Mustafa Suphi was born in 1883 in Giresun Province, in the Ottoman Empire, now located in present-day Turkey. He was educated in Jerusalem, Damascus and Erzurum before attending Galatasaray High School. He studied political science in Paris, where he was also a correspondent of the Turkish newspaper Tanin. He returned to Turkey in 1910, where he edited the newspaper Ifham. He also gave lectures on law and economics. In 1913 he was accused of involvement in the assassination of Mahmud Şevket Pasha and sentenced to fifteen years of exile in Sinop. Here he contributed articles about western philosophy to the periodicals Ictiha and Hak. However, in 1914 he escaped from Sinop and fled to Russia, where, following the outbreak of the First World War, Russian authorities regarded him as a prisoner of war and sent him into exile in the Ural region.
In 1915, whilst in the Urals he joined the Bolshevik Party. In July 1918, he helped organise the Congress of the Turkish Left Socialists, held in Moscow, and in November became involved in Muskom. He was also elected to the Central Committee of the All Russia Muslim Workers section of Narkomnats. He acted as Mirsäyet Soltanğäliev's secretary. He was chairperson of the Turkish Section of Eastern Publicity Bureau, and in 1919 attended the First Congress of the Third International as the delegate for Turkey. That year he also founded Yeni Dünya (New World), which he used to popularize the foundations of scientific socialism amongst Turkish POWs.
At the First Congress of Communist Party of Turkey, held in Baku on 10 September 1920. Suphi was elected President and went to Anatolia. He was one of the 15 Communists that went to Turkey to join the Turkish War of Independence. After encountering hostility in Erzurum, the communists tried to return to Baku. However, they were murdered by Sailor Yahya after setting sail from Trabzon on the night of 28 January 1921. According to other sources he was murdered by a group of pro-Enver supporters from Trabzon, apparently because of the fear that Suphi might expose Enver's plans of political activities in Moscow and his ultimate intention of using the Bolsheviks to regain power in Turkey once the nationalists were defeated.
- There is need to provide army service area in order to establish links between the partisan troops in various locations of Anatolia and there is need to establish Military-Revolution Committee so as to strengthen this movement. This organization is going to be independent; but our organization will guide it. All the mission of Military-Revolution Committee of Turkey will concentrate on the direction of progression and preservation of the movement of social revolution both in Soviet Russia and worldwide. It will prove useful for Anatolian movement against English – French occupiers, for the spread of this movement throughout the Caucasus and for the organization of Soviet power in those places. Military-Revolution Committee of Turkey taking control of all the duties in Anatolia by means of making use of the first opportunity, will build Socialist Turkey and run towards the aim of joining hands with neighbour Soviet Russia. (M. Suphi; Moscow, 28 October 1919)
Later life and death
Suphi died on the Black Sea, on 28 January 1921.
- Left Wing of the Turkish Communist Party by Enternasyonalist Komunist Sol, October 2008
- Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev, "Mustafa Subkhi i ego rabota," Zhizn natsionalnostei, no. 14 (112), 16 August 1921.
- K Gajendra Singh, Occupation case studies: Algeria and Turkey Asia Times, 7 January 2004
- Media related to Mustafa Suphi at Wikimedia Commons
- (in English) Mustafa Suphi and his comrades were massacred 86 years ago from soL the online newspaper.