Progressive Youth Association

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The Progressive Youth Association (Turkish: İlerici Gençler Derneği) was the youth wing of the erstwhile Communist Party of Turkey. The İGD was founded on January 5, 1976.

It made close relations with trade unions and democratic mass organizations, took part in May Day celebrations, protests against DGMs (Courts of State Security) and campaigns against the ultra-right party MHP and its youth organization. The organisation arranged series of mass activities such as «National Independence and Democracy» meetings, «National Independence Week», anniversaries and solidarity activities, organized campaigns on some issues as life-security, education freedom, and democratization of textbooks. It made actions together with Progressive Students’ Association (İLD), Apprentice Assoc. (ÇIRAK – DER) and Association of Amateur Athletes. As a reason of its intensive efforts for action-unity of youth, stepped forward to the platform of action-unity with some other youth organizations such as Genç Öncü, Sosyalist Gençler Birliği and Devrimci Demokratik Kültür Derneği (DDKD).

İGD pioneered to celebrate 10–17 November World Student and Youth Week in Turkey. In 1978, İGD became a member of World Federation of Democratic Youth. In the same year, it represented Turkish youth in the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students.

In the autumn of 1979, İGD was closed down by the authorities with the reason 'working against public interest'. When it was closed down, it had more than 50 000 official members and 154 offices around the country. During the period 1976-1980 near 100 of its members had been killed by ultra-nationalists and maoists.

However, İGD continued its mass actions until the September 12, 1980 military coup that put the entire society in a ruthless pressure. In the post-September 12 period, it withdrew to the underground and continued working illegally, called people to say 'no to the constitution of fascism'. It took up a role in foundation of student associations after they were again allowed after 1983-84. In 1987 the organisation was again leading student demonstrations.

İGD was disbanded along with TKP, as TKP was dissolved into a series of mergers.