Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ayşe Deniz Karacagil (Destan Temmuz) fell as a martyr during a clash with ISIS on the morning of May 29.

Ayşe Deniz Karacagil was one of the heroes of the Gezi Park protests in Turkey in 2013. It seems so long ago that the Gezi Resistance gave us special hope that Turkey would emerge from darkness, that solidarity between peoples and between leading sections of the workers' movement and leading sections of peoples' movements would develop and avoid civil war, and that Rojava's advancing revolution and the Kurdish movement and the fighters in the Qandil Mountains and Abdullah Öcalan would all be able to participate in democratic elections. Not all of our hopes were sacrificed as the Gezi Resistance was defeated by state violence and Erdoğan ignited a civil war: the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) built optimism and struggle and did quite well in two elections, Rojava survives and the Kurdish movement continues. There is still a strike movement and radical working class leadership in place in Turkey: see herehere and here. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no reason to feel safe.

Ayşe Deniz Karacagil (Destan Temmuz) was jailed in Turkey after her detention during the Gezi protests for wearing a red scarf. She was popularly known as "the girl with the red scarf" but was labelled a terrorist by the Turkish authorities and judiciary. The authorities asked that she receive a 103 years prison sentence. Ayşe was released on February 6, 2014 and took to the mountains soon afterwards. Her communications with her family after she fled which were publicly shared were quite moving. At some point she made a principled decision to join the fighters of the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). The MLKP has given many fighters to the struggle.

Our comrade Ayşe Deniz Karacagil (Destan Temmuz) was fighting in the ranks of the International Freedom Battalion in the battle against ISIS gangs in Rojava when she fell as a martyr during a clash with ISIS on the morning of May 29.

With the repression in Turkey, and now especially in Ankara, and the arrests of our friends Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, many more Ayşes will grow and join a movement which will welcome them. We want their lives and their paths to be easier, and we want to see their victory without this civil war and loss of life. Ayşe Deniz Karacagil (Destan Temmuz) was among the best young women of her generation. We should renew our solidarity in her memory.

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