Crime Against Humanity

Turkish Regime Murders 17 Maoist Revolutionaries

Revolution #008, July 17, 2005, posted at revcom.usMKP

June 16, 2005, late in the night, at Dersim, in the mountains of the Kurdish region of Turkey, a great crime against humanity was committed by the government of Turkey.

A group of important communist leaders were on their way to the Second Congress of the Maoist Communist Party of Turkey and North Kurdistan. Among them were Cafer Cangöz, General Secretary of the Maoist Communist Party (MKP) and several other members of the Central Committee.

The revolutionaries had stopped to take a break on their journey. Brutally, without warning, death came from the sky.

Suddenly, three Sikorsky helicopters of the Turkish government armed forces appeared overhead and began blasting the revolutionaries with machine-gun fire. More than 1,000 soldiers moved in to finish off the carnage.

Seventeen important leaders of the Maoist Communist Party and leading fighters in the People’s Liberation Army—including Comrade General Secretary Cafer Cangöz—were murdered in the attack.

It was a cowardly and savage massacre. No charges, no warning—it was a straight-up assassination, carried out with massive force. And the perpetrator of this massacre is the very regime that the U.S. government describes as “moderate” and “democratic”.the very regime that is armed to the teeth through U.S. aid.the very regime that the U.S. government relies on to help police the region.

According to A World to Win News Service, the MKP comrades who were killed in this ambush along with Cafer Congoz were Aydin Hambayat, Ali Riza Sabur, Cemal Cakmak, Kenan Cakici, Okan Unsal, Berna Sagili Unsal, Alattin Ates, Okkes Karaoglu, Taylan Yildiz, Ibrahim Akdeniz, Binali Guler, Dursun Turgut, Gčlnaz Yildiz, Ahmet Perktas, Cagdas Can and Ersin Kantar.

For three days in the Turkish media, the attack on the Maoists was top news. The national daily paper Millyet gloated that “the Maoists have been finished with a single blow.”


Across Turkey, people poured into the streets in funeral marches. With their faces uncovered, carrying red flags, they courageously defied the Turkish regime to publicly mourn the fallen revolutionaries and to express their outrage at this crime.

In the Gazi district of Istanbul, red cloth rolled out, passing hand to hand, over the heads of the thousands of mourners, until the whole funeral procession moved like a river of red through the streets and hills and right in front of the police station. Mass funerals were also held in Ankara, Izmir, and Dersim.

Memorial meetings were held in several cities in Europe over the following days. On June 25, more than 5,000 people marched in the German city of Duisberg.

There were reports that the bodies of the murdered MKP comrades were heavily mutilated and burnt and showed signs of torture. At the funeral in Dersim for some of the murdered Maoists, Aydin Hambayat’s niece said, “My uncle’s body was shattered, and it is clear that he was caught while he was injured but still alive, and that then they shot him in the back of the head.” Human rights groups and other progressive organizations denounced the attack and demanded that the government make public the names of three other revolutionaries that it claims were captured during the attack.

The MKP is a participating party in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement. A statement from the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, dated June 24, spoke of the role played by the General Secretary of the MKP in the struggle in Turkey and as a strong supporter of the RIM.

“Comrade Cangöz was well known to the enemy. He struggled for decades for the liberation of the peoples of Turkey as part of the world proletarian revolution. He spent more than ten years in the Turkish dungeons. In prison he was a daring and inspiring model of resistance and defiance and was loved by the imprisoned revolutionaries and hated by the prison authorities. Even while imprisoned, this comrade paid a great deal of attention to the problems of the communist movement in Turkey and internationally. After his release from prison in 2002 he played a key role in organising the founding congress of the MKP and in forging the political line adopted at that congress, an historic event which fought to consolidate a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist understanding in the party. Since the first congress, comrade Cangöz had been fighting to reorganize and strengthen the party and bring about a breakthrough in waging people’s war.”

( We urge our readers to gather together and view the video footage of the funeral march in Istanbul in memory of these fallen comrades. It is online at and