Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist

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Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist
Türkiye Komünist Partisi/Marksist-Leninist
General Secretary
  1. İbrahim Kaypakkaya
  2. Süleyman Cihan
  3. Kazım Çelik
  4. Mehmet Demirdağ
  5. Unknown (present)
Founder İbrahim Kaypakkaya
Founded April 24, 1972; 46 years ago (1972-04-24)
Split from Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Party of Turkey
  • Communist
  • Liberation of the Workers and Peasants
Youth wing Marxist-Leninist Youth Union of Turkey (TMLGB)
Armed wing Liberation Army of the Workers and Peasants of Turkey (TİKKO)
Ideology Communism
Political position Far-left
National affiliation Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement[1]
International affiliation International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (formerly RIM)
International Freedom Battalion
Party flag
Flag of Communist Party of Turkey-Marxist–Leninist.svg
Official website

The Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist (Türkiye Komünist Partisi/Marksist-Leninist in Turkish, abbreviated as TKP/ML) is a Maoist insurgent organization in Turkey claiming to be carrying out People's War against the Turkish Government. It was founded in 1972 with İbrahim Kaypakkaya as its first leader. The founders of the TKP/ML were the former members of the Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Party of Turkey that desired to carry out armed struggle.

TKP/ML participates in the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations.


Türkiye İşçi Köylü Kurtuluş Ordusu
Participant in the Political violence in Turkey (1976–80), Maoist insurgency in Turkey, Syrian Civil War
Ideology Communism
Leaders Ali Haydar Yildiz (first commander)
Nubar Ozanyan 
Area of operations Turkey, Rojava
Part of Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist
Allies Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement
Opponents  Turkey
Syrian opposition Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army
 Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
Battles and wars

Maoist insurgency in Turkey
2015 Al-Hawl offensive
Al-Shaddadi offensive (2016)
Raqqa campaign (2016–present)

Turkish military operation in Afrin

The armed wing of the party is named the Liberation Army of the Workers and Peasants of Turkey (Türkiye İşci ve Köylü Kurtuluş Ordusu in Turkish, abbreviated as TİKKO).

Marxist-Leninist Youth Union of Turkey (Türkiye Marksist Leninist Gençlik Birliği in Turkish, abbreviated as TMLGB) is the youth organization of TKP/ML.


Following the military memorandum of 1971 the Turkish government cracked down on the communist movement in Turkey. Kaypakkaya and several of his colleagues were arrested. The party machinery was destroyed, while Kaypakkaya died in prison in 1973, because of torture.

The Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist re-organized between 1973 and 1978. The first party congress took place in 1978 (TKP/ML I. Kongresi in Turkish). In 1981 the second congress was organized (TKP/ML II. Kongresi). The party split following the second congress, the splinter group taking up the name Bolshevik Party (North Kurdistan-Turkey).

This was nor the first neither the last split in the party. The Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist - Hareketi had already split in (1976) during the re-organisation period. Other splits followed the second congress: Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist - Revolutionary Proletarian (1987), Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (Maoist Party Centre) (1987) and Maoist Communist Party (1994).


TKP/ML banner during 1st of May demonstration in Berlin (2005)

On 17 May 1985, TKP/ML broadcast a propaganda message to millions of television viewers in Istanbul, replacing the soundtrack for the evening news.[2]

On 29 June 2010, two guerillas of the TIKKO were killed in the mountains of Tunceli by the Turkish state forces.

On 2 February 2011, five guerillas of TIKKO in Tunceli died as a result of an avalanche.[3][4]

On 26 July 2013, the control building of a hydroelectric power plant regulator was bombed in the countryside of Tunceli Province by TIKKO militants.[5]

On 14 March 2014 TİKKO guerrillas attacked a police station in Tunceli. TKP/ML declared that the attack was revenge for death of Berkin Elvan.[6][7]


According to a study carried out by the Counter-Terrorism and Operations Department of Directorate General for Security over a sample of files on people convicted of being a terrorist under Turkish law, including 826 militants from the organisation and the three other currently active left-wing organisations (see reference 1), 65% of the members were aged 14 to 25, 16.8% 25 to 30, while 17.5% were older than 30. University graduates made up 20.4% of the members, high-school graduates 33.5%, secondary-school graduates 14%, primary-school graduates 29.9% and illiterates 1.9% (the sample contained no non-graduate but literate members).[8]

Designation as a terrorist organisation[edit]

The organisation is listed among the 12 active terrorist organisation in Turkey as of 2007 according to the Counter-Terrorism and Operations Department of the Directorate General for Security of the Turkish police.[9]

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement established for a joint struggle". Firat News Agency. 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2016-03-14. 
  2. ^ A World to Win Magazine, 1985, "TKP/ML seizes the airwaves 8PM News Break"
  3. ^ To the Press and the Public: 5 martyrs of TKP/ML-TIKKO died in Tunceli
  4. ^ Mike Ely. "Turkey: Five Communist Fighters Killed in Avalanche". Kasama Project. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Hydroelectric Plant Regulator Bombed in Dersim - english". Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "TÄ°KKO'dan Berkin Elvan için misilleme eylemi". BestaNûçe Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Özgür Gelecek. "Gerilladan Berkin Elvan için misilleme eylemi". Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Zaman. 25.12.2007. "Dikkat: Hangi yasadışı örgüte kimler üye olur?".
  9. ^ TÜRKİYE'DE HALEN FAALİYETLERİNE DEVAM EDEN BAŞLICA TERÖR ÖRGÜTLERİ: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 

External links[edit]