'Predecessors of AKP government killed 33 intellectuals in July 1993'

Communist Party of Turkey calls on the people to remember the role of authorities and Islamists, the founders of AKP party, in the Sivas massacre which led to the murder of 33 intellectuals on July 2, 1993
Tuesday, 03 July 2018 00:09

The Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) has released a statement on July 2, on the 25th anniversary of the Sivas massacre, which resulted in the killing of 33 intellectuals after an Islamist group had set a fire to a hotel in the city.

"What terrifies us is those who attempt to show what took place in Sivas on July 2 only as a madness of an ignorant and fanatic horde, leading to an oblivion for imperialist operations and the establishment’s trump card of Islam," the statement has said.

Indicating to the fact that those murderers who had burned the intellectuals to death later founded the ruling AKP party, the TKP has underlined the role of liberals and pseudo-leftists who dared to portray the AKP founders as "the heroes of democracy".

"We have never forgotten, we cannot forget. We have never forgiven, we will never forgive," the TKP has said, adding that the "modern" forces who paved the way for Islamist fanatics in Turkey also supported the backward murderers such as the Taliban, the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood in many countries.

"We cannot forget," the TKP has said, "as was seen by the massacre that took place within the second year of the 'democratic alliance' marked by Süleyman Demirel and Erdal İnönü, looking for the help of the social order and pro-establishment parties would be a fatal mistake," indicating to the alliance of right-wing Demirel and social democrat İnönü at that time.

The communist party’s indication resonances with its statements before and after the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, when some Islamists, ultra-nationalists and social democrats allied against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP party. The TKP said, "No more fake solutions!" following the elections after millions of people were trailed behind a false hope.  

SIVAS MASSACRE

The writers and artists, along with two hotel staff, were killed on July 2, 1993, when a reactionary mob set fire to the Madımak hotel in the Anatolian city of Sivas, where they had been holding a conference as part of an Alevi cultural festival organised by Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Centre.

Islamists particularly targeted Aziz Nesin, a well-known socialist and atheist author in the country, who "should have been killed for his blasphemous sins". The systematic provocations of Islamists and the stone piles around the hotel where the intellectuals assembled show that the massacre had been plotted previously.

As the government did not interfere with the provocations amid the Islamist Welfare Party municipality’s heated calls, the massacre was launched following a Friday prayer on July 2.

Marching around the city while chanting slogans, "We want sharia," the Islamist assailants attacked Mustafa Kemal Atatürk statues, founder of the modern Republic of Turkey. As the crowd reached the hotel Madımak, they set the hotel to fire, culminating in the brutal murder of 33 intellectuals and 2 hotel workers who were locked up in the building.

Nesin survived the massacre but died of a heart attack in 1995.

The massacre has become a major cause for Turkey's community of Alevis who make up the biggest religious minority in the mainly Sunni country, and community of Alevis leftists, atheists.

TURKISH AUTHORITIES ADVOCATED ATTACKERS

Following the massacre, then-President Süleyman Demirel said, "Don’t confront the people with security forces," describing the assailants as the "people" while then-Prime Minister, "Thanks to god, our people outside the hotel were not exposed to damage," showing that governmental officials apparently advocated the massacre in defiance of the victims.

In 2012, Turkey courts decreed that the Sivas massacre had lapsed due to time and declared a statute of limitations. Experts argued the torching must be considered a crime against humanity.

Commenting on the dropped case, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, "May this bring good fortune." Several defence lawyers for the suspects in the case had gone on to key roles in Erdoğan's AKP party.

The mayor of Sivas at the time, Temel Karamollaoğlu, is now the leader of the Islamist (Felicity) Party. In June 24 election, parliamentary main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the ultra-far İYİ (Good) Party and the right-wing Democrat Party (DP) formed the "Nation Alliance." with the Islamist Felicity Party. Nation Alliance did not take in the pro-Kurdish HDP party but the party had declared its desire to join the alliance during the election campaign process. 

PROTESTS IN SİVAS AND GERMANY

Meanwhile, some Alevi associations and political parties have organized a commemoration event today in Sivas for those who lost their lives in the massacre. The group observed a minute of silence for the 35 people killed in 1993, whose names were read off.

Talking in the name of an Alevi association, Gani Kaplan has said that they refuse to enter the hotel building since the government also included the names of two Islamist murderers along with the intellectuals and victims of the massacre on a commemoration placard inside the hotel.

The families of many of those who died in 1993 have demanded for it to be turned into a "museum of shame."

Several thousand, including some Alevi organizations and communists, gathered in Germany’s Berlin city to commemorate the Sivas massacre. "No to sharia, fascism, darkness," "Erdoğan, the thief, the murderer," thousands chanted slogans, revealing that the murderers later established the ruling AKP party.