Thousands remember three revolutionary youth leaders

Thousands remember three revolutionary youth leaders

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Thousands remember three revolutionary youth leaders

A ceremony was held in Ankara to commemorate Deniz Gezmiş and friends who were executed in 1972. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The leaders of the 1968 Turkish student uprisings, Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan, were commemorated on the 41st anniversary of their 1972 execution at the hands of a military junta at Ankara’s Karşıyaka Cemetery today.

The ceremony was attended by thousands, including the family of the departed Halit Çelenk, who was the lawyer for the three, comrades from their struggle, labor unions, trade chambers and civil society organizations.

The revolutionary youth movement of the era, led by Gezmiş and other comrades, began in the form of uprisings within universities before spreading to become a society-wide opposition trend that encompassed anti-imperialism, as well as workers and peasants’ movements. During the period, various strikes, occupations and rallies for tobacco, cotton, tea and beet producers took place, which were abruptly halted by the military intervention of March 12, 1971.

The military rulers tried Gezmiş, Aslan and İnan on charges of “attempting to dispose the constitutional order” and were sentenced to death as part of the case against the People’s Liberation Army of Turkey (THKO). The three were executed on May 6, 1972, early in the morning in the courtyard of the Ulucanlar Penitentiary – which has now become a museum.

Meanwhile, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has demanded a parliamentary inquiry to be conducted for the executions.

Led by the party’s deputy parliamentary group chair, İdris Baluken, a group of BDP deputies presented a bill to the Parliament Speaker’s Office. A separate ceremony was held in Istanbul’s Kabataş.