Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu hailed Deniz Gezmis dubbed “Turkish Che Guevara” a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary on the anniversary of his execution in 1972, controversially weeks after remembering arch-foe political ideology.
Born in 1947, Deniz Gezmis formed People’s Liberation Army of Turkey – Marxist-Leninist movement- while studying law at Istanbul University. He was one of the prominent organizers of large protests against the arrival of the US Sixth Fleet Istanbul in 1968 which resulted in 2 death and hundreds being injured.
Gezmis also received guerrilla training from PLO in Jordan in 1969. He robbed a bank in Ankara in January 1971 on the name of People’s Liberation Army of Turkey (PLAT). A couple of month later, Gezmis and his friends abducted 4 American soldiers in Ankara and asked for $400 thousand randsom. In the ensuing incidents, PLAT released the American soldiers on March 8th, 4 days before Turkey’s second coup which would topple the elected government. Deniz Gezmis had been issued an arrest warrant for years at the time. After the release of the American soldiers, Gezmis and his friends were captured while trying to get away from the Turkish capital amid rising political tensions in the country.
On March 12, 1972, Turkish military issued a memorandum which forced the democratically elected Prime Minister to resign. After the government fell, a member of a Parliament from CHP -the party which Imamoglu belongs- was appointed by the junta to form an interim government. When Turkey was being governed by that cabinet, Deniz Gezmis and his two friends were executed on May 6th, 1972.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu’s remembrance of Gezmis conflicts with the fact that a member of his party was running the country when Gezmis was executed. Also, not mentioning Gezmis was a prominent Marksist-Leninist, an ideology America fought both at home and abroad is also deceiving
It is also found highly controversial that Imamoglu has been hailing arch-foe ideology as well. The Istanbul mayor posted a tweet on the passing anniversary of Alparslan Turkes, accepted as the founder of “Grey Wolf” ideology, a right-wing movement whom have been at the forefront of struggle against Marksist-Communist structures in Turkey.
Imamoglu’s attempt to embrace a Marksist-Leninist figure together with right-wing opposite ideology often seen as a sign for his future political goals.