1968 and the troubled birth of the Turkish left

Issue: 161

Carol Williams

The 1960s and 1970s were years of the most intense class struggle in modern Turkish history.1 It was a period bookended by two military coups. The first, in 1960, opened up a liberal period in which socialist ideas flourished and working class organisation grew. But politically unstable governments were unable to contain the forces it unleashed. After the warning shot of the 1971 “soft” coup failed to rein them in, the 1980 coup slammed firmly shut the space to organise. The following three years of military rule largely destroyed the left and re-stabilised the system, establishing a less tolerant political atmosphere for the imposition of neoliberalism. A turning point had been marked in 1968, when the student occupation movement politicised a generation of students, pulling many into radical politics. Sparks from the movement ignited the working class, ­transforming the sporadic struggles of the 1960s into protracted industrial action. But the left, dominated by Stalinist and Kemalist politics, drew the young activists into guerrilla warfare and street clashes with fascists and was unable to build out of the confident, combative working class struggles.

The Turkish nation-state was formed out of the decaying Ottoman Empire and declared a republic in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Heading the one-party (Republican People’s Party, CHP), bureaucratic, authoritarian regime, Atatürk set out to fashion, with a series of reforms, a modernised, secular nation in which a capitalist class could develop and take the country into the 20th ­century. In doing so he pitted modernism against “backward” religion and cleaved the nation along ideological lines—Kemalism against Islamism—such that the development of modern Turkey has been carried out as an ideological, and at times physical, tug of war between the two, encapsulated today by the CHP and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). But by the time of Atatürk’s death in 1938 there had been little progress, the country remaining poor and undeveloped, relying on agriculture.

The country’s fortunes changed dramatically after the Second World War as Turkey’s access to Soviet shores on the Black Sea via the Turkish Straits made it central to Cold War geopolitics. Having hedged its bets during the war, Turkey now committed firmly to Washington and the West. In accepting the terms of the 1947 Truman Doctrine—aid from the United States in return for democratisation and a liberal economy—the regime that had ruled Turkey since the First World War voluntarily made way for bourgeois democracy and introduced multi-party elections.

In 1950 the opposition Democrat Party (DP), headed by Adnan Menderes, won a landslide election victory that marked major political, economic and social changes. Flush with American money and electoral success, Menderes set out to rebuild Turkey. A 1958 Time article called him “the Impatient Builder”, referring to his frantic building schemes of dams and factories,2 which made the 1950s Turkey’s first period of sustained economic growth and structural development.3

In the second half of the 1950s, the economy faltered, as Menderes’s “planless industrialisation”4 led to huge deficits, massive debts, inflation and a thriving black market, and he began to lose support. In response he cracked down on dissent, even using the Kemalist armed forces against the Kemalist CHP (famously sending in the army to prevent the opposition leader speaking at a regional rally), and appealed to religious sentiment. The CHP had become more tolerant of religion after 1947, but the Democrat Party extended the relaxation of secularism, for example, allowing the return of the Arabic call to prayer and increasing the number of religious schools and the building of mosques. Such moves were seen as diverging from Kemalism. While they increased Menderes’s support in the countryside, they struck fear into the hearts of the intelligentsia and military.

On the morning of 27 May 1960 junior officers of the armed forces staged a coup. A statement announcing the military takeover was broadcast over the radio by General Alparslan Türkeş, who would later go on to build the Turkish fascist movement. Menderes’s Democratic Party was banned and he and two other ministers were hung for treason. The president was imprisoned and the military and universities were purged.

The coup was a watershed. Uncharacteristic of military coups but in concert with the general global trend of Keynesianism and consensus politics of the time, the new 1961 constitution liberalised the political system, allowing for the formation of socialist, but not communist, parties. But the CHP was unable to benefit from the liberalised atmosphere. In the 1965 elections the Democrat Party resurrected itself as the Justice Party (JP), headed by Süleyman Demirel, an engineer in charge of dam building under Menderes, and won 52.9 percent of the vote to the CHP’s 28.7. Demirel represented a new layer of the bourgeoisie, the self-made men from the countryside and the fast-growing provincial towns (the DP had been more city based).

The economic downturn of the late 1950s was brief and growth returned and increased throughout the 1960s. With a series of five-year plans that pushed import-substitution industrialisation (ISI) policies, the industrial sector grew steadily at an average of 10 percent per year.5 “By the end of the 1960s, the character of Turkey’s economy and society had changed almost beyond recognition”.6 In 1945 nearly 85 percent of employment was in agriculture and just over 15 percent in industry and services. By 1970, agricultural employment had nearly halved to just under 47 percent while the numbers employed in industry and services more than tripled to just over 53 percent.7 The modernisation of agriculture, including the importation of thousands of tractors and a growing road system financed by the Marshall Plan, sent migrants, mainly Kurds,8 flocking from the countryside to the major towns and cities, in particular Istanbul and Ankara. Between 1950 and 1960 some 1.5 million (1 in 10 villagers) migrated and the population of the four largest cities increased by 75 percent.9

In addition to these material changes to people’s lives, the American military presence was highly visible in all areas of the country. Under the Truman Doctrine the US took over financial support for Turkish military modernisation from Britain. Over the 1950s as well as the İncirlik Air Base, where strike aircraft armed with tactical nuclear weapons were stationed and which continues to be a NATO base, other military bases, radar stations, communications nodes and naval facilities were constructed all over the country. In addition was the Sixth Fleet based in the Mediterranean which, in the late 1960s, ­consisted of “more than 4,000 sailors stationed on two attack carriers with more than 150 combat aircraft, escort ships, nuclear submarines, an amphibious task force and supportive service ships”10 which made regular rest and relaxation stops at Turkish ports. “By the late 1960s, there were almost 30,000 US military personnel on Turkish territory. For a country which was proud that it had never fallen under the colonial yoke, this was no small feat”.11 The extent of the American military presence gave a visible focus to the resentment of US involvement in Turkey’s economic and political life and became the target of protests in the 1960s.

The left

Before the First World War there existed in Turkey a vibrant, multi-ethnic left that was destroyed by the Armenian genocide and the expulsion of the Greek population. The left that emerged in the 1960s was no reflection. The ideas that dominated throughout the period were a product of the Kemalist state and the Stalinist regime, a synthesis of Kemalism and Stalinism.

The relaxation of censorship under the new constitution saw a flourishing of left-wing literature, newspapers and journals, and translations of texts from Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Lenin and Mao Zedong, as well as Harold Laski, John Strachey, Roger Garaudy and Herbert Marcuse.12 The major discussion on the left throughout the decade was how Turkey could develop and what forces could lead that process. The entire debate was framed in Kemalist terms of development—ridding the country of feudal, backward forces of reaction—and independence from US imperialist interests that were holding the country back.

With communist parties still banned, the Turkish Communist Party (TKP) operated abroad as a foreign bureau of Moscow throughout the 1960s. Despite its distance, however, its Stalinist politics were to play a central role through the next two decades and key members, unable to operate openly as communists, joined the first legal socialist party, the Turkish Workers’ Party (TİP). TİP was initially set up in February 1961 by a group of trade unionists with the intention of “bringing all workers together in a single party to save them from being controlled by other political parties”.13 A year later, without the weight of a mass movement behind it, TİP stalled and Mehmet Ali Aybar, a well-known left intellectual and lawyer, was approached to head the party. He attracted other intellectuals, most notably Sadun Aren, Behice Boran and Mihri Belli, all ex-TKP, and fashioned the party into a reformist, electoral machine.

TİP was distinct and radical in two ways. It was the first class-based party representing the working class (contrary to the Kemalist notion of populism, which denied the existence of class). This forced other parties to reassess their class basis, particularly the CHP which, after TİP’s electoral gains in 1965, made a swift left turn rebranding itself as left of centre. TİP’s second unique feature was contrary to the Kemalist ideal of nationalism: it embraced the Kurdish issue, providing a political home for Kurdish socialists and students and integrating for the first time the Kurdish movement with the left.14 TİP challenged the secularism/Islamism dichotomy that Kemalism had created. But rather than make a clear break with Kemalism, the party instead insisted it was Kemalism’s true face.

TİP’s programme was based on Kemalist concerns that the backwardness of the countryside and the uneducated villages constituted an ever-present threat of reaction. In order to create the conditions to eradicate feudal elements and educate the countryside, economic development was of prime importance. Key to achieving this was economic and political independence from the US, which had restrained Turkey’s industrial development by prioritising its comparative advantage in agriculture. It argued for an economy run by the state in the ­interests of working people.

However, ideological differences within the leadership of TİP meant it was never able to create a united perspective and it was confused over key concepts of socialism, class and party. This left it vulnerable and within it a strong Stalinist faction, led by Belli, developed. It argued for a national democratic revolution (NDR) to overthrow feudal elements and complete the Kemalist “revolution”.

In many ways the NDR line was the same as TİP’s focus on development based on independence from the US. The major difference, however, was that of agency. For the NDR, the tiny working class, still in the initial stages of developing class consciousness and organisation, could not bring about socialism in Turkey. Believing the Kemalist armed forces were progressive, they insisted on an authoritarian, top-down military regime to implement and run socialism and argued the time was ripe for such a move—the army had proved its credentials in the recent coup.

Aybar argued vociferously against a military intervention, counterposing the NDR line with a “socialist revolution” (SR). While the 1960 coup had resulted in a more open society, he believed another coup would result in fascism. But a more class-based, theoretical opposition came from Boran who argued there can be no short-cut to socialism. For her, socialism required the active participation of the people:

According to the advocates of a “short-cut”, popular support can be maintained by doing things that benefit people and that would eventually become a people’s rule. Those who support such views misunderstand that rule of the people, as they take it as the passive support of the people… A regime that really depends on the people, however, is a form of regime where the people actively participate in all decision-making processes, in governing, the preparation of reforms and their execution.15

Boran was unique in this period in having some conception of contradictory consciousness. She argued that without a long-term struggle to organise and generate working class consciousness, any authoritarian regime “would have to deal with the masses who would cling to their old political beliefs and traditions…and as the masses would have to make economic sacrifices when realising reforms, how would they then support this new regime?”16 But, however radically sections of TİP spoke, their programme and strategy was determinedly reformist. TİP’s democratic socialist revolution would be won through participation in parliamentary politics.

In 1965 TİP won an unexpected 3.2 percent (270,000 votes) and 15 seats in parliament. This was a substantial success for such a new party and Aybar proclaimed “never before has a socialist party taking part in elections for the first time won so many seats”.17 Socialist representation in parliament for the first time created an electric atmosphere among the left. But the reality was that TİP’s vote was very small. The 15 MPs were the result of an election system that favoured small parties—an anomaly of an arrangement designed to prevent ­authoritarianism. (After TİP entered parliament the electoral system was swiftly changed, contributing to TİP’s much reduced vote in 1969.)

The success and weakness of TİP’s election results gave Belli the confidence to attempt a coup at the party’s third congress in 1966 in Malatya. In a very heated and public faction fight, he fought for the NDR perspective. When put to the vote Aybar won and the NDR faction was expelled, but the party came out of the congress severely weakened. Belli began a new journal, The Turkish Left (Türk Solu), which brought together all those opposed to the official party line, and used it to attack Aybar. The internal divisions that would prise TİP apart in the heat of 1968, under the pressure of first the militancy of the student movement and then the invasion of Czechoslovakia, had been exposed.18

Rising tensions

In the shift from Atatürk’s one-party regime in 1946 to multi-party democracy, the ban on trade unions was lifted, although the right to strike remained outlawed. In 1952 many unions came together in the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş), formed with funds, advice and training from the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the American Federation of Labour. From the start the American-styled Türk-İş declared itself a “non-political union”, emphasising its “absolute independence” from political parties and commitment to nationalism, even banning union officials from taking official positions in political parties.19

In the more open atmosphere following the 1960 coup, the growing working class was confident and militant. The first sign of this militancy and the developing organisational strength of trade unions came just six months after the new constitution was approved. The 1961 constitution included the right to strike but there were delays in passing it into law. In December, 100,000 workers from the most industrialised centres of Turkey marched in six columns to Saraçhane, Istanbul, for a mass meeting to protest against the delays, chanting slogans such as “strikes are a right not a favour” and “a trade union without strikes is like an army without guns”.

Union organisation developed steadily throughout the 1960s. In 1961 there were 511 unions with a little under 300,000 members. By 1970 there were 737 unions with nearly 820,000 members.20 Throughout the decade the number of strikes and strikers involved in action steadily grew.21 A clear sign of workers’ militancy was the number of unofficial strikes, which one estimate (there are no official figures) puts at 38 involving 70,000 strikers between 1963 and 1968, many of them taking place in larger factories of over 1,000 workers.22

In this increasingly militant atmosphere, the Türk-İş leadership’s ­determination to maintain good relations with employers and government was repeatedly exposed. One example was the Kozlu strike in the Zonguldak mining region in 1965 when 6,000 miners walked out in protest at unequal distribution of bonuses and barricaded the mine for three days. Security forces attacked, shooting dead two miners. Rather than defend the miners, the Türk-İş leadership denounced the strike as illegal and accused strikers of being communist provocateurs.23 From 1965 the number of trade unions leaving Türk-İş grew and it was becoming increasingly clear that many among the rank and file no longer trusted the federation.24

Resentment with Türk-İş came to a head in 1966 with the strike of 2,200 workers at the Paşabahçe glass works in Istanbul. A union at the plant attempted to break an existing agreement but Türk-İş did a deal with management. Ignoring the official Türk-İş position, five unions formed a strike support committee25 and raised a substantial 46,000 lira and 10 tons of fruit in solidarity.26 At the end of the strike the leadership suspended the unions for their role; four of them went on to establish an alternative organisation, the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions (DİSK), in February 1967.

The formation of DİSK was an important development in the workers’ movement. It grew rapidly in private sector factories that had grown in the 1950s and 1960s concentrated in the big industrial centres of Istanbul, İzmir and İzmit in the west of the country. Türk-İş membership remained concentrated more in the old state industries that grew in the 1930s, in steel, textiles, cement, coal and sugar which, due to state planning, had been distributed around the country. After DİSK’s formation there was a sharp increase in the number of strikes and growth in unofficial strikes, many of them struggles to join a union affiliated to DİSK.

While the working class was finding its feet, the student movement was taking an active and militant role in national politics throughout the 1960s. The student movement was born an ideological movement, an ally of the Kemalist bureaucracy.27 In Atatürk’s newly forged nation-state, schools and universities were not only about producing the future elite, they were also important in instilling in the youth their role as defenders of the nation. In his 1927 “Address to Youth” Atatürk appealed to youth to defend the nation not only from foreign invaders but also from national leaders who “may unite with the political ambitions of the invaders for their personal interests… Your first duty is to protect and defend forever Turkish independence and the Turkish Republic… The strength that you will need is present in the noble blood that flows through your veins!”. Such was the import of the elite role delegated to youth that some see them as a distinct “caste” in Turkish society.28 It is little wonder that the power of this message struck a chord with students at key junctures.

Student confidence to take up the role Atatürk had vested in them had already been boosted when a mass student protest in defence of university autonomy appeared to spark the 1960 coup. A proposal from the Menderes government in February 1960 for political science faculties to come under the Ministry of Education provoked a major student demonstration on 28 April 1960, which police attacked, shooting one student dead. The protests spread to Ankara and on 11 May the Military Academy and thousands of universities and high school students took to the streets. It was two weeks later that the military took control of the country. The coup had been planned for some time and whether or not it was sparked by the student protests, their proximity to the coup makes it easy to appreciate the students’ sense of agency in affecting political change.

Students increasingly took to the streets to intervene in national politics as defenders of the Kemalist project. In 1962, 10,000 protested in Istanbul against the suggestion of amnesty for the DP ministers of the deposed government and again in 1963 at the proposed release of the deposed president Celâl Bayar from jail. In response to the Cyprus crisis in 1964, when the US intervened to prevent Turkish forces invading Cyprus in defence of the Turkish population, tens of thousands of students protested in Istanbul calling for the “army to Cyprus” and 20,000 in Ankara where they stoned the Greek embassy.

The discussions being carried out on the left regarding the road to Turkey’s development and, crucially, its independence from imperialist forces struck a chord with student Kemalism. TİP’s electoral success in 1965 and its persistent challenges in parliament regarding the scale of the US military presence gave it a growing influence among students. TİP set up a student organisation, the Ideas Clubs, under the umbrella of the Confederation of Ideas Clubs (FKF), as an alternative to the staid and “semi-corporatist” student unions.29 FKF grew rapidly and TİP members won all the elections. Under the influence of TİP’s more radical politics students began to take more direct action.

In 1965 students at Istanbul University began a “Use Turkish Oil” campaign, accusing the US of “exploiting” Turkey, and a month later a boycott saw Coca-Cola banned in university canteens. Such was the students’ concern for the national economy that when petrol workers announced a strike, 5,000 students occupied the headquarters of the petrol workers’ union demanding the strike be postponed as it would damage the competitiveness of Turkish oil.30

Throughout 1967 TİP became more influential in student politics and, through the FKF, its student activists were able to pull around them wider groups of students. But TİP’s embrace of Kemalism pandered to the students’ nationalism. In the second half of 1967 the Sixth Fleet visits to Istanbul and İzmir became a target for students. At the end of June, 4,000 demonstrated in Istanbul, with the slogan “Army and youth, hand in hand”, and in October students attacked US soldiers in İzmir. The return of the Cyprus issue in November 1967 saw left-wing students join a right-wing protest of 100,000. While the right-wing slogans attacked Greece and Cypriots, the left attacked both US imperialism for preventing the Turkish government from intervening and the Turkish government for its passivity and kowtowing to US imperialism.31

TİP’s influence among the students would not last, however. Its passive, reformist commitment to parliament meant its influence among students would be seriously challenged in the heat of 1968.


The electrical sparks of student struggle that jumped from terminal to terminal across Europe in the spring of 196832 struck Turkey in June and ignited the tensions that had been building throughout the decade, first among students and the following year among the working class. The Turkish press had been following in detail the European student uprisings and alarm was raised about their similarity with the student complaints in Turkey. The country was “waiting for the uprising”33 and it broke unexpectedly in one of the most apolitical faculties on 10 June. A group of students at the Language, History and Geography Faculty of Ankara University surrounded the head of the Student Union demanding changes to the examination system. A student called out “Let’s boycott!”, “Let’s do what the students are doing in Europe!” “Without any organisation or instruction, suddenly, as if previously planned in detail, around a hundred students spread out around the exam rooms calling on students to leave. It was as if they had been waiting for the call. Suddenly the exam rooms were emptied”.34

News of this spontaneous occupation and the support it had received reached Istanbul. Two days later Deniz Gezmiş, an activist who would become a legendary figure on the Turkish left, strode into a lecture theatre in the Law Faculty of Istanbul University and gave a rousing speech calling for support for the Ankara occupation—the lecture theatre emptied. Within days the occupation movement had spread throughout most universities, technical schools, private academies and teacher training institutions. Demands centred on university reforms, both general, for example, freezing university fees and the inclusion of students in the university administration, and local, for example, Istanbul University students demanded cheap, set course books and an end to oral exams.35 Right-wing students attempted to attack the occupations but these initial attacks were small, unorganised and easily fought off. On the whole these first occupations were met with some sympathy from public opinion and the CHP initiated discussions on university reforms. University adminstrations conceded many of the demands, bringing the occupations to an end by the end of June.

The spontaneity of the occupations wrong-footed the TİP dominated FKF, which had been planning a series of modest campaigns for the autumn, and it hesitated about whether to take part, sparking accusations of passivism from NDR students. Within a few days, however, the FKF re-orientated and took a leading role that was to make it the leading student organisation.36 But its hesitation exposed tensions within the movement that were to be central to the first splits.

The movement broadened the discussions among students, from university reforms to national problems, particularly the fight against American imperialism. The ideological confusion within TİP, however, was reflected in the student organisation, with divisions between supporters of Aybar’s SR line and Belli’s NDR. In the FKF these differences were expressed in base terms between passivity and militancy: with a focus on parliament, SR students argued for peaceful protest; with a more revolutionary perspective, the NDR students encouraged militancy. In an atmosphere of growing confidence, having successfully occupied their universities and fought off right-wing attacks, the militancy of the NDR students began to resonate with students and protests began to take on a harder edge, and attract a more violent response.

On 15 July students attacked US sailors in Istanbul in several separate incidents, resulting in 15 arrests. A protest against the arrests was followed by a 4.30am police raid on a student dormitory in Istanbul. During the raid a student was either pushed or fell from a window and died from his injuries a few days later. On 17 July in an angry protest at the police attack and the visiting Sixth Fleet, around 1,000 students gathered outside the campus in Istanbul near Taksim Square. TİP student leaders tried to hold back the militant mood and argued not to march the one kilometre down to Dolmabahçe where the Sixth Fleet was docked. The fighting talk of NDR students, however, connected with the mood and the angry protest marched to the dock, where a number of US sailors were thrown into the sea and the fleet was forced to leave. The incident became symbolic of the tenacity of the student movement.

At the beginning of the new academic year in the autumn of 1968, as it became clear the administrations had failed to implement the demands of the summer, a second wave of occupations hit the universities. They were still spontaneous but were now led by socialist students and began with more radical demands: rather than “revolution in education”, the demand was now “education for revolution”. (It should be borne in mind, however, that the revolution most students had in mind was that of Kemalism.) Alarmed at the continued radicalism, the right wing increased their attacks, and this period saw the beginning of violent clashes on the campuses as left-wing students defended themselves against fascist violence.

The growth of the far right

The occupation movement of June had burst into an electric atmosphere fuelled by events in Europe. Their spontaneity and rapid escalation alarmed the right wing which led attacks on the occupations. While at first small and disorganised, they were the beginning of what was to become a 10-year period of fascist organisation, mobilisation and growth.

The fascist movement was built by Türkeş, the pan-Turkist and Hitler supporter who had made the radio announcement of the 1960 coup. He headed the fascist National Action Party (MHP) and formed its paramilitary wing known as the Grey Wolves.

From 1968, the “Grey Wolves” (Bozkurtlar) were increasingly in evidence in the streets of the larger cities, particularly Ankara and Istanbul. Numbering between several hundred to a few thousand, their uniformed marches and demonstrations and their violent clashes with leftist groups attracted much interest in the press… which did not fail to draw comparisons with fascist and Nazi youth groups.37

In August of that year the existence of commando training camps came to light, where, Türkeş claimed, 1,000 young men were being trained in street fighting to combat the communists.38 While Türkeş was responsible for the growth of the fascist movement in Turkey, it was the US that was responsible for Türkeş himself. He had been enlisted by the US under Operation Gladio, a covert NATO operation during the Cold War creating “stay-behind” armies to support official NATO forces in the event of Soviet invasion and to counter internal enemies. Türkeş’s Special Warfare Department, formed in 1965, is considered to be the one of the key founding organisations of Turkey’s “deep state”.39

It was not only fascists who attacked the student occupations. Right-wing Islamists, encouraged by the anti-communist rhetoric of Demirel’s Justice Party (AP, successor of the Democrat Party), often joined the Grey Wolves in their attacks. On 23 July, on the eve of anti-US demonstrations planned by teachers and students in the small town of Konya in mid-west Turkey, a group of 3-4,000 far-right Islamists rampaged through the town attacking teachers’ associations, left-wing bookstores, the local newspaper, casinos and night clubs.40

The birth of the revolutionary left

A further explosion of student occupations erupted in 1969 with regular university closures and increasingly violent right-wing attacks on campuses. Police were regularly called in to make arrests and search for weapons, making hauls of sticks, guns, Molotov cocktails and even dynamite. By the autumn, the attacks had become shoot-outs and a number of students were killed. In February 1969, on what would become known as “Bloody Sunday”, a protest of 20-30,000 students and trade unionists against another Sixth Fleet visit was attacked by 10,000 Islamists and fascists with sticks and knives killing two and injuring 200.41 Throughout 1969-70 the Grey Wolves increased their attacks on the left, resulting in thousands of deaths on both sides.

At the beginning of 1969 the NDR students were pulling the FKF into more militant actions, for example burning the car of US ambassador Robert Komer. The increasing number of demonstrations, particularly over Sixth Fleet visits, increased tensions between SR students who wanted to keep the protests peaceful and NDR students who were pushing for each demonstration to become a confrontation. At the fourth FKF Congress in October 1969 NDR students took control of all positions, expelled SR students and renamed the organisation Dev-Genç (Revolutionary Youth). But while the militant rhetoric of the NDR had found an echo among students frustrated by the passivity of parliamentary politics, as the violence increased the militant students found themselves increasingly alienated from the main student body. This became clear in March 1970 when attempts to organise events to celebrate the Independence War of 1919-23 were overshadowed by further fascist attacks, shootings, police raids and university closures. What was to have been a mass demonstration brought just 3,000 together at Istanbul University; it was cancelled when it was known that fascists were waiting to attack. It was the end of student politics. Campuses had become war zones. Activists now looked beyond the universities to the growing workers’ and peasant struggles.

The NDR takeover of the FKF at the end of 1969 not only ousted the SR from student leadership. It also exposed a split within the NDR that had been growing throughout the year, the basis of which was the NDR’s inconsistent practical radicalism—leading and pushing militant actions—combined with its view that the revolution would be carried out by radical soldiers.42 This left a passive role for the youth who were simply to prepare the conditions for the army to act. As the student movement escalated, radical students influenced by the ideas of Che Guevara, Carlos Marighella and Régis Debray as well as Marx, Engels, Lenin and Mao took a leading role. Together with the active role ascribed to students by Kemalism in defending the nation and the increasing confidence they had gained from leading occupations and taking up arms against fascist attack, they began to see their self-organisation as the basis for a revolutionary movement, and the ideas of Latin American guerrilla tactics became increasingly attractive.

One student leader who arose from the occupation movement was Mahir Çayan, a Maoist who stressed the need for an autonomous revolutionary party. He led a split from NDR and formed the People’s Liberation Party-Front of Turkey (THKP-C) in 1970. The need for self-organisation was supported by another group around Gezmiş, more influenced by Guevarism, which argued the vanguard party would arise from the revolutionary army. They left the NDR and formed the Turkish Peoples’ Liberation Army (THKO). The remaining NDR followers stood behind Doğu Perinçek (who today leads the nationalist Patriotic Party—Vatan Partisi), from which a group led by İbrahim Kaypakkaya, the Revolutionary Workers’ and Peasants’ Party of Turkey (TİİKP), was later to split. Kaypakkaya was also a Maoist and the only leading activist to break fundamentally with Kemalism.

The idea of a peasant war was encouraged by an outbreak of land occupations which drew the young Maoist activists, who helped organise demonstrations and meetings. In the village of Atalan occupations called for the equal distribution of state land controlled by six large landowners, in Urfa peasants occupied and planted state land, and in Söke 100 villages occupied to demand land reform. Throughout 1971 and 1972 the guerrilla groups carried out a series of attacks, kidnapping US military personnel in order to protest against the US presence and staging bank robberies to fund the “peoples’ war”. But just as the young revolutionaries were taking to the countryside, the working class was beginning to organise.

The workers move

The energy and confidence of the 1968 student movement fed into the workers’ movement, turning the sporadic struggles of the 1960s into more concerted action.43 Union membership had continued to increase throughout the decade, from 446,000 in 1963 to nearly 767,000 in 1969, with an average union density over the period of 60 percent. Strike statistics give the impression that the period 1968-70 was not especially militant; 1968 saw a low in the number of strikes, 54 from the 101 of the previous year. The average number of days lost to strike action per year between 1964 (the first full year when strikes were legal) and 1967 was nearly 339,000. Between 1968 and 1970 it was little over 210,000, with 1968 registering just 175,000, the lowest number of working days lost to strikes in one year since 1964.44

But these figures should not be mistaken for a lack of worker militancy. After the formation of DİSK in 1967 there was a rise in the number of unofficial strikes and “resistances”: stoppages, slowdowns and sit-ins, and, crucially, occupations, a new tactic that did not register in strike statistics and that was a clear influence from the student movement.45 A wave of occupations that continued throughout 1969 began with the Derby Factory in Istanbul in 1968 over workers’ attempts to join the DİSK-affiliated Tyre Workers’ Union (Lastik-İş). Fearing their reduced representation in the tyre sector, Türk-İş set up an alternative union, and pressure and intimidation from management, including threats of the sack and holding back wages, was put on workers to join. When Derby management announced it was about to sign a deal with the Türk-İş union, workers occupied the factory, welded the doors shut and posted patrols and look-outs. The occupation was visited by students, who chanted “Workers and youth, hand in hand”. Four days later bosses gave in to the demand for a referendum, which returned an overwhelming vote for Lastik-İş, forcing management to concede all the demands.46

The successful Derby occupation was the first of a wave of occupations that continued the following year, many over the right to join a DİSK-affiliated union. At the Singer factory in January, 520 workers occupied in protest at the sacking of three workers who had left a Türk-İş union to join DİSK. At the DemirDöküm cast iron factory in Istanbul the police and armed forces were used, for the first time, to break an occupation. Workers at the factory had resigned from a Türk-İş union to join the mineworkers’ Maden-İş, affiliated to DİSK, and demanded employers sign an agreement. Management refused and used intimidation and scare tactics, firing five workers and beating others up. On 31 July, of the 2,500 workers at the factory, 1,850 went into occupation. After five days, the water and electricity were cut and police attacked with sound and smoke bombs. When families and friends outside the factory beat the police back, 4,000 gendarmes, 10 tanks and 15 armoured vehicles were brought in to surround the factory. Workers finally agreed to leave but, still defiant, refused to return to work and employers eventually gave in, agreeing to pay workers for their time in the occupation and to raise wages.47

The US military bases were also affected by strike action. In April 1969 workers began a six-week strike walking out at the İzmir base demanding wage increases. The strike spread to facilities in Istanbul, Ankara and Adana. Timed to coincide with bilateral negotiations over the status of US forces in Turkey, the action caused alarm in the US Congress, which demanded from Turkey protection of its bases from strike action.48 Despite the earnest actions of the guerrilla groups, it was strikes rather than military personnel kidnappings that contributed most to reducing the US presence.49

The militancy spread also to the growing middle class. Teachers and civil servants did not have the right to strike. In December 1969 the left-wing Union of Teachers of Turkey (TÖS) and the Primary School Teachers’ Union (İlk-Sen) organised a four-day countrywide strike involving 109,000 teachers, demanding the right to strike, getting rid of foreign, mainly American, educational experts, and the reinstatement of sacked trade union activists. In a clear sign of the conflict between the bureaucracy and the government, and of the growing weakness of Demirel, when hundreds of teachers were suspended, the Council of State overturned the decision, and when the government applied to the courts to close the two unions, the courts rejected the application. In an attempt to pacify civil servants, Demirel designed a new Personnel Law proposing significant wage increases at both lower and upper levels of the bureaucracy. However, judges, public prosecutors, non-commissioned officers, civil police, technical personnel in state enterprises, state accountants and post office workers all rejected the plan. The Civil Servants’ Union (Türk-Persen) called a protest in Ankara on 14 June 1970 at which thousands of the educated middle class took to the streets in revolt.

But it was the manufacturing sector that was posing a serious threat to industrial capital. In a rapidly developing economy, with a private sector heavily subsidised by cheap credit and cheap resources provided by the state sector, industrial struggles quickly won improved wages. Between 1963 and 1970 there was a 26.7 percent increase in real wages.50 But what employers could not tolerate was interruptions in production due to strikes and occupations. With wages rising, production slowing and the newly formed working class developing in militancy, employers became increasingly alarmed. Together with Türk-İş, the government devised plans for changes in trade union laws with the express aim of wiping out DİSK.51 A meeting of DİSK workplace representatives called for a protest.

The response of the working class to this attack took even DİSK by surprise. On 15 June 1970 tens of thousands of workers (estimates vary between 70,000 and 150,000) across Istanbul downed tools and walked out. They marched from four points of the city, pulling workplaces out along the route. Traffic on the main arterial route between Istanbul and Ankara was brought to a halt as workers marched toward the centre. The following day the protests continued and grew in number, as marchers aimed to converge in the city centre. What began with a peaceful, festival atmosphere turned violent, however, as the state determined to prevent the marchers coming together by erecting police barricades and closing the bridge across the Golden Horn. Workers broke through the barricades, forced the release of arrested marchers and at one point attacked a factory belonging to the Demirel family. Police attacks saw five people killed, including one police officer, and 200 injured. Although centred on Istanbul, the protests drew solidarity actions in other, mostly industrial areas. In İzmir 12 workplaces held sit-ins, in Ankara workers occupied the National Press House. Protests were held in the industrial areas of Gebze and İzmit, and the small towns of Adana and Gaziantep in the south-east of the country.

As workers were taking to the streets to defend their union, DİSK officials were meeting with the Labour Minister. Startled by the strength of support, the union that tens of thousands of workers turned out to protect turned tail and DİSK chairman, ex-Communist Party leader Kemal Türkler (who was assassinated by fascists shortly before the 1980 coup), announced on the radio the protests “should be peaceful and respect the constitution” and called on protesters to return to their homes.52 Later that evening martial law was declared. The DİSK leadership had in one swipe cut the head off the movement. It was repaid when, under martial law, DİSK-affiliated union offices were raided by police, documents seized and officials arrested. Protests were banned and many districts were put under surveillance and factories cordoned off by the military. Yet some factories in and around Istanbul refused to return to work, for example the Derby Factory and DemirDöküm. But the state and employers would take their revenge by sacking and blacklisting over 5,000 workers, the majority of whom were activists who had years of experience in trade union struggle. The dilution of this leadership seriously weakened the working class in the following struggles.53

The 15-16 June protest was highly significant. The government called it a dress rehearsal for revolution.54 An absurd exaggeration, but it was a glimpse of a revolutionary force. It was a purely political action in defence of a trade union federation that involved not just DİSK members; a large proportion were members of Türk-İş-affiliated unions and un-unionised workers.55 The make-up of the protests also cut across the Kemalist-Islamist cleavage with supporters of the CHP and AP marching together. It was the first time many of the strikers had taken action and it took strike action to areas that had previously not been involved in industrial struggle. And, crucially, it demonstrated the existence of a confident and militant working class in Turkey.

While TİP members joined the protests, the TİP leadership did no more than announce its support. By now TİP had fallen apart. In its second electoral test in 1969 it did badly with a loss of 60,000 votes and a reduced parliamentary representation from 15 MPs to two. This was partly due to changes in electoral laws, but the continuing public faction fights weakened the organisation. More damaging was the loss of support from DİSK when Aybar shifted the party’s focus to the peasantry after the disappointing working class vote in 1965. The hope of working class unity that TİP had represented was now lost as political confusion saw the party implode with differences “among social classes and social strata, between intelligentsia and workers, and workers and peasants”.56 The intelligentsia split between the two main blocs, the Aybar bloc and the Aren-Boran bloc, the latter gaining the leadership at the October 1970 Congress. Aybar resigned.

Faced with growing class struggle, the Demirel government was paralysed. Pressure from the bureaucracy and right-wing defections from the party left it incapable of dealing with the growing political crisis. In March 1971 the military intervened for a second time in Turkey’s turbulent modern history with a “coup by memorandum” demanding Demirel “end the ‘anarchy’ and carry out reforms ‘in a Kemalist spirit’”.57 Demirel resigned.

Apart from TİP, this second military intervention was initially welcomed by almost the entire left. But the post-coup repression was to end any illusions in the progressive potential of the Kemalist armed forces. Under the cover of martial law the army led a vicious witch-hunt against not only the left but anyone with progressive liberal sympathies; when the Israeli consul was kidnapped and killed, over 5,000 leading intellectuals were arrested.58 Included in the mass arrests were the leadership of all left organisations, including TİP, NDR and the Kurdish movement. Left political parties were banned, trade unions suspended and a bloody counter-guerrilla operation carried out. By 1974 Gezmiş, Çayan, Kaypakkaya and many other brave, but ultimately mistaken, revolutionaries had been executed by the state.

The 1971 military intervention temporarily halted but did not deflect the trajectory of events. Despite its temporary success in swiftly smashing the revolutionary left, by the time the activists were released from jail, when an amnesty was declared in 1974, the mass youth following of the left had grown enormously.59 A number of new parties were formed and while none made any electoral in-roads, election results showed a distinct leftward shift from which the CHP benefitted. “With enviable strategic vision [Bülent] Ecevit tried to renovate the base of the CHP by channelling the new working class militancy which had been revealed in the 15-16 June demonstrations and which the left had so far tragically ignored”.60 In 1973 he took the CHP to election victory with 33.3 percent of the vote, but it was not enough to form a government so they went into coalition with the newly formed Islamist National Salvation Party (MSP) led by Necmettin Erbakan.

What is notable, however, is that while the CHP failed to win enough votes to form governments, over the years of industrial struggle it did increase its nationwide share of the vote, from 27.4 percent in 1969 to 33.3 percent in 1973 and 41.4 percent in 1977. More significantly, the CHP was particularly successful in working class and poor neighbourhoods in the larger cities. In the shantytown areas of İzmir and Istanbul, for example, its vote increased from 22.6 percent and 21.8 percent in 1969 to 44.2 percent and 47.5 percent in 1973. What’s more, there was a dramatic shift away from electoral support for the AP in the notoriously conservative coal mining area of Zonguldak, with gains mostly going to the CHP. In this region the AP’s vote declined from 55.6 percent to 38.2 between 1969 and 1973, while the CHP’s increased from 30.7 percent to 39.8, rising further to 45.7 percent in 1977.61

The revolutionary left, however, were not in a position to benefit from this. Three years in prison had led to a frank soul-searching and general agreement that guerrilla activities had been a military and political failure and led to the loss of some of the best cadre, and that activists were not connected to, and therefore could hardly claim to represent, the working class.62 But this reassessment of their politics and strategy and tactics was made in the absence of a class-based analysis of Turkey. The militancy of China’s “people’s war” trumped Moscow’s passive reformism and Maoism became dominant. But as the movement grew, the left split. The Çayan group broke into myriad grouplets, the biggest being Perinçek’s Proletarian Revolutionary Enlightenment (PDA) and Revolutionary Path (Dev-Yol), which would go on to be the main organisation to confront the fascists.

The splintering movement was now developing a destructive sectarianism involving physical attacks. Dev-Genç more than once stormed TİP offices, attacking its leaders and destroying party material, and rival groups would physically attack others to prevent them from selling their papers.63 It is generally thought that it was left rivalries that the police were able to exploit to ignite the 1977 May Day disaster in Istanbul when shots fired drew a police response and a stampede in which at least 34 people were killed.

While the revolutionary left were splitting into small sects, the reformist left were splitting into small and ineffective political parties. After the amnesty four new socialist parties were set up: the Socialist Revolution Party (SDP) around Aybar; TİP, in a new form set up by Boran; the Turkish Labour Party (TEP), a continuation of the NDR set up by Belli that fizzled out in the mid 1980s; and the Socialist Workers’ Party of Turkey (TSİP). Sections of them all, by different routes, would come together in the still active Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) in 1996. One notable development in this period was the return to the scene of the Turkish Communist Party (TKP), which, as the recognised sister organisation of Communist parties worldwide, grew quickly.

The ruling class strike back

The second half of the 1970s saw both a quantitative and qualitative shift in class struggle. Union membership continued to grow and working class morale and confidence remained high. Between 1974 and 1980 the average number of days per year lost to strike action was a little over 911,000, with peaks of over a million in 1977, 1979 and 1980. The debt default as a result of the 1977 oil crisis sent Turkey back to the IMF for fresh funds, which brought also austerity measures and wage controls. But these were met by fierce resistance. Strike activity rose in 1979 and jumped massively in the first half of 1980. On the eve of the 12 September coup, hundreds of thousands of car, rail and textile workers were due to walk out.64

This period was the high point of DİSK’s organisation as it took over from Türk-İş as the dominant federation.65 With industrial expansion continuing in central Anatolia, DİSK was able to broaden its organisation nationally and among municipal, textile and metal workers. Whereas pre-1971 strike action was by and large limited to the private sector in the industrialised centres in the west of the country, the second half of the 1970s saw a marked growth in public sector action in workplaces throughout the country and many were political in nature. In February 1975, teachers’, local government auditors’, engineers’ and architects’ associations held demonstrations in 52 provinces (out of 67) over trade union rights, collective contracts, unemployment and the cost of living. In March 1976, education personnel, telecommunications workers and auditors held a demonstration in Ankara over “fascist” oppression and in January and February 1977 demonstrations were held in Denizli, Bursa, Zonguldak and Ankara over economic and democratic rights.66

Attempts by governments to hold back the workers’ movement provoked a number of large-scale struggles. A major political strike began in 1976 when the National Front government proposed to retain the state security courts, established under military rule after the 1971 coup. Some 100,000 workers responded to DİSK’s call for a general strike and demonstration in opposition.67 The proposal was shelved. The following year a major confrontation broke out between the employers’ organisation MESS and DİSK-affiliated Maden-İş. After nine months of failure to reach agreement, 10,000 workers at 31 workplaces began strike action. Workers eventually won a partial victory with wage increases and improved bonuses, but “group contracts” were imposed, effectively derecognising the union.68

By now DİSK was controlled by the fast growıng TKP, which had taken over all the key positions at the 1975 conference, shifting the entire balance of influence within the Turkish left. But, rather than focus on building and strengthening its organisation in the new areas it had gained, the TKP bureaucracy focused on ensuring its domination of the federation and carried out sectarian purges of all other left influence, “acting virtually as a political police force within DİSK to prevent all other socialist ‘infiltration’”.69

Weakened by internal wrangling and dominated by the reformist TKP, DİSK feared the growing militancy of the working class. A strike in January 1980 at Tariş, an agricultural processing complex near İzmir that employed some 10,000 workers, exposed the now spineless DİSK leadership. Over the previous few years, several socialist organisations had established a presence among the workforce. The strike erupted when workers heard that the AP government planned to sack some of them and employ its own supporters, including many fascist militants, in their place. It turned into an occupation and soon gathered wide support from the surrounding working class districts. The government sent in 10,000 troops, equipped with armoured vehicles and helicopters, to break the occupation and pitched battles erupted and spread to the surrounding neighbourhood, where barricades were erected and holes dug to prevent the movement of tanks. But, rather than build on the energy of the spontaneous action, DİSK retreated in the face of the military might of the state and sent a delegation of officials in to encourage workers to end the action, to which workers replied: “if you break the resistance, we’ll break your head”. But left isolated, the strike went down to defeat and hundreds were sacked and arrested.70

Pre-1971 workers’ actions had been offensive and had won gains in improved wages and work conditions. In the second half of the 1970s, struggles were defensive, and the bosses and the state turned to direct state violence in order to defeat major struggles. But capital was not united enough to present a unified political response. The military, after the 1971 coup, had been unable to either establish a coherent and stable regime or address the divisions between industrial, commercial and landowning capital. These divisions were reflected in the plethora of political parties throughout the 1970s71 and the continual changes in unstable coalition governments (nine in nine years), often with the fascist MHP or Islamist MSP holding the decisive vote, which boosted the confidence of the fascist movement.

The few years that followed the formation of a National Front coalition government in 1975, with the MHP and Türkeş as deputy prime minister, saw a marked increase in armed groups and fascist attacks. Between 1975 and 1978, deaths from political violence rose from 35 to nearly 1,000, and by 1980 the figure was 3,500.72 As well as daily street violence the right wing carried out vicious massacres. Largely believed to have been sanctioned by the state was the Kahramanmaraş massacre in a Kurdish region of south-east Turkey. In a week-long attack, Grey Wolves and Islamic fundamentalists burned and slaughtered 111 men, women and children, not only attacking Alevi Kurds but also known leftists. In Çorum in the north of the country the same groups carried out a massacre between May and July 1980 killing over 50 Alevis and leftists. On a local level, whole neighbourhoods became known as the stronghold of fascists or leftists, and the left, particularly Dev-Yol, became embroiled in political violence.

But the left were blinded by Stalinist politics into seeing the fascist assaults as attacks on left-wing organisation rather than attacks on the working class. There was no political strategy for fighting fascism: “The left groupings never undertook anti-fascist struggle as part of the struggle of the working class… Despite their rhetoric the anti-fascist struggle was waged solely as a means of establishing their dominance in any particular locality”.73

It was on the pretext of political violence that General Kenan Evren announced the military’s most violent coup in September 1980. In reality it was a number of factors including the inability of governments to rein in industrial action and the fear of a rising Islamic fundamentalism (with an eye to the 1979 Iranian Revolution) that led to the army intervening for the third time in 20 years, bringing to an end the political crisis sparked by 1968.


The Turkish left emerged at the same time as the rising student and workers’ movement, when it was still trying to understand itself and the conjuncture into which it had been thrust. The tragedy of the Turkish left was not that the pre-existence of Kemalism prevented a Marxist analysis of Turkey when it was most needed:74 we make our own history but not under circumstances chosen by ourselves.75 The tragedy was the Stalinist politics that rejected the working class as a revolutionary force and played into Kemalist ideas that saw Turkey as a colony under the yoke of imperialist forces. The scale of US political, economical and military involvement certainly helped to fuel such perceptions. But Stalinism offered no alternative to Kemalism. Instead it fused with Kemalism and dragged a generation of activists into a rancid nationalism that still pervades much of the Turkish left today, and saw the revolutionary left fragment into groupings fashioned along the only lines offered at the time, Maoism and Guevarism. Stalinism created the confusion within TİP, which knew itself as an organisation of the working class but was shaped by nationalist politics, and left it vulnerable to the factionalising that finally tore it apart.

The result was that the potential of the left to unite the working class was destroyed, instead exacerbating religious and ethnic divisions, weakening the movement. From 1973 Kurds built their own autonomous organisations and went through a rapid process of radicalisation that led to the formation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 1978.76 Moreover, the lack of an effective left in Turkish politics meant the uncontested rise of political Islam; as the left weakened, political Islam grew. What is more, the failure to recognise the fascist movement as an attack on the working class and mount an anti-fascist campaign left the movement to grow so that, today, the fascist MHP is the third party in Turkish politics and the Grey Wolves remain a live organisation.

There was an inevitability to the trajectory the left took. But it was only partly derived from the conjuncture of existing forces. What determined it ultimately was what was absent; revolutionary politics based on the agency of the working class that could have drawn the most radical student, worker and Kurdish activists together to help drive an anti-fascist movement and build working class organisation. In 1968 the Turkish left was finding its feet in the heat of the struggle. It has the space now to ensure its political clarity before the fire next time.

Carol Williams is a socialist living in Istanbul.


1 Thanks to Alex Callinicos, Roni Margulies, Camilla Royle and Chris Stephenson for their comments and advice.

2 Time, 3 February 1958, quoted in Bali, 2010, p15.

3 Zürcher, 2003, p238.

4 Aydın, 2005, p30.

5 Aydın, 2005, p38.

6 Quoted in Mello, 2010, p24.

7 Tanrıvermiş and Bülbül, 2007.

8 McDowall, 2013, p401.

9 Keyder, 1987, p137.

10 Holmes, 2014, p69.

11 Holmes, 2014, p51.

12 Landau, 1982, p25.

13 Ünsal, 2002, p76.

14 Bozarslan, 2012, p2.

15 Quoted in Ulus, 2011, pp67-68.

16 Ulus, 2011, p68.

17 Quoted in Lipovsky, 1991, p97.

18 Ünsal, 2002, p296.

19 Algül, 2015, pp118-119; Koç, 2010, p171.

20 Millioğulları, 2007, p56.

21 Millioğulları, 2007, p65.

22 Salâh, 1984.

23 Sosyalist Barikat, 2004.

24 Atesoğulları, 2003, p8.

25 Ateşoğulları, 2003, p8.

26 Sosyalist Barikat, 2004.

27 Alper, 2009, p208.

28 Mango, 1999, p261.

29 Alper, 2009, p351.

30 Alper, 2009, p285.

31 Alper, 2009, pp316-317.

32 Harman, 1998, p38.

33 Alper, 2009, p355.

34 Zileli, 2000, p289.

35 Alper, 2009, p360.

36 Alper, 2009, pp358-359.

37 Landau, 1982, p594

38 Alper, 2009, p374.

39 Holmes, 2014, p53.

40 Alper, 2009, p373.

41 Alper, 2009, p404.

42 Alper, 2009, p430.

43 Many thanks to Nuran Yüce for our discussion on this period.

44 Millioğulları, 2007.

45 Koç, 2010, p231.

46 UID-DER, 2016.

47 Sosyalist Barikat, 2006.

48 Holmes, 2014, pp75-77.

49 Holmes, 2014, p204.

50 Millioğulları, 2007, p61.

51 Ulus, 2011, p119.

52 Ateşoğulları, 2003, p35.

53 Koç, 2010, p234.

54 Ulus, 2011, p120.

55 Ateşoğulları, 2003, p35.

56 Ulus, 2011, p86.

57 Zürcher, 2003, p271.

58 Zürcher, 2003, p271.

59 Samim, 1981 p73. Ahmet Samim was the pseudonym used by political commentator Murat Belge in the repressive conditions after the 1980 coup.

60 Samim, 1981, p74.

61 Mello, 2010, p18.

62 Salâh, 1984.

63 Ulus, 2011, pp113 and 119.

64 Salâh, 1984.

65 Millioğulları, 2007, p68.

66 Koç, 2010, p268.

67 Salâh, 1984.

68 Yurtsever, 2008, p240.

69 Samim, 1981, p79.

70 Yurtsever, 2008, p242.

71 Aydın, 2005, p41.

72 Mello, 2013, p102.

73 Salâh, 1984.

74 Samim, 1981, p64,

75 Marx, 1977, p300

76 Bozarslan, 2012, p3.


Algül, Süreyya, 2015, Türkiye’de Sendika-Siyaset İlişkisi: DİSK (1967-1975) [Trade Union and Political Relations in Turkey: DİSK (1967-1975)] (İletişim).

Alper, Emin, 2009, Student Movement in Turkey from a Global Perspective 1960-71 (Boğaziçi University, unpublished dissertation).

Ateşoğulları, Kamil, 2003, 15-16 Hazıran: İki Uzun Gün ve Bir Uzun Yürüyüş [Two Long Days, One Long March] (Birlişik Metal-İş Yayınları).

Aydın, Zülküf, 2005, The Political Economy of Turkey (Pluto Press).

Bali, Rıfat (ed), 2010, Turkey in the 1960s and 1970s Through the Reports of American Diplomats (Libra).

Bozarslan, Hamit, 2012, “Between Integration, Autonomization and Radicalization: Hamit Bozarslan on the Kurdish Movements and the Turkish Left”, European Journal of Turkish Studies, number 14.

Harman, Chris, 1998, The Fire Last Time: 1968 and After (Bookmarks).

Holmes, Amy Austin, 2014, Social Unrest and American Military Bases in Turkey and Germany since 1945 (Cambridge University Press).

Keyder, Çağlar, 1987, State and Class in Turkey: A Study in Capitalist Development (Verso).

Koç, Yıldırım, 2010, Türkiye İşçi Sınıfı Tarihi: Osmalı’dan 2010’a [History of the Turkish Working Class: From the Ottomans to 2010] (Epos).

Landau, Jacob M, 1982, “The Nationalist Action Party in Turkey”, Journal of Contemporary History, volume 17, issue 4.

Lipovsky, Igor, 1991, “The Legal Socialist Parties of Turkey, 1960-1980”, Middle Eastern Studies, volume 27, number 1.

Mango, Andrew, 1999, Atatürk (John Murray).

Marx, Karl, 1977 [1852], “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte”, in David McLellan (ed), Karl Marx: Selected Writings (Oxford University Press).

Mello, Brian, 2010, “Communists and Compromisers: Explaining Divergences within Turkish Labor Activism, 1960-1980”, European Journal of Turkish Studies, number 11.

Mello, Brian, 2013, Evaluating Social Movement Impacts: Comparative Lessons from the Labor Movement in Turkey (Bloomsbury).

McDowall, David, 2004, A Modern History of the Kurds (I B Tauris).

Millioğulları, Özgün, 2007, Türkiye’de 1960-1980 ve 1980-2005 Dönemlerinde Grev Hareketlerinin Karşılaştırılması [Comparison of the 1960-1980 and 1980-2005 Strike Movements in Turkey] (Ankara University, unpublished dissertation).

Salâh, Mehmet, 1984, “The Turkish Working Class and Socialist Movement in Perspective”, Khamsin: Journal of Revolutionary Socialists of the Middle-East, number 11, https://libcom.org/library/turkish-working-class-socialist-movement-perspective

Samim, Ahmet (Murat Belge), 1981, “The Tragedy of the Turkish Left”, New Left Review, I/126.

Sosyalist Barikat, 2004, “Ankara’yı Sarsan Ayaklanma: Kozlu Direnişi” [The Revolt That Shook Ankara: The Kozlu Resistence] (March), www.barikat-lar.de/barikat/20/tarih20.htm

Sosyalist Barikat, 2006, “31 Temmuz 1969’dan günümüze yansıyan ışık: Silahtar Demir Döküm Grevi” [The Silahtar Demir Döküm Strike: The Light That Shines from 31 July 1969 to Today] (August), www.barikat-lar.de/barikat/43/tarih43.htm

Tanrıvermiş, Harun, and Mehmet Bülbül, 2007, “The Role of Agriculture in the Turkish Economy at the Beginning of the European Union Accession Negotiations”, Journal of Applied Sciences, volume 7, number 4.

UID-DER, 2016, İlk Fabrika İşgali: DERBY [DERBY: The First Factory Occupation] (7 January), http://uidder.org/ilk_fabrika_isgali_derby.htm

Ulus, Özgür Mutlu, 2011, The Army and the Radical Left in Turkey: Military Coups, Socialist Revolution and Kemalism (I B Taurus).

Ünsal, Artun, 2002, Umuttan Yalnızlığa, Türkiye İşçi Partisi (1961-1971) [From Hope to Desolation: The Turkish Workers Party (1961-1971)] (Tarih Vakfı).

Yurtsever, Haluk, 2008, Yükseliş ve Düşüş: Türkiye Solu 1960-1980 [Rise and Fall: The Turkish Left 1960-1980] (Yordam).

Zileli, Gün, 2000, Yarılma: 1954-1972 [Disruption: 1954-1972] (İletişim).

Zürcher, Erik J, 1997, Turkey a Modern History (I B Taurus).