers, engineers, the people will have their own front!
This country will be a paradise for our people and a hell for the enemies of the people.
Who are the enemies of the people!
The imperialists, the collaborationists who opened up our country to plunder by imperialists, all institutions and individuals continuing the system of exploitation and tyranny.
These enemies of the people will be burned up and DESTROYED in the hell Anatolia will be for them.
We will to even allow them to have this soil.
And this soil will be the “paradise of Anatolia” for the oppressed and exploited, those left without food and light for thousands of years.
This land will produce both food and labour.
This soil will have both justice and freedom.
Not even one baby will die of a preventable illness!
Not even one individual among the people will suffer from hunger!
Not one person will be homeless, unhealthy, unemployed, without education, without justice and without a folk song!
The future of this country will not be the Nihat Erims, the Tayyip Erdogans, the Yavuz Bingols! It will not be America or the pro-Americans!
The future this country will be the people’s artists, the people’s lawyers, the people’s architects and engineers, it will be Dev-Genc (Revolutionary Youth) and the People’s Front!
The living will see.
Those who know history will see it from today!