Building autonomy in Turkey and Kurdistan: an interview with Revolutionary Anarchist Action

From Corporate Watch:

dafIn May this year, Corporate Watch researchers travelled to Turkey and Kurdistan to investigate the companies supplying military equipment to the Turkish police and army. We talked to a range of groups from a variety of different movements and campaigns

Below is the transcript of our interview with three members of the anarchist group Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF, or Revolutionary Anarchist Action) in Istanbul during May 2015. DAF are involved in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle, the Rojava revolution and against ISIS’ attack on Kobane, and have taken action against Turkish state repression and corporate abuse. They are attempting to establish alternatives to the current system through self-organisation, mutual aid and co-operatives.

The interview was carried out in the run-up to the Turkish elections, and touches on the election campaign by the HDP, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party. Soon after the interview took place, the HDP passed the threshold of 10% of the total vote needed to enter the Turkish parliament.

The DAF members – who all preferred to remain anonymous – began the interview by talking about the history of anarchism in the region:

DAF: We want to underline the relationship between the freedom struggle at the end of Ottoman times and the freedom struggles of Kurdistan.

In Ottoman times anarchists organised workers’ struggle in the main cities: Saloniki, Izmir, Istanbul and Cairo. For example [the Italian anarchist, Errico] Malatesta was involved in organizing industrial workers in Cairo. The freedom struggles of Armenia, Bulgaria and Greece had connections with anarchist groups. Alexander Atabekian, an important person in the Armenian freedom struggle, was an anarchist, translating leaflets into Armenian and distributing them. He was a friend of [the Russian anarchist, Peter] Kropotkin and distributed Kropotkin’s anarchist leaflets.

We are talking about this as we want to underline the importance of freedom struggles and to compare this to the importance of support for the Kurdish struggle.

Corporate Watch: What happened to anarchists after the Ottoman period?

DAF: Towards the end of the Ottoman Empire, at the end of the 19th century, Sultan Abdul Hamid II repressed the actions of anarchists in Turkey. He knew what anarchists were and took a special interest in them. He killed or deported anarchists and set up a special intelligence agency for this purpose.

Anarchists responded by carrying out attacks on the Yildiz Sarayi palace and with explosions at the Ottoman bank in Saloniki.

The government of the Ottoman Empire didn’t end at the Turkish republic. The fez has gone since but the system is still the same.

At the beginning of the [Kemalist] Turkish state [in 1923] many anarchists and other radicals were forced to emigrate or were killed. The CHP, Mustafa Kemal’s party, didn’t allow any opposition and there were massacres of Kurds.

From 1923 to 1980 there was not a big anarchist movement in Turkey due to the popularity of the socialist movements and the repression of the state.

The wave of revolutions from the 1960s to the ’80s affected these lands too. These were the active years of the social movements. During this period, there were revolutionary anti-imperialist movements caused by the Vietnam war, youth organizations, occupations of universities and increasing struggle of workers. These movements were Marxist-Leninist or Maoist, there were no anarchist movements.

In 1970 there was a long workers’ struggle. Millions of workers walked over a hundred kilometres from Kocaeli to Istanbul. Factories were closed and all the workers were on the streets.

CW: Was there any awareness of anarchism in Turkey at all at this time?

DAF: During these years many books were translated into Turkish from European radicalism but only five books about anarchism were translated, three of which were talking about anarchism in order to criticize it.

But in Ottoman times there had been many articles on anarchism in the newspapers. For example, one of the three editors of the İştirak newspaper was an anarchist. The paper published [Russian anarchist, Mikhail] Bakunin’s essays as well as articles on anarcho-syndicalism.

The first anarchist magazine was published in 1989. After this many magazines were published focusing on anarchism from different perspectives; for example, post structuralism, ecology, etc.

The common theme was that they were written for a small intellectual audience. The language of these magazines was too far away from the people. Most of those involved were connected with the universities or academia. Or they were ex-socialists affected by the fall of the Soviet Union, which was a big disappointment for many socialists. That’s why they began to call themselves anarchists, but we don’t think that this is a good way to approach anarchism, as a critique of socialism.

Between 2000 to 2005 people came together to talk about anarchism in Istanbul and began to ask: “how can we fight?”. At this time we guess that there were 50-100 anarchists living in Turkey and outside.

CW: Can you explain how DAF organises now?

DAF: Now we get 500 anarchists turning up for Mayday in Istanbul. We are in touch with anarchists in Antalya, Eskişehir, Amed, Ankara and İzmir. Meydan [DAF’s newspaper] goes to between 15 and 20 cities. We have a newspaper bureau in Amed, distributing newspapers all over Kurdistan. Until now, it is in Turkish but maybe one day, if we can afford it, we will publish it in Kurdish. We send Meydan to prisons too. We have a comrade in İzmir in prison and we send copies to over 15 prisoners.

A few months ago there was a ban on radical publications in prisons. We participated in demos outside prisons and we managed to make pressure about this and now newspapers are allowed to go into prisons again.

The main issue for DAF is to organise anarchism within society. We try to socialize anarchism with struggle on the streets. This is what we give importance to. For nearly nine years we have been doing this.

On an ideological level we have a holistic perspective. We don’t have a hierarchical perspective on struggles. We think workers’ struggle is important but not more important than the Kurdish struggle or women’s struggles or ecological struggles.

Capitalism tries to divide these struggles. If the enemy is attacking us in a holistic way we have to approach it in a holistic way.

Anarchy has a bad meaning for most people in society. It has a link with terrorism and bombs. We want to legitimize anarchism by linking it to making arguments for struggles against companies and for ecology. Sometimes we try to focus on the links between the state, companies and ecological damages, like the thing that Corporate Watch does.

We like to present anarchy as an organised struggle. We have shown people on the streets the organised approach to anarchism.

From 1989 to 2000 anarchism was about image. About wearing black, piercings and Mohicans. This is what people saw. After 2000, people started to see anarchists who were part of women’s struggles and workers’ struggles.

We are not taking anarchism from Europe as an imitation. Other anarchists have approached anarchism as an imitation of US or European anarchism or as an underground culture. If we want to make anarchist a social movement, it must change.

DAF’s collectives are Anarchist Youth, Anarchist Women, 26A cafe, Patika ecological collective and high school anarchist action (LAF). These self-organisations work together but have their own decision-making processes.

Anarchist Youth makes connections between young workers and university students and their struggles. Anarchist Women focuses on patriarchy and violence to women. For example, a woman was murdered by a man and set on fire last February. On 25 November there were big protests against violence against women.

LAF criticises education and schooling in itself and tries to socialize this way of thinking in high schools. LAF also looks at ecological and feminist issues, including when young women are murdered by their husbands.

PATIKA ecological collective protests against hydro electric dams in the Black Sea region or Hasankey [where the Ilisu dam is being built]. Sometimes there is fighting to prevent these plants from being built.

26A Café is a self organization focusing on anti-capitalist economy. Cafes were opened in 2009 in Taksim and 2011 in Kadıköy [both in Istanbul]. The cafes are run by volunteers. They are aimed at creating an economic model in the place where oppressed people are living. It’s important to show people concrete examples of an anarchist economy, without bosses or capitalist aims. We talk to people about why we don’t sell the big capitalist brands like Coca Cola. Of course the products we sell have a relation to capitalism but things like Coke are symbols of capitalism. We want to progress away from not-consuming and move towards alternative economies and ways of producing.

Another self organisation, PAY-DA – ‘Sharing and solidarity’ – has a building in Kadıköy, which is used for meetings and producing the Meydan newspaper. PAY-DA gives meals to people three times a day. It’s open to anarchists and comrades. The aim of PAY-DA is to become a cooperative, open to everybody. We try to create a bond which also involves the producers in the villages. We aim to have links with these producers and show them another economic model. We try to evolve these economic relations away from money relations. The producers are suffering from the capitalist economy. We are in the first steps of this cooperative and we are looking for producers to work with.

All of these projects are related to DAF’s ideology. This model has a connection with Malatesta’s binary model of organization.

These are anarchist organizations but sometimes people who aren’t anarchists join these struggles because they know ecological or women’s struggles, and then at the end they will learn about anarchism. It’s an evolving process.

As DAF we are trying to organise our lives. This is the only way that we can touch the people who are oppressed by capitalism.

There is also the Conscientious Objectors’ Association, which is organised with other groups, not just anarchists. Our involvement in this has a relation with our perspective on Kurdistan. We organize anti-militarist action in Turkey outside of military bases on 15 May, conscientious objector’s day. In Turkey the military is related to state culture. If you don’t do your military duty, you won’t find a job and it’s difficult to find someone to marry because they ask if you’ve been to the army. If you have been to the army, you’re a ‘man’. People see the state as the ‘Fatherland’. On your CV they ask whether you did military service. ‘Every Turk is born a soldier’ is a popular slogan in Turkey.

CW: Is Kemalism [the ideology associated with Mustafa Kemal] as strong a force as it used to be?

DAF: Kemalism is still a force in schools but the AKP has changed this somewhat. The AKP has a new approach to nationalism focused on the Ottoman Empire. It emphasises Turkey’s ‘Ottoman roots’. But Erdoğan still says that we are ‘one nation, one state, one flag and one religion.’. There is still talk about Mustafa Kemal but not as much as before. Now you cannot criticize Erdoğan or Atatürk [the name used for Kemal by Turkish nationalists]. It’s the law not to criticize Atatürk and the unwritten rule not to criticize Erdoğan. The media follows these rules.

CW: Can you talk about your perspective on the Kurdish freedom struggle?

Kurdish freedom struggles didn’t start with Rojava. Kurdish people have had struggles for hundreds of years against the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish state.

Since the start of DAF we have seen Kurdistan as important for propaganda and education.

Our perspective relates to people’s freedom struggles. The idea that people can create federations without nations, states and empires. The Turkish state says the issue is a Kurdish problem, but for us it is not a Kurdish problem, it’s an issue of Turkish policies of assimilation. It’s obvious that since the first years of the Turkish republic the assimilation of Kurdish people has not stopped. We can see this from the last Roboski massacre [of 34 Kurdish cross-border traders by Turkish F16s on 28 December 2011] by the state during the ‘peace process’. We can see this in the denial of Kurdish identity or the repeated massacres. Making people assimilate to be a Turk and making the propaganda of nationalism.

The AKP [the ruling Justice and Development Party] say they have opened Kurdish TV channels, allowed Kurdish language and that we are all brothers and sisters, but on the other hand we had the Roboski massacre which occurred during their government. In 2006 there was government pressure on Erdoğan at a high level. Erdoğan said that women and children would be punished who go against Turkish policies. Over 30 children were murdered by police and army.

The words change but the political agenda continues, just under a new government. We do not call ourselves Turkish. We come from many ethnic origins and Kurdish is one of them. Our involvement in conscientious objection is part of this perspective. We want to talk to people to prevent people from going to the army to kill their brothers and sisters.

After the 2000s there has been an ideological change in the Kurdish freedom struggle. The Kurdish organizations no longer call themselves Marxist-Leninist and Öcalan has written a lot about democratic confederalism. This is important, but our relation to Kurdish people is on the streets.

CW: Can you talk about DAF’s work in solidarity with people in Rojava?

In July 2012 at the start of the Rojava revolution, people began saying that it was a stateless movement. We have been in solidarity from the first day of the revolution. Three cantons have declared their revolution in a stateless way. We try to observe and get more information. This is not an anarchist revolution but it is a social revolution declared by the people themselves.

Rojava is a third front for Syria against Assad, ISIS and other Islamic groups. But these are not the only groups that the revolution is faced with. The Turkish republic is giving support for ISIS from its borders. The national intelligence agency of the Turkish republic appears to be giving weapons to ISIS and other Islamic groups. Kurdish people declared the revolution under these circumstances.

After the ISIS attack on Kobane began [in 2014] we went to Suruç. We waited at the border as Turkish forces were attacking people crossing. When people wanted to cross the border to or from Kobane they were shot. We stayed there to provide protection.

In October, people gathered near Suruç, and broke through the border. Turkish tanks shot gas over the border at them.

From 6 to 8 October there were Kobane solidarity demonstrations across Turkey. Kader Ortakya, a Turkish socialist supporter of Kobane, was shot dead trying to cross the border.

We helped people. Some people crossed the border from Kobane and had no shelter. We prepared tents, food and clothes for them. Sometimes soldiers came to the villages with tear gas and water cannons and we had to move. Some people came through the border searching for their families and we helped them. Other people came, wanting to cross the border and fight and we helped them. We wore clothing that said we were from DAF on it.

The YPG and YPJ [‘People’s Protection Units’ of Rojava, the YPJ is a women’s militia] pushed ISIS back day by day. Mıştenur hill was very important for Kobane. After the hill was taken by the YPG and YPJ some people wanted to return to Kobane. When they went back their houses had been destroyed by ISIS. Some houses were mined and some people have been killed by the mines. The mines need to be cleared, but by who and how? People need new houses and help. We have had conferences and talked about how to help Kobane. There was a conference two weeks ago in Amed.

CW: What is your position on the elections?

DAF: We do not believe in parliamentary democracy. We believe in direct democracy. We do not support the HDP in the election, but we have links in solidarity with them on the streets.

Emma Goldman said that if elections changed anything they would be illegal. There are good people in the HDP who say good things, but we think that the government can’t be good because the election system isn’t equal.

In Rojava they do not call it an anarchist revolution, but theres no government, no state and no hierarchy, so we believe in it and have solidarity with it.

Can you tell us about the bombing in Suruç [we asked this final question by email weeks after the original interview

Over 30 young people who wanted to take part in reconstruction of Kobane were killed by an ISIS attack. This attack was clearly organised by the Turkish State. They did not even do anything to stop it although they got the information of the attack one month before. Moreover, after the explosion the Turkish State has attacked Rojava and made operations against political organisations in Turkey. Now there are many operations and political pressures on anarchists and socialists and Kurdish organisations. They are using the explosion as a reason to make this political repression on both the domestic and international levels.

We have lost our 33 comrades, friends who struggled for the Rojava Revolution against the state’s repression, denial and politics of massacre. There are people who are killed by state, ISIS and other powers. But our resistance won’t stop, our struggle will continue, as always in history.

Title picture taken from the Crimethinc website

Attack against Turkish general consulate in Zurich (Switzerland)

From 325:

In the night of the 25.8. to the 26.8.2015, we attacked a car on the terrain of the Turkish general consulate at the Weinbergstrasse 65 in Zurich with an explosive device after the Turkish state launched a massive attack against progressive forces in the region with cover from the USA, NATO and the Barzani clan in Iraq in the past weeks. We are in solidarity with the struggle for a free Rojava and the struggle of the revolutionary movement in Turkey!

After a long period of a strategy of tension and the massacre in Suruc on July 20th (where more than 30 comrades from different political tendencies died and dozens were injured), the Turkish state has launched an open attack against the progressive movement. On the one hand, this represents continuity in the collaboration of the AKP with the “Islamic State” and in the struggle of the AKP against progressive forces. Since the city of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border was massively attacked by the “IS” in the fall of last year and the military contention around Kobane and the liberation of the city became international focal points for the revolutionary process, it has been shown time and time again how the Turkish state aids the gangs of “IS” while those fighting with the YPG/J are hindered. This was shown exemplary in the treatment of the wounded from Syria. While those supporting “IS” could be transported to Turkey withouth hindrance and didn’t have much to fear, fighters of the YPG/J had to be smuggled across the border and had to fear being arrested while in the hospital bed. Recently, six YPG/J fighters were even extradited to the Al-Nusra-Front by Turkey! Other examples are the refusal of a humanitarian corridor to Kobane for medicine or food, the documented shipments of weapons by the Turkish secret service MIT to the “IS” or the obvious acceptance of recruitment centres of the “IS” in Turkey. In this sense, the attack in Suruc on July 20th (while Kobane was attacked in parallel with car bombs) which was only possible with the support of the MIT and other security institutions of the Turkish state in this city was only the consistent continuation of AKP-politics against the movement.

On the other hand, this attack was of course also an escalation, a qualitative change in the attack against the revolutionary movement in the region. It wasn’t the first attack by “IS” against progressive forces in Turkey within the context of a strategy of tension (for example the bombs against events of the legal HDP or the sneaky attack against Kobane on June 25th from Turkish soil), but in it’s quality and goals targeting the solidarity explicitly, this attack was different to previous ones. This is also shown in the subsequent actions of the AKP government after this attack. The massacre of Suruc was the kick-off to a broad attack of the Turkish state against all revolutionary forces (prior to this attack, the state attacked the movement via “IS”, now it attacks openly).

This broad attack is presumably driven by (at least) two motivations. On the one hand, Erdogans speculates that in a climate of war and fear the AKP will gain the votes necessary to introduce a presidential system of their liking. On the other hand, it is certainly also the case that a chance was seen to try to halt the revolutionary process in the region. Beside the geo-strategisch importance of the region as it is, where it is in the interest of imperialist forces to have forces in power that favor them (like the Barzani clan in northern Iraq), the struggle for Kobane and then Rojava has reached a political dimension which must be a pain for those in power. Because the struggle there shows that a perspective is possible which stands outside of capitalist or imperial logic. It is important to not neglect this dimension when trying to evaluate the current situation.

In this sense, it is only consistent when the USA and the NATO approves of the airstrikes by Turkey against Qandil or the attacks by the police and military against cities and neighborhoods with a strong presence of revolutionary forces. Not only because they were allowed the use of the airfield Incirlik in Turkey, but also because it would fit their agenda if Rojava were governed by forces like the Barzani clan, who have proven in their history to be loyal to imperialist forces.

Despite or maybe even because of the growing complexity of the conflict in the region, the fundamentals shall not be forgotten. The movement in Rojava is an emancipatory moment with an incredible power, it is not the time to stand aside but to support this path in solidarity. The same is valid for the revolutionary forces in Turkey whose strengthening has been helped by the experiences in the struggle around Gezi-Park and now by the inspiration from Rojava. Confronted with the attacks against them by the Turkish state which also consist of executing militants, we must of course support them.

International solidarity is practical and not dependent on seasonal fluctuation but driven by the necessity of actions because of political reference points and principals. We don’t stand here today and there tomorrow, but at the side of the revolutionary forces fighting for a society with socialist elements. There exist different forms of international solidarity, one was the support of the defense of Kobane through massive pressure from the streets of Europe, others are the support of the military struggle (as in the context of the International Freedom Brigade) or in the reconstruction of the destroyed cities (as was the campaign targeted on July 20th in Suruc, carried by the federation of socialist youth groups and bringing together different forces). Finally it can be a contribution to push forward the revolutionary process here and connect it to the revolutionary process there to advance together.

Solidarity and power to all fighters for a free Rojava!
Solidarity and power to all fighting for a revolutionary perspective!

For a revolutionary perspective

HPG: At least 35 soldiers and 6 police killed in actions by guerrillas

Posted on Machorka:


HPG Press Office said in a written statement that at least 35 soldiers and 6 police were killed in ongoing actions by HPG (People’s Defense Forces) and YJA Star (Free Women’s Troops) guerrillas in response to the attacks and massacres committed by Turkish military and police forces against the Kurdish people.

Guerrillas conducted a sabotage action against a convoy of the Turkish army heading from Çukurca to Yüksekova district of Hakkari with some 70 military vehicles in 3 groups at 16:00 on August 27.

The action by guerrillas targeted the 2nd and 3rd group of the convoy, leaving one military vehicle completely destroyed and four others heavily damaged. A total of 13 soldiers were killed in the action after which the first group of the convoy retreated from area and Cobra type helicopters shelled the scene at random at 23:00 at night.

A number of ambulances were sent and troops were airdropped into the area after the action which was conducted in memory of HPG guerrilla Andok (Barış Tekçe) martyred on August 11, and the civilians martyred in Cizre and Yüksekova.

During a road control between Amed and Bingöl from 16:00 to 18:30 on August 27, guerrillas seized a vehicle belonging to Bingöl Municipality.


A sabotage action by guerrillas targeted an armored vehicle on its way from Piran (Dicle) to Hani district of Amed at 16:15 on August 27. While the armored vehicle was damaged, the casualties couldn’t be clarified.

In retaliation for the massacre of civilians in Gever, guerrillas infiltrated into the area of a military post under construction on Hill Zerga in Lice-Karas (Kocaköy)-Farqin (Silvan) triangle in Amed at 15:00 on August 27.

Guerrillas hit and completely destroyed four emplacements where specialist sergeants were present, while they on the other hand hit the hill with heavy weapons and entered into more emplacements here.

Nine soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in the action, after which guerrillas retreated back to their positions as the unit commander suffered an injury. After the action, four Cobra type helicopters shelled the scene for five hours.


In memory of their recently fallen comrades, guerrillas conducted an action against Kêla Bedo guard post in Xulunkê village of Van’s Başkale district at 17:45 on August 27.

Targeting six soldiers during a changing of the guards at the watchtower, guerrillas killed six soldiers who included one sergeant and one specialist sergeant.

After the action, the guard posts of Kêla Bedo, Kela Esmer, Mendil, Boşan, Erci, Asınge, Xalgava and Kule launched a bombardment on the border area, while the casualties were removed from the scene with helicopters.

Guerrillas closed the road between Bitlis and Şexcuma at 15:00 on August 27, and informed the people about the current process till 20:30 in the evening.

The road between Pire Şinê and Geliyê Marinos areas in Colomerg (Hakkari) was closed by Turkish troops at 07:00 on August 27.

In another action, guerrillas targeted a group of soldiers in Dokuztaş base in Hizan district of Bitlis at 15:00 on August 26. One soldier was verified killed while the number of those wounded couldn’t be clarified. After shelling the area with heavy weaponry following the action, Turkish troops started an operation in the area with the support of village guards at 00:00 at night. Clashes erupted during the operation as guerrillas responded to the troops that attempted to enter their area. One guerrilla was heavily wounded in the clashes here.

While the operation continued till 06:00 in the morning, six soldiers were killed and four others were wounded, one of them critically.

HPG refuted the Turkish media reports that seven guerrillas died here, and stated that one guerrilla who sustained a critical injury in these clashes, has died later.

Guerrillas destroyed a base station in Çankaya neighborhood of Erzurum province at 16:30 on August 27.

In another action, guerrillas ambushed a convoy of police vehicle on move near Taşburun village in Iğdır’s Aralık (Başan) district at 11:00 on August 27. One minibus was destroyed and two police vehicles were heavily damaged in the action which left six police dead and two others wounded. The road was closed to traffic for the removal of casualties till the evening when the scene was shelled with Cobra type helicopters from 20:00 to 21:00.

One other action by guerrillas targeted the Zagê guard post in Dersim at 17:00 on August 26, as a result of which one guard box was destroyed, leaving one soldier dead and two others wounded. After the action, Turkish troops shelled the areas of Hill Akvanos and Sultanbaba with mortars.

The roads between Erzincan-Dersim and Dersim-Ovacık remain under the control of guerrillas since August 17.


One soldier was killed in an assassination action by guerrillas targeting the Bezelê guard post near the border to Avashin area of Medya Defense Zones at 17:10 on August 26.

The road between Şırnak and its Beytüşşebap district also remains under the control of guerrillas who are not allowing any munition dispatchment by Turkish army since August 1.

Guerrillas destroyed a base station in Nefıla village of Siirt’s Sıle district at 22:00 on August 26, and one other in Dep (Karakoçan) district of Elazığ on August 25.

Guerrillas also destroyed a transmission tower located between Bespin (Görümlü) town and Silopi district of Şırnak at 19:20 on August 27.

HPG gave the following ID details of guerrilla martyred in Bitlis;

Nom de Guerre: Dersim Norşin

Name-Surname: Sedat Yavuz

Place of Birth: Bitlis

Parent’s Names: Suphiye – Enver

Date and Place of Death: 27 August 2015 / Bitlis


Source: Firat News Agency

Three dead, dozens wounded in police attack on Yüksekova



COLEMÊRG – In the Kurdish town of Yüksekova, Turkish police and soldiers have attacked neighborhoods where residents formed self-defense units. Three are dead.

As the Turkish state escalated its attacks on Kurdish citizens, residents of the town of Yüksekova formed self-defense units in several neighborhoods. Yesterday night at 11:30 p.m., the provincial governor declared a curfew in the town. Five minutes later, police and soldiers launched an attack.

The attack began with a mortar bombardment on civilian areas. As military armored vehicles entered the neighborhoods, violent clashes began.

Clashes lasted from 11:35 p.m. until 7:00 this morning. Electricity and telephone lines went out in the neighborhood as the sounds of explosions rose from the streets. Residents of other neighborhoods chanted slogans of support until the morning came.

At least three people have died in the attack. More than ten have been wounded, some seriously. Residents have looked after the wounded in their homes. With the first light today, hundreds headed to the Orman neighborhood, the center of the clashes. Security forces opened fire on the crowd from armored vehicles. However, the crowd overcame police barricades to treat those wounded on the barricades. Mosques issued a call from their speakers for all Yüksekovans to come to the aid of the wounded. Police withdrew to main roads.

Gunshots continue to echo in the area, where clashes are ongoing. Many homes have been destroyed.

“If I Die in Police Custody, Burn Everything Down!”

Originally posted to IT’S GOING DOWN:

Across the US, in response to the outpouring of rebellion in the wake of a tidal wave of police murders, a handful of cops have been charged, several have been fired, and a few have simply quit. Those in power, from president Obama to the local police chiefs, rush to make cosmetic changes to an ever militarizing police force. They hurry to buy police body cameras while at the same time departments spend millions on decommissioned military vehicles and weapons to suppress future rebellions.


They say the conversation on policing and race and America has changed, but the daily reality of American life continues to produce piles of dead bodies and millions of people incarcerated. Since Mike Brown’s murder by Ferguson police, over 1,100 people have been killed by law enforcement in the United States.

We aren’t in a crisis of policing – we’re in the middle of a war.

“That’s the Only Way Motherfuckers Like You Listen!”

At the same time, due to the ongoing rebellions in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Oakland, those in the “opposition,” from the unions, to Jackson and Sharpton, to the Nation of Islam, have all intensified their rhetoric. The commemoration for the ‘Million Man March’ is entitled, “Justice or Else!” The recent disruptions of the Presidential debates, from Sanders to Clinton to Bush all point to a growing anger at politics as usual and an acceptance of more radical action. But these protests also continue this idea that if “justice” is not served, there will be consequences. “If you don’t negotiate with us, we’ll set the rabble loose!,” say the activists and politicians in waiting.

But it hasn’t been the ‘leaders’ of the official Black Lives Matter group, the New Black Panthers, or any of the leftist parties that have pushed the current uprisings; the revolts has by and large been carried out by the people themselves and the youth in particular. In Baltimore, it was high-schoolers who trashed cop cars and threw stones at police, driving them out of the neighborhood. In Ferguson, it was the neighborhood of Canfield which fought back every night for weeks in the face of a military occupation. It was a collection of graffiti writers, youth of color, and anarchists who held the streets and blocked freeways in Oakland for close to a month.


During these rebellions, the “official” organizations, whether the Democratic Party or the non-profits, were all trying to smoother the uprisings. Now, they hope to turn this energy into votes and new members. But while the official groups try to match their rhetoric to the actions of the people, all they have as leverage against those in power to make changes is the actions of the people they hope to drown out. “Listen to us and we will make sure there isn’t a riot,” they say. “Make these changes, put us in power, and there won’t be an uprising.”

But things must change, everything must change.

The riots were just the start, we must go much further.

“Rise the Fuck Up! Shut that Shit Down!”

Buildings have been burned, freeways have been blocked, and millions of dollars of property and police equipment has been destroyed. “But nothing has changed,” we hear people say over and over again. And they are right.

With each cycle of revolt, things only seem to get worse. The anti-war movement, the student movement, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter – all of these moments were largely based around the idea of exacting a cost on a system in order to push it to make structural changes. From blocked freeways, to burned buildings, to shaming hashtags, “Here, have a taste of our anger,” was our mindset.

But those in power became quite adapt at making changes – changes that didn’t amount to shit. Their rhetoric changed; they said words like, “the 99%” and “Black Lives Matter,” around election time. They put cameras on police, but in the end the cameras are still pointed at us. They took healthcare away from prisoners and diverted it into higher education. They passed laws upping the minimum wage to $15 in several years time; keeping us squarely locked in poverty. All the while, this society continues to break down and the ecological system continues to hurtle us towards apocalypse.


The militant movements of the last several years have been failures because they have only sought to generate reforms from the present system, even if they didn’t make demands. We went into the streets knowing something was wrong, but in the back of our minds we hoped those in power would listen to us and make changes.

Those in the Left groups with their newspapers claimed we lacked a vanguard party to guide us. The unions claimed we lacked representation in the workplace. The churches and mosques said we lacked moral superiority in the face of state violence. The non-profits whined we had a poor outreach strategy.

The riots, blockades, occupations, and shut-downs failed because they didn’t go far enough.

Revolutions that go half-way, dig their own grave.

“If I die in police custody, don’t let my parents talk to…Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, or any of the motherfuckers who would destroy my name.”

Being a revolutionary in the present terrain means knowing that things aren’t going to get better; that currently there are no reforms that the system can grant that will get us out of the current crisis. Those in power will continue to offer only more repression, surveillance, incarceration, and policing to quell in rebellion, while also attempting to placate to popular anger by attempting to offer cosmetic changes or “expand the dialog.”

But what would a revolutionary strategy look like? What has already taken place in the streets that can show us a way forward? In the past several years, across the world, from Oakland to Egypt, we’ve seen the proliferation of various tactics and strategies – all responding to a historical moment of crisis that defines our era.


We have seen the proliferation of occupations, whether in camps, squares, or buildings. These communal spaces serve as a vehicle to get organized from and meet the needs of the insurgents involved. We saw this in many Occupy camps, in Tahrir square, and in Ferguson around the burned QT building. All insurrections need bases of operations; they need space. But we have to push and expand this space, into schools and universities (such as in various occupations across Chile and Europe), in occupied union halls and workplaces (such as in Greece), and into public areas and whole regions (such as in Turkey at Gezi Park, throughout the Rojava Revolution in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, indigenous blockades of pipelines such as across Canada, and at the ZAD in France).

Autonomy is power.


Beyond just being a place where people talk and make plans, these places need to expand the communal activity of people organizing themselves and meeting their needs directly. But such space will always need to be defended. Whether it is the streets of Ferguson from the police and the National Guard, or the occupied Egyptian squares, rioting has been the offensive capacity by which people have defended themselves from government forces and expanded their territories.

“Let them know, that my sisters got this!”

Rioting, in a defense and offensive capacity also allows people to attack the infrastructure of the enemy: namely the police, surveillance systems, and the like. However, beyond bank windows and burned patrol cars, the use of blockades has proven to be a very effective tactic in shutting down the flows of capital, stopping the construction of a project, and preventing the movement of state forces. We can see this most spectacularly in the indigenous struggles in Canada (such as the Mi’kmaq and Unist’ot’en), where Native groups are setting up encampments to stop the development of fracked oil pipelines.


But these tactics by themselves are just that, tactics. Blockading a freeway against white supremacy might be the start of a longer revolutionary struggle or a way to gather our forces, but simply going onto a freeway and hoping that something will materialize (or worse yet, someone will listen,) is delusional thinking. If we want to build a revolutionary force capable of destroying this system of domination, white supremacy, and exploitation, then we have to think about tactics in terms of a strategy.

Thinking about a strategy means paying attention to the situation we are in both locally where we live, but also nationally and internationally. We have to think about how the Left and those that try and control social struggles will react and try and hinder our efforts. We have to think about how the state will try and repress us for attacking the social order.

But above all, we have to think about how our actions can grow, expand, become more powerful, and ultimately link up with others across the social terrain.


The above text has been condensed into a flyer which you can download below. Use the box to fill in a link to local projects. 

Whole page. Quarter sheet.

Camp Armen resistance grows through solidarity

From Öykü Dilara Keskin/ JINHA:

ISTANBUL – Kurdish LGBTI activist Siyabend Kurdi says attacks can’t stop the solidarity at Istanbul’s Camp Armen resistance.

Camp Armen served for years as an Armenian orphanage and children’s camp in Istanbul. The site was one of the only spaces where Armenians could keep their culture alive. Journalist Hrant Dink was among the children who attended Camp Armen. Now, companies with title to the land are trying to demolish the site.

A popular resistance has been holding an occupation on the site for 108 days. On the 100th day of the Camp Armen resistance, racists assaulted the camp. Kurdish LGBTI activist Siyabend Kurdi said the resistance remains strong in spite of attacks.

“This resistance is a space where the Armenian people and other peoples othered by the capitalist system come together in solidarity,” said Siyabend. “This is a place for all others. LGBTI people are here and are constantly resisting.”

Siyabend said hate attacks by the state are escalating in Turkey. Recently, Turkish police stripped and photographed the naked dead body of Kurdish woman guerrilla Kevser Eltürk (Ekin Wan). At the same time, transphobic and homophobic attacks have escalated, Siyabend said.

“As a Kurd and a gay person, as the other’s other, I am under attack. That’s why I’m resisting,” said Siyabend. The Camp Armen resistance will continue, he said, through the solidarity between othered peoples.


Turkey: Political prisoners on hunger strike



NEWS CENTER – PKK and PAJK political prisoners in Turkey are now on the sixth day of their indefinite hunger strike.

On August 15, prisoners accused of being members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Kurdistan Women’s Liberation Party (PAJK) started an indefinite hunger strike with three demands. The day coincided with the anniversary of the first armed action of the PKK.

The prisoners are demanding that the Turkish state end its ongoing isolation of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been unable to meet with anyone from the outside since April. They are also calling for the bodies of YPG and YPJ fighters to be allowed entry to Turkey for burial by their families and for the “political genocide” operations against Kurds to come to an end.

The political prisoners have announced via their lawyers that they will continue their hunger strike until their demands are met. There will be a support action for the prisoners today outside the women’s prison in the Bakırköy neighborhood of Istanbul.


Turkey: May Day clashes lead to at least 28 injuries and 72 arrests

From the BBC:

Riot police in the Turkish city of Istanbul have used water cannon and tear gas to prevent leftist May Day marchers reaching the main square.

At least 28 people were injured, including an AFP news agency photographer, and 72 arrests were made.

Jets of water drenched groups of demonstrators seeking shelter, while others could be seen fleeing through clouds of tear gas.

The government cited renovation work as the reason for closing the square.

Thousands of people are said to have turned out for the march in the city’s central Sisli district, which was organised by trade unions.

Among them was a group of about 30 feminists who waved flags and shouted “all together against fascism” as police rolled them back, AFP reports.

The news agency’s photographer was assaulted by protesters wearing balaclavas, who broke one of his cameras.

Rioters threw stones and fireworks, and 22 policemen were injured, Istanbul governor Avni Mutlu announced.

Mr Mutlu said three demonstrators had also been hurt, but the AFP team saw 10 injured people. It said that most of those had suffered heart problems as a result of tear gas inhalation.

A Reuters news agency photographer saw six injured people.

After a troubled history, May Day was reinstated as a national holiday in Turkey in 2010, under pressure from trade unions.

Some of the marchers on Wednesday wished to commemorate 34 people killed during a May Day protest on the square in 1977, when unknown demonstrators fired shots into the air, sparking panic.

Turkey: Letter from anarchist May Day prisoners

From Infoshop News:

As known, there had been attack to some banks and companies which are around the MecidiyekÃy-ÅiÅli by some anarchists who are within the Anarchist block on 1st of May 2012. We, as 9 of the 60 people who had been taken to the custody with the blames of the Police Department. We, as 9 anarchist prisoners whom were arrested by the decision of the 9th Criminal Court and had been put in to the Metris – Type T prison writing this letter.

Most of us got under custody by the Counter-Terror Squads on 14th of May, 5 a.m. in the morning, and some on the following day. Our computers, telephones, flash drives, books and many other personal stuffs’ got seized by the the police which were around 10-20 who came to our home. The claim that have been by the police department to us was the “damaging public property in the name of terror organization”.

While, The individuals which have the pretty much different points of the anarchist ideas and also who have seen the first time each other while under surveillance were blaming for creating terrorist organisation, and some of them was forced to make them agree on being the leader of the terrorist organisation by the police during the interrogating.

Even though the leadership is totally contradictory to the anarchist idea and thus is impossible that was the the claim by the police which is tragic-comic imprudence, and also with that claim which is “being member of the same terror organisation” makes things more comic. The people which are claimed by the police of being a member of the terrorist organisation had no arms or amuniton in their home. However, the books which can be find on the every bookstore -for example books of the writers like Kropotkin- had been claimed as an organisational documention on the interrogation by the police. The articles which they had read and the videos that they shared on social media were claimed as evidences to the court by the police.

The membership of the people to a legal association which is working on animal liberation, human rights and ecology issues also claimed as an evidence by the police. All the pyschological pressures used over the people who were under custody for 4 days and were not allowed to see their family members, also were not allowed to call anyone -even their lawyers. On of our LGBT friend had been attacked by “hate speeches”. All the people forced to agree the existence of the terrorist organisation and also forced to give the fake speeches about the other people. However two people who had been scared by the threats of 15-20 years of prison sentence beacuse of the membership on the terrorist organisation declared misstatements about the people that they never know anything about.

By the pressure of the police, they have blamed some people which the police had no evidence over telephone, internet or any other communication with each other, as leader of the organisation, and “identified” them as attackers. Most of our friends got arrested just because of they have the close model and coloured bag, shoes, belt etc. as millions of people can have the same close type of with the people who are video taped on the attack. Of course it is not proved that an anarchist terror organisation exists with that lacking and irrational evidences. Because of that we got blamed by damage to the public property. We want to clear out that, we, as anarchists who reject all the laws and authorities and see all the states as murderers, we don’t care that if the state tells us we are terrorists or not. We don’t care that the state’s mass killing of tens of people in “Roboski”, killing 11 year old UÄur Kaymaz with 13 bullets and giving no punishment for that ones, than judging us. The state that had killed 34 people in 1977, did not even take any people to the custody. But had no problem for taking 60 people to the custody and arresting 9 of them for just 3-5 broken bank windows.

Two of the arrested friends couldn’t enter the final exams on their university, there’s a possibility of that there can be an investigation by their universities and they can get a punishment of suspension or dismission. One of our friends is preparing for the general exam for the entrance of the university, it’s pretty clear that it’s not possible to study enough on the prison. One of friend who is studying M.A/M.S on university would not continue on the thesis of very own. We got news that 3 friend got sacked after they got arrested. Since we’re taken to the custody we’ve experienced the legal system which the states always tells what great it is, actually is no more than a pressure and normalizing tool and notions like justice, right is just on the theory. We want to be out now. But let us explain that neither we ask to anyone nor we beg to anyone. We know that we’re in prison just because of our policial ideas. Because of that, we are not regretfull for the anything we did or we did not. The reason is for riting that letter is just telling truths to the public to know and to help them to learn what is going on.

We know the purpose of the ones who arrested us, is not just fearing us for joining an action, they also like to turn us into the ones who are scared of to resist for their very own rights. But the thing that they do not know is that the prisons of their disgusting civilization will not be able to suppress our ideas and we feel stronger than ever before.

We see all the anarchists in the world as our fellows and sending our greetings, loves and solidarity call to all the insurrectionarists of the world who has freedom fire on their hearts and who are from Athens, Amed, Chiapas, Gazze, Toronto or Seattle… Let you know that you are not alone and there are people in that lands who is struggling too. We thank every one of them, for the solidarity and for the actions that support us. It’s not possible to define our feelings for to describe the local anarchists who are supporting and made actions for us, as the rest of the world, -these pages are very limited for our thank to them. We hug them all with our very dearly greetings. Let them know hat we know that they are with us, and we are never feeling alone, even a moment. With wishes of us for many long days with insurrection and solidarity.

Anarchist Prisoners:

Beyhan ÃaÄrÄ TuzcuoÄlu
Burak Ercan
Emirhan Yavuz
Murat GÃmÃÅkaya
OÄuz Topal
Sinan GÃmÃÅ
Ãnal Can TÃzÃner
Yenal YaÄcÄ

Turkey: Police attack student demonstrators

From Libcom:

Police violently attacked to the students in Turkey who wanted to protest the summit of Prime Minister and University Rectors. One pregnant student (age 19) lost her baby because police continuously kicked her from the belly even though she yelled she was pregnant.

Police violently attacked to the students in Turkey who wanted to protest the summit of Prime Minister and University Rectors. One pregnant student (age 19) lost her baby because police continuously kicked her from the belly even though she yelled that she was pregnant. Around 150 students who were coming outside of Istanbul were stopped at the entrance of the city and attacked, beaten and detented by the cops. Many were severely injured. It is claimed even in the right-wing bourgeois media that police used agent orange sprays against the students which was also used by USA army in Vietnam that can cause cancer.

Here are some videos;