The victims of the Kızıldere Massacre that resulted in the death of 10 young revolutionaries and three NATO staff in Turkey’s northern district of Niksar on 30 March 1972 were commemorated on the 50th anniversary of the incident on Wednesday.
One of the commemorations was in the Karşıyaka Cemetery in the capital Ankara, which was attended by a large crowd of people including representatives of various political parties and groups.
Another commemoration held in the campus of the Ankara University was attacked on Tuesday by a hostile group.
As the aggressors yelled ‘terrorists’ at the students who had gathered for the event, the students were also targeted by the private security guards who tried to drag them away.
The Kızıldere Massacre
Mahir Çayan, Hüdai Arıkan, Cihan Alptekin, Nihat Yılmaz, Ertan Saruhan, Ahmet Atasoy, Sinan Kazım Özüdoğru, Sabahattin Kurt, Ömer Ayna, Saffet Alp, all members of the People’s Liberation Party-Front of Turkey (THKP-C) and People’s Liberation Army of Turkey (THKO), were killed in the village of Kızıldere where they were encircled and attacked by Turkish troops.
The hostages held by the group, Gordon Banner, Charles Turner and John Law, were also killed in the incident.
About Mahir Çayan
Mahir Çayan was one of the most influential revolutionary leaders of the late 60’s.
He had great impact on later generations, both as a determined and courageous revolutionary, and through his work on theoretical issues which he had managed to produce in a very brief lifetime under such hard circumstances.
He was married to Gülten Savaşçı between 1970 and up to the time of his death.
The only survivor of the massacre was Ertuğrul Kürkçü, incarcerated for 14 years and released on a general amnesty, who later started working as a journalist, then went on to become one of the most prominent figures in the alliance between the Kurdish political movement and socialist parties and groups.
Kürkçü was elected as an MP in the 2011 general elections in Turkey. He is currently an opinion writer for Medya News alongside a number of other media outlets, and serves as the honorary chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).