On this day in 1972, the Turkish state executed 25-year-old revolutionary student activist Deniz Gezmiş

Published on May 6, 2024, by Il Grido del Popolo©️

Deniz Gezmiş, one of the leaders of 1968 revolutionary movement, was the founding leader of the People’s Liberation Army of Turkey (THKO).

Deniz, who was born in Ankara on February 24, 1947, became acquainted with revolutionary ideas when he was studying in high school. He was a member of the Workers’ Party of Turkey in 1965 and became a leader within the escalating student movement. He always took part in the forefront of strikes and resistances, demonstrations and rallies. Many times he was detained and imprisoned. He participated in many actions from occupation of universities to throwing of the USA 6th Fleet into the sea. He was among the founders of Revolutionary Students’ Union.

In 1969, he went to Palestine and had guerrilla training. On the 4th of March 1971, he kidnapped 4 US He was caught by the fascist Turkish State, together with his comrade, Yusuf Aslan, in Gemerek District of Sarkisla Town of Sivas as a result of an informer’s report. soldiers on behalf of THKO.

Under the Article 146 of TCK (Turkish Penal Code), he was sentenced to execution on October 9, 1971. He never retreated from his revolutionary values through his stance in the court and he himself tried American imperialism and its collaborators: “I did not want anything else, except freedom of Turkey. And because of this reason, we fought against American imperialism and its collaborators. Therefore we are not frightened with death. Let the collaborators think about it. And let them worry about their lives. And I am proud of presenting myself for Turkey’s freedom. We will be carrying this idea of independence until the grave.” After their sentence of execution was approved in the parliament, he and his comrades, Yusuf Aslan and Huseyin Inan were hanged on the 6th of May 1972 in Ankara Central Closed Prison.

Deniz Gezmis was one of the revolutionary examples who dedicated their lives to the socialist cause. In his last letter addressed to his father just before the hanging, he was explaining the spirit of sacrifice by the revolutionary movement of Turkey: “Men are born, grow up, live and die… The important thing is not to live for a long time, but to do more things in the lifetime… My friends who were ahead of me did not show hesitancy before the death… You should not have any doubt that I will not have hesitation….”