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Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist

Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist
Leader Unknown
Founded 1972
Armed wing TiKKO (Liberation Army of the Workers and Peasants of Turkey)
Ideology Marxism-Leninism-Maoism
Political position Far-left
International affiliation International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (Formerly RIM)
Colours Red
Politics of Turkey
Political parties
File:1.-Mai-Demonstration Berlin 2005 (3).jpg
TKP/ML banner during 1st of May demonstration in Berlin (2005)

Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist (Türkiye Komünist Partisi/Marksist-Leninist in Turkish, abbreviated as TKP/ML) is a Maoist insurgent organization in Turkey caiming 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.


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.

The main periodical of the party is called Partizan (Partisan). There are two other periodicals they have published: İşçi-Köylü (Worker-Peasant) and Özgür Gelecek (Free Future).[1]


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, allegedly because of torture.

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 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 underwent many leadership changes in the 1980s, each new leadership declaring its predecessor "revisionist" or "opportunist". TKP/ML begun to ideologically stagnate, the Party's guerrilla army, TiKKO, could no longer sustain itself due to the Party's internal strife. Splits occurred in 1987 and the Party begun decline, this contributed to the rise of the Kurdistan Worker's Party. TKP/ML was eventually ejected from the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement in 2002. In January that year the Committee of RIM sent a letter to TKP/ML: "Your political positions and approach have long become intolerable for a participating party or organisation of our movement". In 2003 the MKP was founded claiming to be a continuation of the original TKP/ML party.


On 17 May 1985, TKP/ML broadcast 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]


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

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

See also


  1. ^ "Leftist Parties of Turkey". Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  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. 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 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?".

External links